Mécanique Aviation TRAction (abbreviated as Matra) was a French industrial consortium, offering a wide range of products in the field of aerospace, weaponry and automobiles. It was founded in 1964 by Jean-Luc Lagardère by consolidating several other corporations that he owned.
Matra Automobiles came into being when they bought out Automobiles René Bonnet. The company (led by young designer Gérard Ducarouge) had successful Formula 2 and 3 models running by 1966, and in 1967 an F2 Matra MS7 with ballast added (to meet the minimum weight for Formula One) turned competitive times in races. Matra designed a test-bed Formula One car, the Cosworth DFV-engined MS9, to research an entry into that series. The data gleaned led to construction of the Matra MS10, but the car wasn't ready for the start of the 1968 season. Jackie Stewart drove the MS9 in the 1968 South African Grand Prix, qualifying third, but retired with engine failure. Stewart drove the MS10 for the remainder of 1968, but despite missing two races with a broken wrist, and driving with a cast for several more, he managed to win three races and finish second in the championship.
In 1969, Stewart won the season opener in the MS10, then won five more races with the new MS80 to win the championship for both himself and Matra. Matra was on top of the world, but to them it was tarnished by the use of a British engine in the car. Stewart and his team owner, Ken Tyrrell, were given a choice: they could continue to use the Matra chassis, but only with the V12 Matra engine. Or they could find another deal somewhere else. Stewart felt that the Matra engine was inferior to the Cosworth, so he and Tyrrell chose to walk. Matra was never again a dominant (or race-winning) marque, and the F1 team was shut down after the 1972 season. Tyrrell eventually built his own car, inspired by the MS80, and driving that car Stewart dominated F1 for the next three years.
But Matra did not leave racing. They had become one of the dominant sports car teams in the early 70s, and development of the engine continued. In 1975, they struck a deal with the US Shadow team, where they would construct a version of their current DN5 model, to accept the Matra V12. Known as the Shadow DN7, it was driven by Jean-Pierre Jarier for two races late in the season, retiring with ignition and fuel pump problems, respectively. Matra then announced that the engines would be used to power the new all-French Ligier team in 1976, so Shadow dropped their participation in the project.
Formula One RecordsEdit
|1970||Equipe Matra Elf|
|1971||Equipe Matra Sports|
|Year||Cars||Engines||Tires||Drivers||Rounds||WCC Points||WCC Pos.||Report|
|1966||MS5||Ford Cosworth SCA L4 1.0||Jean-Pierre Beltoise||6||0||NC||Report|
|1967||MS7||Ford Cosworth FVA L4 1.5||Jean-Pierre Beltoise||2, 10-11||0||NC||Report|
| Ford Cosworth FVA L4 1.5|
Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0
|Jackie Stewart||2, 10-11||45||3rd||Report|
|Johnny Servoz-Gavin||3, 9-10, 12|
|MS9 V12 3.0||3-12||8||9th|
|Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0||Jackie Stewart||All||66||1st||Report|
|MS7||Ford Cosworth FVA L4 1.5||7|
|1966||Ken Tyrrell Racing||MS5||Ford Cosworth SCA L4 1.0||Jacky Ickx||6|
|BRM L4 1.0||Hubert Hahne||6|
|1967||Ecurie Ford-France||MS5||Ford Cosworth FVA L4 1.5||Jo Schlesser||7|
|Ken Tyrrell Racing||MS7||Jacky Ickx||7|
Complete Formula One ResultsEdit
|Complete Formula One results|