1987 had been another barren year for Osella, but with no money to make improvements, the car and engine carried over into 1988. The Fiat organisation who owned Alfa Romeo were tired of the constant negative publicity around the team’s lack of success and for this year the engine would be branded as an “Osella”. Latest driver in the not-so-hot seat would be Nicola Larini who had taken the Coloni for a spin in 1987.
To everyones surprise, Larini put in some decent times in pre-season testing at Monza, clocking some 300kph (186mph), and with the new engine rules expected to even out the field, the team were actually looking forward to the season.
21. Nicola Larini
Larini hadn’t had much chance to prove himself in two races with Coloni, but just qualifying in his (and its) second race was an achievement in itself – even if he only made it to lap 8 before his suspension broke. The kid seems to have talent, and has wrung some impressive times out of the Osella (which, lest we forget, is basically a 1983 chassis and engine) in testing.