The Ferrari F1 640 was the Formula One racing car with which the Ferrari team competed in the 1989 season. It was driven by Nigel Mansell and Gerhard Berger.
The car was designed by John Barnard, and it was the first Ferrari he was responsible for designing. It sported a sharp nose, with a narrow monocoque and bulging side-pods designed to house the radiators with maximum aerodynamic efficiency. The 640 was powered by Ferrari's own 3.5 litre V12 engine which produced up to 660bhp, a fine effort considering that it was the team's first naturally aspirated engine for almost a decade. However, the transmission it was mated to attracted more attention, as it contained the very first semi-automatic gearbox seen in F1. In its first season, it proved to be very unreliable, and hampered Ferrari's efforts throughout the year. However, such gearboxes would become the norm by the mid-1990s. Much of the development work was conducted by test driver Roberto Moreno during the winter season.
The car won its debut race, despite fears of unreliability and underwent a number of minor modifications that allowed Mansell and Berger to net three wins between them, although the latter failed to finish the first eleven races of the season. The carbon-fibre chassis did prove to be very strong however, and allowed Berger to escape from a fiery high speed crash in San Marino with only minor burns to his hands and a couple of broken ribs.
A revised version of the 640 appeared at the Mexican Grand Prix with a conventional airbox above and behind the driver's helmet.
The season ended with Mansell 4th, with 38pts, in the Drivers' Championship, and Berger 7th (21pts). Ferrari finished 3rd in the Constructors' Championship, with 59pts.
Complete Formula One results
(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)