Rumoured/possible driver moves which did not happen?

Racing events, drivers, cars or anything else from the past.
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"Almost" drives

Post by PTRACER » 13 years ago

It's been well documented that Rick Mears was supposed to drive a third Brabham at Long Beach (?) in 1980, but was prevented from doing so after someone dug out a big, dusty rulebook.

In 1995, Christophe Bouchut was also supposed to make his F1 debut with Larrousse, but the team folded before he got the chance.

The same year, Emmanuel Collard was going to do a one-off race for Pacific, after regular driver Andrea Montermini had an operation to remove his appendix. He made a miraculous recovery and managed to be fit enough to take part in Friday qualifying, although I don't remember what race that was.

I've also just read that Markus Höttinger was supposed to make his F1 debut at the 1980 Austrian GP, but was sadly killed before he had the chance to do so. Which team was this for?
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Post by futuretiger9 » 13 years ago

I read somewhere that Hottinger was scheduled to drive for the ATS team.

Michael Andretti almost drove for Beatrice Lola at Detroit in '86 after Patrick Tambay was injured at Montreal. Superlicence issues intervened, though and Eddie Cheever deputised instead.

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Post by crazydude1992 » 13 years ago

What about Otto Stuppacher?
At Monza, for the Italian GP, it was abundantly clear that Stuppacher was out of his depth. Out of 29 entrants, of which 26 should have started, Jacques Laffite took pole in his Ligier with a time of 1:41.35. Stuppacher was slowest of all, with a 1:55.22, some 13.87 seconds slower. Even Arturo Merzario in the hopeless Wolf-Williams, who was just ahead of the Austrian, managed a 1:47.31.

But as fate would have it, both 'Little Art' and Stuppacher should have started the race! For when McLaren drivers James Hunt and Jochen Mass, plus Penske driver John Watson had their times disallowed for fuel irregularities, Merzario and Stuppacher were bumped up to 25th and 26th. But here's the thing: the previous night, Otto, disheartened by his DNQ, had taken the Saturday evening flight back home! Come Sunday, he was already back in Vienna, licking his wounds, obviously unable to make it back in time for the start.

In fact, in the end Stuppacher would have started 25th, because Merzario was withdrawn before the race started. Rumours circulated that Arturo had been persuaded to withdraw thanks to some money from Penske, for as a result of both Merzario and Stuppacher being absent, Hunt and Mass were allowed back in at the rear of the grid, and so too Watson. Thus in the end 27 cars started.
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Post by PTRACER » 13 years ago

But he did drive :tongue: He drove in practice, but didn't race.
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Post by crazydude1992 » 13 years ago

What about Jorge de Bagration?
Sponsorship troubles aside, and to make things even more complicated, in the week before the Grand Prix the president of the Spanish motor racing federation had failed in his re-election bid. He drove to his office and cleared his desk, taking all paper files with him. Believe it or not, this included the official entry list for the Spanish Grand Prix. Subsequently, a replacement list was hurriedly drawn up, but since Jorge's sponsorship had just fallen through, he was not included.

The point is, though, that he should have been. He was on the original entry list, and he had never withdrawn from it. The fact that his sponsorship had fallen through and he would not have been able to compete anyway is irrelevant. He should be have been on the subsequent list, and in recognition of that fact, some statistics now record him for the 1974 Spanish GP as a DNA ('did not arrive'). Anyway, these three sad symbols are all that reminds us of Jorge's efforts to start in a Grand Prix.

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Post by PTRACER » 13 years ago

Karl Oppitzhauser was an "almost" drive. He had a March 761 that he entered for the 1976 Austrian GP. However, he was prevented from even practicing because he'd never driven a single seater before!

In a similar case, Ricardo Londoño-Bridge was entered into the 1981 Brazilian GP for Ensign, but didn't manage to get a superlicence, so was prevented from practicing. He'd already done a pre-race test of the car and managed to shunt Keke Rosberg off the track.
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Post by DaleJuniorFan » 13 years ago

IndyCar driver Rich Vogler was scheduled to make his first NASCAR start for Ray DeWitt in the 1990 AC Spark Plugs 500 at Pocono, but was tragically killed before he could do so.

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Post by Edgar Jessop » 13 years ago

Dave Coyne tried to get Gachot's Jordan seat for the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix. :cool: I can think of about 93,000 reasons [out of 100,000] why he lost out to Michael Schumacher :sorrow:
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Post by aerogi » 13 years ago

there was a strong rumour that Bas Leinders would drive the Belgian Grand Prix when he was a test driver for Minardi. Sadly it didn't happen.

Yesterday I've read something interesting about Ligier and Prost. During winter testing in 1976-1977, it was decided that Ligier would continue with a one car line-up for 1977, as the Matra engines were very expensive. If they would have found the money to get a second car, it would have gone to Alain Prost, who at that time was a F Renault driver, but from which Guy Ligier believed he could become something great.

Not 100% on topic, I know...

Wasn't there also a Japanese driver that only participated in friday practice with the Wolf back in 1976 or 1977?
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Post by crazydude1992 » 13 years ago

Kuwashima

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Post by PTRACER » 13 years ago

Yes, Masami Kuwashima, 1976 Japanese GP

He was actually supposed to be driving a RAM Racing Brabham BT44 in that race, but the car had been impounded before the race for whatever reason and Kuwashimi ended up in Wolf-Williams FW05.

His fastest practice time wasn't particularly fast and his sponsors pulled out. Frank Williams didn't want Kuwashima to drive the car without him some money to the team and so was replaced by Hans Binder. In the race, Binder had to retire with a ball-bearing problem in one of his wheels somehow managed to let off the onboard fire extinguisher, while getting out of his car.
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Post by futuretiger9 » 13 years ago

Edgar Jessop wrote:Dave Coyne tried to get Gachot's Jordan seat for the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix. :cool: I can think of about 93,000 reasons [out of 100,000] why he lost out to Michael Schumacher :sorrow:
I always thought that Coyne deserved at least one GP appearance, for his sterling efforts in the UK junior formulae.

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Post by Vassago » 13 years ago

Kenny Brack signed with Tom Walkinshaw in 1997 when he was about to buy the Ligier team, but of course Alain Prost eventually took over and following Walkinshaw's move to Arrows, Brack headed Stateside considering the Arrows as "too weak".
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Post by Barre » 12 years ago

aerogi wrote:there was a strong rumour that Bas Leinders would drive the Belgian Grand Prix when he was a test driver for Minardi. Sadly it didn't happen.
Did you see the sticker the Minardi car had of Belgacom? It was pathetic, he (and other Belgians) just don't get the backing of big companies in Belgium for autosport.

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Post by scotty1 » 12 years ago

Aussie Geoff Brabham failed to pre-qualify twice for the Life team in 1990. At Phoenix he was 26 seconds off the pace. The team was so bad he just left. He went onto being an IMSA champion in the US, a Super-Touring Champ, and won Le Mans. He was also one of only 12 finishers (out of 33) in the 1992 Indy 500. he runs a BMW driver school not far from where i live (Sandown racetrack, just out of melbourne).

Also, when Martin Donnelly had his crash at Jerez, G Brabham was supposed to take his Lotus spot for the race, but politics intervened.

His brother David went onto competing in the 94 season for Simtek.

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