GRR

Gerhard Berger to drive his Ferrari 640 F1 car at Members’ Meeting

03rd April 2024
Simon Ostler

In a surprise late announcement, we can confirm that Gerhard Berger will be returning to the cockpit of his 1989 Ferrari 640 Formula 1 car for a pair of demonstrations at the 81st Members’ Meeting presented by Audrain Motorsport.

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It’s hugely exciting news adding to an already stacked weekend schedule that includes what is bound to be an earth-shaking Can-Am demonstration and the inaugural Sidecar Shootout. We can now look forward to a 3.5-litre V12 howling its way around the Goodwood Motor Circuit.

The Ferrari 640 raced in the 1989 F1 season with drivers Berger and Nigel Mansell. It proved to be a hugely quick car, which can be credited as the first to ever use a sequential paddle-shift transmission. Such ground-breaking technology came with substantial teething troubles though, so while immensely fast, it suffered with relentless reliability issues.

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It was a tough season for Berger in particular, as he suffered a fiery crash at Imola which forced him to miss the Monaco Grand Prix. He retired from the first ten races he started that year, but when he did finally reach the chequered flag at the Italian Grand Prix, he finished second.

He took victory next time out in Portugal, before taking a third successive podium at the Spanish Grand Prix, but a further two retirements to close out the season brought a difficult year to an end.

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The Ferrari 640’s pace was undeniable, its 660PS (485kW) V12 engine coupled with a strong aerodynamic package to made it hugely competitive… when it worked. In the hands of Mansell, it took a further six podiums including two wins, but its fragility allowed McLaren to walk away with the championship. Ferrari eventually ended up third in the constructors’ standings.

There was a life away from F1 for that V12 engine, too. It served as the basis for the V12 found in both the 333SP Ferrari-engined endurance prototype and the F50 road car.

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81MM timetable

02nd April

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Berger will be taking to the Motor Circuit in his 640 on both days during the 81st Members’ Meeting. He’ll be on track at 15:50 on Saturday for a ten-minute run, and again on Sunday at 12:25. The sight and sound of that Ferrari getting up and running again is sure to be unmissable.

Saturday tickets, weekend tickets and grandstand passes have now sold out for the 81st Members’ Meeting presented by Audrain Motorsport. Sunday tickets are limited so book now to join us for the 2024 motorsport season opener. You don’t want to miss it.

Images courtesy of Motorsport Images.

  • 81MM

  • Members' Meeting

  • Gerhard Berger

  • Ferrari

  • 640

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