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Brabham BT34
Scale 1/20
Kit Manufacturer
Detail Sets Perfect Parts
Year 1989
Driver Nigel Mansell (GB)
Event Portugese GP
Paint Zero Paints Rosso Red
Date Completed June 2012
Additions Addition scratch built Hoses, Wiring, Cooling and engine details
Box Art boxart

Also known as the Ferrari 640 the F189 was Ferrari's entry into the 1989 F1 season, driven by Nigel Mansell and Austria's Gerhard Berger. Designed by John Barnard it was to be his first Ferrari F1 design. It sported a sharp nose, with a narrow monocoque and bulging side-pods designed to house the radiators with maximum aerodynamic efficiency. It originally had two small air intakes either side of the driver, but from the fourth race of the season in Mexico a more conventional large air intake above and behind the driver was opted for.

The F189 was powered by Ferrari's own 3.5 litre V12 engine which produced up to 660bhp, considering it was the team's first normally aspirated engine for almost a decade. The power output of the engine was to be admired, like many others in F1, Ferrari were only just emerging from the Turbo era and development into normally aspirated engines was still in its early days. The Gear Box of the F189 however, attracted more attention, as it was the very first 7-speed semi-automatic gearbox seen in F1. Sadly, it proved to be the cars downfall and hampered Ferrari's efforts throughout the season. Such gearboxes would however become the norm by the mid-1990s.

All withstanding the car proved to be fast, especially in the hands of Mansell who took it to victory in its debut race in Brazil, despite the fears of unreliability. This was the only race where the F189 would record a finish until the French Grand Prix much later into the season, and astonishingly there were to be no races in which both drivers finished througout the season. When the car did finish however, it did so in a position no lower than third, with Mansell taking second in both France and his home race at Silverstone, third in Germany, a second win in Hungary and finally third at Spa, before Berger finished second at Monza, won in Portugal - a race where the Ferraris were clearly more competitive than the championship winning McLarens - and finished second again in Spain.

The strength of the new carbon-fibre chassis was shown when an accident at Imola involving Gerhard Berger resulted in no more than minor burns and broken ribs, it was a fiery high-speed crash that left all who witnessed it staggered that no serious injury was sustained. At the end of the season, Mansell was fourth in the Drivers' Championship with 38 points, while Berger was seventh with 21. Ferrari battled with Williams for second in the Constructors' Championship for much of the year but ultimately settled for third, with 59 points.

Having quickly finished my curbside resin kit of the Renault R202 which was strictly curbside with no details added, this will be a full detail build along the same lines as my Ferrari 310B. I will be building the No.27 Nigel Mansell car, it will include detail sets by Acu-stion and Studio 27 along with a vast amount of scratchbuilding I'm sure. A notable point is that despite Tamiya being regarded as a leader in plastic models there is an error in the kit in that the engine has been moulded underscale, this does detract somewhat from what is otherwise an excellent kit.

Ferrari F189 Gallery
Click above for build and completed pictures

Nigel Mansell - 1989 Italian GP
Nigel Mansell - 1989 Hungarian GP
Nigel Mansell - 1989 Monaco GP
Nigel Mansell - 1989 San Marino GP
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