|First launch:||Grand Prix of Brazil 1987|
|Last launch:||Brazilian Grand Prix 1988|
|World Cup points:||– —|
|Podium finishes:||– —|
|Leadership Laps:||– —|
The Osella FA1I was a Formula One racing car of the Italian team Osella Squadra Corse, entered in 17 races in 1987 and 1988. It replaced the Osella FA1G and had technical similarities to the Osella FA1H. The car, developed by Ignazio Lunetta, was technically unreliable. The car did not reach the finish line in a single race.
The FA1I was not a completely new design. Like its predecessors, the monocoque and the basic layout of the car were the same as those of the Osella FA1F; it was thus still in a direct line to the Alfa Romeo 183T, which formed the technical basis of all Osella’s turbo cars. Ignazio Lunetta adopted some solutions from the short-lived Osella FA1H, but the wheelbase was 60 millimetres shorter and the suspension was revised in favour of front and rear trailing arms. Significant attention was paid to aerodynamics: for the first time since 1984, Osella conducted wind tunnel tests. Before the final design of the body and wings, there were tests with 1:4 scale models in the Dallara wind tunnel, and the finished car was tested again in Pininfarina’s canal before the first race.
Osella held on to Alfa Romeo’s increasingly obsolete eight-cylinder turbocharged engines. Their load capacity was limited and fuel consumption was high. In order to comply with the fuel restriction imposed by the regulations, Osella had to significantly reduce the boost pressure, so the engines’ performance also declined. In qualifying trim, the engines produced about 820 hp (603 kW); in the races, the output was about 750 hp (551 kW). Nevertheless, the FA1I failed prematurely several times in 1987 due to lack of fuel.
In the course of 1987, two copies of the FA1I were produced.
1987 Formula 1 season
In the 1987 Formula One season, the FA1I was entered in 16 races for Osella’s regular driver Alex Caffi. Caffi was able to qualify regularly with the exception of the Spanish Grand Prix. In most cases he started ahead of the weaker of the new naturally aspirated cars. Caffi achieved his best starting position with 16th place at the Monaco Grand Prix. He did not manage a finish. Four times he retired early due to lack of fuel, five times there were engine and turbocharger failures and twice each there were gearbox and electrical failures.
For some races, Osella entered another car for Franco Forini. Individual internet sources claim that Forini drove an FA1I on these occasions, as did Caffi. In the literature, however, it is predominantly assumed that Forini once again used an outdated FA1G, which had already been built in 1985.
1988 Formula 1 season
In 1988, Osella contested the inaugural race in Brazil with the FA1I. The car – now painted completely differently – was entered for Nicola Larini. However, the Italian failed to qualify and did not take part in the race. Afterwards, the FA1I was replaced by the largely revised Osella FA1L, Osella’s last car with Alfa Romeo technology. Gustav Brunner, the technical director of the German Rial team and designer of the Rial ARC1, which was used at the same time, described the FA1I in March 1988 as a “really bad car”.
|1987 Formula 1 season||0|
|1988 Formula 1 season||0||–|
- Ian Bamsey: The 1000 bhp Grand Prix Cars. Haynes Publications, Yeovil 1988, ISBN 0-85429-617-4 (English).
- Adriano Cimarosti: The Century of Racing. Cars, tracks and pilots. Motorbuch-Verlag, Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-613-01848-9.
- David Hodges: Racing cars from A-Z after 1945. Motorbuch-Verlag, Stuttgart 1994, ISBN 3-613-01477-7.
- David Hodges: A-Z of Grand Prix Cars. Crowood Press, Marlborough 2001, ISBN 1-86126-339-2.
- Pierre Ménard: La Grande Encyclopédie de la Formule 1. 2nd edition. Chronosports, St. Sulpice 2000, ISBN 2-940125-45-7 (French).
- Due to the similarities in some typefaces between the printed image of the uppercase “I” and the lowercase “L” (l), the Osella FA1I is confused with the Osella FA1L in some publications. Both vehicles are independent models and were used in different years.
- Hodges: A-Z of Grand Prix Cars. 2001, S. 186.
- For technology, see Bamsey: 1000 bhp Grand Prix Cars. 1988, S. 48.
- Motorsport aktuell. Issue 9, 1987, p. 24.
- Franco Forini’s racing biography at f1rejects.com (retrieved 17 January 2011).
- Race statistics at Motorsport-Total.com (retrieved 17 January 2011).
- Hodges: Racing Cars from A-Z after 1945. 1994, p. 206.
- Bamsey: 1000 bhp Grand Prix Cars. 1988, S. 47.
- Franco Forini’s racing biography at forix.autosport.com (retrieved 17 January 2011).
- Motorsport aktuell. Issue 14, 1988, p. 25.