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  Benetton B191 Ford
 

  Article Image gallery (11) B191-06 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:1991
Designed by:John Barnard and Mike Coughlan for Benetton
Successor:Benetton B192 Cosworth
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:May 12, 2016
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Click here to download printer friendly versionBenetton was a team on the rise during the late 1980s and early 1990s. A works deal was struck with Ford for the supply of the latest Cosworth HB engines, and for the 1990 season, talented designer Rory Byrne was joined by the highly experienced John Barnard. He had pioneered ground effect at Indy with Chaparral, had developed the first carbon-fibre composite monocoque while at McLaren and most recently had created the semi-automatic gearbox for Ferrari. Benetton's new technical director arrived too late to influence the design of the new-for-1990 B190 but his contributions to the development work saw three-time World Champion Nelson Piquet win the final two races of the year.

Byrne briefly left the team for Reynard, and with the help of newly signed designer Mike Coughlan, Barnard set about designing a new car on a clean sheet of paper for the 1991 season. A key focus point was the development of a raised nose as pioneered by the Dr. Harvey Postlethwaite on the Tyrrell 019 of 1990. While the very distinct Tyrrell featured inverted-V shaped pylons to carry the separate left and right sections of the wing, the new Benetton B191 featured a full-width wing that was suspended by a pair of curved vertical pylons. This achieved the same aerodynamic effect of increasing the volume of air travelling under the car but offered more front-wing surface area.

The rest of the car was altogether more conventional with a carbon-fibre composite monocoque and double wishbones with push-rod actuated springs and dampers on all four corners. Mounted as a fully stressed unit was the latest, Series V Ford Cosworth HB V8. Displacing just under 3.5 litres, it produced well over 700 bhp. Late in the season, the Series VI was introduced, which boasted pneumatic valves. Benetton did not quite have the same level of funding as Ferrari, so the B191 was equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox instead of the superior but hugely complicated paddle-operated gearbox Barnard had pioneered at Ferrari.

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  Article Image gallery (11) B191-06 Specifications