Portuguese GP 1991
SEPTEMBER 22, 1991
Portuguese GP, 1991
The entry was the same as at the Italian GP a fortnight earlier, except that Johnny Herbert was again back in the second Lotus after Michael Bartels had stood in for him at the last three races while Herbert was racing in Japanese Formula 3000. Qualifying was thrilling with an exciting battle between the two Williams-Renaults and the McLaren-Hondas and no-one expected the outcome to be pole position for Riccardo Patrese, driving the spare after his own car had blown an engine. Gerhard Berger was second in his McLaren by two-tenths and then came his team mate Ayrton Senna and Patrese's team mate Nigel Mansell. There was then an appreciable gap back to the Ferraris of Alain Prost and Jean Alesi. The top 10 was completed by Mauricio Gugelmin (Leyton House), Pierluigi Martini (Minardi-Ferrari), Ivan Capelli (Leyton House) and Michael Schumacher, once again quicker than his Benetton team mate Nelson Piquet.
He sliced across in front of Senna, the Brazilian having to jink towards the grass to avoid impact. An irate Senna dived for the inside line at the first corner but Mansell cut him off with another cut-throat manoeuvre. He then dived to the inside in the second turn and Berger had to swerve to avoid an impact. Patrese was ahead with Mansell second but Williams had planned for such an eventuality and on lap 18 Riccardo let Nigel go ahead. The order was unchanged until the pit stops when things went wrong for Mansell. The mechanic changing Nigel's right rear had a wheelnut crossthread and as he reached for a spare wheelnut other team members signalled that Nigel could depart. He went one way, his right rear went another. The car stopped in the pitlane and the Williams team ran to it, put a new wheel on the car and sent him away. But they had worked on the Williams in an illegal area and Nigel was duly blackflagged. He had lost nearly a lap but then charged back up to fifth before the penalty was applied.
This left Patrese ahead of Senna with Berger third but the Austrian soon overtook Senna and went after Patrese. Gerhard's challenge ended soon afterwards with a blown engine. Prost also disappeared with engine trouble and so third place went to Alesi with Martini fourth, Capelli fifth and Andrea de Cesaris (Jordan) sixth.
|7||15||Mauricio Gugelmin||Leyton House-Ilmor||70||7|
|8||33||Andrea de Cesaris||Jordan-Cosworth||70||14|
|17r||16||Ivan Capelli||Leyton House-Ilmor||64||Nose Cone||9|
|r||4||Stefano Modena||Tyrrell-Honda||56||Visor Into Air Intake/engine||12|
|r/dq||5||Nigel Mansell||Williams-Renault||51||Wheel Change Outside Pit/accident||4|
|r||22||JJ Lehto||Dallara-Judd||14||Gear Linkage||18|
|r||8||Mark Blundell||Brabham-Yamaha||12||Rear Suspension||15|
|nq||35||Eric van de Poele||Lamborghini||30|