Scuderia Alitalia Andrea Coloni
Scuderia Alitalia Andrea Coloni is an Italian Formula One team active in the Formula One Rejects Microprose Grand Prix Series from the 2012 season onwards. Originally known as Scuderia Andrea Coloni from 2012-2014, the team went into partnership with Il Barone Rampante, parent company of Scuderia Alitalia, reflected in the combined name of the two squadrons.
Background and formation
It is well known that Scuderia Coloni and Andrea Moda Formula were two of the least successful teams in Formula One history - and were effectively two sides of the same coin. Therefore, it came as no surprise that both should be personally hand-picked by Sir Bernard Shekelslike to compete in the inaugural 2011 F1RGMP season. Pedro Chaves drove for Coloni, as he had done in 1991; Roberto Moreno and Perry McCarthy drove for Andrea Moda, reflecting the 1992 season. Results for both teams were almost as farcically awful as they had been in their respective F1 seasons, though Chaves and McCarthy did manage to qualify once, at Hockenheim and Hungaroring respectively, whereas Moreno was able to drag the Andrea Moda onto the grid three times -in Brazil, Mexico and Italy. In 2012, each team had to run two cars, which was too much for Coloni to handle, so the two teams merged to form Scuderia Andrea Coloni. Moreno left the series, so Chaves and McCarthy were retained as the drivers. The 2012 car from the new combined team would be called the SAC6, following on from the Coloni C5, and bearing the iconic livery of the 1991 Coloni C4; the Andrea Moda logo would be seen on the sidepods, the cars would take Andrea Moda's numbers (34 and 35) and would be powered by Judd, who had supplied Andrea Moda in 2011 - only now, the V8 engine had been beefed up to a V10. Andrea Sassetti and Enzo Coloni were announced as the Team Co-Principals.
The season began at Phoenix in depressingly familiar style for Perry McCarthy as he failed to qualify, but Pedro Chaves blasted his way to an impressive 13th on the grid, but could only finish 14th. Still, it was Coloni's best result since 1988 and Andrea Moda's best ever. More was to come as both cars qualified at Interlagos, a run which would last for eight races. McCarthy finished 18th, ahead of Chaves in 19th, which was nothing to write home about but the team excelled on home soil at Imola - Chaves qualified fifth and McCarthy eighth, and McCarthy would go on to finish tenth and bring home the team's first ever point. Monaco saw McCarthy qualify seventh and Chaves ninth on a circuit that the team is known to have a special affinity for; unfortunately, these would not translate into points finishes. It was a wildly variable story in Canada - fourth on the grid for Chaves was a fine Friday afternoon's work, while McCarthy barely scraped into the final grid position. Chaves was looking good for points until his car failed horribly, exposing the SAC as something of a fragile machine; McCarthy's held intact long enough for him to fight through the field, but only to a pointless 11th. Qualifying in Mexico was a similar story to Canada (Chaves 13th, McCarthy 24th), but this time neither car made it to the chequered flag. The two of them ended up together in France, qualifying 14th and 15th, Chaves just ahead. Unfortunately for the Portuguese, he could only manage a frustrating 11th in the race, while McCarthy had to retire again. At Silverstone, Chaves again qualified in the top ten, taking ninth place; McCarthy was only 16th but at least was on home territory. McCarthy fought hard with Gregor Foitek for tenth place and was looking good to take it before a wild lunge from the big-haired Monteverdi driver took them both out. The team management weren't too bothered, though; they were too busy celebrating Pedro Chaves taking sixth place, eight well-deserved points and one step towards unrejectification. This one result moved Scuderia Andrea Coloni from 12th equal to ninth in the Constructors' Championship, and was their finest hour to date, eclipsing even the eighth place scored by Gabriele Tarquini for Coloni in Formula One in 1988 at Montreal.
Buoyed by that marvellous result, the team moved onto Hockenheim and proved that Silverstone was no fluke result. Qualifying in 10th, Chaves stormed through the rain to a fine seventh place, and another haul of six points. The team were now seventh in the Constructors' Championship. McCarthy had started 15th and dropped a place, but that was no big beef compared to the nightmare of the Hungaroring, where he put in a dismal qualifying performance, confining him to the sidelines for the race; he was slower than both ATS Rials, one of which had qualified for the race. Chaves qualified fourth, but after a crazy pit stop that was a throwback to the bad old days of Andrea Moda - the team inexplicably put wet tyres on his car when the sun was out - he finished 20th, two laps down, last of those who were classified. Determined to make amends for Hungary, McCarthy was SAC's star in qualifying at Spa, putting the car 10th on the grid with Chaves 17th. Unfortunately, come race day a fine result for the team at that most challenging of circuits was not to be, as Chaves could only finish 13th and McCarthy slid down to 19th, and the team were mugged by Monteverdi in the Constructors' Championship, Fabrizio Barbazza taking two points for ninth to put the Swiss team ahead of SAC. Monza was a horrible failure; McCarthy again missed the cut on Friday, Chaves managed a dismal 24th on the grid, and the team's mysterious lack of pace for that weekend was completed on the Saturday, when Chaves trundled in 21st, three laps down, dead last of the finishers. Respite finally arrived at Chaves' home race at Estoril, though not on the Friday; McCarthy qualified 13th, Chaves only 20th; however, Chaves put in a spellbinding performance in front of his home fans to drag the SAC to tenth and score the team another point, even if that would not vault them ahead of Monteverdi. At Barcelona, qualifying was again a poor show by the team's recently-elevated standards; 12th for Chaves, 23rd for McCarthy - and another farcical pit stop for Chaves saw him released from the pit lane straight into the path of his team-mate; they collided, both cars retired on the spot, and the team were awarded a fully deserved Reject Of The Race. They were ninth in the Constructors' Championship, five points behind Monteverdi.
And then came Suzuka. Qualifying was better than in recent races - ninth for Chaves, when it was no longer unexpected for him to be in the top ten, McCarthy 16th. The Brit would finish in that place, but Chaves put in the performance of his life. Daring overtaking move after daring overtaking move sent waves of squealing excitement through the Japanese crowd, and right at the death he overtook the mighty Team America car of Scott Speed for third place. Given a few more laps, he might even have caught HWNSNBM for second. So on a weekend that saw Viking Racing celebrate taking the Constructors' Championship, Scuderia Andrea Coloni celebrated their first ever podium, and the whole of Portugal united in rapturous applause for their favourite driver. Furthermore, they jumped to seventh in the Constructors' standings, ahead of Monteverdi and their French rivals, AGS. After that, the finale in Adelaide was an anti-climax; fifth on the grid for Chaves and 11th for McCarthy gave them high hopes of a tremendous finish to the season, but the two drivers collapsed to 14th and 13th respectively and had to watch helplessly as Gabriele Tarquini scooped eighth place - those four points were enough for AGS to leapfrog SAC for seventh place in the Constructors' Championship. They had to settle for eighth. In retrospect, though, it was a spectacular season - only three DNQs, none of which were suffered by Chaves, five points finishes including one podium, and who could have predicted that at the start of the season?
If it ain't broke, don't fix it, and as very little was broke about Scuderia Andrea Coloni in 2012, very little was changed. The 2013 SAC7 was a little more Andrea and a little less Coloni, but the team reverted to Coloni's "traditional" numbers of 31 and 32, both used last time Coloni ran two cars in 1989, and Perry McCarthy's tenure as the original Stig on Top Gear was recognised with some extra branding from the programme attached to the car. Arriving at Phoenix in high spirits, McCarthy showed instant speed in the new car, taking third place in qualifying - his and the team's best ever performance. Chaves, curiously, could only manage 23rd place, although he hauled the car up to 14th in the race. That race should have been Perry's for the taking, but he reckoned without Esteban Tuero, making his F1RMGP debut - the Argentinian driver spun wildly and caught McCarthy's rear wing in the process, cleaving it clean off; replacing it took three laps, but SAC sent McCarthy out again to treat the rest of the race as a test session. He was classified 19th, four laps down. Mexico was a race to forget - poor qualifying was followed by an anonymous race that saw Chaves finish 13th and McCarthy's chassis snap after 47 laps, which was somewhat terrifying for the team - they'd never noticed any flaws before. Worse was to come in Brazil; McCarthy languished in 17th on the Friday, while Chaves had a horror show and notched up his first DNQ since his dreadful 2011 season with the old Coloni squad. McCarthy was a determined man, though, and put a few smiles back on the faces of the SAC crew, steadily picking his way through the traffic to finish tenth - and for the second season in a row, he'd been the one to score the team's first point. 14th for Chaves at Imola at least saw him back on the grid, but with McCarthy in 17th it was another unspectacular qualifying session, and the two cars shrivelled to 15th and 13th respectively.
Monaco has always been a special place for both Coloni and Andrea moda during their brief careers; in 1989 it was the only time two Colonis made it onto the grid, as well as being the only time Pierre-Henri Raphanel ever made it into a Formula 1 race; in 1992, Roberto Moreno did the same for Andrea Moda. In 2013, Monaco became the scene of great celebrations for this gestält entity. Chaves qualified an amazing third and McCarthy seventh, but that was nothing compared to the race itself; beating the world-class cars of Chris Dagnall and Jan Magnussen away from the start, Chaves valiantly held both of them off all race until Dagnall suffered a puncture and Magnussen was forced to defend from a charging Ralph Firman. It was his, and Scuderia Andrea Coloni's, first victory barely two races after failing to qualify at Imola. McCarthy brought his car home two laps down in 16th, having suffered all the team's share of bad luck that weekend.
From there, the next six races brought a sharp reversal of fortunes for the two drivers. McCarthy picked up three points finishes - seventh in Mexico, a hugely satisfying fourth at Silverstone, and sixth at Spa, finishing the other three races, albeit as low as 20th at Hockenheim. Chaves, though, had a wretched run of form; a crash almost within sight of the chequered flag in Canada, followed by a second DNQ for the season at Magny-Cours, even if by less than half a tenth; 23rd and 14th place finishes at Silverstone and Hockenheim were still poor, but nobody could have predicted that he would then fail to qualify for the next two races - fourth from bottom of the timesheets at the Hungaroring, and the second failure at Spa was enough to earn Reject Of The Race before the race had even started. At this point, very much like Jean-Pierre Jabouille had done in the 1979 and 1980 F1 seasons, all his points had come from wins - or, in this case, one win; the F1RMGP Series Management promised Chaves a special Jean-Pierre Jabouille Cup if he could keep up this record all season.
But that was soon shattered as the SAC form book swung Chaves' way once again. McCarthy would not score another point for the remaining five races of the season; heavily outqualifying Chaves at Monza was his last stand for the year. Crashing on lap 7 and earning Reject Of The Race in the process was what woke Chaves up, and he reversed his and the team's fortunes by cruising to a steady eighth place. Then, further glory for the team came on the Friday afternoon at Estoril, as Chaves celebrated driving his home race by putting the car on pole. Unfortunately, the track was not the twisty, narrow streets of Monaco, and he had to be content with fifth. Things went from bad to worse for McCarthy as he picked up a second successive Reject Of The Race, shared with Claudio Langes as the two drivers collided at the first corner. Both cars finished in Spain, but it was nothing to write home about - Chaves qualified fourth but the cars finished McCarthy 12th, Chaves 14th. McCarthy could not drag himself back into the points for the final two flyaway races of the season, finishing 14th at Suzuka and 11th at Adelaide, but Chaves made sure SAC's season finished with a bang, bringing a fourth place finish in both races, and the 24 points scored in those two races ensured that SAC took sixth place in the Constructors' Championship, ahead of their great rivals, AGS.
Complete F1RMGP results
"'Bold'" indicates pole position. F1RMGP does not keep a record of fastest laps.
|2012||SAC6|| Judd 3.5l V10
|USA||BRA||SMR||MON||CAN||MEX||FRA||GBR||GER||HUN||BEL||ITA||POR||ESP||JPN||AUS||8th||31||3||3rd × 1|
|34 Pedro Chaves||14||19||20||19||Ret||Ret||11||6||7||20||13||21||10||Ret||3||14|
|35 Perry McCarthy||DNQ||18||10||16||11||Ret||Ret||Ret||16||DNQ||19||DNQ||14||Ret||16||13|
|2013||SAC7|| Judd 3.5l V10
|USA||MEX||BRA||SMR||MON||CAN||FRA||GBR||GER||HUN||BEL||ITA||POR||ESP||JPN||AUS||6th||90||4||1st × 1|
|31 Pedro Chaves||14||13||DNQ||15||1||Ret||DNQ||23||14||DNQ||DNQ||8||5||14||4||4|
|32 Perry McCarthy||19||Ret||10||13||16||7||14||4||20||11||6||Ret||Ret||12||16||11|
|2014||SAC8|| Judd 3.5l V10
|BRA||MEX||CAN||SMR||MON||AND||FRA||GBR||GER||BEL||HUN||ITA||POR||ESP||JPN||AUS||6th||110||1||2nd × 1|
|11 Pedro Chaves||Ret||17||9||6||2||12||3||Ret||19||3||3||Ret||3||Ret||Ret||11|
|12 Perry McCarthy||8||19||13||12||Ret||5||8||DNQ||21||Ret||12||Ret||11||16||8||13|