Ferrari had had a pretty dire 1986 by their high standards, with team enduring its first winless season since 1980. The powerful Tipo 032 engine gave it plenty of straight-line speed but the F1/86 chassis turned out to be bulky, ill-handling and unreliable to boot. Michele Alboreto came closest to winning with second place in Austria, while Johansson picked up four third-places and the team trailed in fourth in the Constructor’s Championship only 8 points ahead of Ligier.
The new F1/87 car was designed by Gustav Brunner with input from John Barnard, the new Technical Director who had designed the successful McLaren-TAG cars which had taken the last three drivers’ titles. It looked considerably less tubby than its predecessor and mounted a new engine, the Tipo 033, another V6 turbo.
27. Michele Alboreto
The Italian’s stock had taken something of a nosedive in 1986, going from challenging for the 1985 title to looking second-best in the team. His second place in Austria was one of only two points finishes in a year which saw him finish ninth in the title race against Johansson’s fifth. He had more retirements, true, but just seemed for most of the year to be struggling with the car more than Stefan. Signed on a 3-year deal in 1984, it was a surprise to some that his contract was renewed while Johansson was let go.
28. Gerhard Berger
The lanky Austrian’s upward trajectory in Formula One continues – from the shambles of the last days of ATS, through Arrows, to Benetton and now Ferrari. He had just won his first race, and the first for the Benetton team and actually finished above Michele Alboreto in the Drivers’ Championship. He still had the odd touch of hotheadedness, but there were many in the Grand Prix fraternity who could see a new Niki Lauda in the making.