Andrea Sassetti Italian businessman, owner of a shoe brand was responsible for giving life to Andrea Moda team in the early 1990s ill-gotten money, pilots with bad luck and an ending that turned into legend.
L he Times change, and also the views of the fans. So much so that today almost no encounter favorable opinions of small teams of Formula One. This is partly due to current equipment became a business without passion, they are synonymous with “pay to drive “ instead of being the birthplace of the future champions of the pinnacle of world motorsport. But there was a time when things were not like this, where there were teams without neglecting the business, were full of passion and remained in the memory of the fans, even without having yet managed to qualify in various competitions.
One of those teams is called “Andrea Moda” who has the honor of having in its ranks Perry McCarthy, nicknamed “The unluckiest driver in F1 history “.
all started when the Italian entrepreneur Andrea Sassetti , owner of the Chamber of shoes that gave name to the team, bought the team Coloni as the gossips said that It was a maneuver to launder dirty money. Partly given the history of the Italian businessman.
The team attended the first race with Coloni chassis that had used the previous year but providing them with new engines and gearboxes provided by Dallara Judd and respectively. Their pilots were Enrico Bertaggia coming from Coloni try to qualify with the previous year and Alex Caffi , an Italian pilot who many categorized as “difficult character”.
Nothing more to get to the circuit Kyalami (where he started the 1992 season with an overwhelming victory for Williams-Renault) Sassetti clashed with the FISA in a “strange “maneuver considered the team as” new “and therefore wanted to force him to pay the sum of $ 100,000 was required at that time to new equipment. As a result, Andrea Moda did not play the first Grand Prix and worse FISA in what was perhaps an attempt to eliminate the team told them that could not compete with cars Coloni .
As a result of the position of the regulator, Sassetti had to build a chassis in record time . In just two weeks adapted a design that BMW had ruled to cancel your entry into the category, buying the same engineer Nick Wirth (nephew and chief Max Mosley Simtek team F1). As a result the “S921” was born.
Although the team took their cars to Grand Prix of Mexico , the owner withdrew the same after prequalification by arguments that were not to the taste of those who had collaborated with the project and much less with the FIA and FISA . Sassetti only more people could get inside against the F1 circus. Obviously, also had against their pilots, who then fired to complain about not being able to participate .
pilot replacements proved Perry McCarthy , a pilot known to have been “Stig” on Top Gear, pilot resistance tester Williams in Formula One but much more to stay in F1 suffering in every race. And the Brazilian Roberto “Puppo” Moreno , well he is known for celebrating as if it were his second victory in the Japanese Grand Prix 1990. Among the confirmed both must surely be the team with less hair in the history of F1.
For the third race of the season a new drawback to the desk he left Perry McCarthy without superlicense and in an awkward position within the team as Bertaggia with new sponsor was trying to regain his place and wanted the money Sassetti (I admit this is where part not written in the first few paragraphs about money and passion is fulfilled). At that time the FIA allowed limit driver change and Andrea Moda team had already met. But, as the saying goes, every law has its trap and Sassetti was very clear, the aim being to make McCarthy quit your job.
Arriving at the Grand Prix of Spain finally the two cars were out on track, or almost . Nobody woke McCarthy who by chance, at 7:25 he opened his eyes for the noise being made by the brother of Sassetti, drunk and fresh from a party the night before. No way to get to the circuit in time, the pilot let that character take him traveling at about 160km / h but achieving the goal. Moreno managed to last 4 laps remaining , far from the pilot that preceded and McCarthy could barely do twenty meters before the engine blew . Things were getting worse for the rider who wore on his helmet colors legendary Gilles Villeneuve .
Things seemed to improve the next Grand Prix in Imola when McCarthy managed to give 7 laps . No doubt a feat for the team. The “glory” for the team would arrive in Monaco with the classification of Moreno by another car break but consistently turning in front of several cars, while able to do so because lasted only 11 78 laps you agreed in the principality .
In Canada things went from bad to worse since not received the Judd engines for nonpayment . In a gesture that today would be impossible to see the team Brabham gave them a motor they installed in the car but still Moreno remained at 20 seconds of the final qualifier .
No circuit came to France because of a truckers’ strike is the only team absent from the appointment. was obvious that Sassetti had no intention of keeping the team , as obvious as the will to put their pilots risking their lives to handle these cars, especially Moreno as McCarthy kept all the time sitting in the auto inside the box and sent it to the track just enough to give one or two qualifying laps time.
In the next race at Silverstone team in order of Sassetti McCarthy sends a track with rain tires on a sunny day!. The rivalry was evident and intervention the imminent FISA. Occurred when the computer directly not to let a single qualifying lap McCarthy .
In Spa things would not be very different but the British team rider finally going to win the tug of war . He took to the track on the right foot in depth, all or nothing until a drop 240km / h your car broke as a result of defective pieces of direction that had been tested in the auto Moreno then they are placed in the order of McCarthy Sassetti. With a clear intention to resign (and probably physically assaulting Sassetti) McCarthy returned to the box , where he met that the police had arrested the Italian fraud and attempted murder .
That was the end for a team that even today has more fans turn track and a few days later was expelled from the world .
year next Sassetti, whose version of events is very different and Wirth try to return to the track with the team Bravo F1 but his income was vetoed by Ecclestone did not want nothing to do with the Italian businessman given the bad image that gave the category .
Legend has it that the fate of the car was to be part of the furniture in the living room of Sassetti . Regarding McCarthy , wrote a humorous book called “Flat Out, Flat Broke: Formula 1 the hard way”. with anecdotes about that season