Alfa Romeo 184T
The Alfa Romeo 184T was a Formula 1 racing car that the Italian team Euroracing used under the name Alfa Romeo in the Formula 1 World Championship. In 1984 the car was entered for every race. In the second half of the 1985 season it reappeared under the designation 184TB after its successor, the Alfa Romeo 185T , proved unsuitable. Most people believe that the 184T formed the technical basis for the EuroBrun ER188 , which was reported by the EuroBrun team in 1988 and 1989 .
The Italian state group Alfa Romeo had been involved as an engine supplier for the Brabham team in Formula 1 since 1976 . Since 1979 , Alfa Romeo has had a works team that was managed by Alfa Romeo's subsidiary Autodelta until 1982 and by the independent Milanese team Euroracing from 1983 . From 1983, Euroracing also designed the emergency vehicles, while Autodelta was responsible for the development of the engines. Since 1983, the team has been using an Alfa Romeo 890T turbo engine developed under the direction of Carlo Chiti , which enabled its drivers two second places and a total of 18 world championship points in its debut year.
In the 1984 Formula 1 season, turbo technology had largely prevailed. With the exception of Tyrrell , all teams used turbo engines. However, the potential of turbo engines was regulated for the first time in 1984 by limiting gasoline consumption. While there were no maximum limits on the amount of petrol until 1983, from 1984 consumption was limited to 220 liters for each race. This development was particularly problematic for Alfa Romeo, since Chiti's eight-cylinder turbo was considered the most fuel-intensive engine in the field: In the most successful races of 1983, the 183T had consumed up to 300 liters of gasoline.
For the 1984 season, Euroracing and Alfa Romeo tried to reduce the problematic gasoline consumption by designing a new car and making modifications to the engine, but achieved little success.
The Alfa Romeo 184T was developed at Euroracing under the direction of Mario Tollentino and Luigi Marmiroli ; In addition, the Graz engineer Gustav Brunner , who worked as a racing engineer for Riccardo Patrese in 1984, also designed some details of the new car. The 184T was an evolution of the predecessor 183T designed by Gérard Ducarouge , the dimensions of which it adopted unchanged in terms of overall length, wheelbase and rear track.
The Alfa Romeo 184T featured a newly designed monocoque that was thinner than its predecessor and was manufactured in Great Britain by Advanced Composite Technology . The roll bar was fully covered and had the shape of a pyramid. The engine cover was barrel-shaped. In the rear area, Tollentino took over numerous details of the 183T. Among other things, this affected the shape of the side pods and the location of the cooler. The positioning of the oil coolers, which were now at the rear end of the side pods, directly in front of the rear wheels, was new. The aerodynamics were optimized in Pininfarina's wind tunnel, which had a solid floor but allowed tests with 1: 1 models. In the course of the year, further aerodynamic tests were carried out at Dallara , which led to a changed shape of the side pods and the introduction of a bottle-shaped rear end (so-called bottleneck rear ). Gustav Brunner declared the following year that Alfa Romeo had had him run a series of aerodynamic tests in 1984; The knowledge gained in this way was only rarely implemented for financial reasons. Brunner used his experience in 1985 to build the RAM 03 .
The suspension on the 184T consisted of push struts at the front and tension struts at the rear, each connected to Koni dampers .
As in 1983, Alfa Romeo's 890T turbo engine served as the drive. Compared to the previous year, the engine was only slightly modified. The Avio turbochargers, which Carlo Chiti found problematic , were taken over unchanged, as was the purely mechanical gasoline injection, which allowed almost no consumption-reducing interventions. Alfa Romeo met the need for reduced fuel consumption primarily by lowering the boost pressure. In the previous season, the 890T was regularly driven with a boost pressure of 3.0 bar and occasionally with 3.8 bar, but in 1984 Autodelta only allowed a pressure of 2.2 bar in some races. They achieved an output of less than 600 hp, so that they were only marginally more powerful than a Cosworth DFV naturally aspirated engine.
The power was initially transmitted via the five-speed gearbox, known since 1983, which had been designed by Euroracing and used Hewland gears . To reduce fuel consumption, the team switched to a six-speed gearbox for the San Marino Grand Prix .
A total of four 184T vehicles were built.
Modifications for the 184TB
In the winter of 1984/85, Euroracing developed the 184TB, which was initially intended as an interim model for winter test drives. After the successor 185T had proven unsuccessful, the team resorted to the 184TB from the summer of 1985 and made it a regular emergency vehicle.
The main difference between the 184TB and the 184T was its suspension: unlike the 1984 vehicle (and unlike the 185T), the 184TB had push rods at the front and rear. In the engine area, the 184TB adopted the modifications that had already been introduced for the 185T at the start of the 1985 season. This included turbochargers from KKK and electronic gasoline injection from Bosch .
In 1984 and 1985, Euroracing and Alfa Romeo were no longer supported by the tobacco company Philip Morris , but by the Italian knitwear company Benetton , which had promoted the Tyrrell team the year before. As a result of the sponsorship change, the cars were now mostly painted green.
The 184T was completed late. The first test drives took place two weeks before the first race of the year on Alfa Romeo's test track in Balocco .
For the world championship races of the year, Euroracing registered the drivers Riccardo Patrese and Eddie Cheever . During the year, the cars proved to be uncompetitive. Patrese and Cheever only crossed the finish line six times; each driver dropped out ten times. The main reason for failure was Alfa's turbo engine: "If the engine didn't explode beforehand, the drivers would be left without petrol before the end of the race." Due to the reduced boost pressure, the car was not powerful enough on the race track. The 184T did not achieve sufficient top speed, especially on long straights. The restructuring of the rear end to a "bottleneck" rear, which was largely developed by McLaren in 1983 , brought only minor improvements. According to Eddie Cheever, this only increased the top speed by 5 km / h.
Cheever made it into the points once and Patrese three times in 1984. The Italian finished sixth and fourth, and finished third in the Italian Grand Prix , his team's home race. It was the last Alfa Romeo podium finish in Formula 1.
The low point was Cheevers' non-qualification at the Monaco Grand Prix . At the event, to which only 20 vehicles were allowed, Cheever came in 23rd place. He was 3.8 seconds above the pole time of Alain Prost in the McLaren and 0.35 seconds above the time of Stefan Bellof , who had qualified for 20th place with his naturally aspirated Tyrrell.
For 1985, Euroracing kept the Patrese / Cheever driver pairing. The team initially used the 185T developed by John Gentry. The drivers only crossed the finish line three or four times by the middle of the season; the best result was two ninth places. Both drivers complained about the poor drivability of the car. In retrospect, Patrese described the 185T as the worst Formula 1 car he had ever driven. In view of the poor results and the criticism from the drivers, Euroracing withdrew the 185T in the early summer of 1985 and instead reported the revised 184TB for the rest of the year.
Cheever received the 184TB at the British Grand Prix , Patrese at the following race in Germany . With the older car, both drivers continued the series of failures of the last few months: Each of them only crossed the finish line once in eight or nine world championship races. Patrese finished ninth in the European Grand Prix , Cheever eleventh in the same race.
Further use of the 184T: EuroBrun ER188
At the end of the 1985 season, Alfa Romeo withdrew from Formula 1 racing at the factory. This decision did not affect the delivery of 890T engines to the Osella team in Turin , which continued until 1988. The existing chassis of the types 184T and 185T remained with Euroracing. Since Euroracing could not find a partner for the 1986 Formula 1 World Championship and could not finance a continuation of the Formula 1 commitment on its own, the Milan team initially discontinued its Formula 1 commitment.
In 1988, Euroracing returned to Formula 1 after the team had established a relationship with the Swiss racing team Brun Motorsport . The project led by Euroracing and financed by Walter Brun was named EuroBrun. The EuroBrun team made its debut at the first race of the 1988 season. The EuroBrun ER188 was reported as the emergency vehicle. The car designed by Mario Tollentino showed considerable similarities with the Alfa Romeo 184T. This applied to the vehicle nose, the monocoque, the roll bar and the semicircular engine cover. The team did not confirm a relationship between the two cars; numerous observers consider this to be very likely. Eddie Cheever, who had driven the 184T himself, was of the opinion that the EuroBrun ER188 was just a revision of the four-year-old Alfa construction: "Sand off the white paint, then the green of the 184T comes out again!" Günter Schmid, head of the competition teams Rial : "If you anstreicht the EuroBrun red, you have a Alfa. They didn't do anything. "
|Formula 1 World Championship 1984||11||8th|
|1985 Formula 1 World Championship||0||-|
|green||-||Placement in the points|
|blue||-||Classified outside the point ranks|
|violet||DNF||Race not finished (did not finish)|
|red||DNQ||did not qualify|
|DNPQ||failed in pre-qualification (did not pre-qualify)|
|White||DNS||not at the start (did not start)|
|Light Blue||PO||only participated in the training (practiced only)|
|TD||Friday test driver|
|without||DNP||did not participate in the training (did not practice)|
|INJ||injured or sick|
|DNA||did not arrive|
|no participation in the World Cup|
|other||P / bold||Pole position|
|SR / italic||Fastest race lap|
|*||not at the finish,
but counted due to the distance covered
|underlined||Leader in the overall standings|
- Ian Bamsey: The 1000 bhp Grand Prix Cars. Haynes Publications, Yeovil 1988, ISBN 0-85429-617-4 (English).
- Adriano Cimarosti: The Century of Racing. Cars, tracks and pilots. Motorbuch-Verlag, Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-613-01848-9 .
- David Hodges: Racing cars from A – Z after 1945. Motorbuch-Verlag, Stuttgart 1994, ISBN 3-613-01477-7 .
- David Hodges: A – Z of Grand Prix Cars. Crowood Press, Marlborough 2001, ISBN 1-86126-339-2 (English).
- Pierre Ménard: La Grande Encyclopédie de la Formule 1st 2nd edition. Chronosports, St. Sulpice 2000, ISBN 2-940125-45-7 (French).
- Alfa Romeo belonged from 1933 to the group IRI (Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale), which was owned by the Italian state.
- Tyrrell was the only team to use naturally aspirated engines in all races of the season. In addition, Arrows and Spirit also used naturally aspirated engines in individual World Championship races.
- Cimarosti: The Century of Racing. 1997, p. 337.
- Ménard: La Grande Encyclopédie de la Formule 1. 2000, p. 114: “Consommation herculéenne”.
- Bamsey: The 1000 Bhp Grand Prix Cars. 1988, p. 38.
- Hodges: Racing Cars from A – Z after 1945. 1994, p. 14.
- Ménard: La Grande Encyclopédie de la Formule 1. 2000, p. 114.
- to the whole: Bamsey: The 1000 Bhp Grand Prix Cars. 1988, p. 45.
- Motorsport news . Issue 7, 1985, p. 6 and 7. Brunner: “At Alfa Romeo I had the opportunity to play around WIndkanal. But they didn't want to change much during the season, because everything costs a lot of money ”.
- Bamsey: The 1000 Bhp Grand Prix Cars. 1988, p. 105.
- With a boost pressure of 3.0 bar, the engine output was 670 hp. See Hodges: Rennwagen von A – Z after 1945. 1994, p. 14.
- Bamsey: The 1000 Bhp Grand Prix Cars. 1988, p. 40.
- Bamsey: The 1000 Bhp Grand Prix Cars. 1988, p. 45.
- A merger between Euroracings and Osella was repeatedly rumored in the Italian media in the winter of 1985/86; but it could not be realized.
- Cimarosti: The Century of Racing. 1997, p. 389.
- Quoted from Motorsport Aktuell. Issue 29, 1988, p. 21.
- Quoted from Motorsport aktuell. Heft 29, 1988, p. 10. Schmid overlooked the fact that the 184T was not painted red, but predominantly green in the color of the sponsor Benetton.