The 1991 FORMULA 1 season was the 45th season of F1 racing, and the 42nd running of the F1 World Championship.
The season was raced over 16 races, and saw McLaren do the double by winning the Constructor’s Championship for the fourth consecutive season, with Ayrton Senna winning the 1991 Driver’s Championship.
Nigel Mansell, in his first season back with Williams, was Senna’s biggest challenger, finishing the season in second place in the Driver’s Championship.
The 1991 FORMULA 1 season helped set the stage for battles in the late 90s, as both Michael Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen made their F1 debuts.
Defending champions McLaren started the 1991 FORMULA 1 season by retaining their driver duo of Ayrton Senna and Gerhard Berger.
After several seasons as the number two driver behind Nelson Piquet and Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell returned to Williams where he was partnered by Riccardo Patrese.
Ferrari retained the services of Alain Prost, and replaced the departing Mansell with Frenchman Jean Alesi, the youngster having impressed at the Tyrrell team in 1990.
Michael Schumacher made his f1 debut with Team 7Up Jordan, before controversially replacing Brazilian Roberto Moreno for the final five races of the season.
Mika Hakkinen made his debut in 1991, racing for Team Lotus and scoring two points in his maiden season thanks to a fifth place finish at the 1991 San Marino Grand Prix.
There were several changes and new faces amongst the constructors too.
Three constructors from 1990 didn’t make it to the grid in 1991; EuroBrun didn’t complete the 1990 F1 season, Onyx Grand Prix designed a car for 1991 before folding, and Life (who failed to pre-qualify for every race in 1990) didn’t come back for a repeat performance in 1991.
Osella changed their name to Fondmetal, and Arrows changed their name to Footwork after investment in the team from Wataru Ohashi, President of Footwork Express Co., Ltd.
Jordan Grand Prix made the step up from International Formula 3000 to F1, piloted by Bertrand Gachot and Andrea de Cesaris. Gachot was suspended for two months during the year, and was replaced by the trio of Michael Schumacher, Alessandro Zanardi and Roberto Moreno.
The second new team for the 1991 FORMULA 1 season was the Modena Team. They started life as GLAS and had investors from Mexico backing the team. They were using Lamborghini V12 engines, and also had further technical support from Lamborghini.
Before the season could even begin in earnest, the Mexican backers pulled out, and Lamborghini stepped in to offer financial support, changing the name to Modena Team.
The season was a struggle, with both drivers regularly failing to qualify, and 1991 was the only year the team participated in F1.
1991 also saw a change to the points system, with 10 points being awarded for a race win, and the previous system where only points from a drivers top eleven finishes counting being replaced with every points finish counting towards the championship.