ENGINES: MOTORI MODERNI SPA

Name: Motori Moderni SpA

In the middle of the summer of 1984 the Euroracing Alfa Romeo Formula 1 team announced that it was replacing its chief engineer in F1, Carlo Chiti. He was staying on with the company but his job as engine designer was handed over to Gianni Tonti of Lancia. Chiti was not happy and Giancarlo Minardi saw an opportunity. He approached Chiti and asked him if he would like to design a Formula 1 turbocharged engine for the Minardi team to use. Chiti was interested and Minardi then found the backing for the idea from his partner Piero Mancini, a big Fiat dealer in Florence.

Motori Moderni SpA was established in Novara in the autumn and Chiti aimed to have an engine ready for the following season. Minardi did the first two races of the year with Cosworth engines and debuted the Motori Moderni V6 at Imola with Pierluigi Martini driving. Martini qualified 19th. He took part in most of the races and finished eighth in Australia. For the following year the M185 chassis was updated and the cars were driven by Alessandro Nannini and Andrea de Cesaris but without any major results.

Mancini's plans to enter his own Arno team in F1 with an AGS-designed chassis flopped but AGS did eventually appear with a Motori-Moderni engine at the end of 1986 with Ivan Capelli driving a revamped Renault F1 chassis, which had been renamed the JH21C. The car failed to finish at both F1 races it took part in that year.

The following year AGS switched to Cosworth engines and Minardi struggled with the engine with Nannini being joined by Spaniard Adrian Campos. In November 1987 Motori Moderni announced that it was pulling out of F1.

In the course of 1988 Chiti designed a new flat 12 engine for the new 3.5-liter normally-aspirated F1 regulations. This was tested by Minardi but was then sold to Subaru. The Japanese car company bought the Coloni Formula 1 team and Bertrand Gachot was hired to drive. The program was a complete disaster. In July 1989 Subaru withdrew and sold the team back to Enzo Coloni.

Print