The 1989 season of the Formula 1 championship is remembered in the annals of the greatest automobile competition. The reason is that for the occasion, the fueled competition for the supremacy between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, at the time teammates in McLaren. And what a team that was, McLaren, back then, when experiencing its moment of maximum splendour.
Senna and Prost during the San Marino GP in which their rivalry reached its peak
While at the top positions Williams and Ferrari tried in vain to put the sticks in the wheel of the British team, few positions back there were some teams engaged in giving everything to re-enter the final top ten. Among them, the most aggressive teams were Arrows, Dallara and Brabham.
In 1989 Brabham was resurrected by Swiss magnate Joachim Luhti who had bought it from Walter Brun intending to bring it to the glories of the 1960s (when the British team graduated world champion for two years in a row).
The Brabham Team
The task of building the car was entrusted to the designers John Baldwin (not, not the bass player of Led Zeppelin) and Sergio Rinlan, who prepared the new Brabham BT58.
Based on a monocoque frame in carbon fibre and Kevlar, the car equipped a Judd EV V8 4.5 engine driven by a six-speed Hewland manual transmission.
The car was entrusted to the pilots Martin Brundle and Stefano Modena, with the latter guaranteeing to the British team his last podium at the Monaco GP, finishing third behind Senna and Prost. Despite this, the BT58 proved to be extremely unreliable by collecting numerous withdrawals, but some points achieved by Brundle allowed the team to finish ninth in the constructors' championship.
If on one side there was an old dying glory, on the other there was the young Scuderia Italia that with the technical support of Dallara was trying to be among the great teams of the Formula 1 championship.
That year the design of the new Dallara 189, a drastic evolution of the previous 188, was entrusted to the designer Mario Tollentino. Tollentino perfected the car it with oversized lateral bellies that improved the cooling of the new Ford-Cosworth DFR V8 3.5 engine driven by a Hewland gearbox in six reports.
Based on a monocoque frame in carbon fibre and Kevlar, the 189 was a clear result of an aerodynamic study, especially if we consider the penetration. The induced resistance, instead, was sacrificed a little to get a centre of gravity as low as possible.
Entrusted to the Italian pilots Andrea De Cesaris and Alex Caffi, the car presented numerous reliability problems that often forced it to retire. With some points and the miraculous third place of the Roman driver in Canada, the Italian team managed to achieve the eighth place in the world (definitely better results of the 1988 season).
If Brabham and Scuderia Italia came almost to the same dead counting on a few placings and miraculous podiums, the Arrows managed to achieve a better placement simply by having more consistency in the results.
In 1989 it was always Ross Branw who dealt with the project of the new car called A11. The pilot was called to confirm the excellent fourth place achieved by the British team in 1989.
Based on a monocoque carbon fibre chassis, the car equipped the Dallara with a Ford-Cosworth DFR V8 3.5 driven by a six-speed Hewland gearbox.
Provided to the riders Eddie Cheever and Derek Warwick, the car proved to be less competitive than the previous A10. Indeed, despite a good number of placings and a third place for the American driver at the Phoenix GP, the team finished seventh in the constructors' championship.
As a good Italian fan, I would have liked to see a positive progression for Scuderia Italia, but I leave it to you Tribers to express who you wanted to see a better result in that year marked by the war Prost / Senna.
Thank you to Valentina Zanola for the cooperation