Ferrari F1 641

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Ferrari 641
Category Formula One
Constructor Ferrari
Team/s Scuderia Ferrari
Designer John Barnard
Drivers 1. Alain Prost
2. Nigel Mansell
Chassis carbon-fibre and honeycomb composite structure
Suspension (front) pushrod with torsion bars
Suspension (rear) pushrod with torsion bars
Engines Ferrari 042 90-degree V12
Gearbox Ferrari six-speed semi-automatic
Fuel Agip
Tyres Goodyear
Debut 1990 United States Grand Prix
Races competed 16
Constructors' Championships 0
Drivers' Championships 0
Race victories 6
Pole positions 3
Fastest laps 6

The Ferrari 641 was the Formula One racing car with which the Ferrari team competed in the 1990 season. It was a developed version of its predecessor, the Ferrari 640. Designed by John Barnard for the 1990 Formula One World Championship, the 641 was powered by a 3.5 litre V12 engine. Incorporating the semi-automatic gearbox developed during the previous season, the car was seen to be technically advanced. The aerodynamics were reworked and the chassis given a slightly longer wheelbase than its predecessor. Ferrari's major coup was signing reigning World Champion Alain Prost from McLaren to partner Nigel Mansell. As such, Barnard designed the car with Prost's smooth driving style in mind. Having worked with the Frenchman before at McLaren, Barnard was aware of Prost's set up preferences and chassis performance requirements. A variable inlet trumpet system on the engine was tested throughout the season, but did not become standard equipmment.

Alain Prost driving the 641 at the 1990 Canadian Grand Prix.

Prost worked hard on improving the reliability of the gearbox and also worked behind the scenes to bring the whole Ferrari team closer together. This unsettled Mansell, who went on to have a sub-par season. Prost's development work helped the 641 chassis to be extremely competitive, and he scored five excellent wins, including a remarkable victory from 13th place on the grid in Mexico, and challenged his nemesis Ayrton Senna for the championship. However, the famous collision between the two drivers sealed the drivers' championship for Senna and the constructors' championship for McLaren. It would be another seven years before Ferrari would challenge for either championship again.


  • AUTOCOURSE 1990-91 by Alan Henry
  • AUTOCOURSE 1991-92 by Alan Henry

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