The 641 was a developed version of its predecessor, the 1989Ferrari 640, designed byJohn Barnard. The updated 641 design was overseen by formerMcLarendesignerSteve Nicholsafter Barnard left Ferrari to join theBenettonteam. The car was powered by a 3.5 litreV12 engine, first with the type 036, and later inSan Marinowith the updated 037. The V12 was rated at 680bhp (507kW; 689PS), only slightly down on the 690bhp (515kW; 700PS)HondaV10 enginesused by McLaren.The car scored 6 wins in the 1990 season (Prost 5 wins, Mansell 1 win). Incorporating thesemi-automatic gearboxdeveloped during the previous season, the car was seen to be technically advanced. The aerodynamics were reworked and the chassis given a slightly longer wheelbase than its predecessor. Ferrari's major coup was signing reigning World ChampionAlain Prostfrom McLaren to partnerNigel Mansell. As such, Nichols designed the car with Prost's smooth driving style in mind. A variable inlet trumpet system on the engine was tested throughout the season, but did not become standard equipment.Prost worked hard on improving the reliability of the gearbox and also worked behind the scenes to bring the whole Ferrari team closer together. Prost's development work helped the 641 chassis to be extremely fast and competitive, and he scored five wins, including a remarkable victory from 13th place on the grid inMexico, and challenged his nemesisAyrton Sennafor the championship. Although the car occasionally struggled in qualifying, it appeared to have the edge on theMcLarensin race trim, particularly at high speed circuits. However, the famous collision between the two drivers at theJapanese Grand Prixsealed the Drivers' Championship for Senna and the Constructors' Championship for McLaren. Prost finished runner-up in the championship and Mansell finished 5th and scored 1 win, including an excellent performance in his last race for Ferrari at Adelaide, where he finished 2nd and almost won that race fromNelson Piquetand hisBenetton-Ford. It would be another seven years before Ferrari would challenge for either championship again.
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