Spanish GP 1990

Spanish GP, 1990

The battle for the World Championship and Alain Prost's critical comments about Ferrari and the humour of pre-qualifying (which was scheduled to start when it was still dark) paled into insignificance on Friday when Martin Donnelly's Lotus crashed with enormous violence after a suspension failure on Friday. The Lotus hit the barriers nearly head-on and exploded into pieces. Donnelly was left lying on the track, his legs badly broken and the remains of his seat still strapped to his back. Amazingly he was still alive. In the circumstances Ayrton Senna's extraordinary pole position (his 50th) was a remarkable achievement and exhibited frightening commitment.

In his McLaren Senna was four-tenths of a second faster than Prost's Ferrari with Nigel Mansell third in the second Ferrari. Jean Alesi was fourth in the Tyrrell with Gerhard Berger a frustrated fifth having been blocked on his fastest lap for McLaren. The top 10 was rounded off by the two Williams-Renaults of Riccardo Patrese and Thierry Boutsen, the two Benetton-Fords of Nelson Piquet and Sandro Nannini and Derek Warwick in the one surviving Lotus.

Senna took the lead from Prost at the start with Mansell third. Behind them there was some wild action as Berger tried to drive through the field between Alesi and Patrese. Alesi spun.

Attention centred on Senna and Prost, running nose to tail at the front with Mansell keeping with them. Berger was clearly in trouble, having started the race on harder compound tyres than most, and behind him there grew a traffic jam, consisting of the two Williams-Renaults and the two Benettons.

Those early laps were exciting since Prost was pressuring Senna, looking for a way through. Overtaking at Jerez is not easy and it gradually became clear that Prost was going to have to settle for second until the pit stops and tyre changes which began on lap 20 when Mansell dived into the pitlane. He was followed by Patrese, Berger and Nannini. On lap 25 Prost and Boutsen headed in and a lap later in came Senna. He rejoined as Mansell was pulling over to let Prost ahead. Realising that he must not get caught behind Mansell, Senna dived ahead of the second Ferrari.

Piquet, who had not stopped, was a second in front but on lap 29 Nelson went off at the back of the track and immediately Prost and Senna were ahead of him. Then Senna began to drop back. Piquet disappeared with electrical trouble and Senna dropped back into the clutches of Mansell. Later it was discovered that some wreckage had pierced a radiator and it was leaking fluid onto the rear tyres. Eventually this put him out as temperatures rose. This left the two Ferraris circulating first and second with Nannini third but dropping back. Boutsen and Berger were disputing fourth. The two cars tangled wheels on lap 57 and the McLaren went off into a sandtrap.

Prost and Mansell duly scored a Ferrari 1-2 with Nannini third, Boutsen fourth, Patrese fifth and a charging Aguri Suzuki sixth.

Alain Prost Ferrari  73 1h48m01.461s  
Nigel Mansell Ferrari  73 1h48m23.525s  
19 Alessando Nannini Benetton-Cosworth  73 1h48m36.335s  
Thierry Boutsen Williams-Renault  73 1h48m44.757s  
Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault  73 1h48m58.991s  
30 Aguri Suzuki Lola-Lamborghini  73 1h49m05.189s  15 
25 Nicola Larini Ligier-Cosworth  72  20 
15 Mauricio Gugelmin Leyton House-Judd  72  12 
18 Yannick Dalmas AGS-Cosworth  72  23 
10 Michele Alboreto Arrows-Cosworth  71  25 
11 Derek Warwick Lotus-Lamborghini  63 Gearbox 10 
16 Ivan Capelli Leyton House-Judd  59 Driver Discomfort (leg Cramp) 19 
28 Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda  56 Accident 
27 Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda  53 Radiator 
20 Nelson Piquet Benetton-Cosworth  47 Alternator 
22 Andrea de Cesaris Dallara-Cosworth  47 Dropped Valve 17 
14 Olivier Grouillard Osella-Cosworth  45 Wheel Bearing 21 
23 Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Cosworth  41 Wheel Nut Loose/spin 11 
26 Philippe Alliot Ligier-Cosworth  22 Spin 13 
29 Eric Bernard Lola-Lamborghini  20 Gearbox 18 
Satoru Nakajima Tyrrell-Cosworth  13 Spin 14 
17 Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Cosworth  Electrics 22 
Stefano Modena Brabham-Judd  Accident 24 
21 Emanuele Pirro Dallara-Cosworth  Throttle Slides/spin 16 
Jean Alesi Tyrrell-Cosworth  Accident 
ns 12 Martin Donnelly Lotus-Lamborghini   Accident/injury 26 
nq David Brabham Brabham-Judd    27 
nq 24 Paolo Barilla Minardi-Cosworth    28 
nq 10 Bernd Schneider Arrows-Cosworth    29 
nq 31 Bertrand Gachot Coloni-Subaru    30 
npq 33 Roberto Moreno EuroBrun-Judd    31 
npq 34 Claudio Langes EuroBrun-Judd    32 
npq 39 Bruno Giacomelli Life    33