> Re the 1990 French Grand Prix, if I remember correctly for a long time it
> looked like a Leyton House 1-2. I can't remember how Gugelmin went out;
> Capelli was caught by Prost very near the end.
I've just looked back at the Autosports from the Mexican GP to check
what I remembered was correct - the previous race both Leyton
Houses failed to qualify! Gustav Brunner was quoted saying "The car
is not quick enough" He was then asked what could be done to improve
it. "We could set fire to it". Both cars were 4 seconds off the pole
The race prior to that, Canada, Gugelmin failed to qualify, and
Capelli was 24th and qualified, ran steadily and finished 10th (ahead
of Nakajima's Tyrrell, Suzuki's Lola-Lambo and Grouillard's Osella).
This was the teams best result up to that point.
At the French GP they ran very well, in what was described by
Autosport as "the greatest comeback since Lazarus". The improvement
was described by Simon Keeble (the team manager) as being down to
"[The] work Adrian [Newey] had started, because underbodies take a
long time to come through it was only then that we got the
improvements". Newey had left the team just before the French GP, and
was replaced by Chris Murphy.
The report about LH is interesting and makes you think about Mr Hat
meeting Mr Mouth. "Basically Adrian Newey and Tim Holloway have gone
and we appointed Chris Murphy as the design director. [Mr Akagi and
Chris Murphy] knew what we needed to go racing and it was very much a
meeting of like minds..... Adrian was very good at aerodynamics but
Chris is more of an all-rounder and hopefully he will be able to put
together a good team of people."
The team qualified 7th and 10th. In warmup C. was 10th, G. 14th.
Capelli was in 6th by lap 27, 4th on 29, 3rd on 31, 2nd on 32 and
then took the lead on 33, which he kept till lap 78 (out of 80) when
Prost took the win. At the end the engine started to falter and only
just made it to the line, and only just ahead of Senna. The
problem with the engine was a lack of fuel pressure. The key was that
the set up on the car allowed the team to run the distance on one set
of tyres. This only came about because of Newey's new aerodynamic
package, which Brunner freely admitted "[The] changed aerodynamics
were from Adrian Newey -not from me".
The reason I remember it well was I had 25p each way on Capelli....
Stephen M Baines