Deciphering the past: Simtek 1994

As you know, we are currently busy with the IFM project. However, that doesn’t mean F1 94 is out of our heads.

The F1 1994 project involves a lot of investigation and research, mainly on sponsors because high quality photos are rare to non-existent. A lot of guesswork is needed and often a little luck. During our research, we often stumble upon little anecdotes we like to share with you guys. For example, we talked about the various small logos on the Minardi that were quite hard to find.

One particular sponsor on the Simtek has been following us for over two years now. It’s been on the rear wing endplates only at the Pacific Grand Prix; we had numerous photos but none of them were good enough to decipher the company behind the logo. We contacted the former driver David Brabham about it and he couldn’t help us in this case. We even mentioned it in a devblog article and posted it on numerous forums but no one was able to help us.

Until last week.

The guys at F1 Rejects love everything that is bad, funny, mysterious or embarassing in the world of Formula One and one of the members contacted a Japanese friend of his about the matter – two years after we posted the request! And he came up with an incredible result: what we thought could be Eastside Roccs, Sastiana Pocos, Mastana Pocos etc. turned out to be Marutama Foods. And even better, we were provided with a good photo of the logo.

Well, it’s only a very small part of the mod that none of you guys would even pay attention to – I guess., but for us (especially for me as I’m painting the Simtek), it’s the story we will remember for a long long time I think. 🙂

The Honda Project in 1994

Another article in the series of anecdotes and stories we find around the year 1994, while researching for the mod. We all know that Honda has a certain relationship to Formula 1 Racing, but people only know about the rise and fall of Honda F1 Racing in the last couple of years and perhaps also the phase in the 1960s when they have already been involved in Formula 1.

However, Honda has been on the verge of joining the sport more often than they actually did. In 1999, they bought a chassis from Dallara and made some first tests under the direction of Harvey Postlethwaite. Nevertheless, the project never got beyond that test drive, which was performed by Jos Verstappen, as Postlethwaite died from a heart attack. Honda instead decided to rejoin Formula 1 as engine supplier, joined BAR and you all know about the rest.

Today, though, I stumbled over the story of the Honda RC100, which was supposed to enter F1 in 1993 after Honda’s withdrawal as engine supplier. It was developed without official Honda-backing, but with acknowledged by the company. The first car was completed at the end of 1992 and was due to enter in the next season, but unfortunately, the car didn’t survive the crash test. This is why the car was evolved and they eventually did succeed to do some testing in Suzuka with Saturo Nakajima as their driver. However, he destroyed the car in the crash, so no further testing was possible.

What has this got to do with our mod? Honda still developed the car and the RC101B was ready for the first public test session at Suzuka in – you guessed it – 1994. After the test, though, Honda decided to concentrate on their CART program and it’s not known what actually happened to the car afterwards.

Now just imagine what kind of effect it would have on today’s Formula One world where one of the most important topics is whether manufacturers are good F1 or not.

Thanks to Nuppiz for bringing this story to my attention.


Wikipedia: Honda RC100

Forix: Honda’s After-Hours project

F1Review Blog: A Honda ama a F1 e vai voltar, ô se vai

Wrong sponsor in the wrong time

During our work on the 1994 mod, there are always new things you can learn. Apart from new experiences on the technical side like modelling joint lines, you also learn a lot about the season itself and the teams and drivers involved. Today, Dahie was told a story about the Pacific Grand Prix team, that seems to be quite a weird coincidence. It took place during the San Marino Grand Prix but as the deaths of Ratzenberger and later Senna dominated the headlines, hardly anyone has ever heard of it.

As 1994 was a time when the Formula 1 was not as professional as it is nowadays, the small teams such as Minardi, Simtek and Pacific were desperately looking for sponsorship money which resulted in different liveries from race to race, which you can see in this post concerning the Simtek team.

For the race in Imola, Pacific Grand Prix has persuaded a cigarette company called “Black Death” to sponsor the team. Their logo featured a skull and apparently a crossbone, which cannot be seen here though.

As the stickers for the cars didn’t arrive in time, the Pacific team ran the cars without the new sponsor on Saturday, when Roland Ratzenberger died. However, they seem to have arrived later that day and were ready to be put on the racing cars but for obvious reasons, the Pacific team declined that offer by now. “It’s actually a very difficult situation.” explained Pacific’s Graeme Glew. “The backing could be a saviour, but obviously it would have been inappropriate here.”
The “Black Death” company never appeared in Formula 1 after this incident. Quite an ironic story, isn’t it?

Thanks to Felix Schönhofen who brought this story to our interest.
Sources: The AUTOSPORT Bulletin Board and Rally Racing Nr 6 June 1994

Deciphering the past: Minardi 1994

Unfortunately, I have picked all the backmarkers. While it’s cool to paint cars like Larrousse, Simtek and Pacific that somewhat have their own history, it can can also be very stressful because they actually needed huge amount of money. On the one hand they needed drivers like the legendarily rejectful Jean-Dénis Délétraz for Larrousse, on the other one they have had sponsors that nobody has ever heard of, therefore gone bankrupt and disappeared without a trace. But thanks to Christian and his magazine scans, I could manage to identify some no-names that were on the Minardi M193B/M194.

side Continue reading Deciphering the past: Minardi 1994

Hi, my name is Simtek S941…

…and I’m 15 years old. I was born in Banbury, UK and my father is a known engineer called Nick Wirth. Just after my birth, I’ve been travelling a lot and never really had a home. I’ve seen a lot of race circuits (sometimes only on Friday and Saturday but that’s another story – at least I could make the Pacifics look even worse, hehe) like Interlagos in Brazil or the boring TI Aida in the middle of nowhere in Japan. Now, some CTDP guys tried to recreate me and that’s what I look like from their point of view.

This is a demo version in texture size: 1024 x 1024. The livery is still by Marco Büttner (BMWFan), who also created the carshape. It’s very rough and has quite some mistakes in it. Marco has done all demo liveries and only did the Ligier livery in 2048 x 2048. But: he made all the car shapes.

Later on, Dennis Schmidt (mediocre) joined the team and took care of me. He made me look more real and higher detailed (2048 x 2048 now). AND: he created all liveries from Brazil to Monaco. Let me introduce them to you one by one.

This is the brazil spec and let’s just speak of a basic version, because this is what the other liveries are based on. It is still lacking a lot of sponsors that joined and left throughout the season. I must say I was a difficult child. I wanted too much but my parents couldn’t get the money for it. This is why I had a lot of regional sponsors and looked different in every race. Sometimes I even changed my look from Friday to Saturday to Sunday which made my creator (= mediocre) insane! Nick said it would bring some money and make me happier but I’d just say it was a huge waste of time.
Anyway, what’s different from the early version? Fogo de Chao joined and put a logo on my rear wing endplate. It left just after the race, though. The front of the airbox cooler (damn, it’s difficult to describe car parts) is now red instead of blue and the blue has changed as well, from hue 250 to 240 – less purple, more blue. There are some more little details you probably won’t notice but don’t bother about them, because they’re not too important.

Two weeks later, Nick decided to go to Japan. Well, why not? Again, I looked differently from Brazil. I’ve grown so to speak. Goodyear has joined Würth on the rear part of the nose cone and Russell Athletic got a place on the sidepod. Russell Athletic is now on the upper nose cone as well as Barbara. On the rear wing endplate (as a replacement for Fogo de Chao in Brazil), there’s some weird sponsor. You probably won’t see it on the picture but the text beneath the (what looks like the) German flag says: “No f****** idea”. And that’s pretty damn true – there’s not a single picture that can help identifying this particular sponsor. Of course, the text will be removed before it will be saved as DDS. It would be great if you could help finding out what or who this sponsor actually was as it could bring a little bit more of a real feel into the game later on. 🙂

Race 3 was a proper tragedy and we lost Roland. Now, surprisingly, whereas there are hardly any pictures (not to mention high-res) from Brazil and Pacific/Japan, there are tons of (high-res) images from the San Marino GP. And, given the certain circumstances, it’s probably my best-known livery. On the front wing, you can now see “Vernilux” (whatever that is). Alongside Goodyear and Würth, there’s now a weird company called “COX Sport Shoes” on the nose cone.

Then we moved to the glamour of Monaco but only with one car. As Roland was an important part of the team, we gave him a tribute on our car displaying his helmet art on the airbox, replacing Barbara. They had enough space on the nose cone anyway and just take a look at the sidepod! COX left, Russell Athletic swapped places with Goodyear and Würth and Paul Mitchell replaced Vernilux.

Last but not least, I guess I need to apologize for the graphics because – let’s face it – they…are not good. Of course the textures are – we don’t mess around with it, I promise. But my graphic card is not the best.
Don’t ask when the mod is done, please. Nobody knows. What’s next is the shader rendering before the car can go ingame. As soon as it happens, we’ll surely inform you and possibly provide you some screenshots.

Maybe you will see some of my friends like Larrousse (by mediocre), Benetton (by Dahie), McLaren (by What21A) or Ligier (by BMWFan) soon. 🙂