Before We Lose Track
In 1973 Wilson Fittipaldi, elder brother of the World Champion, was driving in the Brabham team in Formula One races and at the end of the season he withdrew to return home to Brazil to concentrate on the building of his own Formula One car. With Richard Divilla he studied a number of British Formula One cars constructed around the Cosworth V8/Hewland transmission package, and together they built their first car. They received financial support from the Brazilian national sugar refining company and the car was unveiled at the end of 1974 as the Copersucar-Fittipaldi. The car made its debut in the Argentine Grand Prix, driven by Wilson Fittipaldi, but their race ended in disaster when a suspension member broke and the car crashed and caught fire. the driver escaping unhurt.
A second car was hurriedly completed for the Brazilian Grand Prix and then the team set up a base in England to contest the rest of the 1975 races with FD/02. By mid-season a new car, with modifications to the suspension, was completed and the second car was retained as a spare. The original car, which had had a neat bodywork enclosing the engine and gearbox, was rebuilt as a non-working Show Car and kept in Brazil to be used by Copersucar for advertising purposes. Three cars is the total output projected for the first series of the Copersucar-sponsored Fittipaldi team.
FD/01: First raced in Argentine GP 1975. Crashed and burnt. Subsequently rebuilt as a show car.
FD/02: First raced Brazilian GP 1975. Extensively modified from original design.
FD/03: First raced Dutch GP 1975.