Not even the personal friendship between Guy Ligier and French president Francois Mitterrand had been able to persuade Renault to continue supplying Ligier with their turbo engines – that the team had hardly made the best use of them when they did have them may have been a factor. Instead, the team arranged for a supply of Alfa Romeo’s brand new Tipo 415T turbo, which was intended to be an interim for the Italian manufacturer’s new V12 atmo engine for 1988 and beyond.
Michel Tetu designed the new JS29 around the Tipo 415T and Alfa Romeo protege Piercarlo Ghinzani was given a shot at a better car than the Osella he’d been patiently dragging around for the last few years.
25. René Arnoux
It was not so very long ago that Arnoux was winning races for Renault and Ferrari, and even looking like a potential world champion with Maranello. Since his mysterious sacking by Ferrari, though, he’s just never looked quite like his old self. Of course, his uncompetitive car doesn’t help and in the first half of 1986 he was able to put in some good drives, but he is looking increasingly disinterested and cynical.
26. Piercarlo Ghinzani
Alfa Romeo man Ghinzani had begun his F1 career with Osella before being dropped when they couldn’t afford to pay him. When his stint with Toleman didn’t work out, he was back to Osella, driving for free while being paid by Alfa Romeo for his testing and other racing for them. It worked out to an extent, giving him driving experience and exposure, but he must have been yearning for better things. The Ligier-Alfa partnership looked like it might lead to those better things.