Adrian Newey's 1st F1 car, the Leyton House March-Judd 881

Adrian Newey's 1st F1 car, the Leyton House March-Judd 881

Eric Pasia Eric Pasia
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Adrian Newey's 1st F1 car, the Leyton House March-Judd 881

In the long, legendary career of Adrian Newey we find one of the first fully designed F1 race cars that became the foundation for the championship winning cars that came after.  The March-Judd 881 would be the car that made Adrian Newey a racecar design superstar.

In 1988, Adrian had full design authority to produce the beautiful and lightning fast Leyton House March-Judd 881. The car became the lightest and fastest car on the grid that year and introduced many new aerodynamic design concepts never before seen on an F1 car including front sculpted end-plates, a nose undercut for better vacuum effect, and a combined nose and front wing assembly.

Front sculpted end-plates were a first on an F1 car in 1988 as can be seen here channeling air more efficiently behind the front wheels into the air ducts.

Leyton House 881 End Plates

The combined nose and front wing assembly allowed for a higher clearance from the ground and creation of a vacuum effect that allowed the car to have much greater front-end grip and stability.

Leyton House 881 combined nose wing section

The Judd V8 was swapped in to replace Cosworth engine in the 871 predecessor. The engine was NA and was known for being the only NA engine to lead a Grand Prix that year on the grid.

Piloted by Italian Ivan Capelli and Brazilian Mauricio Gugelmin they managed sixth in the constructors championship. The design would form the basis for the concepts on Adrian’s next car, the championship winning Williams FW14 🏆

The 881 is a consequential racecar not only in F1 history but in the long, legendary lineage of cars by Adrian Newey 🏁


Competition Year:  1988

Designed by: Adrian Newey

Chassis:  Carbon Fiber Monocoque

Engine.  Judd CV 3.5L V8

Transmission:  6-speed manual

Weight:  1,100 lbs

Drivers:  Mauricio Gugelmin, Ivan Capelli


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