Soviet Formula 1 Championship

Words by Alexey Rogachev

Soviet Formula 1 was nothing more than a name - in fact it was Formula Libre in which various cars took part. There were only three cars which were more or less close to real Formula 1 cars.

First, HADI-8 which participated in the USSR championship in 1971. The construction of its chassis resembled those of F1 cars which participated in the World Championship in the end of 1960s, but it was equipped with a 2-litre V8 engine which delivered 340 hp only at 6500 rpm. If a good F1 engine had been installed at this car and if it had been a real possibility for it to take part in the World Championship in 1971, HADI-8 would have been rather capable to compete with such cars as private Brabhams and Marches.

MADI-01, the second F1 type car, appeared in 1973. Its constructor - S. Gess-de-Kalve - obviously took Lotus-72 as a model for his car. MADI-01 really looked like a diminished Lotus! Gess-de-Kalve won almost all races in which he participated at the wheel of this car - except the USSR championship. Its 3-litre engine based on a Volga stock block was its real disaster. This engine was producing, strange to say, only 125 hp! The third one was the only real attempt in the USSR to break through to the World Championship with its own car - the 1.5-litre Moskvich-GD1 which was being researched at MZMA factory in Moscow in 1963-65. The main stress was laid on the engine which was finished in 1965. However, it was tested only once and produced 162 hp at 6000 rpm (its rated capacity was near 200 hp at 10000 rpm). The introduction of new rules of Formula 1 in 1966 stopped all work on the GD1 - it seemed to be useless to continue working on the 1.5-litre car.

The technical regulation of Soviet Formula 1 was quite similiar to the real F1 in general, but some changes sometimes happened in it. For example, 7-litre sportscars were allowed to take part in the championship in 1969. The reason was as follows: the USSR sportscar championship had been stopped in 1967, so some 7-litre ZIL-112S sportscars were left "unemployed", and the Federation of Autosport of the USSR changed the rules to allow them to take part in races for one year more.

Soviet F1 disappeared in the end of 1976. During some previous seasons it had just turned into a mixture of cars which hadn't answered the rules of the national Formula 3 and Formula Vostok, which were the most popular classes of racing cars in the USSR. It had become a real Formula Libre.

Soviet F1 Champions

Year Driver                     Hometown        Car
1960 V. Shakhverdov             Leningrad       GA-22 Volga
1961-62 No championship
1963 Yu. Chvirov                Moscow          Moskvich-G4 Moskvich
1964 G. Surguchev               Moscow          Melkus-63 Wartburg
1965 V. Shavelev                Moscow          Moskvich-G4 Moskvich
1966 V. Bubnov                  Moscow          Moskvich-G4A Moskvich
1967 E. Pavlov                  Leningrad       ASK
1968 No championship
1969 V. Rzhechitski             Moscow          Moskvich-G5 Moskvich
1970 Yu. Andreev                Moscow          de Sanctis Cosworth
1971 M. Laiv                    Tallinn         Estonia-14 Volga
1972 Yu. Ternetski              Moscow          Moskvich-G5M Moskvich
1973 N. Kazakov                 Moscow          Moskvich-G5M Moskvich
1974 H. Saarm                   Tallinn         Estonia-17 Volga
1975 G. Dgebuadze               Tbilisi         Estonia-16M Moskvich
1976 V. Grekov                  Krasnodar       Estonia-18


(max 2500 cc)

1V. Shakhverdov (Moscow)GA-22 Volga13
2M. Kovalev (Leningrad)n/a22
3L. KyrgeOld Toomas?1

Points system: not available
Rnd 1 Leningrad (14/7-18/7), Rnd 2 Tallinn (8/9-12/9)


(1300-1500 cc, max 450 kg)

1Yu. Chvirov (Moscow)Moskvich-G4 Moskvich

Points system: not available
Rnd 1 Kaunas (27/7-28/7), Rnd 2 Minsk (3/8-4/8)


Run in conjunction with Formula 2

1G. Surguchev (Moscow)Melkus Wartburg11
2V. Rzhechitski (Moscow)Moskvich-G4 Moskvich

3V. Sukhishvili (Tbilisi)n/a

Points system: not available
Rnd 1 Kaunas (24/7-26/7), Rnd 2 Leningrad (1/8-2/8)


(1300-1500 cc, min 450 kg)

1V. Shavelev (Moscow)Moskvich-G4 Moskvich

2V. Rzhechitski (Moscow)Moskvich-G4 Moskvich

3N. Ivanov (Leningrad)n/a

Points system: not available
Rnd 1 Kaunas (13/8-16/8), Rnd 2 Riga (20/8-23/8), Rnd 3 Tallinn (27/8-30/8)


(1600-3000 cc or max 1500 cc for turbo engines, min 500 kg)

PosDriverCar/EngineRnd 1Rnd 2Rnd 3Rnd 4
1V. Bubnov (Moscow)Moskvich-G4 Moskvich2223
2V. Glurdzhidze (Tbilisi)n/a11-2
3K. Konstantinov (Leningrad)n/a4334

Points System: no available.
Rnds 1 & 2 Leningrad, Rnds 3 & 4 Kaunas


(1600-3000 cc or max 1500 cc for turbo engines, min 500 kg)

PosDriverCar/EngineRnd 1Rnd 2
1E. Pavlov (Leningrad)ASK

2V. Novozhilov (Leningrad)n/a

3N. Ivanov (Leningrad)n/a

Points System: not available.
Rnd 1 Minsk (20/7-23/7), Rnd 2 Tallinn (27/7-30/7)


(no engines volume limit, min 500 kg)

PosDriverCar/EngineRnd 1Rnd 2Rnd 3Rnd 4Pts
1V. Rzhechitski (Moscow)Moskvich-G5 Moskvich323224
2M. Laiv (Tallinn)Estonia-14 Volga141-23
3N. Shevchenko (Moscow)Moskvich-G4M Moskvich63-116
4V. Shavelev (Moscow)Moskvich-G5 Moskvich2-2-14
5Yu. Andreev (Moscow)Estonia-9 Wartburg-14-13
6V. Glurdzhidze (Tbilisi)n/a455312

Points System: 10-7-5-3-2-1
Rnd 1 Minsk (22/5-26/5), Rnds 2 & 3 Riga (16/7-21/7) - different tracks,
Rnd 4 Leningrad (24/7-28/7)


1Yu. Andreev (Moscow)de Sanctis Cosworth
2Yu. Markov (Moscow)Estonia-16 Volga
3A. Sebeikin (Leningrad)n/a
4E. Mechkovski (Krasnodar)n/a
5N. Shevchenko (Moscow)Moskvich-G4M Moskvich
6A. Argentov (Kiev)Kiev-6 Volga

Points System: not available
Rnd 1 Minsk (August)


(1600-3000 cc or max 1500 cc for turbo engines)

PosDriverCar/EngineRnd 1Rnd 2Rnd 3
1M. Laiv (Tallinn)n/a141
2H. Saarm (Tallinn)n/a-13
3Yu. Andreev (Moscow)n/a2-2
4A. Alkhimovich (Minsk)n/a485
5V. Simonov (Moscow)n/a577
6V. Tyagunenko (Riga)n/a-36

Points System: not available
Rnd 1 Minsk (4/6-6/6), Rnd 2 (20/8-22/8), Rnd 3 Tallinn (27/8-19/8)


(1600-3000 cc or max 1500 cc for turbo engines)

PosDriverCar/EngineRnd 1Rnd 2Rnd 3
1Yu. Terenetski (Moscow)Moskvich-G5M Moskvich112
2N. Kazakov (Moscow)Moskvich-G4M Moskvich263
3M. Lvov (Leningrad)Estonia-16M Moskvich634

Points System: not available
Rnd 1 Minsk, Rnd 2 Riga, Rnd 3 Tallinn


(max 3000 cc)

1N. Kazakov (Moscow)Moskvich-G5M Moskvich
2H. Saarm (Tallinn)Estonia-16 Lada
3Yu. Terenetski (Moscow)Moskvivh-G5M Moskvich

Points System: not available


(max 3000 cc, min 500 kg)

1H. Saarm (Tallinn)Estonia-17 Volga
2Yu. Terenetski (Moscow)Moskvich-G5M Moskvich
3G. Dgebuadze (Tbilisi)n/a
4V. Glurdzhidze (Tbilisi)n/a
5A. Savvin (Leningrad)n/a
6A. Gultyaev (Leningrad)n/a

Points system: not available


Pos.DriverCar/EngineRnd 1Rnd 2Rnd 3Rnd 4
1G. Dgebuadze (Tbilisi)Estonia-16M Moskvich2111
2H. Saarm (Tallinn)Estonia-17 Volga1222
3V. Kapsheev (Kharkov)K-200034716
4V. Zaslavski (Moscow)n/a--33
5V. Tyagunenko (Riga)Estonia-16M Moskvich6665
6T. Zakharov (Tbilisi)Estonia-16M Moskvich-754

Points system: not available
Rnds 1 & 2 Minsk, Rnds 3 & 4 Riga


Run in conjunction with Formula 2

1V. Grekov (Krasnodar)Estonia-18
2E. Markovski (Leningrad)Estonia-16M
3Yu. Terenetski (Moscow)Moskvich-G5M
4G. Dgebuadze (Tbilisi)Estonia-16M
5A. Savvin (Leningrad)Estonia-16M
6L. Teesalu (Tallinn)Estonia-16M

Points system: not available