Australian GP 1991

Australian GP, 1991

After the Japanese GP Alain Prost was told by Ferrari that his services would not be required in Australia and that he would not be driving for the team in 1992. The announcement came after months of tension within the team. The decision to fire Prost was taken because of public criticism of the team. This opened the way for Gianni Morbidelli to drive for Ferrari and his drive at Minardi was passed on to Roberto Moreno. Eric Bernard was out of action with leg injuries and so Gerard Larrousse agreed to let Bertrand Gachot try to revive his F1 career (which had been interrupted by a stretch in prison that summer) in exchange for some much-needed sponsorship money. Gachot failed to qualify while regular driver Aguri Suzuki also missed out after a huge accident on Friday.

Qualifying resulted in a dominant showing for the McLaren-Hondas of new World Champion Ayrton Senna and Gerhard Berger. Nigel Mansell and Riccardo Patrese were third and fourth in their Williams-Renaults while the third row was shared by Nelson Piquet and Michael Schumacher and the fourth by the Ferraris of Jean Alesi and Morbidelli. The top 10 was completed by the Tyrrell-Honda of Stefano Modena and Pierluigi Martini's Minardi-Ferrari.

In the hour before the race began the rain started to fall and conditions became so bad that the start was delayed. Eventually it was decided that the race should go ahead as the rain had eased a little and at the start Senna and Berger went into the lead. Mansell was third and Schumacher fourth. Mansell moved ahead of Berger in the course of the third lap. On the fifth lap the two Benettons collided and Schumacher spun. He was then hit by Alesi's Ferrari and the Modena Lamborghini of Nicola Larini. Not long afterwards Martini also spun into a wall.

The rain was getting worse, however, and on lap 13 Mauricio Gugelmin crashed his Leyton House into the pitlane, slightly injuring two marshals. Mansell and Berger both spun out and, with Senna waving that the race should be stopped, the red flags were shown. The rain continued to lash down and eventually the race was declared over with half points being awarded. Piquet was fourth, Patrese fifth and Morbidelli sixth.

Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda  14 24m34.899s  
Nigel Mansell Williams-Renault  14 24m36.158s  
Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda  14 24m40.019s  
20 Nelson Piquet Benetton-Cosworth  14 25m05.002s  
Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault  14 25m25.436s  
27 Gianni Morbidelli Ferrari  14 25m25.968s  
21 Emanuele Pirro Dallara-Judd  14 25m27.260s  13 
33 Andrea de Cesaris Jordan-Cosworth  14 25m35.330s  12 
32 Alessandro Zanardi Jordan-Cosworth  14 25m50.466s  
10 Stefano Modena Tyrrell-Honda  14 25m55.269s  
11 12 Johnny Herbert Lotus-Judd  14 25m56.972s  21 
12 22 JJ Lehto Dallara-Judd  14 26m13.418s  11 
13 Michele Alboreto Footwork-Porsche  14 26m14.202s  15 
14r 15 Mauricio Gugelmin Leyton House-Ilmor  13 Accident In Pit Lane 14 
15 10 Alex Caffi Footwork-Porsche  13  23 
16 24 Roberto Moreno Minardi-Ferrari  13  18 
17 Mark Blundell Brabham-Yamaha  13  17 
18 26 Erik Comas Ligier-Lamborghini  13  22 
19 11 Mika Hakkinen Lotus-Judd  13  25 
20 16 Karl Wendlinger Leyton House-Ilmor  12  26 
23 Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ferrari  Accident 10 
19 Michael Schumacher Benetton-Cosworth  Accident 
28 Jean Alesi Ferrari  Accident 
34 Nicola Larini Lamborghini  Accident 19 
25 Thierry Boutsen Ligier-Lamborghini  Accident 20 
Satoru Nakajima Tyrrell-Honda  Accident 24 
nq 30 Aguri Suzuki Lola-Cosworth    27 
nq Martin Brundle Brabham-Yamaha    28 
nq 35 Eric van de Poele Lamborghini    29 
nq 29 Bertrand Gachot Lola-Cosworth    30 
npq 14 Gabriele Tarquini Fomet-Cosworth    31 
npq 31 Naoki Hattori Coloni-Cosworth    32