Satoru Nakajima, Tyrrell, Phoenix, 1991

Tyrrell 020 (1991) pictures

Having impressed with Jean Alesi in 1990, much was expected of Tyrrell in 1991 when they switched to Honda power. But with Alesi being snapped up by Ferrari, Stefano Modena took his place in the team.

Honda came onboard partly thanks to the presence of Satoru Nakajima alongside Modena, as did several sponsors. The addition of Braun meant a change to a striking black and white livery. But Tyrrell failed to capitalise on the promise its package showed early in the year.

The 020 was a development of the previous year’s 019 by chief designer George Ryton, who retained the novel raised nose and split front wing introduced by designer Harvey Postlethwaite. But the Honda V10 added weight as well as power, and an ill-timed failure in Monaco robbed Modena of a potential second place after he qualified on the front row of the grid.

The combination came good in Canada, Modena rising to second place on the final lap when leader Nigel Mansell retired. That second place finish delivered half of the team’s eventual tally of 12 points, as they only added a single point over the last 11 of 16 races.

Matters weren’t helped when Postlethwaite left to join Sauber’s F1 project. With the drivers increasingly struggling to get the best from their Pirelli tyres (the manufacturer left F1 at the end of the season), Tyrrell’s 1991 campaign ended disappointingly.

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