- Walter Wolf Racing
Former F1 team
Short_name = Wolf Racing
Long_name = Walter Wolf Racing
Founders = Walter Wolf
Keke Rosberg Jody Scheckter James Hunt
Constructors = Wolf-Ford
1977 Argentine Grand Prix
Races = 48
Drivers_champ = 0
Wins = 3
Poles = 1
Fastest_laps = 2
Last race =
1979 United States Grand Prix
Walter Wolf Racing was a
Formula Oneconstructor from 1976to 1980.
In 1975, the Slovenian-
Austrian- Canadianbusinessman Walter Wolf had started to appear at many of the F1 races during the season. A year later, he bought 60% of Frank Williams Racing Carswhile agreeing to keep Frank Williams as manager of the team. Simultaneously Wolf bought the assets of the Hesketh team that had recently withdrawn from F1. The team was based in the Williams facility at Reading but used most of the cars and equipment once owned by Hesketh Racing. The Hesketh 308C became known as the Wolf-Williams FW05 and soon afterwards Dr. Harvey Postlethwaitearrived as chief engineer. Jacky Ickxand Frenchman Michel Leclèrewere hired to drive. The team, however, was not very competitive and failed to qualify at a number of races during the year. Leclère left after the French Grand Prixand was replaced by Arturo Merzariowhile Ickx failed to perform and was dropped after the British Grand Prix, to be followed by a string of pay-drivers.
At the end of 1976, Wolf decided that the team needed restructuring. He removed
Frank Williamsfrom the manager's job and replaced him with Peter Warrfrom Team Lotus. Disillusioned, Williams soon left the team, taking Patrick Headand several others to set up Williams Grand Prix Engineering. Postlethwaite's WR1 was a conventional Cosworthpackage but with Jody Scheckterhired from Tyrrell, the new-look team presented a strong package. No-one, however, expected that the team would win its first race in Argentina. It was in many respects a lucky win with Scheckter starting tenth with six of the cars ahead of him retiring. During the 1977 season, Scheckter went on to win the Monaco Grand Prixand the Canadian Grand Prixand also six other podium finishes which enabled him to finish second to Niki Laudain the World Championship and gave Wolf fourth place in the Constructors' Championship.
The team remained the same for the 1978 season. Postlethwaite produced the WR5, a new car for the ground-effects era. This did not appear until the Belgian GP. Scheckter finished fourth in Spain and second in Germany but the WR5 soon made way for the WR6 with which he ended the year with a third in the
US Grand Prixand second in Canada. He finished seventh in the World Championship.
In 1979, Scheckter was signed up by Ferrari and Wolf signed
James Huntto replace him. Postlethwaite designed the WR7 which ran with Olympus sponsorship. The car was not very successful and retired more than 7 times during the first half of the season. The WR8 soon followed. In mid-season Hunt decided to retire and Wolf quickly hired Keke Rosbergto replace him. The appearance of the WR9 did little to change the team's fortunes and at the end of the year Wolf grew tired of his F1 adventure and sold the team to Emerson Fittipaldi, who merged its assets into Fittipaldi Automotive.
Complete Formula One World Championship results
() (results in bold indicate pole position)
* Wolf WR/1-4 1977-1978 in Automobile Historique n°48 May 2005 (in French)
*A Wolf racing WR1 is on display at the
Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame.
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