Portuguese GP 1988

Portuguese GP, 1988

After Gerhard Berger's unexpected victory at Monza there might have been hopes of a repeat at Estoril but such ideas were quickly dispelled as Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna dominated qualifying in their McLaren-Hondas, the Frenchman for once beating the Brazilian. On this occasion Ivan Capelli was third quickest in the impressive March-Judd with Gerhard Berger (Ferrari) fourth and Mauricio Gugelmin fifth in his March. Nigel Mansell was back in action and was sixth in his Williams ahead of Michele Alboreto's Ferrari, Nelson Piquet's Lotus, Sandro Nannini's Benetton and the Arrows-Megatron of Derek Warwick.

The race started with a crash as Warwick stalled on the grid and was hit by Andrea de Cesaris (Rial), Luis Sala (Minardi) and Satoru Nakajima (Lotus). The race was red-flagged. This was good news for Riccardo Patrese who had missed the first start because of engine problem.

The field formed up again and Prost got away slightly faster than Senna but the Brazilian dived into the first corner ahead. Prost responded and went to pass Senna at the end of the first lap. Senna swerved to block Prost, forcing the Frenchman to run close to the pitwall. Prost kept his foot down and edged Senna outwards, taking the lead as they went into the first corner. He quickly began to pull away and would not be headed again. After the race Prost was not happy with Senna's maneuver.

Senna had to keep an eye on his fuel and soon fell into the clutches of Capelli and on lap 21 Senna dropped to third. Capelli then began to close the gap on Prost. Berger overtook Senna but went out on lap 36 when he pressed the wrong button in his cockpit and set off the fire extinguisher. This eventually caused him to spin off. Senna then fell back to Mansell and the battled for 20 laps before coming up behind Jonathan Palmer's Tyrrell. As they scrambled to get by Mansell ran into the back of Senna and went off into the barriers. Senna had to stop for new tires.

Prost won as he pleased to score McLaren's 12th victory in 13 races. Capelli was second with Thierry Boutsen (Benetton) third. Warwick was fourth, Alboreto fifth and Senna sixth. The result meant that Prost moved ahead of Senna in the World Championship with 81 points to the Brazilian's 76.

11 Alain Prost McLaren-Honda  70 1h37m40.958s  
16 Ivan Capelli March-Judd  70 1h37m50.511s  
20 Thierry Boutsen Benetton-Cosworth  70 1h38m25.577s  13 
17 Derek Warwick Arrows-Megatron  70 1h38m48.377s  10 
27 Michele Alboreto Ferrari  70 1h38m52.842s  
12 Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda  70 1h38m59.227s  
36 Alex Caffi Dallara-Cosworth  69  17 
24 Luis Sala Minardi-Cosworth  68  19 
14 Philippe Streiff AGS-Cosworth  68  21 
10 25 Rene Arnoux Ligier-Judd  68  23 
11 31 Gabriele Tarquini Coloni-Cosworth  65  26 
12 21 Nicola Larini Osella-Alfa Romeo  63  25 
15 Mauricio Gugelmin March-Judd  59 Engine 
Nigel Mansell Williams-Judd  54 Accident 
Jonathan Palmer Tyrrell-Cosworth  53 Engine Overheating 22 
19 Alessandro Nannini Benetton-Cosworth  52 Vibration/driver Exhausted 
28 Gerhard Berger Ferrari  35 Fire Extinguisher/accident 
Nelson Piquet Lotus-Honda  34 Clutch 
Riccardo Patrese Williams-Judd  29 Radiator 11 
23 Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Cosworth  27 Engine 14 
29 Yannick Dalmas Lola-Cosworth  20 Alternator Belt 15 
Satoru Nakajimi Lotus-Honda  16 Accident 16 
22 Andrea de Cesaris Rial-Cosworth  11 Drive Shaft 12 
18 Eddie Cheever Arrows-Megatron  10 Turbo 18 
30 Philippe Alliot Lola-Cosworth  Engine 20 
26 Stefan Johansson Ligier-Judd  Engine 24 
nq Julian Bailey Tyrrell-Cosworth    27 
nq Piercarlo Ghinzani Zakspeed    28 
nq 33 Stefano Modena EuroBrun-Cosworth    29 
nq 10 Bernd Schneider Zakspeed    30 
nq 32 Oscar Larrauri EuroBrun-Cosworth    31