Chassis & Suspensions
Mauro Bianchi is a former Italian racing driver naturalized French, who raced under a Belgian license (the Bianchi family left Milan in 1950 because Mauro’s father worked as a mechanic for the Belgian driver Johnny Claes).
Mauro started racing for the Belgian national team: Formula 2 in 1960 in a Cooper-Climax, then a non-championship Formula 1 race the following year (the Modena Grand Prix) in an Emeryson-Maserati. Mauro then became an official Abarth driver in 1962 and 1963, expanding his record in endurance races. He later joined the young Alpine-Renault team in various categories (Formula 3, Formula 2, and endurance). The fatal accident of his elder brother Lucien, also a driver, at Le Mans in 1969, marked the end of his sporting career.
He later invented the contractive suspension, the subject of several patents he still owns. This unique suspension was first mounted on the McLaren GT1 of the Raffanelli team during the 1997 season. The three-time F1 World Champion Nelson Piquet, who drove this car in the championship, won the last three races. He praised the chassis revolution. As a result, McLaren installed the contractive suspension on its Formula 1, the MP4-13, for the 1998 season… and won the world championship title, as well as in 1999. The specialized press noted and applauded the significant part of the contractive suspension in McLaren’s two titles. So much so that shortly after being appointed director of Scuderia Ferrari, Jean Todt commissioned Mauro Bianchi to design a contractive suspension adaptable to the Italian F1. With success, as the Scuderia won 5 consecutive world constructors’ titles.
The contractive suspension thus revolutionized F1. Delage recruited Mauro Bianchi in 2019 to design the world’s first contractive suspension for a road-approved car: the D12.