The third season turned out to be the most difficult one for the Minardi team. It all started when the team's tyre supplier Pirelli, a company Minardi had enjoyed an excellent work relationship with, pulled out of the sport. Andrea de Cesaris, much to Gian Carlo's regret, had to leave the team due to problems with his sponsors. The two drivers for 1987 were Andrea Nannini and Spaniard Adrian Campos. Campos did not have the most convincing track record after not scoring a single point in F3000 the year before but he brought half a million dollars from Spanish clothes manufacturer Lois, a sponsor that would return to Faenza together with Marc Gene, 13 years later.
The season was lost before it even started as new regulations pushed engine development budgets to exorbitant proportions. Honda's RA167E engine was able to produce 997 hp at 12000rpm something Minardi's Motori Moderni unit could not compete with by any means. Halfway through the season the FIA proposed to return to naturally aspirated engines, which heralded the complete ban of turbo engines in 1989. As the engine situation did not improve, the Minardi team announced that it would split with its engine partner Motori Moderni. In 1987 Minardi continued to have immense trouble with the engine and the turbo charger. This was particularly unfortunate at the German GP, when Nannini dropped out in 7th place, almost guaranteed to finish in the points.