Osella were beginning, incredibly, their tenth season in Formula One despite scarce reward save the joy of racing. 1989 held some promise for the team at last, though. An all-new chassis, the FA1M89, and new Ford DFR engine, meant that the team finally had a car that wasn’t based on the 1983 Alfa Romeo (which hadn’t been a great car to start with). The team retained the talented Ferrari test driver Nicola Larini and re-signed team old boy Piercarlo Ghinzani from Zakspeed. Increased sponsorship from Gabriele Rumi’s Fondmetal concern, a maker of alloy wheels, helped to alleviate the money worries and pay for the new chassis and the increase to two cars.
17. Nicola Larini
The affable Italian had done about as well as could be expected in the aptly-named FA1L, qualifying 10 times and only missing out in pre-qualifying once. While he was not able to score points, and in fact only finished three races, he had attracted favourable comment for his gutsy performances in clearly inferior equipment. He remains favourite to make the most of the new car’s potential, and has a new helmet design in blue and white for the 1989 season.
18. Piercarlo Ghinzani
“Ghinzie” returns for his third stint at the team with which he has become somewhat synonymous. At 37, he can’t keep this up for ever but he doesn’t seem to mind much about results, and just enjoys the racing. The question is how much motivation he has to rise to Larini’s challenge and whether the team will expect him to do more than have a jolly on their Lira.