After a rough couple of seasons with Judd power, Brabham have taken something of a gamble by signing up for Yamaha engines for 1991. The Japanese marque’s OX88 engine from 1989 was regarded as the brick that sank the Zakspeed team, but the new OX99 is a powerful V12, at least on paper. Team old boy Martin Brundle returns for his third crack at Formula One and is joined by fellow Briton Mark Blundell – much to the consternation of commentators the world over, not least the enthusiastic but gaffe-prone Murray Walker at their native BBC! The team begin the year with an adaptation of last year’s car with a new BT60Y planned for the start of the European season.
7. Martin Brundle
The Norfolk driver has been in and out of F1 for some time now, clearly talented but frustrated by never having the machinery to prove it. After Tyrrell and Zakspeed and a stint driving sports cars in 1988 he drove for Brabham in 1989 but opted to spend 1990 in sports cars once more, winning the prestigious Le Mans race. Still unable to get into a top team, he returns to Brabham for another bite of the cherry.
8. Mark Blundell
Londoner Blundell began racing on two wheels and was one of the best young riders in the UK before moving to cars and Formula Ford at the age of 14. Finding quick success, he moved quickly into Formula Ford 1600 then FF2000, again doing well though never quite managing to take the title. No matter, he skipped Formula 3 and went straight onto F3000 in 1987 and was picked up by the series heavyweight, the works Lola team for 1988, as well as testing sportscars. In 1989 he was testing F1 cars for Williams too, and concentrating on his sportscar career – in 1990 he became the youngest driver ever to take pole at Le Mans, though he lost the race to his new team-mate Martin Brundle. The lad certainly has promise.