Lamberto Leoni had had five F1 entries as a driver in 1977-78, posting 3 failures to qualify, one failure to start (transmission failure on the grid) and a retirement for his pains. Founding his own team, he moved into Formula 3000 for the 1987 season, when he shared driving duties with Gabriele Tarquini and the pair finished joint 8th in the International F3000 championship in March chassis. For 1988, Pierluigi Martini took 4th place for the team with Marco Apicella joint 8th as Leoni took a desk job and by 1989 he was ready for another tilt at F1, as an owner rather than a driver. With Ricardo Divila designing the car, things looked promising, only for the Brazilian to leave during winter testing, disowning the design and saying it was not fit to race. Nonetheless, the team gave it a run out with Gabriele Tarquini at the wheel at the Attilio Betegga memorial race and the Formula One Indoor Trophy.
42. Gabriele Tarquini
Tarquini had endured a trying season in the sluggish Coloni, with 8th in Canada being a high point but one of only 8 starts and 3 finishes. Mostly the car didn’t just fail to qualify, but was the worst car on track, failing to pre-qualify on seven occasions. Gabriele undoubtedly has talent, but is still searching for a place to show it. Early signs are that First may not be the place either, but with a previous association with the team, he will at least fit in.