Larrousse

Team logoBased in: Antony, Paris, France
Founded: 1987 (active 1987-1995)

Principal: Gérard Larrousse, Didier Calmels
Designers: Eric Broadley, Ralph Bellamy, Gérard Ducourage

Former racing driver and Renault Sport boss Gerard Larrousse and a well-connected friend Didier Calmels decided to establish their own F1 team in 1987. The Larrousse-Calmels team was based in Antony in the southern suburbs of Paris. They commissioned a car from Lola and the result was the Eric Broadley/Ralph Bellamy-designed LC87, which was powered by a Cosworth DFZ V8 engine. It was entered in the undersubscribed normally-aspirated class.

The team started their first season with only one car - driven by Philippe Alliot - while a second was raced by Yannick Dalmas at the end of the season. Alliot managed to secure 3 championship points. At the end of the year, Larrousse was forced to continue leading the team on his own after Calmels was jailed for 7 years after shooting his wife. The Larrouse-Calmels team was subsequently renamed to Larousse.

Quickly after, Gérard Larrousse decided to sign up Gerard Ducourage as the team's new designer. The result is the Larrousse LC89, a car that shows a certain delay of design, despite the arrival of new Lamborghini V12 engines. The result is a season full of mechanical breakages and failed attempts to qualify.

In 1990, Gerard Larrousse finally sees his efforts rewarded with 10th and 13th place with the final classification controls, to note the 3rd place of the car in Japan. The team ends 1990 with 11 points, good for 6th place in the manufacturers ranking. Later on however, the points were revoked after issues with the FIA over the chassis.

The year after, Lamborghini leaves the team to start its own team and when Larrousse was almost done securing an engine deal with Brian Hart, 50% shareholder Espo Corporation pulled out of the team, together with chassis builder Lola. Meanwhile, Ducourage also left the team and an attempt to merge with AGS failed. However, despite continuing money problems, the team still managed in registering 2 points, a merit of Aguri Suzuki and Eric Bernard.

At the closing stages of the 1991 season, Gérard Larrousse then brought in Robin Herd from Fondmetal to lead the design efforts of a new chassis for the team. At the same time, a new Lamborghini deal was agreed and the team kept its drivers, Bertand Gachot and Ukyo Katayama. Gachot managed to get the season's only point for the team with a sixth place at Monaco.

In the same winter, 65% of the team's shares were sold off to Venturi. A year later, those shares were again sold to the Comstock group, whose executive officer was later killed in a gun battle with the German police.

In 1993, drivers Philippe Alliot and Erik Comas scored 3 points. Despite the financial pit that the team was getting in, Larrousse still managed to sign a deal to secure Ford V8 HB87 engines for 1994 after having failed to secure Peugeot engines.

When the team then fails to secure a deal with Peugeot for engines in the 1994 season, Larrousse then signs a deal for Ford V8 HB87 engines. Soon these proved not sufficient, even more so after the drivers were replaced by pay-drivers Hideki Noda and Jean-Denis Délétraz.

After an issue between Larrousse and Herd, it appeared that the 1995 cars would not be built. Despite attempts during early 1995 to merge the team with DAMS, it finally collapsed due to its financial trouble.

Cars

All Formula One cars of Larrousse
Car designationRace years
Larrousse LC871987
Larrousse LC881988
Larrousse LC88B1989
Larrousse LC891989
Larrousse 901990
Larrousse LC 89B1990
Larrousse 911991
Venturi LC921992
Larrousse LH931993
Larrousse LH941994