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Thread: Coloni FC188B 1988-1989

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    Feb 2005

    Coloni FC188B 1988-1989

    The FIA's announcement that turbos would be banned from Formula One from 1989 - making the sport more affordable ó was the trigger for Enzo Coloni to enter the category. Enzo Coloni Racing Car Systems made its first appearance in Formula One at the 1987 Italian Grand Prix in September 1987. The yellow painted FC187, powered by a Novamotor-prepared Cosworth DFZ, was a simple machine designed by former Dallara apprentice Roberto Ori. Coloni himself had carried out the shake-down drive but Nicola Larini was the race driver. The car was obviously not ready and Larini did not qualify. The Italian recorded Coloniís first Formula One race start at the next race, the 1987 Portuguese Grand Prix, although mechanical problems meant that he did not finish. The team did not fly to the end of year overseas races that year, so Lariniís retirement from the Spanish Grand Prix that year ended their first season. They were, of course, 16th and last in the Constructors Championship, because they were the only team without a finish.

    The 1988 season was the team's first full season and started well. Although the "new" FC188 was almost identical with its predecessor, Coloni's new driver Gabriele Tarquini qualified regularly and finished 8th at the Canadian Grand Prix. This turned out to be Coloni's best result in Formula One. Due to a shortage of funds very little development work was done during the year. The teamís performance suffered as a result and qualification or even prequalification were no longer certain. The team scored no points this year, finishing again 15th, ahead of Osella, the new EuroBrun and the suffering Zakspeed Teams.

    Although money was tight for 1989, Coloni entered two cars for Roberto Moreno and French newcomer Pierre-Henri Raphanel. The FC188Bs were another update of the 1987 car, but were hard to handle, and about 20 km/h slower than the rest of the grid. Nevertheless, both drivers were able to qualify for the Monaco Grand Prix. This was the only race participation of a Coloni in the first part of the season. In Canada, Coloni presented a new car (the Coloni C3) which was penned by former AGS man Christian Vanderpleyn. The C3 was a basically good design but the team suffered again from a complete lack of testing. This meant that the team often failed to find the right set up for the races. The team failed to qualify for most of the rest of the season ó only in three cases, the debut of the Coloni C3, the 1989 Canadian Grand Prix, the 1989 British Grand Prix and at the Portuguese Grand Prix did Moreno qualify, in 26th, 23rd and 15th place respectively, after a developmental front wing was fitted for Estoril. Unfortunately for the team, he then collided with Eddie Cheever in the warm-up and had to use the spare car. He did not finish the race as the engine blew up after a handful of laps. As results failed to arrive, the team was cut back throughout the year. After Vanderpleyn had left the team in September, Enzo Coloni took over the engineer's job himself but unsurprisingly this brought no improvement. Neither did the new driver Enrico Bertaggia who replaced Raphanel for the last races. The team finished equal 18th and last with Zakspeed, because the EuroBrun team never qualified that year. The Portuguese Grand Prix proved to be the last qualification for a Coloni car.

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