Mexican GP 1991
JUNE 16, 1991
Mexican GP, 1991
After Nigel Mansell's embarrassing last lap disaster in Canada the Williams-Renault team was looking for a better result in Mexico City. In qualifying Riccardo Patrese again overshadowed Mansell while Ayrton Senna flipped his McLaren on Friday but still managed to stay third on the grid. He was not having a good time as he had also had stitches that week following a jet-ski accident. Jean Alesi was fourth in his Ferrari ahead of Gerhard Berger (McLaren), Nelson Piquet (Benetton-Ford), Alain Prost (Ferrari) and Stefano Modena (Tyrrell). The top 10 was completed by Roberto Moreno (Benetton) and the remarkable Olivier Grouillard (Fondmetal).
At the start the race had to be aborted when a fire marshal got carried away and jumped over the wall to put out a fire that he though he had seen in the back of JJ Lehto's Dallara. In fact Lehto had no real problem and used the same car for the second attempt at starting. This time Grouillard saw yellow flags being waved, signaling danger, and switched off his engine. This was credited as having been a stall and so he was forced to start from the back of the grid.
At the third attempt the field got away with Mansell getting into the lead with Alesi second ahead of Senna and Patrese fourth ahead of Berger, Piquet, Modena and de Cesaris. Senna quickly overtook Alesi and Modena was quickly ahead of Piquet, while Patrese closed up on Alesi and, having overtaken him, went after Senna. Berger's Honda V12 blew on lap 5.
Mansell was also having engine trouble and after Patrese got through to second place he set off after his team mate. Two laps later Riccardo was battling for the lead. Several times Mansell blocked his team mate but then Patrese outfoxed the Englishman and went ahead. Mansell fell back towards Senna and Piquet. De Cesaris was close behind in his Jordan, ahead of Moreno and a fast-closing Alesi who was recovering from a spin. Gradually Senna began to fade and Mansell went faster and faster as the cooling problems faded. Further back Alesi went past both Moreno and de Cesaris but his race ended soon afterwards with a clutch failure while Piquet went out with a broken wheelbearing. Moreno and the Benetton team failed to communicate on a pit stop and Roberto lost valuable time and so the two Jordans were running fourth and fifth until Bertrand Gachot spun off.
Patrese allowed Mansell to close right up on him but then responded and was able to hold off Mansell by a couple of car lengths. Senna was third and de Cesaris fourth, despite the fact that the Jordan stopped on the last lap. Andrea climbed from the car and pushed it. It was against the rules but the stewards later decided that he did not begin pushing until the race had ended and so Andrea retained the position. Moreno finished fifth and Eric Bernard took the final point in his Larrousse-Ford.
|4r||33||Andrea de Cesaris||Jordan-Cosworth||66||Throttle Potentiometer||11|
|r||20||Nelson Piquet||Benetton-Cosworth||44||Wheel Bearing||6|
|r||9||Michele Alboreto||Footwork-Porsche||24||Oil Pressure||26|
|r||7||Martin Brundle||Brabham-Yamaha||20||Rear Wheel Lost||17|
|r||16||Ivan Capelli||Leyton House-Ilmor||19||Engine||22|
|r||15||Mauricio Gugelmin||Leyton House-Ilmor||15||Engine||21|
|r||14||Olivier Grouillard||Fomet-Cosworth||13||Oil Leak||10|
|exc||34||Nicola Larini||Lamborghini||Rear Wing Infringement||31|
|npq||35||Eric van de Poele||Lamborghini||32|