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Gregor Foitek


Monteverdi-Ford ORE-2 (ORE-1B)




1990 German GP 1990


In the yuppie late-eighties, F1 was as booming as much as the world economy. These were the heydays of prequalifying, with entry lists reaching the dazzling heights of 40 cars per event. It also saw the second coming of the Cosworth (or Judd) kit car - among the new teams to pop up were AGS, Coloni, Rial, EuroBrun... and Onyx.

At first sight, Mike Earle's outfit proved to be the most serious but its promising first-year efforts diluted in the same way as it did for Rial. As with Coloni, the original F1 enthousiasts sold out to wealthy businessmen looking for a new toy to enhance their image. The net result, of course, was disaster. This Foitek picture was taken at the first race where the Onyx was entered as a Monteverdi, a name which graced the F1 entry lists for the amazing number of two Grands Prix. Before this dreadful name change we had seen one of F1's most rapid turns of fortunes.

In 1989, Onyx had shown some fine promise with Johansson and Gachot, the latter one shining whenever he survived prequalifying. Stefan even made it to the podium once. Things looked good for the Moneytron-backed team but then Moneytron owner Jean-Pierre van Rossem got involved in the sporting side of things.

Facing the adversity of his outward appearance, this fat, greasy-haired loudmouth had managed to become Belgium's wealthiest and most controversial man. From his money-managing capacities at Onyx though, it is hard to imagine how the guy had become so desperately rich. Within a couple of races the team had become cash-ridden, while its performance also tumbled. Swiss car collector Peter Monteverdi took over and snatched his family member Foitek from Brabham. Alas, Monteverdi found life in F1 just as tough as during his previous experience in the sixties. Results were non-existent and the team lasted until Hungary before collapsing.

What about Foitek? Johnny Herbert will probably remember him for one single act of foolishness... In all fairness, Gregor wasn't that bad a driver, but in F1 he just got involved with the wrong teams at the wrong time. Now doesn't that sound familiar?