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Fittipaldi F7 car-by-car histories

Emerson Fittipaldi in the Fittipaldi F7 during practice at the British GP in 1980. Copyright Martin Lee  2017. Used with permission.

Emerson Fittipaldi in the Fittipaldi F7 during practice at the British GP in 1980. Copyright Martin Lee 2017. Used with permission.

This model is eligible for the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique 2018, in Race G: Formula 1, 1977 to 1980, with ground-effects, Cosworth DFV engine.

After struggling to make their own ground-effect car work, Fittipaldi Automotive bought Walter Wolf Racing at the end of 1979, and raced Wolf's WR7/8/9 design in 1980, renamed as Fittipaldi F7s.

The merger of the two teams resulted in Fittipaldi's Peter Macintosh taking the role of Director of Administration, Wolf team manager Peter Warr taking over the same role in the new team, and Wolf designer Harvey Postlethwaite becoming Chief Designer. Emerson Fittipaldi was joined as driver by Wolf's Keke Rosberg. Team principal Wilson Fittipaldi secured sponsorship from Skol, a sub-division of Labatt's, to replace the team's long-standing relationship with Brazilian sugar and ethanol trader Copersucar. Fittipaldi's former base in Slough was closed and the new operation was based at Wolf's premises in Reading. It would now run as a "typical English F1 team", instead of trying to manufacture the car in Brazil, a requirement of former sponsor Copersucar. The Wolf WR7/8/9 design formed the basis of an interim Fittipaldi F7 to start 1980 until Postlethwaite could design a new F8. The F7 only retained the monocoque, gearbox and oil tank of the Wolf; the rest of the car was said to be all new.

The season started well with Rosberg storming through the field to finish third in Argentina. Although neither driver was on the pace during qualifying, both were great racers and Emerson took his F7 from last on the grid to third place at the finish at Long Beach. However, these efforts could not disguise the age of the design, and the cars filled the last row of the grid at the French GP in late June, and Rosberg failed to qualify for the British GP, where his team mate had the first F8. One of the F7s continued to serve as a backup for the rest of the year.

Car
Total
Race
Starts
Grand
Prix
Starts
First Race
Present Location
6
5
Argentinian Grand Prix
(13 Jan 1980)
France
9
8
Argentinian Grand Prix
(13 Jan 1980)
Brooklands Museum (UK) 2017
1
1
United States Grand Prix West
(30 Mar 1980)
Netherlands 2017

One of the F7s had left the factory before the ADA takeover, and was sold to Italy.  The other two were then sold off by ADA. One is a museum piece, now in Wolf livery and on display at the Brooklands Museum. The other two appeared in historic events in the early 1990s, but have since been sold into private collections.

Please contact Allen Brown (allen@oldracingcars.com) if you can add anything to our understanding of these cars.