Spanish GP 1989
OCTOBER 1, 1989
Spanish GP, 1989
There was a much controversy going on in the week between the Portuguese and Spanish Grand Prix as the FIA had decided that Nigel Mansell should be given a one-race suspension for having ignored a black flag and then run into Ayrton Senna, taking the Brazilian out of the race. Mansell was threatening to retire if the ban went ahead. He backed down.
Elsewhere in the paddock Christian Danner had been dropped by Rial in favor of Gregor Foitek, who had been dropped earlier by the EuroBrun team. In qualifying the young Swiss driver had a sizable accident but emerged unhurt. Qualifying resulted in pole position for World Championship challenger Ayrton Senna ahead of Gerhard Berger's Ferrari and the likely champion, Senna's team mate Alain Prost. Fourth place went to the Minardi of Pierluigi Martini, which was using Pirelli's quick qualifying tires while Philippe Alliot was fifth fastest in his Larrousse Lola Lamborghini. Riccardo Patrese was next for Williams followed by Nelson Piquet's Lotus, Martin Brundle (Brabham), the impressive Jean Alesi (Tyrrell) and Emanuele Pirro in the first of the Benettons.
Senna took the lead at the start and led from flag to flag with Berger behind him all the way and Prost apart from on one lap in the middle of the race when he pitted for new tires. Alesi finished fourth with Patrese fifth and Alliot sixth.
Senna victory meant that he closed up on Prost in the World Championship but Alain was 16 points ahead with two races remaining, Senna needed to win both.