S4110 Minardi M189 No.23 5th British GP 1989 – Pierluigi Martini
Minardi was not very successful until 1989. A sixth place (1 chamionship point) was the poor yield after four years in the Formula 1. But in 1989 the performance of the 50-man team from Faenza was rising. Both of the drivers Pierluigi Martini who was already with the team since the debut in 1985 and Luis Pérez-Sala had to be patient a bit longer, but starting from the third race of the season in Mexico the new model M189 was ready to use. The first three races were done with a modified previous model of the type M188B. Breakdowns and two non-qualifications of Sala were followed by a triumph of Minardi in Silverstone – at the eight GP. Martini was achieving a fifth position, Sala finished sixth. Therefore the team received three championship points. Today it would be 18 points at one go. The upswing came not completely surprising. Minardi had built a top chassis for the M189. Responsible for the project was Aldo Costa who was working later on for Ferrari and is now working for Mercedes. Costa came originally from the aircraft industry and was a real expert in aerodynamics what was a big advantage compared with his predecessor. Also the number 2 harmonised: With Patrick Tambay’s former Ferrari race engineer Tommaso Carletti the desgin office was well staffed like never before. But it was not only the aerodynamic of the M189 influencing the good results of the Italian crew. Minardi has created also other advantages. The today’s Toro-Rosso team was selected to be the exclusive Pirelli-testteam what led to a big advantage in the tire domain. Besides Minardi was selected by engine tuner Heini Mader as the Scuderia Italia was number 2 behind Ferrari in the previous season for the Ferrari fans. Martini had two more highlights during the season at the Iberian Peninsula. In Jerez he could obtain for a longer time the pole position in the first training before there were two things going wrong on Sunday: First he was falling down the stairs of the team-transporter and bruised some ribs and the ankle. Then there were two ribs broken during the race because of the centrifugal force. In Portugal Martini was leading for one lap during the race. It stayed the only overall lead in the history of Minardi.