Escuderia Hernandez is an Argentinian-Italian team, that raced in Grand Prix racing during the 1920s and 1930s, and in Formula 1 during the 50s and the early 70s. The team later withdrew, with the ever-raising costs being the main complaint, and defected to national racing until 1988, where they ascended to the World Touring Car Masters championship. After some mixed stints, they withdraw from the series in the early 2000s, and since then, they have been racing mainly at national level, notably winning the TC2000 championship in 2007-09.
Early years (1924-1939)
After getting passionate about racing with his father, who was a Grand Prix racing fan himself, as well as a member of Buenos Aires high class society, his son Federico Hernandez II thought he would give racing a try, but, due to his disastrous driving skills, he would take the place of management in the team, which was planning to enter the 1924 Grand Prix Championship, with a customer Alfa Romeo package, and based in Turin, Italy, in order to avoid any logistic nightmares that would imply basing a team from the other side of the world.
During and after war (1940-1954)
The outbreak of WW2 put a damper onto the plans of the team, as this essentially meant that the team would be restricted to racing in the United States and, after they decided to join the Allies, Argentina. Thus, the team moved their base from Berlin, Germany, where team had been based for most of the 1930s, to Buenos Aires, Argentina. After this they mostly did minor regional races, however, after the war ended at the end of 1945, the team's operations were back on their feet. It took time to recover from the war, and the team was still only comitted to regional events. A new opportunity came in at the end of 1950, when a new European championship came along, the World Championship of Drivers. The team was supposed to be registered for it's first season, but Federico Hernandez III, after a drinking session in London, forgot to register the team. The team then decided to not attempt to go through the bother of entering the championship and they stayed stateside, racing in America for most of the early 1950s. They finally attempted to enter the Indy 500 in 1952, 1953 and 1954. Results were less than stellar in 1952, but in 1953 the team managed to get a fantastic 2nd place, and in 1954 the team repeated the feat, with a 3rd place. These results were enough to motivate a second attempt at a World Championship of Drivers entry.
Formula One (1955-)
After plenty of planning, the team finally made its debut in the Singapore GP, with the in-house Hernandez FH355 and the works FIAT 155 V8s. However, the chassis, while half-decent, was nothing compared to the works designs of the likes of O.S.C.A, Alfa Romeo, and Bentley. The team finished 30th in qualifying, failing to make the cut, with American sprint racer Spider Webb at the drive.
During the off-season, Hernandez bought some designs, incluiding the Speed 4. While not great, it was an improvement over the FH355. During all races but USSR, the team ran Roberto Mieres on the cars. The team still failed to pre-qualify in Monaco, and didn't make the cut in Reims. The team came close to making through in Spa, but ultimately missed. This was a trend that continued, and despite the quality of the FIAT engine, the inexperience of the team in modern Grand Prix racing hindered the chances of making into the race. Progression finally showed during the final race, when the team, while still DNQed, managed to make it through Pre-qualifying with no trouble.
The team, while low on hopes, was hoping on making its first start in 1956. Alas, the team signed Carlos Menditeguy and got a deal for the very powerful Gordini engines. The small grid size on Monaco didn't allow this however, and the team was left with a DNQ. However, after the 1956 French GP disaster, the team acquired the much more contemporary FIAT base in Turin, Italy, as well as a Gordini package. All was modified to make the Hernandez Tipo 56 and the Hernandez H258/A. In order to focus on his title battle in the World Sportscar Championship, Menditeguy skipped some races. In the meantime, Umberto Maglioli was loaned from the Scuderia Ferrari team, for both Belgium and West Germany. Maglioli showed a lot of form, and he managed to make the first start in Belgium, qualifying easily in the top 20. After colliding in the race however, he retired. A similar tale happened at West Germany; Maglioli qualified in the top 20 with ease, but retired with a engine failure. In the East Germany however, Escuderia Hernandez landed DDR F3 front-runner Heinz Melkus, and former F1 driver Edgar Barth, to make their one-offs at their home country. The race was notably run on heats. Both Barth and Melkus took part in Heat 2, with each having a car failure. However, following the mysterious disapparence of Spider Webb, Melkus was the first reserve, taking up the last spot on the grid. Following the dramatic race, Melkus took the team's first ever podium and points with a fantastic 2nd place.
The team kept the same package for the next year, and signed Gilberte Thirion to drive it.
To be decided.
Following the coup and some hard negotiations with the dictatorship, Hernandez was able to get a lot of funding for a part-time F1 entry, after the 1976 entry was cancelled.
Touring Cars (1982-...)
South American F4 (2019-...)
After a deal with Werner Competicion, Escuderia Hernandez will make a return to open-wheel racing in South American F4, with the hopes of promoting more talents to their Super TC2000 operation.
Complete Formula One Results
|1955||Escuderia Hernandez||Bentley Speed 4||FIAT 155 1.5 V8||MON||FRA||BEL||GBR||SCO||SOV||ITA|
|1956||Escuderia Hernandez||Cooper T41||Gordini G258/A 2.5 L8||MON||FRA||BEL||FRG||GDR||IRL||SCO||GBR||ITA||THA||Pts||EC||Pts||CC|
|Hernandez Tipo 56||Hernandez H258/A 2.5 L8||Umberto Maglioli||Ret||Ret||0|
|Lancia D50||Lancia DS50 2.5 V8||Edgar Barth||DNQ||0|
|O.S.C.A. F156A||Hernandez H258/A 2.5 L8||Gilberte Thirion||10†||Ret||Ret||0|
|1957||Escuderia Hernandez||Hernandez Tipo 56||Hernandez H258/A 2.5 L8||MAR||MON||FRA||BEL||NED||IRL||GBR||GER||ITA||ESP||USA||Pts||EC||Pts||CC|
|B.C.M.A. C-01||Gordini G258/A||Joe Flynn||WD||—|
|1977||Escuderia Hernandez||Hernandez HB.2||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8||ARG||RSA||USW||ESP||BEL||MON||FRA||TUS||SOV||GBR||NED||GER||AUT||ITA||CAN||USA||JPN||Pts||EC||Pts||CC|
|65||Nestor Garcia Veiga||DNQ||0||—||0||—|
|66||Héctor Luis Gradassi||11|
|1978||Escuderia Hernandez||Hernandez HB.2||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8||ARG||RSA||USW||ESP||BEL||MON||FRA||TUS||GBR||SUI||NED||GER||AUT||ITA||CAN||USA||Pts||EC||Pts||CC|
|65||Héctor Luis Gradassi||DNPQ||DNPQ||0||—||0||—|