S1 E8: The backmarker madness of F1's pre-qualifying era

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By The Race Media Ltd. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
At the start of our Bring Back V10s era in 1989, Formula 1 had as many as 39 cars turning up trying to get onto a 26-car grid for a grand prix. After an initial pre-qualifying elimination process was introduced for the first practice session in 1988, a formalised session was added to race weekends for the following season, to narrow the field down to 30 contenders before free practice even started. Edd Straw and Matt Beer join Glenn Freeman to look back at a crazy time for F1 backmarkers. What was the crazy initial pitch for pre-qualifying that got rejected? Why did some teams that were clearly quick enough to qualify for races still have to go through the ignominy of the Friday morning session? Who were the worst teams to try their luck at getting into F1? Which driver completed a full season without ever getting through pre-qualifying? Which team's engine supplier once timed the lifespan of its engine from fire-up to failure at four seconds? Why did so many no-hoper teams try to get into F1 at this stage? What were the best results scored by teams who came through pre-qualifying? Who were the drivers who produced the best stats in pre-qualifying sessions? Who never made it onto an F1 grid in their careers despite appearing in pre-qualifying? How did Jordan turn pre-qualifying into an advantage on its way to finishing fifth in its first season? Were there really teams with works engine deals competing in these sessions? Was the shambolic Andrea Moda team of 1992 the final straw for F1? How did F1 go about raising the barrier to entry in the years that followed, creating the 'closed shop' championship we have today? Coloni, Life, EuroBrun and many more minnow teams from this era all get their moment in the limelight in this episode.
HAVE YOUR SAY: Get your questions in for our season finale. Ask us anything about F1 from 1989-2005 using #BringBackV10s @wearetherace

12 episodes