ATS was a German Formula One team, named after German alloy wheel brand Auto Technisches Spezialzubehör. The company is based in Bad Dürkheim near the Hockenheimring, its team was active in Formula One from 1977 to 1984.
|Full name||ATS Wheels|
|Noted staff||Robin Herd|
|Noted drivers|| Jean-Pierre Jarier|
|Formula One World Championship career|
|First entry||1977 United States Grand Prix West|
|Race victories||0 (best finish: 5th, 1979 United States Grand Prix and 1982 Brazilian and San Marino Grands Prix)|
|Pole positions||0 (best grid position: 4th, 1980 United States Grand Prix West)|
|Final entry||1984 Portuguese Grand Prix|
The ATS company created some revolutionary new lightweight wheels for Porsche and VW automobiles. ATS manufactured a light aluminum alloy 5 spoked wheel for AMG, the high performance tuner for Mercedes-Benz automobiles, in the 1970s and 1980s. This 5 spoked wheel is popularly known as the AMG "Penta" wheel. The AMG "Penta" spoked wheel by ATS, designed by Hans-Werner Aufrecht in 1979, was the first aluminum alloy rim marketed by AMG when it was still an independent tuning company.
ATS owner Günter Schmid had sponsored various national motorsport events, before realising Grand Prix racing was an ideal way of promoting his brand. Due to his temper, Schmid was notoriously difficult to work with, and a rapid turnover of staff plagued ATS for their entire history.
A second car was entered in the 1977 German Grand Prix for German touring car racer Hans Heyer. Heyer failed to qualify, but famously took the start anyway in front of his home crowd at the Hockenheimring. The race organisers only noticed when he retired with a broken gear linkage. Hans Binder would then take the second car for the rest of the season, though the team missed the final three races of the year.
Robin Herd from March Engineering was enlisted to build the first genuine ATS Formula One car, the HS1 being driven by Jarier and Jochen Mass. Jarier came 8th at the South African Grand Prix, but was fired after an argument with Schmidt, and replaced by Alberto Colombo for the Belgian Grand Prix. After two failures to qualify, Colombo was also fired, and replaced by Keke Rosberg until the German Grand Prix. There, Jarier returned, having patched up his differences with Schmid, only for them to re-emerge following Jarier's failure to qualify. Binder returned for one race, before Michael Bleekemolen took over.
By now Mass had also left following a broken leg in testing. As Harald Ertl had failed to pre-qualify his Ensign for the 1978 Italian Grand Prix, he was given another chance with the first ATS. Ertl didn't qualify for the race, and Rosberg returned for the final two races. The lack of continuity both in the cars and in the garage had been no help to the fledgling team, despite the introduction of the new D1 chassis. The D1 was designed by John Gentry, and featured skirts, wider track and side pods. The D1 was used in the last two races of the 1978 season.
1979 saw Hans-Joachim Stuck arrive, to drive a single car. The new Giacomo Caliri-designed D2 arrived mid-season but it was an ill-handling car, with Stuck taking the team's only points score of the season with 5th place at the United States Grand Prix in another new car, the D3, courtesy of Nigel Stroud.
The team stepped up to a two-car operation again in 1980, with Marc Surer and Jan Lammers signed to drive the D3. Surer took 7th at the Brazilian Grand Prix, while Lammers started 4th before retiring at the United States Grand Prix West, but the team were still distinct midfielders, even after the introduction of the new Gustav Brunner-penned D4. From the US GP West, they were back down to a single car, with Surer injured, though he returned in the French Grand Prix, this time replacing Lammers. Once again, though, the team failed to score points.
1981 saw Lammers recalled to drive a single D4, with a second fielded for Slim Borgudd for the San Marino Grand Prix. After this, Lammers was dropped once more, with Borgudd driving the single entry. The Swede took 6th place at the high-attrition British Grand Prix, the D4 having by now been replaced by the HGS1, designed by Hervé Guilpin, but otherwise results were poor, and non-qualifications frequent. This was the year where Swedish pop band ABBA sponsored the team. In fact, Slim Borgudd had appeared on some ABBA recordings as a drummer.
Schmid made a major effort to get the team together for 1982. Two D5 cars (a heavily upgraded version of the HGS1) were fielded for Manfred Winkelhock and Eliseo Salazar. This brought better results, with Winkelhock 5th at the Brazilian Grand Prix and Salazar 5th at the San Marino Grand Prix (Winkelhock would have taken 6th at this race, boycotted by most British teams due to a political crisis within the sport, but his car was underweight). While the team were improving, they were midfielders more than anything else. Indeed, the team's most high-profile moment came when Salazar was attacked by Nelson Piquet on live television at the German Grand Prix, the ATS driver having collided with the race-leading Brazilian while being lapped.
However, Schmid used his muscle in the German auto industry to secure a supply of BMW's powerful BMW M12/13 4-cylinder turbocharged engine for 1983. ATS fielded a single new Gustav Brunner D6 for Winkelhock. There were some excellent qualifying positions and races from the German, but the constant turnover of backroom staff meant that reliability issues were never solved, and 8th place at the European Grand Prix was his best result.
For 1984, Brunner's new D7 chassis was introduced, but it was largely the same story, with not inconsiderable speed rarely rewarded, not helped by Brunner quitting after, predictably, yet another an argument with Schmid. Winkelhock ran 3rd at the Belgian Grand Prix before the electrical system failed, but his best finishes were 8th places in the Canadian Grand Prix and the Dallas Grand Prix. From the Austrian Grand Prix, a second D7 was added for Gerhard Berger. After a gearbox failure on the grid at the Italian Grand Prix, Winkelhock finally lost patience and quit. In the race, Berger placed 6th, but the point was not awarded as the second entry had not been registered at the start of the season. Berger entered the last two races alone, with Winkelhock not replaced.
At the end of the year, BMW revoked the use of their engines due to the bad PR the team and its owner generated, and Schmidt folded the ATS team as well as leaving the ATS company.
(key) (Results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap.)
|1977||Penske PC4||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8||G||ARG||BRA||RSA||USW||ESP||MON||BEL||SWE||FRA||GBR||GER||AUT||NED||ITA||USA||CAN||JPN||1||12th|
|Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8||G||ARG||BRA||RSA||USW||MON||BEL||ESP||SWE||FRA||GBR||GER||AUT||NED||ITA||USA||CAN||0||NC|
|Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8||G||ARG||BRA||RSA||USW||ESP||BEL||MON||FRA||GBR||GER||AUT||NED||ITA||CAN||USA||2||11th|
|Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8||G||ARG||BRA||RSA||USW||BEL||MON||FRA||GBR||GER||AUT||NED||ITA||CAN||USA||0||NC|
|Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8||M
|1982||D5||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8||G||RSA||BRA||USW||SMR||BEL||MON||DET||CAN||NED||GBR||FRA||GER||AUT||SUI||ITA||CPL||4||11th|
|1983||D6||BMW M12/13 1.5 L4 t||G||BRA||USW||FRA||SMR||MON||BEL||DET||CAN||GBR||GER||AUT||NED||ITA||EUR||RSA||0||NC|
|1984||D7||BMW M12/13 1.5 L4 t||P||BRA||RSA||BEL||SMR||FRA||MON||CAN||DET||DAL||GBR||GER||AUT||NED||ITA||EUR||POR||0||NC|
* Started illegally, having failed to qualify.
† Ineligible for points.
The XXX BRDC International Trophy was a motor race for Formula One cars held on 19 March 1978 at the Silverstone Circuit, England. It was the 30th running of the International Trophy, and the last to non-Championship Formula One regulations. The race was held over 40 laps of the Silverstone circuit, for a total distance of around 189 kilometres (117 miles).
Although qualifying sessions had been dry, the race was run in torrential rain, resulting in multiple accidents and drivers spinning off. The race was eventually won by Keke Rosberg, his first victory in a Formula One car in only his second ever Formula One race.ATS D2
The ATS D2 was a Formula One racing car manufactured and raced by the ATS Wheels racing team for most of the 1979 Formula One season. It was powered by a Cosworth DFV V8 engine. Driven by Hans-Joachim Stuck, the D2 failed to finish any races in the points. It was superseded by the ATS D3 from the Austrian Grand Prix.Alberto Colombo
Alberto Colombo (born 23 February 1946 in Varedo, Lombardy) is a former racing driver from Italy. He unsuccessfully entered three Formula One Grands Prix in 1978 with ATS (two failures to qualify) and Merzario (one failure to pre-qualify). He won the 1974 Italian Formula Three Championship and also enjoyed some success in Formula Two.Eliseo Salazar
Eliseo Salazar Valenzuela (born 14 November 1954 in Santiago, Chile) is a Chilean racing driver. As of March 2019, he is the only Chilean to have participated in a Formula One World Championship Grand Prix. He made his Formula One debut on 15 March 1981, and ultimately contested 37 races scoring a total of three championship points. After Formula One, Salazar has participated in numerous motorsport disciplines, including the Chilean national rally championship (Champion 1984 and 1985), Formula 3000, IndyCar (including the Indianapolis 500 race seven times), and the World Sportscar Championship.Gerhard Berger
Gerhard Berger (born 27 August 1959) is an Austrian former Formula One racing driver. He competed in Formula One for 14 seasons, twice finishing 3rd overall in the championship (1988 and 1994), both times driving for Ferrari. He won ten Grands Prix, achieved 48 podiums, 12 poles and 21 fastest laps. With 210 starts he is amongst the most experienced Formula One drivers of all time. He led 33 of the 210 races he competed in and retired from 95 of them. His first and last victories were also the first and last victories for the Benetton team, with eleven years separating them. He was also a race winner with Ferrari and with McLaren. When at McLaren, Berger drove alongside Ayrton Senna, contributing to the team's 1990 and 1991 constructors titles.
Between 2006 and 2008 Berger owned 50% of the Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula One team. In 2008 Red Bull became the 100% owner of Toro Rosso having bought back the 50% stake it sold to Berger two years before.Hans-Joachim Stuck
Hans-Joachim Stuck (born 1 January 1951), nicknamed "Strietzel", is a German racing driver who has competed in Formula One and many other categories.Hans Binder
Hans Binder (born 12 June 1948 in Zell am Ziller, Innsbruck) is an Austrian former Formula One driver who raced for the Ensign, Wolf, Surtees and ATS teams.
He won the European Formula Ford Championship in 1972 and moved into Formula 2 in 1976. During this year he raced at his home Grand Prix and the Japanese GP. In 1977 he moved to the Surtees team and also raced three times for ATS. He then returned to Surtees before the end of the season. In 1978 he failed to qualify for his home Grand Prix with ATS before disappearing from the Formula One scene.
His brother Franz was also a racing driver, and his nephew René started competing in the IndyCar Series in 2018.Hans Heyer
Hans Heyer (born 16 March 1943) is a German racing driver who mainly raced touring cars, being popular with the fans for his rather funny style. He is better known for actions and antics during his single attempt at Formula One, the 1977 German Grand Prix.
Very unusual for his Western German origin, Heyer's sign is his so-called Tirolerhut, a hat from Tyrol or Bavaria which would fit better to drivers from these Alpine regions, like Hans-Joachim Stuck or Niki Lauda.Harald Ertl
Harald Ertl (31 August 1948 – 7 April 1982) was an Austrian racing driver and motorsport journalist. Ertl was born in Zell am See and attended the same school as Grand Prix drivers Jochen Rindt and Helmut Marko.
Ertl sported an impeccable Inspector Clouseau-style moustache and beard. Basically a journalist, he worked his way through the German Formula Vee and Super Vee, and then on to Formula Three, before a successful switch to Touring Cars. During this period, he gained sufficient sponsorship to enter Formula One, where he drove with various outfits between 1975 and 1980. Ertl is probably best remembered as one of the four drivers who helped to get Niki Lauda out of his burning Ferrari in the 1976 German Grand Prix.Jan Lammers
Johannes "Jan" Lammers (born 2 June 1956 in Zandvoort) is a racing driver and team principal from the Netherlands.
In 1979, Lammers made his debut in Formula One driving for Shadow and moved to ATS for 1980. He moved to Ensign midway through the season but rejoined ATS for four races in 1981. He joined Theodore for 1982. Ten years later he returned to Formula One for the final two races of the 1992 season.
He won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1988 and later participated in the race with his own team Racing for Holland. He was also the seatholder of the Dutch A1 Grand Prix team.Jean-Pierre Jarier
Jean-Pierre Jacques Jarier (born 10 July 1946) is a French former Grand Prix racing driver. He drove for several notable Formula One teams including Shadow, Team Lotus, Ligier and Tyrrell Racing. His best finish was third (three times) and he also took three pole positions.Jochen Mass
Jochen Richard Mass (born 30 September 1946) is a German former racing driver.Keke Rosberg
Keijo Erik Rosberg (pronunciation ; born 6 December 1948), known as "Keke", is a Finnish former racing driver and winner of the 1982 Formula One World Championship. He was the first Finnish driver to compete regularly in the series. He is the father of retired Formula One driver and 2016 Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg.Manfred Winkelhock
Manfred Winkelhock (6 October 1951 – 12 August 1985) was a German racing driver. He participated in 56 Formula One Grands Prix (with 47 starts) between 1980 and 1985, driving for Arrows, ATS, Brabham and RAM Racing, with a best finish of fifth at the 1982 Brazilian Grand Prix.Marc Surer
Marc Surer (born 18 September 1951 in Arisdorf) is a former racing driver from Switzerland currently working as TV commentator and racing school instructor. He participated in 88 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 9 September 1979. He scored a total of 17 championship points.Michael Bleekemolen
Michael Bleekemolen (born 2 October 1949 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands) is a former racing driver who raced for the RAM and ATS teams in Formula One.
He graduated from Formula Vee and tried his hand at Formula One in 1977, where he
failed to qualify at his home grand prix. Nevertheless, he returned the following year with ATS, for four races, but qualified only once, at Watkins Glen.
After Formula One he returned to Formula 3 for another three years and won two rounds of
the European Championship, finishing second in the series, to Alain Prost. From there he
moved to one-make Renault racing, where he remains to this day. His sons Jeroen and Sebastiaan, are also racers.Rial Racing
Rial is a German producer of light alloy wheels and rims, and was a Formula One constructor competing in the 1988 and 1989 seasons. Founded in the 1970s as a wheel rim producer, the company was bought by Günter Schmid, ex-owner of the ATS wheels company in 1987. Schmid followed the same strategy as he had at ATS, advertising the Rial wheel brand by entering Formula One as a constructor. Rial participated in 32 Grands Prix, entering a total of 48 cars. They scored six championship points, finishing a highest of ninth in the constructors championship in 1988. After leaving Formula One at the end of the 1989 season, the Rial Racing division was closed, and the company did not race again. Rial continues to manufacture wheels and rims from its factory in Fußgönheim.Slim Borgudd
Karl Edward Tommy Borgudd, better known as Slim Borgudd (born 25 November 1946) is a Swedish former Formula One driver who raced for the ATS and Tyrrell teams.
Although World Championship races held in 1952 and 1953 were run to Formula Two regulations, constructors who only participated during this period are included herein to maintain Championship continuity.
Constructors whose only participation in the World Championship was in the Indianapolis 500 races between 1950 and 1960 are not listed.