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  #1  
Old 05-17-2008, 08:02 AM
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Lancia in Formula One?

With Dietrich Mateschitz's Red Bull company looking to sell off their Faenza based second squad, Scuderia Toro Rosso, there are rumours from Italy that Lancia are being lined up to bid for the team. Lancia are a small, relatively low-volume production company but are part of the massive Fiat Group along with the World Champions Ferrari, so should receive a decent amount of financial backing.

Lancia have a rich history in motorsport, most notably rallying in the 1980s and early 90s. However, there have been lean times for the company since then in motorsport terms and in terms of overall car sales. They haven't competed in Grand Prixs since the very early years of the Formula One era.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by grandprix.com
Lancia to buy into Scuderia Toro Rosso?

The word from Italy is that the Fiat-owned Lancia brand is considering buying into Scuderia Toro Rosso, as part of its plan to revive the marque by expanding sales of Lancia models in Europe and beyond. The company's sporting heritage is impressive, dating back to 1906 when former Fiat Grand Prix driver Vincenzo Lancia set up the business, convinced that he could bring new ideas to the growing automobile business. He insisted that the company stay out of competition and concentrate on building luxurious and sporting road cars. He died in 1937 and his son Gianni took over the company and in the 1950s he hired Alfa Romeo racing designer Vittorio Jano and recruited Ferrari drivers Alberto Ascari and Gigi Villoresi and entered F1 with the D50, powered by a 2.5-liter V8 engine. The team began winning non-championship races in 1955 but the death of Ascari in a Ferrari sports car and serious financial problems resulted in Gianni Lancia selling the D50s to Enzo Ferrari. In 1956 the D50s won five of the seven World Championship events and continued to do well in 1957.

The Lancia company remained independent and in the 1960s Cesare Fiorio's HF Squadra Corse began to achieve good results in rallying with Lancia products. The team won the European Rally Championship in 1969, the same year as Lancia became part of the Fiat empire. HF Squadra Corse moved to the Lancia factory and became the motorsport department. In the 1970s Lancia won a string of WRC titles with the Stratos and also enjoyed some success in sports car racing, winning the World Championship in 1981. There was talk in 1980 of building a turbo engine for the new Toleman F1 team but in the end rallying remained the focus with the Lancia Delta. Six consecutive Manufacturers' titles and three Drivers' titles followed until 1992 when the factory pulled out of the WRC, leaving a few privateers to battle on for a period. Poor sales pushed it back into the Italian market and it came close to be closed down in 2004.

The firm is now being run by Frenchman Olivier Francois, who has been in the job for the last couple of years, and is committed to tripling Lancia sales to 300,000 cars in 2010. His aim is to add new models, get better dealerships and expand into new markets. At the moment the company is 80% dependent on the Italian market.

Among the strategies that Francois has introduced is to use Carla Bruni, the Italian singer-supermodel and new wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy in the advertising campaigns. It is worth noting that before joining Lancia, Francois worked at Peugeot Citroen in France and there may be links with recent rumours suggesting that Nicolas Todt, son of Jean Todt (formerly at Peugeot Citroen before joining Ferrari), might buy into the Italian-based team, to create a secondary Fiat-owned operation. This makes sense as the team would be allowed to use Ferrari engine and drivetrain technology but would need to build its own chassis. That would be a similar story to the Lancia Stratos, which was powered by a Ferrari engine.
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  #2  
Old 05-17-2008, 08:16 AM
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I hope it goes through. Lancia lost a bit of its luster and maybe getting back in motorsport can help them w/ their street cars too. I'd like a return to rally as well
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Old 05-17-2008, 08:20 AM
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As much as I feel that Lancia has lost their way this decade, it'd be awesome to see them turn around and be brilliant again. The F1 team is probably not a great idea from a financial point of view, but more exposure is good exposure...
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:24 AM
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Wow. A Lancia F1 car using a Ferrari engine? How the tables have turned . . .
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicFromLA View Post
Wow. A Lancia F1 car using a Ferrari engine? How the tables have turned . . .
Oh! So it's just like a more powerful Lancia Stratos! :P
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingofthering View Post
Oh! So it's just like a more powerful Lancia Stratos! :P
I think he was referring to a 'Ferrari' F1 car used another two decades earlier.
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:51 AM
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D50.

Let's not forget about the LC2 either, although it wasn't an F1 car. Still, Lancia-Ferrari...
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisetdavid26 View Post
D50.

Let's not forget about the LC2 either, although it wasn't an F1 car. Still, Lancia-Ferrari...
I believe he was refrrng to Ferrari winning the '56 chapionship with the Lancias, back when their own cars were simply rubbish.

By the way I doubt very much this will happen. And participate to lose consistently wouldn't help Lancia at all.

Lancia should sort their road cars before thinking of going racing again.
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrer View Post
I believe he was refrrng to Ferrari winning the '56 chapionship with the Lancias, back when their own cars were simply rubbish.
That's what I was saying, the Lancia D50's that were purchased by the Scuderia Ferrari and won the Drivers' Championship in 1956 with Fangio at the wheel.
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  #10  
Old 05-17-2008, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisetdavid26 View Post
D50.
Yes, Vittorio Jano's last masterpiece.
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisetdavid26 View Post
Let's not forget about the LC2 either, although it wasn't an F1 car. Still, Lancia-Ferrari...
And by the way let's add the Thema 8.32 as well.
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:22 AM
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Lancia in F1? No.
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  #13  
Old 05-17-2008, 10:34 AM
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It's a storied company that has fallen on hard times (sort of like Maserati) but I don't know about a return to F1, that didn't really pan out for Spyker. However if they have the financial backing of Fiat Group then it's probably not the worst decision ever.
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:40 AM
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I don't see it happening.
I doubt Ferrari wants to compete with itself.

I would see a VAG manufacturer filling in that slot more.
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zytek_Fan View Post
I don't see it happening.
I doubt Ferrari wants to compete with itself.

I would see a VAG manufacturer filling in that slot more.
VAG? Never.
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