Three time World Champion Nelson Piquet claimed his victory at the 1991 Canadian Grand Prix in the Benetton-Cosworth B191, while Michael Schumacher raced this very car twice that the same year. Riccardo Patrese representing Williams-Renault claimed his pole position beating his own team mate, Nigel Mansell with this machine. Roberto Moreno qualifying fifth position on the grid showcased the quality of the Benetton-Cosworth B191 chassis while Nelson Piquet from Benetton-Ford finished eighth, unfortunately due to technical difficulties.
However, Benetton’s technical director John Barnard was made to drop his position after a major dispute of opinion with his team principal Flavio Briatore while the position was replaced by Gordon Kimball. Although, this is just half of the story – Sporting Director Cesare Fiorio was also fired and replaced by Piero Lardi Ferrari, Enzo Ferrari’s son. This change was sparked as a result of Cesare Fiorio’s public rift with Alian Prost after the Monaco GP.
Another iconic incident associated with the Benetton-Cosworth B191 happens to be of William-Renault’s lead driver, Nigel Mansell, who dominated the Canadian Grand Prix until the last lap! With just half a lap remaining for his historic victory to be created, out of excitement Nigel was busy waving at the crowd unaware of the fact that the car had slowed down considerably and the revs had dropped down drastically. Before he could step on the gas and finish the race, the hydraulic system was unable to select the right gear and the car came to a standstill. Funnily then, wildly shouting and laughing out of sheer joy, Nelson Piquet thundered down the track and claimed victory as the 1991 Canadian Grand Prix winner.
With the love of god and fate of luck, Tyrrell-Honda driver Stefeno Modena finished second later joined by Riccardo Patrese of Williams-Renault to claim the final position on the podium. Nigel Mansell managed to pull up and finished sixth while Roberto Moreno unfortunately spun out in the early laps of the race. However, the B191 did work wonders at the British and French GP finishing at 5th and 8th positions respectively. Later that year, Germany’s fastest driver, Michael Schumacher took over the wheel for the Japanese and Australian GP who later turned out to be a seven-time World GP champion. Due to engine trouble at the Suzuka circuit and meeting with an accident at Adelaide, Michael Schumacher retired for his first-ever Formula 1 race season in the cockpit of this very car. Later, the car was re-assembled and kept on display as a motoring masterpiece. A specialist Formula 1 team then restored the engine, gearbox and all necessary safety equipment with FIA regulations post which is ready to hit the roads once again.
The B191 driven by Michael Schumacher and Nelson Piquet was offered by Bonhams on auction at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps motor-racing circuit which is the venue of the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix. This 650bhp monster was out for auction for a mighty price tag of £800,000 in Belgium in late May 2017. The car is in perfectly running condition and back to its original specifications. Its mandatory to remain in the EU provided its local import duty is being dropped down. The car comes with Swiss Carte Grise, ASI document, and a Carta di Circolazione, but will attract re-import tax and shall return to Switzerland to its new owner.