The Old Rumour Mill – February

BMWMore F1 rumours that didn’t quite work out.

This month: three McLarens for 1993, four for 2007, and BMW nearly join Benetton.

Find out why these plans never came to be…

Three-car superteam for Senna

Ayrton Senna, McLaren-Ford, Imola, 1993Autosport, February 18th 1994

With the 1993 season fast approaching McLaren were in limbo as Ayrton Senna prevaricted over whether or not he would compete. Knowing arch-rival Alain Prost had a championship-winning Williams-Renault, Senna didn’t want to commit to a potentially un-competitive McLaren.

McLaren already had Michael Andretti and Mika Hakkinen contracted which led to intense speculation that a three car team would be entered. But at the 11th hour Senna agreed to race and Hakkinen was relegated to test driver – only to be promoted back to the race team when Andretti quit before the season’s end.

Lewis Hamilton for McLaren B-team

Lewis Hamilton, ART, GP2, Hockenheimring, 2006F1 Racing, February, 2006

Today there are still various rumours about McLaren starting a ‘B-team’ like Red Bull and Honda have. This time last year a lot of people were convinced it would provide a convenient slot for Lewis Hamilton to cut his teeth in 2007.

But Hamilton’s 2006 GP2 campaign was so sensational that he bagged himself a slot with McLaren – the team’s first rookie signing for a new season since Andretti. Hopefully he’ll make it to the end of the year at least.

Benetton-BMW V12 for 1995

BMW test car 1999Autosport, February 24th, 1994

Before making their F1 comeback with Williams in 2000 BMW considered hooking up with Benetton in 1995, cashing in on the popularity of German sensation Michael Schumacher.

The plan was eventually scotched and many suggested sensitivity to the Benetton company’s controversial advertising campaigns was partly responsible.

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1 comment on The Old Rumour Mill – February

  1. Nice old chestnut there. Was it Andretti that ‘quit’ or did cheeky Ron show him the door with a foot up his ass?

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