From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


During World War II, Francis left Poland for Portugal, then travelled to Liverpool in the UK, where he joined the Polish 1st Armoured Division. After World War II, he became a naturalised British citizen, and changed his name to Alf Francis.[1]


After the end of World War II, he worked for Geoffrey Taylor at the Alta Car and Engineering Company. In 1948, Francis began his career as a racing mechanic, working for John Heath.[3] He was involved in the creation of the HWM racing team, where he was the head mechanic and team manager.[1] In 1949, Francis, along with John Heath built the first cars for the team, HWM for the first time took part in the race Jersey Road Race 1949 , which John Heath finished in twelfth place, lost to the first Bob Gerard five laps [4] . HWM has won races in Grand Prix Frontières in the years 1950 and 1952 , Winfield F2 Race and the Daily Express International Trophy respectively in 1951 and 1952 years [5] [6] .

Francis has worked in Formula 1 as chief mechanic Stirling Moss in teams HWM , Maserati , Cooper and Vanwall . Develop engines Climax F1 and F2 for the band Cooper.[3] Together with Valerio Colottim created gearbox called Colotti-Francis [7] , which team Brabham placed in the first Formula 1 car Brabham BT3 was designed by ourselves [8] .

Around 1958 years Francis produced the car Walker T45 [9] .

In 1960, Rob Walker Racing Team for the first time decided to use his own car, due to the costs and Colottiego Francis asked to design it [10] . This car - that was not given an official name [10] - Rob Walker Racing Team plans to use the season in 1961 , but ultimately chose, however, Lotus 18 [11] .

In 1964, along with Vic Derringtonem founded the Formula 1 Derrington-Francis Racing Team [12] . Francis was the designer on the team and took over as Head of Stirling Moss [13] . The driver was a Portuguese Mário de Araújo Cabral , who qualified for the 1964 Italian Grand Prix on the 19 items [14] . In the race after 25 laps, Cabral withdrew from it when it came to a stop the engine because of problems with the ignition [15] [16] . During the season, while private vehicle testing Dan Gurney damaged the bodywork , the team will never take part in the race.[1]

In 1965, Francis worked for Giovanni Volpiego , who founded a Formula 1 team Serenissima Automobili Company in Formigine in Italy. In 1966 he joined the Serenissima. In 1967, Francis in collaboration Medardo Fantuzziego redesigned and modified car, the Formula 1 McLaren M2B -2, which was named Serenissima M1AF ("AF" comes from "Alf Francis'). The project was abandoned when funds ran out.[1] There are various theories, Serenissima M1AF body could use the British Racing Partnership [11] , Lola [17] or that the body was designed by McLaren for the Serenissima in exchange for the Serenissima V8 engine and the car was built entirely by Francis. In 1970, Giovanni Volpi Serenissima closed the studio, Alf Francis and George Filipinetti negotiated the acquisition of buildings [17] .

Alf Francis in 1968 presented a 3-liter sports car Serenissima Mk168, who took part in several races and scored several podiums.[1]

In 1970 he moved to the United States, where he worked with various conservators and collectors cars. In Oklahoma City he worked for a dealer Breene'a Kerr.[1]

His career and his contribution to Formula 1 are described in the biographical books by Peter Lewis. The first one was released Fri Alf Francis, Racing Mechanic: His Own Story by Foulis in 1957 [18] and by GT Foulis & Co. as Alf Francis. Racing mechanic. His own story as told to and written by Peter Lewis, etc. His own story as told to and written by Peter Lewis, etc. [With plates, including portraits.]. In 1957 [19] and by GT Foulis Fri Alf Francis, Racing Mechanic in 1958 [20] . Edition was resumed in 1991 by Foulis, this time the book was published as Alf Francis, Racing Mechanic from 1948 to 1958 [21] .

Stirling Moss Francis found a remarkable guy, he was a genius as a mechanic, especially as an improviser.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Alf Francis". Motorsport Memorial. Retrieved 14 September 2016. 
  2. ^ Dummy ref to keep the ref numbering the same as the Polish article
  3. ^ a b "Alf Francis - Racing Mechanic ****". 3 March 2004. Retrieved 4 July 2012.