Brazilian GP 1991

Brazilian GP, 1991

There were no major changes from the field which had been seen a fortnight earlier in Phoenix, the cars having been sent straight down from Arizona. Ayrton Senna was on pole position in his McLaren-Honda with Riccardo Patrese alongside in his Williams-Renault. Nigel Mansell was third in the second Williams and Gerhard Berger fourth in the second McLaren. Jean Alesi and Alain Prost shared the third row in their Ferraris while Nelson Piquet (Benetton) was seventh with Mauricio Gugelmin eighth in his Leyton House. The top 10 was completed by Stefano Modena's Tyrrell and the Jordan of Bertrand Gachot.

At the start Senna took the lead but Berger's car caught fire at the back and so Mansell, Patrese and Alesi overtook him. Amazingly the fire was blown out and Berger was able to keep going. Further back Prost was stuck behind Piquet. Alain pitted early for new tyres and dropped to 11th. Mansell's attack on Senna began to fade on lap 22 and he pitted. The stop was a disaster as Nigel fished for gears. Senna pitted and so rejoined in the lead. When Patrese, Berger and Alesi pitted Mansell went back to second with Piquet third, the Brazilian going non-stop as usual. Mansell caught Senna while further back Patrese overtook Piquet and Berger closed in on the Benetton.

On lap 50 Mansell suddenly arrived in the pits with a puncture. He rejoined but the gap to Senna was half a minute. Mansell charged back but then spun off when the gearbox caught him out. Senna's gearbox also began doing strange things and he decided to put it in sixth gear and drive around without changing gear for the last seven laps. Patrese closed in but he had gearbox trouble as well and third-placed Berger was struggling with a sticking throttle.

And then it began to rain. The leading three struggled on to the line in terrible conditions but Senna took the flag a couple of seconds ahead of Patrese. The top six were all within 23 seconds of him: Patrese being followed home by Berger, Prost, Piquet and Alesi. Senna was so worn out that he had to be helped from the car but it had been a magnificent victory.

Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda  71 1h38m28.128s  
Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault  71 1h38m31.119s  
Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda  71 1h38m33.54s  
27 Alain Prost Ferrari  71 1h38m47.497s  
20 Nelson Piquet Benetton-Cosworth  71 1h38m50.088s  
28 Jean Alesi Ferrari  71 1h38m51.769  
19 Roberto Moreno Benetton-Cosworth  70  14 
24 Gianni Morbidelli Minardi-Ferrari  69  21 
11 Mika Hakkinen Lotus-Judd  68  22 
10 25 Thierry Boutsen Ligier-Lamborghini  68  18 
11 21 Emanuele Pirro Dallara-Judd  68  12 
12 Martin Brundle Brabham-Yamaha  67  26 
13r 32 Bertrand Gachot Jordan-Cosworth  63 Exhaust/fuel Pick-up 10 
Nigel Mansell Williams-Renault  59 Gearbox 
26 Erik Comas Ligier-Lamborghini  50 Oil Radiator Fire/spin 23 
23 Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ferrari  47 Spin 20 
Mark Blundell Brabham-Yamaha  34 Engine 25 
29 Eric Bernard Lola-Cosworth  33 Clutch Hydrualic Pipe 11 
22 JJ Lehto Dallara-Judd  22 Alternator 19 
33 Andrea de Cesaris Jordan-Cosworth  20 Electronics/accident 13 
Stefano Modena Tyrrell-Honda  19 Gear Linkage 
16 Ivan Capelli Leyton House-Ilmor  16 Engine 15 
Satoru Nakajima Tyrrell-Honda  12 Spin 16 
15 Mauricio Gugelmin Leyton House-Ilmor  Driver Unfit (burnt In Warm-up) 
17 Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Cosworth  Accident 24 
ns 30 Aguri Suzuki Lola-Cosworth   Fuel Pump On Dummy Grid 17 
nq 10 Alex Caffi Footwork-Porsche    27 
nq 18 Stefan Johansson AGS-Cosworth    28 
nq Michele Alboreto Footwork-Porsche    29 
nq 12 Julian Bailey Lotus-Judd    30 
npq 35 Eric van de Poele Lamborghini    31 
npq 34 Nicola Larini Lamborghini    32 
npq 31 Pedro Chaves Coloni-Cosworth    33 
npq 14 Olivier Grouillard Fomet-Cosworth    34