You can’t imagine it now though there were years in the Formula One there were plenty of test drivers per team. Or teams tested in between races to test new aerodynamics or new engines. Or just to cash extra money by letting unknown drivers, who will never arrive, experience the Formula 1.
As many of these drivers are long forgotten, and there isn’t a real overview of the test drivers, its all bits and pieces. It though well why not? Here are the drivers who tested with a F1 car in 1991.
Honda Marlboro McLaren
The team to beaten in 1991 was the McLaren team from Ron Dennis. They came up with the MP4/6 . With Ayrton Senna and Gerhard Berger as their drivers they had strong duo. However, they would have competition from the Williams team. While the team had a strong drivers duo, there were plenty of drivers that tested with McLaren in 1991.
Ayrton Senna: Tested with the McLaren MP4/6.
Gerhard Berger: Tested with the McLaren MP4/6.
Michael Andretti: Tested with the McLaren MP4/5B at Estoril and Silverstone.
Emanuele Pirro: Tested with the McLaren MP4/6 at Estoril.
Alain McNish: Tested with the McLaren MP4/6 at Estoril and Silverstone.
Roberto Moreno: Tested with the McLaren MP4/6 at Estoril.
Mark Blundell: Tested with the mcLaren MP4/6.
Stefan Johansson(?): Is said to have been testing with the McLaren MP4/6.
Jonathan Palmer(?): Is said to have been testing with the McLaren MP4/6.
Braun Tyrrell Honda
Tyrrell seemed to have a bright future in the early years of the 90s. For 1991 the team came with the Tyrrell 020. The car had obviously the high-nose. Satoru Nakajima and Stefano Modena were the drivers. Nakajima was one of the drivers because of the Honda connection. It were mostly Japanese drivers that tested with Tyrrell that year.
Satoru Nakajima: Tested with the Tyrrell 020.
Stefano Modena: Tested with the Tyrrell 020.
Mansanori Sekiya: Tested with the Tyrrell 019 which was adapted with several updates for the 020.
Hideki Okada: Tested with the Tyrrell 020.
Canon Williams Renault
Williams was the team that would challenge McLaren in 1991. With the FW14 designed by Patrick Head and Adrian Newey the team laid down the fundament for the years to come. Nigel Mansell and Ricardo Patrese were the drivers. What counts for McLaren counts as well for Williams. Plenty of drivers tested with their cars.
Nigel Mansell: Tested with the Williams FW13B at Paul Ricard and with the Williams FW14.
Ricardo Patrese: Tested with the Williams FW14.
Al Unser JR: Tested with the Williams FW14 at Estoril.
Tiff Needell: Tested with the Williams FW14 at Silverstone.
Johnny Robinson: Tested with the Williams FW13 for an TV commercial.
Damon Hill: Tested with the Williams FW13 at Silverstone.
Mark Blundell(?): its said that Blundell tested with the Williams.
Motor Racing Developments (Brabham)
1991 was the last year the Brabham team would score a couple of points. With Mark Blundell and Martin Brundle as their driver couple the team had a decent drive. Only the financial situation was far from good for the team. The team raced with the BT59Y and the BT60Y powered by Yamaha. Only a handful of drivers tested with the team.
Martin Brundle: Tested with the Brabham BT59Y at Estoril and Silverstone. And with the BT60Y.
Mark Blundell: Tested with the Brabham BT59Y at Estoril and Silverstone. And with the BY60Y.
Heinz-Harald Frentzen(?): It is unsure if he tested with the Brabham, photos exist of him in the car.
Ukyo Katayama: Tested with the Brabham BT60Y.
Footwork Grand Prix International
Footwork appeared in 1991 with the Porsche engine in the back of their car. It soon became clear that this engine was far from reliable. The results were poor, and later on in the season the team made the decision to ditch Porsche in favour for Ford. The team failed to score any point or a decent score. Michelle Alboreto and Alex Caffi were the drivers. With Johansson replacing Caffi for a few races.
Footwork – Porsche A11C / FA12
Michelle Alboreto: Tested with the Footwork A11C fitted with the Porsche. As well with the FA12.
Alex Caffi: Tested with the Footwork A11C fitted with the Porsche. as well with the FA12.
Stefan Johansson: Tested with the Footwork FA12.
Footwork – FA12C Ford
Michele Alboreto: Tested with the FA12C adapted for the Ford engine.
Alex Caffi: Tested with the FA12C adapted for the Ford engine.
Perry McCarthy: Tested with the FA12C at Silverstone.
Alessandro Zanardi: Tested with the FA12C at Silverstone.
Aguri Suzuki: Tested with the FA12C
Team Lotus used to be one of the big teams in the Formula One, though after the dead of Colin Chapman the team was down the spiral. In 1991 the team’s future seemed to be brighter. The team came with the Lotus 102B with Mika Häkkinen and Johnny Herbert. Both Julian Bailey and Michael Bartels replaced Herbert a few races.
Mika Häkkinen: Tested with the Lotus 102B at Silverstone.
Johnny Herbert: Tested with the Lotus 102B at Silverstone.
Julian Bailey: Tested with the Lotus 102B.
Michael Bartels: Tested with the Lotus 102B.
David Brabham: Tested with the Lotus 102B at Silverstone.
Fondmetal is one of the small teams that appeared on the grid in the early 1990s. Oliver Grouillard was the driver that did most of the races during the season. Gabriele Tarquini took the last two races of the season. The team appeared with the FA1M-E, which used to be the Osella. Before the team came with the Fomet-1.
Olivier Grouillard: Tested with the FA1M-E and with the Fomet-1.
Gabriele Tarquini: Tested with the Fomet-1. Did also the compete in the Bologna sprint.
Gregor Foitek: Tested with the FA1M-E.
Marco Greco: Tested a couple of time with the Fomet-1.
Leyton House Racing
The team with perhaps the most beautiful livery on the grid ever. The team appeared with the CG911 powered by Ilmor from Gustav Brunner and Chris Murphy. However, the team did not gain the results as it used to be the years before in 1991. Ivan Capelli and Maurício Gugelmin were the drivers for the team. While Karl Wendlinger replaced Capelli for the last two races of the season.
Ivan Capelli: Tested with the CG911.
Maurício Gugelmin: Tested with the CG911.
Karl Wendlinger: Tested with the CG911 at Silverstone prior his drive with the team.
Andy Wallace: Tested with the CG911 at Silverstone at least once.
Automobiles Gonfaronnaises Sportives (AGS)
The small French team appeared in the late 80s on the grid, the team never managed to impress that much. However, many of the fans liked the small team. With only a few people they managed to appear on the grid and deliver their cars. In 1991 the team appeared with the JH25B and the JH27 both powered by Ford. The team failed to score any decent result. Gabriele Tarquini and Fabrizio Barbazza drove most of the races for the team. While Olivier Grouillard and Stefan Johansson did a couple.
Gabriele Tarquini: Tested with the JH25B and with the JH27.
Fabrizio Barbazza: Tested with the JH25B and with the JH27.
Olivier Grouillard: Tested with the JH27.
Stefan Johansson: Tested with the JH25B.
Antonio Tamburini: It’s said he tested for AGS.
Camel Benetton Ford
In 1991 Benetton went into a transformation, the team scored a win and several podiums during the season. Oh and some German named Michael Schumacher joined the team after he made his debut in SPA with Jordan Grand Prix. The team started the season with the B190B before it let the B191 debut on the track. Roberto Moreno and Nelson Piquet drove most of the races for the team. While Michael Schumacher would replace Moreno after SPA.
Roberto Moreno: Tested with the B190B and with the B191.
Nelson Piquet: Tested with the B190B and with the B191.
Michael Schumacher: Tested with the B191.
Martin Brundle: Tested with the B191 in November at Estoril.
Giovanna Amati: Tested with the B191 because of her connection with Flavio.
David Coulthard(?): Some sources stated that Coulthard tested with Benetton in 1991.
Had in 1991 one of their best season with a podium finish and several point finishes. The team, also known as Dallara, was powered by Judd and had JJ Lehto and Emanuele Pirro as their drivers with decent results. The team appeared with the F191.
JJ Lehto: Tested with the F191.
Emanuele Pirro: Tested with the F191.
In 1991 Minardi signed a engine contract with Ferrari, which seemed a great deal. The M191 was as well a big improvement of the previous car. Pierluigi Martini drove all the races for the team while Gianni Morbidelli drove 15 races. Roberto Moreno drove the last Grand Prix.
Pierluigi Martini: Tested with the M191.
Gianni Morbidelli: Tested with the M191.
Roberto Moreno: Tested with the M191.
Fabio Babini: Tested in march 1991 at Aeroporto di Cervia-Pisignano with the M190. The only driver from Faenza that drove a Formula One car.
Marco Apicella(?): It is said that Apicella tested as well with Minardi in 1991.
Equipe Gitanes Ligier
Ligier had not a great period in the Formula One during the late 80s and the early 90. The team failed to score decent results. 1991 was no difference. The JS35 and JS35B were powered by the unreliable Lamborghini engine. Thierry Boutsen and Érik Comas were the drivers during the season.
Thierry Boutsen: Tested with the JS35 at Silverstone and the JS35B.
Érik Comas: Tested with the JS35 and the JS35B.
Emmanuel Collard: Tested with the JS35B.
Ferrari was on its way back to the top, in 1991 the team would score some decent results with their Ferrari 642 and 643. However, the team used also the Ferrari 642/2. Alain Prost and Jean Alesi drove most of the races for the team. While Gianni Morbidelli replaced Alain Prost for the last race of the season. There were several Italian drivers that tested for the Scuderia.
Alain Prost: Tested with the Ferrari 642, 642/2 and with the Ferrari 643.
Jean Alesi: Tested with the Ferrari 642, 642/2 and with the Ferrari 643.
Gianni Morbidelli: Tested with the Ferrari 643.
Andrea Montermini: Tested with the Ferrari 642 and the 643 at Imola and Fiorano.
Ivan Capelli:Tested with the Ferrari 643 at Imola.
Dario Benuzzi(?): Sources say that Benuzzi tested with Ferrari in 1991.
Larrousse is also known as Lola, its one of the teams that appeared in the Formula One after the turbo engine were banned. The team appeared with the LC91 which was powered by the Ford Cosworth engine. The team scored two points in 1991. Érik Bernard and Aguri Suzuki drove most of the race for the team. Bertrand Gachot replaced Bernard for the last race of the season. Several other driver tested for the team during the season.
Érik Bernard: Tested with the LC91.
Aguri Suzuki: Tested with the LC91.
Bertrand Gachot: Tested with the LC91.
Andrea Montermini(?): It is said that Montermini tested with the LC91.
Ukyo Katayama(?): It is said that Katayama tested with the LC91.
Marco Apicella(?): It is said that Apicella tested with the LC91.
The small Italian team from Enzo Coloni was in their last season the Formula one. In 1991 the team appeared with the Coloni C4 powered by the Ford Cosworth engine. Pedro Chaves drove the first 13 races for the team, while Naoki Hattori drove the remaining 3 races. The team would be sold to Sassetti.
Pedro Chaves: Tested with the Coloni C4
Naoki Hattori: Tested with the Coloni C4
Team 7UP Jordan
The team from Irish Eddie Jordan made their debut in 1991. Their Jordan 191 showed to be competitive and had some smooth lines, if you ask the fans. The team scored 13 points in their first season. Which is a huge amount for a new team. The 191 was powered by Ford. Andrea de Cesaris drove all the races. Bertrand Gachot drove the first 10 races to be replaced by Michael Schumacher. Who was replaced by Roberto Moreno when he moved to Benetton. Eventually Alessandro Nannini drove the last few races for the team.
Bertrand Gachot: Tested with the black Jordan 191 after the car was rebranded from 911 at Silverstone.
Roberto Moreno: Tested with the Jordan 191 before he made his debut for the team.
Alessandro Zanardi: Tested with the Jordan 191 before he made his debut for the team.
Andrea de Cesaris: Tested with the Jordan 191.
Stefano Modena: Tested with the Jordan 191.
John Watson: Tested with the Jordan 191 after he did test the Jordan 911.
Andrew-Gilbert Scott: Tested with the Jordan 191 at Silverstone.
It is a bit of a wonder that Modena, also known as the Lambo team appeared on the grid in 1990. In origin the team was to debut as the Glas Formula One Team though the owner disappeared with several millions. Lamborghini decided to continue the project as the car was already build. The Lambo 291 looked marvellous. Though due the lack of money the car was not further developed.
Nicola Larini and and Eric van de Poele drove all the races for the team. While Mauro Baldi was originally to race for Glas.
Nicola Larini: Tested with the Glas 001 in early 1991 before it became the Modena Team. Tested as well with the 291.
Eric van de Poele: Tested with the 291.
Mauro Baldi: Tested with the Glas 001 in early 1991 befor it became the Modena Team.
Marco Apicella: Tested with the 291.
Franco Scapini: Was to test with the car, and even signed a contract with the team to race in 1992 with the forgotten 391.
Lotus Isuzu 102C
In 1991 Team Lotus was looking for a new engine, and they found one in the Isuzu engine. The team tested a couple of time the engine, which was build in all secrecy. The P799WE was said to product over 630HP after more tweaking it was a 750HP. Mika Häkkinen tested with the car at Silverstone. Eventually the team cancelled the project.
Monteverdi seemed to be done with the Formula One during the 1990 season. Beside that the ORE2 was already in development. In January 1991 the car was completed and build. JJ lehto tested with the car and some decent times were set. The team eventually decided to leave the Formula one
Andrea Moda C4B
During the Bologona Sprint in 1991 which was held at the end of the year Andrea Moda appear. Sassetti purchased the assets from the Coloni team. One of the C4 cars was entered as the Andrea Moda C4B. Antonio Tamburini took place behind the wheel during the event.
Tyrrell Bridgestone/Mugen-Honda hybrid
As for 1990 it is said that Christian Danner tested with the car which is assumably also the Reynard F1 car. Though there isn’t much data available about this hybrid F1 car.
Jordan – Yamaha 191Y
For 1992 the Jordan Team signed a contract with Yamaha to supply them with engines. After the season the Jordan Yamaha 191Y appeared at Silverstone. The car was tested by Stefano Modena and Masanori Sekiya. The story about the car can be read here.