Portuguese GP 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.

Senna was unable to attack Patrese and so the Italian came home to win. Alesi was third, Martini fourth and the two Benettons of Nelson Piquet and Schumacher fifth and sixth.

Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault  71 1h34m42.304s  
Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda  71 1h36m03.245s  
28 Jean Alesi Ferrari  71 1h36m35.858s  
23 Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ferrari  71 1h36m45.802s  
20 Nelson Piquet Benetton-Cosworth  71 1h36m52.337s  11 
19 Michael Schumacher Benetton-Cosworth  71 1h36m58.886s  10 
15 Mauricio Gugelmin Leyton House-Ilmor  70  
33 Andrea de Cesaris Jordan-Cosworth  70  14 
24 Gianni Morbidelli Minardi-Ferrari  70  13 
10 32 Roberto Moreno Jordan-Cosworth  70  16 
11 26 Erik Comas Ligier-Lamborghini  70  23 
12 Martin Brundle Brabham-Yamaha  69  19 
13 Satoru Nakajima Tyrrell-Honda  68  21 
14 11 Mika Hakkinen Lotus-Judd  68  26 
15 Michele Alboreto Footwork-Porsche  68  24 
16 25 Thierry Boutsen Ligier-Lamborghini  68  20 
17r 16 Ivan Capelli Leyton House-Ilmor  64 Nose Cone 
Stefano Modena Tyrrell-Honda  56 Visor Into Air Intake/engine 12 
r/dq Nigel Mansell Williams-Renault  51 Wheel Change Outside Pit/accident 
30 Aguri Suzuki Lola-Cosworth  40 Gearbox 25 
27 Alain Prost Ferrari  39 Engine 
Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda  37 Engine 
21 Emanuele Pirro Dallara-Judd  18 Engine 17 
22 JJ Lehto Dallara-Judd  14 Gear Linkage 18 
Mark Blundell Brabham-Yamaha  12 Rear Suspension 15 
12 Johnny Herbert Lotus-Judd  Engine/clutch 22 
nq 29 Eric Bernard Lola-Cosworth    27 
nq 17 Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Cosworth    28 
nq 34 Nicola Larini Lamborghini    29 
nq 35 Eric van de Poele Lamborghini    30 
nq 18 Stefan Johansson AGS-Cosworth    31 
nq 14 Olivier Grouillard Fomet-Cosworth    32 
nq 10 Alex Caffi Footwork-Porsche    33 
nq 31 Pedro Chaves Coloni-Cosworth    34