Walter Wolf Racing

Walter Wolf Racing (short: Wolf ) was a British- Canadian Motorsports racing team, which was active in Formula 1 from 1976 to 1979. The team had its roots in the British team of Frank Williams Racing Cars, whose successor he is. Owner was the Austro -Canadian entrepreneur Walter Wolf.

  • 2.1 Statistics in Formula 1
  • 2.2 All drivers of the Wolf Team


Team Founded: Williams Hesketh = Wolf

The arrived in the oil business to wealth Walter Wolf began in 1975, to make plans for starting as team owner in Formula 1. In the fall of 1975, Wolf took numerous technical components of being liquidated racing team Hesketh Racing, including a racing car Hesketh 308C as well as items for two more vehicles. The Italian designer Giampaolo Dallara presented in October 1975 a connection between Wolf and Frank Williams, who led an own Formula 1 racing team since 1969, and after several unsuccessful years stood before the economic ruin.

In December 1975, Walter Wolf took over the majority of shares in Frank Williams Racing Cars and paid the debts of the racing team as well as the personal liabilities of Frank Williams. Wolf united in this way the Hesketh components with the Williams team. Frank Williams, the middle of the 1970s was considered a " hunger Unfortunately, the formula 1", served as clerk daily business and received an annual salary of £ 25,000.

The newly formed team debuted in 1976 in the Formula 1 World Championship. In the first three races of the year the team was still reported under the previous name of Frank Williams Racing Cars; from the Spanish Grand Prix, it was announced as Walter Wolf Racing. Most statistics therefore lead the team since 1976 consistently as a wolf and not (any longer ) than Williams.


The team entered its debut season with three vehicles of the type Williams FW05. Other than the name suggested, these cars were no house designs by Williams, and they had nothing to do with the previous models of the iso- era. Rather, it was produced in 1975 Hesketh 308C, which had been revised in the Winter 1975/76 by ​​Patrick Head. The revision was generally considered to be not very effective. She made the car " not better, just harder ."

Driver's side, there was a lot of movement in the team. Regular driver was initially Jackie Ickx, his use of Marlboro was supported with £ 100,000. Ickx came four times to the finish. His best result was the seventh place in the Spanish Grand Prix. This was also the best result of the team this year. The race result was offset by four missed qualifications of the Belgian.

From the Grand Prix of Germany Ickx was replaced by Arturo Merzario. At his home race, the Italian Grand Prix, Monza, there was an unusual incident: Arturo Merzario finished the qualifying with a clear residue as the 28th and was not authorized to start. After qualifying, however, it turned out that the pre-placed driver Jochen Mass, James Hunt (both McLaren) and John Watson ( Penske ) had used foul gasoline. Then their qualifying times were deleted, so Merzario aufrückte on the 25th qualifying spot and was now allowed to start. Then Williams withdrew the message Merzarios, so John Watson slipped back into the grid and from the end of the field from could participate in the race. In the Motorsport literature the view that the withdrawal Merzarios a financial donation Penske is due to Arturo Merzario holds. Merzario occurred in any of its operations for Williams to the finish.

The second car, which was not used consistently, successively drove five drivers:

  • For the opening race Renzo Zorzi has been reported; he went here last year's Williams FW04.
  • The following seven races to the Grand Prix of France denied Michel Leclère with the second FW05.
  • For the North American race of the season Walter Wolf had initially committed Chris Amon. Amon took part in the qualifying session for the Grand Prix of Canada, was there, however, so badly injured in an accident, that he could not participate in the race itself. Also for the following race in the United States Amon came not to.
  • For the U.S. Grand Prix Wolf announced once the Australian Warwick Brown, who experienced the Formula 1 single - use his career here.
  • For the last race of the year in Japan Masami Kuwashima finally was reported. The Japanese, however, took part neither in the qualifying session still in the race: After his sponsors had withdrawn before the event, the second car was given to Hans Binder at short notice.

During the 1976 season Wolf saw increasingly Frank Williams the person responsible for the lack of sporting success. On the other hand, Frank Williams was not happy about his position as an employee. After the Grand Prix of Argentina in January 1977, Wolf and Frank Williams parted. Walter Wolf led the team then from the 1977 season on alone, while Williams along with Patrick Head a new team called Williams Grand Prix Engineering founded, with whom he also took in Formula 1 from 1977.


As a team manager Wolf undertook the retired at Lotus Peter Warr, Dr. Harvey Postlethwaite with the development of the first chassis (Wolf WR1 ) commissioned. In addition, Wolf was quick Jody Scheckter Tyrrell poach, the first remained the only driver of the team. The season started with a bang: Scheckter won the first race directly to the took the young team - the Grand Prix of Argentina. Also the rest of the season was very successful: it was followed by two more victories ( in Monaco and Canada) as well as some podiums and at the end Scheckter was surprising runners-up behind the Austrian Niki Lauda in the superior Ferrari.


After a successful 1977 season plans Walter Wolf targeted for 1978 to win the drivers' world championship. As a driver, Jody Scheckter stayed on board. Wolf Racing this season was predominantly a team with only one driver; solely with the overseas races of Americans Bobby Rahal was additionally used. In addition, the team sat Theodore Racing, which had failed at the beginning of the season with a car, in the last European race of the year the Wolf WR4 for Keke Rosberg one; 1980 drove the car for Theodore in the Aurora F1 Series.

The team contested the race in the first half of the season with the known WR1, without being able in order to build on the achievements of the previous year. Best qualifying result was the 5th starting place at the Grand Prix of South Africa, but the Scheckter could not apply. In the race he dropped out in the 59th round after a spin. At the Grand Prix of Monaco Scheckter took the WR1 again on the third place.

For the Spanish Grand Prix first appeared in the redesigned Wolf WR5, the first wolf that was designed for the ground effect. The WR5 was a one-off, " had been quickly developed and built quickly ." The handling of the car proved to be problematic. Nevertheless, it was possible Scheckter, to finish the race with the WR5 the Grand Prix of Germany in second. The successor, WR6, appeared for the Grand Prix of the Netherlands. Postlethwaite had responded to the problems of WR5 especially with a greater track width; the condenser was positioned differently. Wolf built two copies of WR6. The first copy was destroyed in an accident already on his second deployment, the Italian Grand Prix in Monza. With the second car Scheckter ended the Grand Prix of Canada in second place.

Bobby Rahal drove at the U.S. Grand Prix and the Wolf WR5 came with it as 12 to the finish. In Canada, however, he had to move the outdated WR1, which turned out in the race with a defect in the fuel system.

A victory was the team did not succeed this season. After the last race Scheckter left the team at the end of the season and went to Scuderia Ferrari, with whom he won the 1979 Drivers' World Championship.


As the successor to the South African 1979 World Champion from 1976, James Hunt, obliged. Postlethwaite had built the current trend according to a modern Wing Car, wanted to go back with the wolf on the successes of 1977. It created three copies, the WR7, WR8 were called and WR9. But it soon turned out that the new car was not fast enough and very unreliable. Hunt threw to have scored without a point after the Monaco Grand Prix unnerved the towel and announced his retirement from motor sport. The team undertook the meantime unemployed Keke Rosberg as Hunt's successor. But Rosberg managed no change for the better; the team remained without points until the end of the season.

The costs on the one hand and the lack of success on the other side did Walter Wolf the pleasure of racing lose. He sold short hand his team including the existing material ( factory and cars) at the two -time world champion Emerson Fittipaldi and his brother Wilson, who merged it with their own team Copersucar and used the former Wolf factory as a new site, to be held as usual from Brazil now be able to operate from England.

Facts and Figures

Statistics in Formula 1

All drivers of the Wolf Team