Hungarian GP 1987
AUGUST 9, 1987
Hungarian GP, 1987
The big news at the Hungarian Grand Prix was that Ayrton Senna had informed Lotus that he would not be staying with the team in 1988. Team boss Peter Warr moved quickly and signed Nelson Piquet, who was unhappy that Frank Williams would not give him clear number one status at Williams. Senna was going to join Alain Prost at McLaren.
Qualifying for the race in Budapest saw Ferrari making a step forward as Gerhard Berger qualified second behind Nigel Mansell's Williams-Honda. Nelson Piquet was third with Alain Prost fourth in his McLaren while Michele Alboreto was fifth in the second Ferrari and Senna sixth. The top 10 was completed by Thierry Boutsen (Benetton-Ford), Stefan Joahnsson's McLaren, Derek Warwick in the Arrows-Megatron and Riccardo Patrese's Brabham-BMW.
Mansell took the lead at the start with Berger making a slightly hesitant start which allowed Piquet to take second before Berger retook the place with a brave outside overtaking maneuver at the first corner. Piquet then lost third place to Alboreto and so it was Mansell being chased by the two Ferraris, with Piquet fourth ahead of Senna, Prost, Boutsen and Johansson. Berger's race would be short-lived as he retired after 13 laps with differential failure. This moved Alboreto to second and Piquet to third and the order stayed the same until Piquet overtook Alboreto on lap 29. Senna was fourth with Boutsen fifth and Prost sixth.
The order remained unchanged until lap 44 when Alboreto disappeared with an engine problem and then in the closing laps Prost moved ahead of Boutsen. On lap 71 of 76 Mansell's car lost its right rear wheel nut and he was forced to retire. Victory went to Piquet. Senna was second with Prost third ahead of Boutsen, Patrese and Warwick.