Benetton B191 05 was retired from Formula 1 at the end of the 1991 season. Benetton removed the works Ford HB engine and re-painted 05 in Mild Seven colours. The car was then used by the team as a show car until 1995, after which it was stored at the factory until purchased by Cars International Ltd. Under Cars International’s ownership, chassis 05 has been fully restored and race prepared by a leading Formula 1 specialist, here in the U.K. 05 has now been returned to the exact specification as it appeared in 1991. A correct Ford HB to Ford’s works (Benetton) specification has been re-united with the car, which comes complete with Pi dash, data acquisition system and all equipment to run and drive the car, including a spare set of wheels and some spares. Comprehensive documentation of the history, restoration and race preparation of 05 is also included. Having last appeared at Lord March’s prestigious Goodwood Festival of speed event in 2003,in 2006 B19105 reappeared to celebrate 100 years of Formula 1, when former Grand-Prix driver Le Mans winner and broadcasting star, Martin Brundle was re-united with the car that he first tested at Estoril during the 1991 season.
Benetton, the Italian clothing company entered Grand Prix racing as a sponsor of the Tyrrell team in 1983. The company switched its allegiance to Alfa Romeo in 1984 and then to the struggling Toleman team which new company, Benetton Formula Limited took over before the start of the 1986 season. By the end of the decade the team had become one of the leading constructors in Formula 1, finishing in the top four of the constructors championship from 1988 until 1997. Toleman manager Peter Collins initially remained in overall charge with Gordon Message team manager. He was relieved in 1991 by Joan Villadelprat who took over from 1994. In 1989 Luciano Benetton invited Flavio Briatore to take over, having been impressed by the success that Briatore had had setting up a chain of shops in America! During part of the nineties Briatore worked side by side with Tom Walkinshaw who gave the team a new sense of purpose and bought all of its departments together at a new base in Enstone. Benetton attracted talented people, Michael Schumacher, the greatest driver of his generation and a series of exceptional teammates. Technically the team had some of the most able people in the business. Rory Byrne had continued in charge of design, answering to technical director John Barnard between 1989 to 1991 and then to Ross Brawn. The Benetton B191 was late being produced and development ran in parallel with the first few races of the 1991 season. The B190B was used at the first two rounds with the B191 making its race debut at round three, the San Marino Grand Prix. Normally this would not be a recipe for success but the B191 was competitive straight out of the box, and Nelson Piquet sensationally won the Canadian Grand Prix, the fifth race of the season. John Barnard headed the B191 design but he left the team in the middle of the season. TWR acquired an interest in the team at this time and Ton Walkinshaw moved some of his personnel to the team. These included Ross Brawn, while Rory Byrne returned after a brief absence. The B191 was built around a brand new monocoque. Pushrod suspension was used all round (the active system was not raced), an under-nose front wing was used and power came from the Cosworth Ford HB pushing out 730bhp and driving through Benetton’s six speed gearbox. As well as the Canadian victory, Nelson Piquet went on to score points in five more races driving the B191: 5th at the British Grand Prix, 3rd in Belgium, 6th in Italy, 5th in Portugal and 4th in Australia. Piquet’s team mate Roberto Moreno had scored 8 points by the time of the Italian Grand Prix on September 8th and was stunned when an announcement was made a couple of days prior to first practice at Monza, that he was to be replaced by Michael Schumacher, who was leaving Jordan to join the Benetton team. Moreno had finished fourth in the previous race at Belgium coming in behind the two McLarens and his teammate and setting the fastest lap of the race. The Schumacher switch caused an absolute furore in the F1 paddock but it was a move that began Schumacher’s journey to greatness and the re-writing of the history books. The Benetton B191 chassis number 05 was the start to the stratospheric journey of one of the world’s most successful sportsmen of all time and it was at Monza on 8th September driving Benetton B191 chassis number 05 that Michael Schumacher took his first world championship points, finishing in fifth place the rest is in those history books. Respected, and regarded as a thoroughly nice chap by those who know him well, Michael Schumacher is the most accomplished racing driver that has ever lived. He has re-written the record books, becoming, and the winner of the most Grand-Prix’s ever; currently standing at 84, and amassing the most points in a season. The beginning of the 2006 campaign saw Michael equaling Ayrton Senna’s pole position record of 65. Of course Michael is also the winner of an unprecedented 7 World Driver’s Championships, the first of which, in 1994, was won in a Benetton B194, a direct derivative of the B191, in which Michael scored his first World Championship points.
Recent Competition History
5th GP Monza 1991, 6th GP Portugal 1991, Michael Schumacher´s very first F1 championship points