CONSTRUCTORS: SCUDERIA ITALIA
Name: Scuderia Italia
Italian steel baron Beppe Lucchini was involved in various racing projects in the 1970s usually involving Remo Ramanzini's Mirabella Racing. In 1983 Lucchini established his own Brixia Motor Sport to run a Lancia 037 in the Italian Rally Championship and later a pair of Beretta-sponsored semi-works Alfa Romeo 75 Turbos in the World Touring Car Championship. When Alfa Romeo withdrew from the series in mid-1987 Lucchini decided to start his own Formula 1 team and in December 1987 established Scuderia Italia.
Lucchini approached Giampaolo Dallara to ask him to build him a Formula 1 car for the 1988 season. Dallara hired Sergio Rinland from Brabham to design the car and Lucchini launched Scuderia Italia in 1988 with Vittorio Palazzani running the Brescia-based team, Patrizio Cantu as team manager and Rinland as chief engineer. Alex Caffi was signed to drive for the team in 1988 and using the Dallara-Cosworth F188 he scored some promising results, the best being seventh in Portugal.
For 1989 Rinland was lured back to Brabham and the new Dallara F189 was designed by Mario Tolentino and Dallara himself. Caffi was retained and Andrea de Cesaris joined the team in a second car. Caffi finished fourth in Monaco and de Cesaris was third in Canada. The original team began to break up however with both Cantu and Caffi departing. Pierpaolo Gardella was brought in from Ferrari to manage the team and Christian Vanderpleyn arrived to head the development team. De Cesaris was joined for the 1990 season by Emanuele Pirro, although Gianni Morbidelli also raced as a substitute when Pirro was unwell.
The F190 was a development of the previous car and not very competitive and so Dallara hired Nigel Cowperthwaite to design the 1991 car while Lucchini did a deal to run the new Judd V10 engine. Pirro was retained and JJ Lehto was signed up as his team mate. The Finn finished third in San Marino, Pirro added a point in Monaco and the team finished eighth in the Constructors' title.
Lucchini next concluded a deal to run a Dallara-Ferrari combination in 1992 and Lehto was joined by Pierluigi Martini. The Cowperthwaite-designed Dallara F192s scored two six places - both for Martini. Early in the season Gardella departed to become race director of the World Motorcycle Championship and the team fell into factions with Dallara blaming Ferrari and Ferrari blaming Dallara.
Lucchini decided that the best course of action was to sign a new chassis supply deal with Lola. He found backing from Chesterfield cigarettes and signed up Michele Alboreto and Luca Badoer but the Lola T93/30 chassis was a disaster. The team stumbled through the year and then merged with Minardi, the Brescia operation being closed down.