Benetton’s debut year was a pretty special one, all told – a point in the first race, a podium two races later and a debut win later in the season. 1987 would be a whole new ball game, though; where the B186 began life as the Toleman TG186, the new B187 was a new car. Gone were the powerful BMW Turbo engines that had given the B186 the record of Fastest Grand Prix Car Ever and in their place the troublesome Ford V6 Turbos that had powered the underwhelming Haas-Lola cars. Gone, too, was the man who had given the team their first win: Gerhard Berger, the jocular Austrian, had been recruited by Ferrari to partner Michele Alboreto as the Italian team tried to haul themselves out of their slump. In his place came Thierry Boutsen, who had been patiently plugging away at Arrows for some years but was widely believed to be a very talented young man. Gone, even, was the colour scheme of green and white with coloured paint streaks, in favour of an eyewateringly bold scheme in primary colours.
How all the changes would affect the team remained to be seen.
19. Teo Fabi
The Italian entered his third year with the team but had always felt like a second driver in 1986 against the impressive form of Gerhard Berger. The 31-year-old Milanese had had a couple of pole positions in Austria and Italy, but had always seemed to be the one with the bad luck, posting only four finishes all season to Berger’s eight, and would hope that 1987 would bring better fortune.
20. Thierry Boutsen
During four years with Arrows the quiet Belgian had had highs (second place in San Marino in 1985) but rather more in the way of lows, and many in Formula One were hoping the obviously talented driver would find his way into a better team before his career passed him by. On the basis of 1986, Benetton could be a good move for Boutsen, but he would have to hope all the new elements came together for him.