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23rd (scored 2 points) in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship with the Benetton- Ford Team (cars: Benetton-Ford B188 and B189). Alain Prost became world champion in the McLaren MP4/5, scoring 76 points.

In mid-1989, Benetton's team-manager Peter Collins asked Emanuele to replace the injured Johnny Herbert, starting from the season's seventh event, the Grand Prix of France. After Collins had been sacked and replaced by Flavio Briatore, the latter decided to replace Herbert in the next year by the three-time world champion Nelson Piquet. Since one decided to let Herbert's teammate Alessandro Nannini stay with the team, there was left no room for Emanuele in the anglo-italian Team of Luciano Benetton, and so Pirro was "traded" to the Scuderia Italia for the 1990 season.

July 9

Grand Prix of France, Paul Ricard 9th 24th

July 16

Grand Prix of Great Britain 11th 26th

July 30

Grand Prix of Germany, Hockenheim dnf accident 9th

August 13

Grand Prix of Hungary, Hungaroring 8th 25th

August 27

Grand Prix of Belgium, Spa Francorchamps 10th 13th

September 11

Grand Prix of Italy, Monza dnf clutch 9th

September 24

Grand Prix of Portugal,Estoril dnf shocks 16th

Oktober 1

Grand Prix of Spain, Jerez dnf cramps 10th

Oktober 22

Grand Prix of Japan, Suzuka dnf accident 22nd

November 5

Grand Prix of Australia, Adelaide 5th 13th


The Benetton B189 was used for the first time in the German Grand Prix.

1st 24 Hours of the Nürburgring for Touring Cars in a BMW M3
Pirro teamed up with Roberto Ravaglia and Fabien Giroix

1st Wellington 500 in New Zealand
in a BMW M3 together with Roberto Ravaglia

Formel 1 test-driver for McLaren-Honda


2nd in the
Grand Champion Championship in Japan (Japanese pendant to CanAm or the Inteserie)

Japanese Formula 3000

When Emanuele Pirro made his GP debut in the Benetton-Ford B188, he was in company of 3 other newcomers, but for shure the most experienced one. As a McLaren testdriver he had already more then 20.000 Formula 1 kilometer under the belt.
Emanuele Pirro watches the competition on the monitor during the time work is performed on his Benetton-Ford B189. He qualified 13th and finished the wet race in 10th position.
When Ayrton Senna, the winner of the french GP, was shown the chequered flag after 80 laps, Emanuele had driven 78 laps, finishing 9th in his debut race.
After he had started very successfully in the Japanese so-called "Grand Champion Championship", which is similar to the European Interserie, Emanuele should have become the champion. But his engagement for Benetton's Formula 1 team forced him to leave out some of the races in Japan, and so Pirro finally became vice-champion in his Reynard.