March had had a great second half to 1988, with Ivan Capelli in particular impressing with a series of great qualifying performances married to cracking drives in the race. Young designer Adrian Newey’s 881 design was visibly fast and somehow the car and driver had got so much more performance out of the Judd engine than, for example, Williams. As a reward, Judd made March their official “works” team, giving them early access, along with Brabham, to the EV engine. A new chassis was being designed to house it, until which the team would continue with the 1988 car and the old CV engine. Capelli and Gugelmin continued on driving duties.

15. Maurício Gugelmin br89Gugelmin

The Brazilian’s 1988 season hadn’t been as full of fireworks as Capelli’s, with just two points finishes, but he had been unfortunate to have most of the mechanical bad luck, retiring from 8 of 16 races. He regularly finished just outside the points in 7th or 8th, but nonetheless ended the season as the highest scoring rookie and had gained good experience of mixing it in the midfield and would hope for better things in 1989.


89Capelli216. Ivan Capelli it

The fun-loving Capelli – sometimes known as “Dustin” for his resemblance to Dustin Hoffman – had developed a reputation both as a practical joker and as an extremely talented driver. If he could continue his late 1988 form into 1989, then a win looked a distinct possibility. The question was whether one of the “big boys” would snap Capelli up sooner, or later…



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