Rial Racing

Rial Racing was a Formula 1 team of the German company Rial Leichtmetallfelgen ( RIAL ) from Fußgönheim that participated in the 1988 and 1989 Formula 1 World Championship. Team leader at that time was Günther Schmid, who had some years earlier been a team leader at ATS Racing.

  • 3.1 The starting point
  • 3.2 The course of the season
  • 3.3 Problem Analysis
  • 5.1 Statistics in Formula 1
  • 5.2 All drivers of Rial Racing in Formula 1
  • 5.3 Results in Formula 1

The basics of motorsport involvement

Until the 1980s Rial was not even active in motorsport. That changed in early 1987 as Günter Schmid took over the company. Schmid had exchanged his amount ranging from 50 % shares in ATS against all Rial Shares. A few months after taking over the company Rial Schmid had decided to get involved once again in Formula racing.

The Rial project was a revival of the concept began with ATS to force the sale of wheels by means of motor sport for him. Anyway, as far as the motorsport commitment of Rial was also successful: At the end of the first Formula 1 season explained Schmid, the rims sales had increased by more than 50% during the year 1988. The ( re-) entry into Formula 1 was ultimately made ​​possible by the fact that the FISA wanted to limit the costly turbo engines for the 1988 Formula 1 season strong and prohibiting it altogether in 1989. In this regard, there was a widespread expectation that a Formula 1 stakes could be financially feasible for independent candidates again. Accordingly, numerous active in smaller classes racing teams ventured into the late 1980s, the rise in the Formula 1 Among them, for example, AGS, Coloni or onyx. Of them Rial differed insofar as the company could not look back on a racing history, so that the racing team presented a new foundation.

Organizationally operation Schmid the team with little effort. The Motorsport team received no own work, but resided in the production hall of the rim manufacturer had been in the reserves a small area and separated by partitions. The personnel structure also corresponded to the level of a private team. Over the two-year commitment rarely worked more than two dozen employees for the Formula 1 team, and at the race tracks joined the team rarely with more than 10 members of.

Of central importance was the Austrian engineer Gustav Brunner, who had previously worked for ATS and the Schmid for his new project of the Scuderia Ferrari had been able to poach. Brunner designed in the second half of 1987, the race car for the new team, which should prove to be a valuable design. Brunner's commitment was the main reason that the experienced Italian racing driver Andrea de Cesaris was involved Rial already for the inaugural season in 1988.

The season 1988

The car

In 1988, Rial in Formula 1 with the car designed by Brunner Rial ARC1. The blue painted car was a structurally uncomplicated, very compact car that is unmistakably bore the traits of also designed by Brunner Ferrari F1/87. Therefore, the car was early, " the blue Ferrari " called. The small size of the car were mainly due to a very small fuel tank, which took only 189 liters and thus the least volume of all Formula 1 cars had this vintage. Brunner had waived this amount of gasoline as maximum consumption of the car is calculated and in the interest of compactness on safety reserves. In practice, this should be was not allowed in a time when the refueling, turn out to be risky; in several races, the car remained without fuel are, for example, the Grand Prix of Canada, in which de Cesaris was in fifth position before the last round, the running out of gas left. The car was powered by a Ford conventional naturally aspirated engine, the - was tuned at Mader in Switzerland - as well as the Ford engines of most other teams.

During the season three chassis were built, which technically hardly differed from each other. Overall, there was little development work. The modifications related mostly to details such as the position of the oil cooler, which had been regarded as unconstitutional regulations at Auftraktrennen and was changed several times during the season.

The individual chassis ran in the race for the following Grand Prix:

  • Chassis # 1: Brazil, San Marino, Monaco, France and the UK.
  • Chassis # 2: Mexico, Montreal, United States ( Detroit ), Hungary and Belgium
  • Chassis No. 3: Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Japan, Australia.

The course of the season

The Rial Racing team called stepped to the 1988 season with only one driver on. Besides Rial 1988 EuroBrun Racing BMS Scuderia Italia and the ( BMS Dallara ) committed for the first time in Formula 1, and also Coloni was basically a new team, although it had in 1987 already participated in two Formula 1 races. These four candidates were subject to the first 1988 pre-qualification. For Rial this hurdle should mean no problem; Andrea de Cesaris was able to qualify for every race.

In the opening race in Brazil Andrea de Cesaris managed easily the pre-qualification as well as the actual qualification. He reached the 14th place and was thus not only the also new competitors, but also established teams such as Tyrrell and Ligier leave behind. In the race, Andrea de Cesaris was after 21 rounds in sixth place, which he defended engaged. However, he fell after 53 rounds because of a mechanical breakdown.

In the following race, de Cesaris managed to qualify in 16th. However, there were problems with the wishbone, which was identified as a security risk. The team then de Cesaris was driving a lap in the race, so that the claim was satisfied on entry fee before the safe side overtook him in the box and use ended.

An outstanding result achieved de Cesaris at the U.S. Grand Prix in Detroit. Despite defective clutch he went as a fourth across the finish line. It was the first finish a Rial, and reached by three world championship points made ​​sure Rial no longer subject to the pre-qualification in the second half of the 1988 season.

From the summer of 1988, the difficulties in the team increased. So the team was weakened by the departure of Brunner, who had been lured away from the German competition team Zakspeed before the Grand Prix of Germany. The biggest problem was the fact that Schmid not filling, so the team worked the position of Brunner in the second half of the season 1988 without technical director. Not least because there was no further development of the car, also unique vulnerabilities were patched or only superficial. As a result, there were increasing technical defects in the car, having a direct impact on its performance and the results. At the Hungarian Grand Prix, the team was hampered by a broken half- shaft, and the Grand Prix of Italy, surprisingly appeared a hole in the underbody, which could not be satisfactorily repaired. Andrea de Cesaris increasingly lost confidence in the team. Again, this was reflected in the results. De Cesaris commented to the effect that the car is a " shack " was " that drives me repeatedly in error " against the Italian press. All in all there was in the second half of the season Rial only two target arrivals, namely a 13th place at the Grand Prix of Germany and the eighth place in the Grand Prix of Australia. Only in Detroit one championship points had achieved so that Rial than 13 finished the constructors' championship. In order for the team, however, was still the best the first time in 1988 being beaten team.


The starting position

The 1989 season was one of the hardest of Formula 1 history. To the already existing teams Onyx Grand Prix was added as a further new candidates, and Brabham returned to a sabbatical year in Formula 1. Up to EuroBrun Racing all teams used two cars. Overall, therefore, joined with 20 teams and 39 cars as many competitors as never before to the world championship. For Rial - as for many other small teams as well - meant the new season a significant financial burden. Günter Schmid claimed to have for the 1989 season as well as the year before a budget of 5 million DM. To the extent this was true, was not much, but not hopeless little; of central importance, however, was that these funds - unlike last year - had enough now for the operation of two cars.

Technical innovations were not for the 1989 season at Rial. Although the team presented a car with the name ARC 2; actually had this model but no new development, but a mere review of Gustav Brunner's car from last year. The most significant change was that the car was a good five inches longer than the ARC 1 The space gained benefited from the tank, the volume was increased to 205 liters. This ensured that the car could survive a race distance under regular conditions. The changes were based on work by Stefan Fober, Bob Bell and Martin Godrich, who were active in the winter of 1988 /89 Gustav Brunner's position in Rial plant. As motor turn a Cosworth DFR eight-cylinder engine was used, which was prepared by Mader. Rial This used the same engine as the competition Teams AGS, Arrows, Coloni, Ligier, Minardi, Onyx, Osella, BMS Scuderia Italia and Tyrrell.

Rial presented itself for 1989 as aware (initially) pure German team. As a driver Christian Danner has been committed, who had driven in the previous years at Arrows, Osella and Zakspeed, as well as the Formula 1 debutant Volker Weidler.

The course of the season

The course of the 1989 season was difficult. Christian Danner was overall the more successful drivers. In addition to its dedicated driving style you have to consider that his car given the 1988 achieved was freed three championship points for the first half of the 1989 season from the requirement of pre-qualification, so that he could fight directly to the qualification. Volker Weidler, however, had to undergo from the beginning of pre-qualification. You should pose for Weidler an insurmountable obstacle: In the first eight Grands Prix of the season succeeded Weidler not once get through the pre-qualification. As well Weidlers car was exempt from the requirement of pre-qualification for the second half of the season, Weidler failed in the Grand Prix of Germany and Hungary respectively on the actual qualification. All in all, succeeded Weidler in any of his 10 attempts to take part in a Formula 1 race. For the Belgian Grand Prix, he was released. Volker Weidler was given another chance in Formula 1

Christian Danner also had some trouble with the ARC 2. In the first half of the season he missed four times the qualification ( at the Grand Prix of San Marino, Monaco, France and Great Britain). Best qualifying result was the 17th place at the start of the season in Brazil Auftraktrennen. He did not finish, but was counted despite a gearbox failure in the 56th round as the 14th and last. The Grand Prix of Mexico ended as Danner 12 with two laps down. During the subsequent U.S. Grand Prix in Phoenix then repeated the sensation of the year: driver and car documented its potential impressive. Danner was started as a last and had fought his way until lap 36 in 10th place. Then he benefited from the failures of the vehicle in front of him, Nelson Piquet ( Lotus ), Alex Caffi (BMS Scuderia Italia ), Gerhard Berger ( Scuderia Ferrari) and Andrea de Cesaris ( also Scuderia Italia ) so that Danner in the 70th round on was fourth. Despite defective exhaust pipe he held this position until the end and secured so Rial three valuable World Championship points. They made sure that not only Danners, but also Weidlers car were freed in the second half of the season from the pre-qualification. At the following race Danner once again came to the finish ( eighth and last ); However, this result should be the ultimate goal arrival of Rial and also the last race participation of Rial at a Great Price. In the following race, both drivers regularly missed the qualification. With the progress of the season on the road in the qualifying times were getting worse; they were last repeated only at the level of generally classified as non- competitive vehicles from AGS or Coloni. In recent events, the qualifying times the rial had not even enough to pass the pre-qualification.

In the late summer of 1989 there was some restructuring in the team. In technical terms, came short of the Belgian engineer Christian Vanderpleyn the team, who had worked from 1960 to 1988 at AGS and then one year at Coloni. Vanderpleyn designed a new floor, which, however, did not contribute to increase the performance of the car significantly. Driver's side was unsuccessful after the Hungarian Grand Prix Volker Weidler initially replaced; in its place Pierre -Henri Raphanel was committed, who had come along with Christian Vanderpleyn of Coloni. Christian Danner remained until the Grand Prix of Portugal in Rial, then Günter Schmid also set him free. As a reason for the team boss gave to irregularities in the payment of sponsor funds; Christian Danner joined counterclockwise. At Danner's office continued the Swiss Foitek Gregory, who had been active in the first half of the season at EuroBrun Racing before he became replaced by Oscar Larrauri the Grand Prix of Spain. Foitek was in qualifying with a gap of nine seconds later pole time of the slowest rider. All the pilots of the pre-qualification had set faster times of the day when he. For the two flyaway Foitek was replaced by the Belgian Bertrand Gachot, which had previously been dismissed at Onyx. He, too, could do nothing. Both Rial were in Japan and Australia, respectively, the slowest cars of the qualification.

Problem analysis

Christian Danner explained the failure of the team in an interview with the Swiss journal motorsport currently in early 1990 primarily with a lack of structured work. The car had exhibited a number of deficiencies. So it had come again and again to engine misfires when were in the tank in qualifying or during a race less than 100 liters of petrol. Instead of pre- excited by Danner checking the fuel pump here, the team management had limited the cars with half-full tanks - more than 100 liters of petrol - to send in the qualification. Also, the company Aero -Construct, which established for the monocoque Rial was made responsible for Verwindungsfreudigkeit of the monocoque. However, there was in this respect different views on the necessary charges which led to a falling out between Rial and Aero -Construct in September 1989. In addition, there was no consideration to stiffen the chassis later.

In addition to the organizational shortcomings, the fact did not help that Rial 1989 again began Goodyear tires. 1989, a second tire manufacturer Pirelli was the first time represented in Formula 1, the small Italian Formula 1 team and the returned to F1 Brabham team fitting out in the first place. Pirelli held for most of its customers special qualifying tires ready that held only one or two rounds, although they were clearly superior to the competition from Goodyear in this narrow window, so it was surprising qualification results, especially during the second half of the season, where you obtain car Minardi or Osella could find in the "Top Ten " sometimes. Rial had here with classic Goodyear tires a disadvantage which the team could not offset by consistent technical development.

The outlook for 1990

After the end of the season was not clear for several weeks how it would go with the team.

What is certain is that Christian had Vanderpleyn parallel to his work at ARC2 some designs for a new car, the ARC3 developed. These designs had already achieved quite detailed scope, according to former Rial staff. In fact, these plans have not been implemented in Rial. Some features of these designs are said to have recovered after presentation of journals in the AGS JH26, a chariot, the Christian Vanderpleyn developed during a brief final guest performance at AGS in early 1991, which was ultimately also not realized.

In November and December 1989, Schmid withdrew from the public and from the team and was thus both the team members and sponsors and business partners on the further development in the dark. End of January 1990, he then declared the official withdrawal of Rial from Formula 1

In 1992 the name Rial again in Formula 1, as a short-term sponsor of the team March Engineering.

Facts and Figures

Statistics in Formula 1

All drivers of Rial Racing in Formula 1

1 The driver was able to qualify for a race.

Results in Formula 1