Brazilian GP 1991
MARCH 24, 1991
Brazilian GP, 1991
There were no major changes from the field which had been seen a fortnight earlier in Phoenix, the cars having been sent straight down from Arizona. Ayrton Senna was on pole position in his McLaren-Honda with Riccardo Patrese alongside in his Williams-Renault. Nigel Mansell was third in the second Williams and Gerhard Berger fourth in the second McLaren. Jean Alesi and Alain Prost shared the third row in their Ferraris while Nelson Piquet (Benetton) was seventh with Mauricio Gugelmin eighth in his Leyton House. The top 10 was completed by Stefano Modena's Tyrrell and the Jordan of Bertrand Gachot.
At the start Senna took the lead but Berger's car caught fire at the back and so Mansell, Patrese and Alesi overtook him. Amazingly the fire was blown out and Berger was able to keep going. Further back Prost was stuck behind Piquet. Alain pitted early for new tyres and dropped to 11th. Mansell's attack on Senna began to fade on lap 22 and he pitted. The stop was a disaster as Nigel fished for gears. Senna pitted and so rejoined in the lead. When Patrese, Berger and Alesi pitted Mansell went back to second with Piquet third, the Brazilian going non-stop as usual. Mansell caught Senna while further back Patrese overtook Piquet and Berger closed in on the Benetton.
On lap 50 Mansell suddenly arrived in the pits with a puncture. He rejoined but the gap to Senna was half a minute. Mansell charged back but then spun off when the gearbox caught him out. Senna's gearbox also began doing strange things and he decided to put it in sixth gear and drive around without changing gear for the last seven laps. Patrese closed in but he had gearbox trouble as well and third-placed Berger was struggling with a sticking throttle.
And then it began to rain. The leading three struggled on to the line in terrible conditions but Senna took the flag a couple of seconds ahead of Patrese. The top six were all within 23 seconds of him: Patrese being followed home by Berger, Prost, Piquet and Alesi. Senna was so worn out that he had to be helped from the car but it had been a magnificent victory.
|13r||32||Bertrand Gachot||Jordan-Cosworth||63||Exhaust/fuel Pick-up||10|
|r||26||Erik Comas||Ligier-Lamborghini||50||Oil Radiator Fire/spin||23|
|r||29||Eric Bernard||Lola-Cosworth||33||Clutch Hydrualic Pipe||11|
|r||33||Andrea de Cesaris||Jordan-Cosworth||20||Electronics/accident||13|
|r||4||Stefano Modena||Tyrrell-Honda||19||Gear Linkage||9|
|r||16||Ivan Capelli||Leyton House-Ilmor||16||Engine||15|
|r||15||Mauricio Gugelmin||Leyton House-Ilmor||9||Driver Unfit (burnt In Warm-up)||8|
|ns||30||Aguri Suzuki||Lola-Cosworth||Fuel Pump On Dummy Grid||17|
|npq||35||Eric van de Poele||Lamborghini||31|