1988 had seen Minardi score their first point in their fourth year in the sport, courtesy of Pierluigi Martini after he was brought in to replace the hapless Campos. You couldn’t call the rest of 1988 a vintage season for Giancarlo Minardi’s men, but the cars qualified most of the time and finished most of the races they started, which is more than many small teams could say. For 1989 things would have a familiar cast at the start of the season as Martini and Sala continued in the M188 chassis while the new M189 was being readied, and both would mount the Ford DFR engine. The paint job, however, was strikingly new, and you would certainly see them coming…
23. Pierluigi Martini
Brought in after five races of the 1988 season to replace Adrian Campos after three DNQs on the bounce, Martini wasted no time making his mark. The rest of the season couldn’t quite live up to a point in his first race, but it showed how much he had learned after his less than stellar first attempt in 1985. Now all he had to do was keep it up in the coming season. He had a long association with the Minardi team and would be looking to repay their faith in him by continuing to produce results for them.
24. Luis Pérez-Sala
The Spaniard had decidedly outshone his compatriot in 1988, but found beating Martini a tougher proposition. He had finished 8 races out of 16 with a best finish of 8th, and only DNQed twice, so he had done enough to retain his place in the team even with a reduction in sponsorship money from the Lois concern. He would have to make sure that remained the case in 1989, but with more competition it wouldn’t be easy.