Ferrari 643 F1 91

Ferrari 643 F1 91 image

Active: 07-07-1991 - 1991
Team: Scuderia Ferrari SpA

Designers: Steve Nichols, Jean-Claude Migeot
Drivers: Alain Prost (27), Jean Alesi (28), Gianni Morbidelli (28)

Ferrari's 643 chassis was officially named the F1-91. It was really only introduced in the 1991 French Grand Prix.

It was not an entirely different car but instead a development of the 642 chassis. A host of changes had been made nonetheless, including a longer wheel base and longer flanks with straight central sections. The suspension design remained unchanged with a push-rod spring action system, torsion bars vertical to the front axle and helicoid springs on the rear axle, but many elements were redesigned to vary the geometries. The engine still had five valves per cylinder as pneumatic springs had not yet been developed and the intake trumpet adjustment system was only introduced at the end of the season.

It soon proved not to be up to Ferrari's expectations though, despite a second place finish by Prost at its debut. Reliability problems did not get resolved and the car was no match against the McLaren MP4/6 or the Williams FW14. The situation got worse enough that Alain Prost even said it would be easier to drive a tank than this car. This led to Prost being sacked from Ferrari one race from the end of the season. Ferrari's test driver Gianni Morbidelli then ran the final race of that year alongside Jean Alesi.

The car scored 39.5 points of the teams 55.5 points in 1991 with 8 podiums and finished 3rd in the constructors championship.

The end of the season also saw Luca di Montezemolo return to Maranello as President and CEO of Ferrari.


Chassis: Monocoque in composite: carbon-fibre and Kevlar honeycomb
Front Suspension: Double elliptic section wishbones, push-rods
Rear Suspension: Double wishbones, push-rods
Brakes: Ventilated outboard carbon-fibre discs, Brembo one-piece 4-pot callipers
Bodywork: Composite, detachable
Steering: Rack and pinion
Kerb Weight (with water and oil): 505 kg
Front Tyres: 25x10", Goodyear
Rear Tyres: 26x15", Goodyear
Fuel Tank: 215 litres, with 1 centre and 1 side tanks, 102 RON fuel
Transmission: Ferrari Type 643 gearbox, 7-speed + reverse, rear longitudinal overhanging, semi-automatic with electronic management
Clutch: three-plate carbon clutch with mechanical and automatic control
Differential: ZF limited slip
Gear Ratios: Variable depending on track


Length: 4,400 mm
Width: 2,130 mm
Height: 1,004 mm
Wheelbase: 2881 mm
Front/ Rear Track: 1,800/1,675 mm


Designation: Ferrari Tipo 037
Type: 65° V12, naturally aspirated, mid-engine, longitudinally mounted
Capacity: 3,499 cc (213.5 cu in)
Block: Cast iron cylinder block without wet liners, light alloy head, water cooled
Bore & Stroke: 86 x 50.2 mm
Unitary and Total Displacement: 291.6/3,499.2 cc
Compression Ratio: 13:1
Max. Power Output: 710 bhp at 13,800 rpm
Timing Gear: 5 valves per cylinder (3 intake), 2 overhead camshafts, gear driven off the front of the engine
Fuel Feed: Weber-Marelli digital electronic injection with twin injectors per cylinder
Ignition: Single plug, Magneti Marelli electronic static
Lubrication System: Dry sump