The 641 was followed by the 642 in terms of chassis design numbers, but its official name was the F1-91. This was still a development rather than a brand-new car as its general layout was the same, even though a host of modifications had been made, including a longer wheel base and longer flanks with straight central sections. The suspension design remained unchanged with a push-rod spring action system, torsion bars vertical to the front axle and helicoid springs on the rear axle, but many elements were redesigned to vary the geometries. The engine still had five valves per cylinder as pneumatic springs had not yet been developed and the intake trumpet adjustment system was only introduced at the end of the season.
Nonetheless any illusions the Scuderia had about staying at the top of the pile were soon smashed. The F1-91 and perhaps even the team were nowhere near as competitive as their direct rivals, McLaren and Williams, who dominated the scene. In fact, Ferrari only managed half of the previous season’s points as neither Prost nor his young fellow countryman Jean Alesi won a race. The year came to a stormy end with serious in-fighting at the Scuderia which led to Prost being replaced in the last race by Morbidelli. On a brighter note, however, the end of the season also saw Luca di Montezemolo return to Maranello as President and CEO of Ferrari.
|Type||rear, longitudinal 65° V12|
|Bore/stroke||86 x 50.2 mm|
|Unitary displacement||291.60 cc|
|Total displacement||3499.22 cc|
|Compression ratio||13.3 : 1|
|Maximum power||533 kW (725 hp) at 14,500 rpm|
|Power per litre||207 hp/l|
|Valve actuation||twin overhead camshafts per bank, five valves per cylinder|
|Fuel feed||Weber-Marelli electronic indirect injection|
|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 215 litres|