Ferrari F1-89 640

A place to discuss the characteristics of the cars in Formula One, both current as well as historical. Laptimes, driver worshipping and team chatter does not belong here.
neilbah
17
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 7:36 pm

Ferrari F1-89 640

Post by neilbah » Fri May 17, 2013 7:50 pm

Hi all, i thought id just contribute a little snippet to the forum, i know theres a small feature on the F1-89 640 in the database but i thought id share this anyway.

to cut a long story short..
Ive been an avid fan of f1 as long as i can remember and likewise f1technical. I lived in italy during my childhood and at the age of 9 i wrote to Enzo himself and sent him a picture of my proposed car for the 1990 season. Now although i didnt receive a hand written letter back..or an F40 that i wished for :( ..i did get this little envelope, with a signed postcard, a compliments card and the brochure for that years car..

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CMSMJ1
10
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:51 am
Location: Sheffield, United Kingdom

Re: Ferrari F1-89 640

Post by CMSMJ1 » Sat May 18, 2013 9:29 am

That is great =D>
IMPERATOR REX ANGLORUM

stefan_
813
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:43 am
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: Ferrari F1-89 640

Post by stefan_ » Sat May 18, 2013 9:31 am

What a piece of memorabilia you have there! Take good care of it.
"...and there, very much in flames, is Jacques Laffite's Ligier. That's obviously a turbo blaze, and of course, Laffite will be able to see that conflagration in his mirrors... he is coolly parking the car somewhere safe." Murray Walker, San Marino 1985

enckboaz
1
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 2:33 pm

Re: Ferrari F1-89 640

Post by enckboaz » Sat May 18, 2013 10:08 am

great!
639/640 was one of the most revolutionary cars in the history of f1.

neilbah
17
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 7:36 pm

Re: Ferrari F1-89 640

Post by neilbah » Sat May 18, 2013 11:15 am

thanks all, and yes i agree this car was a beauty. I made a balsa wood model of it which i cannot find right now - maybe i'll make a new one. I'd be interested to see anyone else's memorabilia, maybe it can have its own thread if there isnt one already?particularly id like to see who else has any of these yellow ferrari brochures. ive seen some threads on artwork and guys that have actual f1 chassis on here.. some nice projects too. My friend wrote to williams in 1993 and i shall see if i can obtain the docs to scan.

I bought a vhs video about ferrari in f1 sometime around 1990 - although its all in italian its got some great footage i don't think many people would have seen. Im wondering how i can go about getting it digitally remastered, ideally id like to upload it without any legal repercussions ;) but hopefully i'll add it to the videos section soon.

ecapox
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Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 8:06 pm

Re: Ferrari F1-89 640

Post by ecapox » Sat May 18, 2013 10:48 pm

I went there in 1988. The "museum" was nothing compared to what it is now. Just a few old cars and an F40. I was the ripe age of 10. Basically it was just my grandmother, my uncle and me. They had given me a whole bunch of stuff for coming but when my grandmother moved it was probably tossed. They were pretty suprised to have someone come by. It was pretty dead.

coaster
-7
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:10 am
Location: Footscray, Australia

Re: Ferrari F1-89 640

Post by coaster » Sun May 26, 2013 3:32 am

That is a gem, I too am a big fan of the 89,90 season.
Big block engine era, and all the drama of Senna / Prost. =D>
V10 engines, manufacturer teams, 13 inch rims, this is the F1 I shall long remember.

Giando
29
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:56 pm

Re: Ferrari F1-89 640

Post by Giando » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:16 pm

Hello everyone.

I just read the article about the 640 and i was kind of shocked when reading that "The main reason for this design change was however aerodynamical, as it allowed to remove the bulky stick shift within the cockpit, along with its mechanical link to the gearbox, located at the back of the car. It allowed for a sleek nose that is so distinctive on the car."

I don't want to sound presumptuous but since this is a technical forum... well I would have expected more depth in the analysys, and much more precision. Most of the statement above is FALSE.

I was 14 years old in 1989 but the 639-640 project was right what brought me into being interested in F1. So I've read a lot about that car, i bought books and reviews, i've spoken with Luigi Mazzola (an engineer who worked with Barnard on that car for the test team) and Giorgio Piola, and I've also been lucky to see the singleseater itslef quite a few times both on track, in Monza, and in the Ferrari Museum in Maranello and at an exhibition in Florence.

The main reason John Barnard wanted to introduce a semi-authomatical gearbox was absolutely NOT aerodynamical in the first place! It was driven by a performance reason, since the shifting times could be largely reduced compared to a manual solution. An advantage that you would have seen during its debut season also in a few occasions during the starts: think about Berger at the Brazil GP or at the German one, for example. Then, saving some weight and mechanical complexity with the link from the cockpit to the rear, yes, but that was an extra benefit. Also, the opportunity for the driver to maintain both hands on the wheel for the whole time was a great asset.

About the sleek nose... that's another mistake, I am afraid. If you look at the other cars on the grid in 1989, you can see that the fact that they mounted a manual gearbox didn't prevent them to have even narrower noses than the 640. Take Benetton or Leyton House or Lotus as an example. On the contrary, the 640 nose was in a way quite large compared to most of the other cars. I think that the review misses a few other points about it: it was raised of about 5 cm with a 90 degree step underneath (more or less under the zone where the nose is attached to the chassis), and its extremity has a very distinctive shape, so that it was also known as 'The Duck' for the resemblance with the flattened animal's beak.

Also, another feature was the 640 aerodinamyc shape: the high vertical air intakes for the radiators and the vase shaped sidepods very long and quite high on the front and lowered towards the back were a breakthroguht in that era of F1 and have been copied by many other designers in the following years. The bodywork - one of the last to be still fully separated from the chassis - was said to produce a huge amount of downforce allowing the team to use very small wings at the back (compare the McLaren ones to it).

Finally, it used torsion bar suspension at the front with a scheme that again would have been copied by many engineers in the subsequent seasons.

The 640 was a masterpiece and it deserves a special place in the history of F1, despite winning just three races.
Its evolution in fact, the 641/2, came very close to win the 1990 championship.

Forgive my pedantry.

I just want to do justice to an incredible - and very good looking! - F1 car.

Giando
29
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:56 pm

Re: Ferrari F1-89 640

Post by Giando » Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:42 am

Also, please change the picture of the back of the car in the main article:
it is not the 640 but the 639 (the testing prototype used since mid 1988).

:roll:

carisi2k
18
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:26 pm

Re: Ferrari F1-89 640

Post by carisi2k » Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:57 pm

Enzo died in 1988 so how was it possible to write a letter to him in 1990?

wuzak
342
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:26 am

Re: Ferrari F1-89 640

Post by wuzak » Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:42 am

carisi2k wrote:
Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:57 pm
Enzo died in 1988 so how was it possible to write a letter to him in 1990?
Quite possible to write to him. Highly unlikely to receive a reply from him.