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Fittipaldi F6A car-by-car histories

Emerson Fittipaldi in the Fittipaldi F6A at the Canadian Grand Prix at Montréal in 1979. Copyright Bruce Stewart  2017. Used with permission.

Emerson Fittipaldi in the Fittipaldi F6A at the Canadian Grand Prix at Montréal in 1979. Copyright Bruce Stewart 2017. Used with permission.

After Ralph Bellamy's original "Concorde" Fittipaldi F6 failed dismally, Fittipaldi commissioned Fly Studio, who had turned Dave Baldwin's F5 design into the more effective F5A, to redevelop the car into a more conventional Fittipaldi F6A.

Designers Giacomo Caliri and Luigi Marmiroli, both ex-Ferrari, "virtually changed everything on the F6 in two months". The monocoque was much the same as on the F6, although stiffened with strengthening tubes. New rocker arm suspension was designed front and rear, and its conventional sidepods were "rather like those on the Williams", according to team manager Peter Macintosh. However, Caliri had not been to a GP all season, and underestimated how far F1 had developed. When the revised car first appeared at the German GP, it had big problems with the skirts sticking, and even when they weren't sticking they were ineffective. There was little time to change anything before the Austrian GP, where the problem with the skirts continued and Emerson also commented that the car was too heavy.

Despite wind tunnel work before the Dutch GP, the car was no better, with dreadful handling. At Monza, although the weight and stiffness were still not resolved, the handling was at least improved allowing Emerson to have a good race, finishing eighth. Stronger suspension was fitted for the last two races, but the F6A's ground effects simply didn't work, and Emerson was always on the last few rows of the grid. A second F6A was built, and Alex Ribeiro drove it at the two North American GPs, but could not qualify for either. As soon as the season was over, Fittipaldi did a deal to buy up the Wolf operation, complete with designer Harvey Postlethwaite, and run Postlethwaite's Wolf WR7 design in 1980. Bellamy departed for Ensign, where he would design the Ensign N180.

Car
Total
Race
Starts
Grand
Prix
Starts
Grand
Prix
Wins
First Race
Present Location
6
6
German Grand Prix
(29 Jul 1979)
United Kingdom 2020
 
 
(Italian Grand Prix)
(9 Sep 1979)
Unknown - last seen in Italy in 1983

Of the two F6As, one went into a German museum before being recovered for historic racing in 1990. The other was still at the factory when ADA Engineering took over, and was sold to an Italian owner later in 1983. 37 years later, it has still not resurfaced.

These histories last updated on .