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Ferrari F1 87/88C 1987


Ferrari F1 87/88C 

The Ex-Michele Alboreto 
1987 Ferrari F1/87 Formula 1 Racing Single-Seater
Chassis no. 100

•The last of the 'Enzo Era' Ferrari F1 cars
•Campaigned by the late Michele Alboreto for the Scuderia Ferrari
•Manual 6 speed transmission
•A glorious design with pure lines by Austrian Gustav Brunner

There is no need whatsoever to introduce the world's most illustrious motor racing marque in connection with this 1.5-litre turbocharged V6-cylinder Formula 1 car, which is offered here after years of display preservation. The Maranello marque's F1/87 design is the last Formula 1 car to have been constructed there during company creator Enzo Ferrari's long life, and this particular example – chassis serial '100' – is the one-hundredth individual Grand Prix entity to have been constructed there since the continuous sequence of chassis serial numbering was introduced in 1961.

Austrian design engineer Gustav Brunner, formerly with the German ATS and Beritish RAM Racing teams, led the F1/87 design project for Ferrari but during its construction the super-successful British designer John Barnard was appointed as the Italian team's new Technical Director. Barnard came fresh from six years at McLaren where he had been responsible for the McLaren MP4/2 powered by the turbocharged TAG-Porsche engine which had won the 1984, 1985 and 1986 Drivers' Championships and the 1984 and 1985 Constructors' Championships. Barnard later stated that if he had been in charge of the car's design from its inception (the process at Ferrari having started in 1986 while he was still at McLaren), he would have produced something different. However, the Ferrari F1/87 as offered here would in fact prove to be a successful machine, and the one which brought Ferrari back to Formula 1 victory after a slump in fortunes through the mid-1980s.

The F1/87 was far more sleekly packaged than its looking than its predecessor, the Harvey Postlethwaite-designed predecessor – the F1/86 - despite there having been no reduction in fuel tank size for the later year. It featured an all-new turbocharged 1.5-litre 90-degree V6-cylinder engine - the Ferrari Tipo 033 unit which replaced the old 120° V6 Tipo 032 which had been in use since 1981. With the FIA's controversial regulation pop-off valves restricting turbo boost to a maximum pressure of 4.0 Bar, power output was approximately 950bhp (708 kW; 963 PS) for qualifying and 880 bhp (656 kW; 892 PS) in race tune.

Ferrari's drivers that season of 1987 were the cheerful and popular pairing of Italy's Michele Alboreto and the Austrian Gerhard Berger. It was Berger who would score two victories in the F1/87, winning both the late-season Japanese and Australian Grands Prix, while also taking three pole positions. The car demonstrated flashes of its potential early in the season when Alboreto briefly led the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola. However, reliability issues proved challenging. 

With benefit of John Barnard's development input, the works F1/87s' fortunes improved during the late-summer and Autumn of that year. From the Hungarian Grand Prix onwards, Ferrari looked to have a car that was as quick as any of their rivals, and it was at the Hungaroring that this particular car – chassis '100' – made its debut, assigned to Michele Alboreto. He qualified fifth on a damp track, despite a pit garage muddle in which his Ferrari crew failed to pre-heat his car's tyres. Alboreto also had a quick spin on what might have been his best lap. He said later "The chassis felt good but I wasn't totally happy with the engine's pick-up out of slow corners, but I suppose fifth is not too bad...". He then ran third in this car through the opening stages of the Hungarian Grand Prix before encountering engine problems which eventually saw him retire after 43 of the scheduled 76 laps.

Alboreto then drove this car again in the following Austrian Grand Prix at the Osterreichring76, qualifying sixth before having to start the race from the pit lane after startline crashes actually saw the Grand Prix started no fewer than three times... Alboreto: "As I come round towards the grid I noticed that the steering wheel had not been put on straight. I could not race with it like that so I went into the pits to have it fitted right. Then I join a queue of six cars starting from the pit lane...was not the best". The likeable Italian still soared through the field to run third overall....until a broken exhaust vented turbo boost to atmosphere and he retired after 42 of the 52 laps. 

At Monza for the Italian Grand Prix then saw Alboreto crash in first practice, and finally qualify eighth fastest on the starting grid. Early in the race he was running 6th until lap 13 when turbocharger failure sidelined him.

The final appearance of Ferrari F1/87 chassis '100' was then made in the Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril when – again assigned to Michele Alboreto. His second qualifying session was spoiled when the car developed a gearbox problem and, once he had switched to the spare, he had time for only one run before the weather broke and rain began to fall. He remained quietly confident there would be better pace in the car for the Sunday race, which he started from sixth place on the grid while Gerhard Berger demonstrated the F1/87 design's contemporary potential by having qualified imperiously upon pole position. Alboreto rushed through the field into second place by lap 27, running in his team-mate's Ferrari wake. The two red-liveried turbo V6 cars hurtled around the winding Estoril circuit first and second until lap 39 – when the luckless Alboreto was forced to abandon his car on circuit following a transmission failure.

Gerhard Berger eventually spun out of the lead, handing McLaren's Alain Prost his record 28th Grand Prix win (Gerhard admitting that his error had been due to worrying too much about Prost - who consequently stated that he believed that Alboreto would not have made the same mistake). Berger then led the Mexican Grand Prix before reliability issues again forced him to retire.

However, the 1987 Formula 1 season then finished on a high for Ferrari and the F1/87 cars, with dominant victories for Berger in the final two rounds in Japan and Australia, while Alboreto made the Adelaide result into a Ferrari 1-2 after Ayrton Senna's Lotus-Honda was disqualified for featuring oversized brake ducts. Berger's two late-season GP victories also gave Ferrari its first back-to-back Formula 1 wins since the late Gilles Villeneuve had won the Monaco and Spanish Grands Prix in 1981. As a result of the F1/87 model's late-season form, Ferrari secured fourth place in the year's Formula 1 Constructors' Championship and would begin 1988 as one of the favourites for the World Championships' top honours.

After several years in climate controlled careful storage the car will require mechanical re-commissioning if it is to be used by its next custodian.
Every Formula 1 Ferrari is a valuable and historic artefact, and chassis '100' here – built as one of the last Formula 1 cars to be created at Maranello during Mr Ferrari's long life – and as driven by the smiling, friendly, much-missed Formula 1 star that was Michele Alboreto, has much to offer a new owner.

Technical Specification
Type: rear,longitudinal 90° V6
Bore/stroke: 81 x 48.4 mm
Unitary displacement: 249.40 cc
Total displacement: 1496.43 cc
Compression ratio: 10 : 1
Valve actuation twin overhead camshafts per bank, four valves per cylinder
Fuel feed: twin turbos, Weber-Marelli electronic indirect injection
Lubrication: dry sump
Clutch: multi-plate
Frame: monocoque, Kevlar and carbon-fibre composite structure
Front suspension:
independent pull-rod, twin wishbones, inboard springs over telescopic shock absorbers, anti-roll bar
Rear suspension:
independent pull-rod, twin wishbones, inboard springs over telescopic shock absorbers, anti-roll bar
Brakes: discs
Transmission: 6-speed + reverse
Steering: rack-and-pinion
Fuel tank: capacity 150 litres
Front tyres: 25.0-10.0-13
Rear tyres: 26.0-15.0-13


Ferrari F1 87/88C 1987


Est. € 650,000 - 850,000


  • Model: Ferrari F1 87/88C
  • Year: 1987
  • Coachbuilder: Ferrari
  • Seller: Bonhams
  • Country: Monaco
  • Contact: www.bonhams.com
  • Auction: The Monaco Sale 'Les Grandes Marques à Monaco'
  • Auction date: 11 May 2018
  • Tags: 1987, Bonhams, F1, Ferrari

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