With Enzo Osella finally giving up the unequal struggle, Gabriele Rumi stepped up to buy out the team. The Fondmetal concern, manufacturers of alloy wheels, had been sponsoring Osella for a number of years and Rumi was a big F1 fan and prepared to spend money. 1991 would be a transitional season, though, with the FA1M-E chassis essentially the 1989 Osella with some tweaks and the engines second-hand from last year’s Tyrrell with preparation by Brian Hart. Retained on driving duties was Olivier Grouillard, so the team was essentially running a 1990 team in 1991 – could they stave off failure sufficiently to survive the transition into next year?
14. Olivier Grouillard
The Frenchman had driven his first season in 1989 alongside Arnoux at Ligier, and seems to have learned many of the veteran’s bad habits, gaining a justified reputation as a mobile hazard, often seeming to deliberately balk drivers attempting to lap him, with Mansell falling victim a couple of times during 1990. It’s difficult to know if there’s any speed to go with the attitude, since he’s never had much power to work with. Probably not though, on the available evidence.