Ferrari’s Swede

Stefan Johanssen, Ferrari

The old Österreichring was a lovely and demanding 3.7 mile circuit which lives on in a reduced layout today as the Red Bull Ring which is still the site of the Austrian Grand Prix. This lovely color study shows Stefan Johansson with his Ferrari F1/86 on August 17, 1986 passing the lovely forested land which surrounded the original circuit. Johansson qualified halfway down the field but a series of retirements which reduced the 25 starters to 11 at the finish left him to join the podium in third place, although he was two laps down on winner Alain Prost’s McLaren MP4/2C-TAG.

Johansson came to F1 out of F3 in which he had won the British Championship in 1980. He drove for 10 different teams in F1 with two years at Ferrari. In 1986 he was the number two driver behind Michele Alboreto but placed well ahead of his team leader in the 1986 Championship. After F1 Johansson went on to compete with Indy cars in the CART series for several years before turning to concentrate on sports cars, winning Le Mans in 1997 in a TWR-Porsche. He now acts as a manager for racing drivers, among other business activities.

Ferrari tried various iterations of their F1 cars during the first turbo era. Never short for power, their designs were often lacking in handling qualities. The F1/86 was engineered by Harvey Postlethwaite, as had been the prior year’s car. Postlethwaite was eventually replaced by John Bernard and Gustav Brunner whose designs would somewhat improve Ferrari’s F1 results.

Photo by Nigel Snowdon ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com

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