The number 1 was back on the Ferrari single-seaters thanks to the arrival of Alain Prost to replace Berger. Courtesy of the F1-90, Prost soon found himself in the running for the title against his long-time rival Ayrton Senna. The battle came to an abrupt end at Suzuka, when both the Brazilian and French driver ended up off the track just after the start. This double pull-out put the Championship firmly in the McLaren driver’s hands. Of Prost’s five firsts, his French victory was particularly significant as it was also Ferrari’s 100th Formula 1 win. Mansell also won the Portuguese Grand Prix, although this compromised Prost’s chances of the World title.
The car that helped the drivers achieve these results was the Tipo 641 (later renamed the F1-90), a development of the single-seater designed by Barnard who had quit Ferrari and been replaced by Argentinean Scalabroni.
The general lines of the car remained largely unchanged apart from a few subtle modifications to the flanks. However, the engine’s cooling and “breathing” systems were improved, and it had also been attached to a new more efficient gearbox. A new shorter version of the racing engine also debuted at Imola and proved significantly more powerful. A larger fuel tank also made up for the fact that it was thirstier than the other version.
|Type||rear, longitudinal 65° V12|
|Bore/stroke||84 x 52.6 mm|
|Unitary displacement||291.49 cc|
|Total displacement||3497.96 cc|
|Compression ratio||12.5 : 1|
|Maximum power||500 kW (680 hp) at 12,750 rpm|
|Power per litre||194 hp/l|
|Valve actuation||twin overhead camshafts per bank, five valves per cylinder|
|Fuel feed||Weber-Marelli electronic indirect injection|
|Ignition||electronic, single spark plug per cylinder|
|Frame||Kevlar and carbon-fibre composite monocoque|
|Front suspension||independent push-rod, torsion bar springs, telescopic shock absorbers, anti-roll bar|
|Rear suspension||independent push-rod, twin wishbones, coil springs over horizontally-mounted telescopic shock absorbers|
|Transmission||electro-hydraulic 7-speed + reverse|
|Fuel tank||capacity 220 litres|