More than 1000 people packed in to the tiny parish church at Checkendon near Henley to commemorate the life of F1 designer and innovator Harvey Postlethwaite, 55, who died suddenly in Barcelona last month while directing tests of a new Honda Grand Prix car. Postlethwaite, who came to prominence as the design brains behind the eccentric Hesketh team, which scored a single GP victory for James Hunt at Zandvoort in 1975, was widely respected and admired for the innovations he periodically brought to F1, such as the airbox used by Hesketh and the high-nose design to which all modern F1 cars now subscribe. After Hesketh, Postlethwaite worked for Wolf,Tyrrell and twice for Ferrari where he became a confidant of Enzo himself. Postlethwaite’s cars rarely had the most powerful engines on the grid but were renowned through the industry for their design simplicity and usually excellent chassis and handling.
In particular Posdethwaite was admired for his ability to explain complex technical subjects to laymen,a skill he recently showed in a year-long series of articles about F1 design in our sister magazine F1 Racing.
He accepted the job of developing Honda’s new Grand Prix car late last year, the culmination of a career that kept him in the front line of his field for nearly 25 years. For all his lifelong commitment to racing, Postlethwaite was also passionately keen on fine road cars and kept a small collection of Ferraris, including a 250GT Lusso, GTB/4 Daytona, and a new 550 Maranello. To his wife Cherry, son Ben and daughter Amey, our sincere condolences.