The small West German outfit had had three different driver lineups in its three years in F1 – the departure in frustration of Martin Brundle for sportscar racing and the breakdown in negotiations with Christan Danner mean that it’s now four in four. Otherwise, much seems the same at Niederzissen as the team get one more year out of their home-grown turbo engine. The Zakspeed 1500/4 was, on paper, one of the most powerful engines on the grid (only 10hp short of the mighty Honda), but this hadn’t counted for much in 1987 and few expected the 881 chassis to be much better than the 871. On driving duties were veteran Piercarlo Ghinzani and rookie Bernd Schneider.
9. Piercarlo Ghinzani
“The indomitable Piercarlo must really love being a Grand Prix driver…” opined Autosport magazine in their season preview. He certainly hasn’t had a lot of luck with his cars during his career with moves to Toleman and Ligier both coinciding with particular low points for the teams, and most of his career devoted to the perennial paupers Osella. With the best will in the world, this would probably be more of the same.
10. Bernd Schneider
The young West German was brought up in a motorsport-mad family (he is named after prewar great Bernd Rosemeyer) and began karting early. German junior kart champion at 15 in 1979. A year later he was World junior kart champion. Another two years and the World Formula A title was his, then in 1984 he moved to German Formula Ford and came second in his rookie year. His march through the junior formulae continued via Formula Ford 2000 and Formula 3 until Formula 1 was the next logical step. Zakspeed are unlikely to propel him to any titles, but his credentials are impeccable and he will hope to be “spotted” soon.