F1 Fittipaldi F6 1979 Copersucar Show Car

The F6 we offer is presented as a ‘show car’, minus engine. It should be noted that the suspension is not correct and that many components are mounted for display purposes only, including the spoiler and suspension. The car is not built for ease of movement, the wheels being mounted without bearings and the driveshafts not connected.

Fittipaldi Automotive, sometimes referred to as Copersucar, after its first headline sponsor, is the only Formula 1 team to have been based in Brazil. Formed in 1974, it founders were the Fittipaldi brothers: Wilson and his younger brother Emerson, the latter a two-time World Champion and youngest Champion ever at that time. Initially the team was based in Sao Paulo but in 1977 moved to the heart of the F1 industry in reading, UK. The team was active from 1975 to 1982.
The team began with Wilson as its sole driver before Emerson joined for 1976, the elder brother stepping down to concentrate on management. 1978 would prove to be the team’s most successful season, with Emerson achieving several good results driving Fittipaldi Automotive’s first ‘ground effect’ car: the Cosworth DFV-powered F5A, the best of which was a 2nd place in Brazil. Sadly, the F6 successor – designed by Ralph Bellamy and Richard Divila – did not live up to its manufacturer’s expectations.

With Copersucar ending its sponsorship, the team was re-branded Skol Fittipaldi Team for 1980. Close neighbours Wolf Racing were acquired and Fittipaldi was able to run a two-car team for the first time. Updated Wolf chassis (designated F7) were used by Emerson and new signing Keke Rosberg for the first part of the season pending the arrival of the F8. Rosberg would secure his first ever F1 podium with the F7. Retiring at the end of 1980, Emerson Fittipaldi was replaced by fellow Brazilian Chico Serra for 1981. With Rosberg leaving to join McLaren, Fittipaldi’s fortunes went into decline, and its last points-paying finish was at Zolder in 1982 (Serra, 6th place). In total, Fittipaldi started 104 Grands Prix, scoring 44 points and finishing on the podium on three occasions.
Fittipaldi built two F6 chassis for 1979, ’01’ being ready for the start of the season and driven by Emerson Fittipaldi, while ’02’ did not appear until later in the year. Entrusted to young Brazilian Alex Ribeiro, this second chassis was used at the Canadian and United States East Grands Prix, failing to qualify on both occasions. Emerson used ’01’ at the South African, German, Austrian, and Dutch GPs in 1979, finishing 13th in South Africa but failing to complete any of the other races.

He and ’01’ did manage to finish the last three GPs of the year: in Italy, Canada, and USA East with a best result of 7th at Watkins Glen, just out of the points. For the other World Championship rounds Fittipaldi used either the F5 or F5A but no points were scored in any of the races.


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