Australian GP 1986

OCTOBER 26, 1986

Australian GP, 1986

The most dramatic and exciting race of the 1980s, the 1986 race in Adelaide saw the showdown of a three-way fight for the World Championship between Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost and Nelson Piquet. Mansell had 70 points, seven more than Piquet but they were split by Prost with 64. Prost's McLaren-TAG was no match for the Williams-Hondas - which had lapped the Frenchman at several races - although Alain had collected points all year while the Williams pair fought one another.

Mansell was on pole ahead of Piquet and Ayrton Senna (Lotus-Renault). Prost was fourth followed by Rene Arnoux (Ligier), Gerhard Berger (Benetton), Keke Rosberg (McLaren), Philippe Alliot (Ligier), Michele Alboreto's Ferrari and Philippe Streiff's Tyrrell.

Mansell took pole from Piquet but at the second corner Senna forced his way into the lead. Piquet and Rosberg followed him past Mansell and on that first lap Piquet overtook Senna to take the lead. On the next lap Senna dropped behind Rosberg and on lap 4 behind Mansell. Two laps later Prost was also ahead of Senna.

On lap 7 Rosberg overtook Piquet and began to build a lead while a little later Prost got ahead of Mansell and chased after Piquet. On lap 23 Nelson spun. Prost's hopes seemed to evaporate a few laps later when he had a puncture and had to pit. He was back in fourth again.

Piquet charged back from his spin, passing Mansell for second place on lap 44 but Prost closed on his two Williams driver and with 25 laps to go all three were running together.

On lap 63 the battle became one for the lead, when Rosberg suffered a right rear tire failure. Mansell was on course for the title when two laps later his left rear tire exploded at 180mph. Nigel managed to avoid hitting anything by his championship hopes were over. Williams had no choice but to call Piquet to the pits and so Prost went into the lead. Piquet closed the gap from 15secs to four but Prost won the race and the World Championship after a breathtakingly exciting race.

Third place went in the race went to Stefan Johansson in his last race for Ferrari with Martin Brundle fourth in his Tyrrell. Streiff was fifth and Johnny Dumfries (Lotus) sixth.

Alain Prost McLaren-TAG Porsche  82 1h54m20.388s  
Nelson Piquet Williams-Honda  82 1h54m24.593s  
28 Stefan Johansson Ferrari  81  12 
Martin Brundle Tyrrell-Renault  81  16 
5r Philippe Streiff Tyrrell-Renault  80 Out Of Fuel 10 
11 Johnny Dumfries Lotus-Renault  80  14 
25 Rene Arnoux Ligier-Renault  79  
26 Philippe Alliot Ligier-Renault  79  
14 Jonathan Palmer Zakspeed  77  21 
10 19 Teo Fabi Benetton-BMW  77  13 
nc 16 Patrick Tambay Lola-Hart  70  17 
Nigel Mansell Williams-Honda  63 Tire Burst/accident 
Riccardo Patrese Brabham-BMW  63 Electrics 19 
Keke Rosberg McLaren-TAG Porsche  62 Tire Burst 
nc 22 Allen Berg Osella-Alfa Romeo  61  26 
Derek Warwick Brabham-BMW  57 Brakes 20 
17 Christian Danner Arrows-BMW  52 Engine 24 
18 Thierry Boutsen Arrows-BMW  50 Throttle Spring 22 
12 Ayrton Senna Lotus-Renault  43 Engine 
20 Gerhard Berger Benetton-BMW  40 Clutch/engine 
23 Andrea de Cesaris Minardi-Motori Moderni  40 Fire Extinguisher 11 
29 Huub Rothengatter Zakspeed  29 Rear Suspension 23 
15 Alan Jones Lola-Hart  16 Engine 15 
24 Alessandro Nannini Minardi-Motori Moderni  10 Accident 18 
21 Piercarlo Ghinzani Osella-Alfa Romeo  Crown Wheel And Pinion 25 
27 Michele Alboreto Ferrari  Accident/rear Suspension