Life Racing Engines was an Italian constructor from Modena that completed very unsuccessfully in 1990. The team was founded by Ernesto Vita (whose surname is Italian for "Life") and drivers Gary Brabham and Bruno Giacomelli drove the fourteen races the team entered.
The engine, the F35, was a unique W12 engine, initially designed by former Ferrari engineer Franco Rocchi. Vita purchased the rights to the W12 design and attempted to sell it to an F1 team for 1989. Vita was unable to secure any contracts and decided to make his own car for the engine.
Vita purchased the FIRST chassis, the F189 (which was based on a Formula 3000 car), made some changes, fitted his engine, and named it the L190. It was overweight, down on power, difficult to drive and very unreliable. Brabham was tasked with the car for his début.
For the first race at the United States Grand Prix, Brabham failed to pre-qualify by over half a minute, and after not a setting a time at Brazil (due to the car grinding to a halt after 400 yards due to the lack of engine oil, as most of the team crew members had a strike), the Australian left to be replaced by veteran Giacomelli, who had not raced in F1 for seven years. Giacomelli never got near to pre-qualifying (in an interview he revealed he was scared that he might be hit from behind), and the team ditched the W12 for the Portuguese Grand Prix. The new Judd V8 engine did not fit the oversized engine cover, and it flew off the car. The team did not turn up for the final two races and were not heard from again.
Formula One adventure
W12 engine development
Obtaining the chassis
|Year||Car||Engine||Tyre||Drivers||Rounds||Test Driver||WCC Pts||WCC Pos||Report|
| Gary Brabham
|Front Row Starts||0|
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Complete Formula One Results
|Complete Formula One results|
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- Wikipedia article
- F1 Rejects profile (archived)
- F1 Fanatic article
- GP Encyclopedia article
- Counter-X profile
- Blog post on Jalopnik
- Constanduros, Bob, ed. (1990). "Team Talk". FIA Formula 1 World Championship 90. London: Piccadilly Promotion. p. 69. ISBN 1-873199-00-7.
|V T E||Life Racing Engines|
Gary Brabham · Bruno Giacomelli · Franco Scapini (test driver)
Ernesto Vita · Gianni Marelli · Oliver Piazzi
Franco Rocchi · Richard Divila · FIRST Racing
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