MANY SUBARU FANS ARE NOT AWARE OF THE COMPANY’S BRIEF FORAY INTO FORMULA 1. ALTHOUGH FRAUGHT WITH OBSTACLES THAT COULD NOT BE OVERCOME, THIS EFFORT PROVED SUBARU A WILLING PLAYER EVEN IN THE MOST EXOTIC OF PERFORMANCE LEAGUES … LEAVING US ONE OF THE RAREST ENGINES IN F1 HISTORY.
The Subaru Coloni C3B still required preparation when it arrived for the first F1 race of
the 1990 season in Phoenix.
The 1990 F1 season was one of the battlegrounds for the legendary rivalry between Ayrton Senna (driving for McLaren) and Alain Prost (driving for Ferrari). Although Senna won the 1990 championship, he did so by only seven points.
Besides showcasing spirited driving, 1990 was the second season of F1’s change to non-turbocharged (“all atmospheric”) engines. Besides the established engine manufacturers of the time – Ferrari, Lamborghini, Honda, Renault, Ford, and Judd among them – a number of others tested the waters of F1. Among them was Subaru.
Fielding a competitive F1 team involves a highly coordinated effort, with the right team members, the most contemporary yet reliable engine and chassis technology, and some good fortune. Even then, results don’t always equal that effort.
Complicating matters was an overabundance of cars showing up for F1 races in the 1990 season. Thirty-nine cars vied for 26 starting positions, with smaller teams forced to “pre-qualify” for the last four spots. Among them were Euro Brun, AGS, Life, Larrousse, and Subaru Coloni.