In 1987 Benetton effectively became the Ford works team in F1 as they had exclusive use of the turbocharged Ford TEC V6 engine for 1987, rated at approximately 900 bhp (671 kW; 912 PS). Driven by Belgian Thierry Boutsen and Italian Teo Fabi, the team and the B187 got off to a good start with Boutsen finishing 5th at the season opening Brazilian Grand Prix and by mid-season both Fabi and Boutsen were regularly challenging the top 4 teams of McLaren, Williams, Lotus and Ferrari for podium finishes. Boutsen led the Mexican Grand Prix before being forced to retire. Boutsen finished the season in 8th place with 16 points while Fabi, in his last year in F1, was 9th with 12 points scored. Overall with the B187, Benetton finished 5th in the constructors championship with 28 points. For Benetton this was a 9 point and 1 place improvement on the 1986 season.
The B187 was the last of the turbo cars produced by Benetton and was replaced in 1988 by the Naturally aspirated, Ford DFR, V8 powered B188.
The B187 was driven by Jackie Stewart in 1989 as part of a show where he drove a number of Formula One cars. The B187 was the last F1 car driven by Teo Fabi, the Italian being pushed out of the team for 1988 with the signing of Alessandro Nannini. With no offers for a drive in 1988, Fabi's last race for the team was the Australian Grand Prix. It was at this race that he deliberately held up Boutsen from lapping him for lap after lap despite repeated pit board signs and radio messages to let his team mate past.