Australian GP 1988

NOVEMBER 13, 1988

Australian GP, 1988

The last race of the turbocharged era in Formula 1. There was some controversy in the run-up to the Australian GP with McLaren boss Ron Dennis demanding an apology from the FISA President Jean-Marie Balestre over suggestions that the team had not supplied identical machinery to Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. aside from this it was a relaxed affair as the World Championship was settled in Senna's favor and the Brazilian was keen to finish the year with a 15th McLaren victory in 16 races. Ayrton took pole as usual with Prost second and Nigel Mansell third in his last race for Williams before moving to Ferrari. His future Ferrari team mate Gerhard Berger was fourth with Nelson Piquet fifth and Riccardo Patrese sixth in his record-breaking 176th Grand Prix start. The top 10 was rounded off by Derek Warwick (Arrows-Megatron), Sandro Nannini (Benetton), Ivan Capelli (March) and Thierry Boutsen (Benetton). Alex Caffi did an impressive job in his Dallara, qualifying 11th ahead of Michele Alboreto in the second Ferrari.

Senna made a poor start and Prost went into the lead. Mansell was right with Senna as they went into the first corner but had to give way and dropped behind Berger and Piquet. Further back Alboreto and Caffi collided.

On the third lap Berger overtook Senna and went after Prost. He shadowed the Frenchman until lap 14 when he took the lead and he seemed to be on his way to victory until he collided with Rene Arnoux's Ligier while trying to lap the Frenchman. That put Prost back into the lead and he duly led all the way to the flag with Senna over half a minute behind him. Piquet was third with Patrese fourth, Boutsen fifth and Capelli sixth.

McLaren thus finished the year with 15 victories in 16 races, a record which is going to be very hard to better.

11 Alain Prost McLaren-Honda  82 1h53m14.676s  
12 Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda  82 1h53m51.463s  
Nelson Piquet Lotus-Honda  82 1h54m02.222s  
Riccardo Patrese Williams-Judd  82 1h54m34.764s  
20 Thierry Boutsen Benetton-Cosworth  81  10 
16 Ivan Capelli March-Judd  81  
23 Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Cosworth  80  14 
8r 22 Andrea de Cesaris Rial-Cosworth  77 Out Of Fuel  15 
9r 26 Stefan Johansson Ligier-Judd  76 Out Of Fuel 22 
10r 30 Philippe Alliot Lola-Cosworth  75 Out Of Fuel 24 
11r 14 Philippe Streiff AGS-Cosworth  73 Electrics 16 
Piercarlo Ghinzani Zakspeed  69 Fuel Pump  26 
Nigel Mansell Williams-Judd  65 Brakes/accident 
19 Alessandro Nannini Benetton-Cosworth  63 Handling/spin 
33 Stefano Modena EuroBrun-Cosworth  63 Half Shaft 20 
17 Derek Warwick Arrows-Megatron  52 Throttle 
18 Eddie Cheever Arrows-Megatron  51 Engine 18 
15 Mauricio Gugelmin March-Judd  46 Accident 19 
Satoru Nakajimi Lotus-Honda  45 Accident 13 
24 Luis Sala Minardi-Cosworth  41 Electrics 21 
36 Alex Caffi Dallara-Cosworth  32 Clutch 11 
28 Gerhard Berger Ferrari  25 Accident 
25 Rene Arnoux Ligier-Judd  24 Accident 23 
Jonathan Palmer Tyrrell-Cosworth  16 Crown Wheel & Pinion 17 
32 Oscar Larrauri EuroBrun-Cosworth  12 Half Shaft/accident 25 
27 Michele Alboreto Ferrari  Accident 12 
nq 31 Gabriele Tarquini Coloni-Cosworth    27 
nq Julian Bailey Tyrrell-Cosworth    28 
nq 29 Pierre-Henri Raphanel Lola-Cosworth    29 
nq 10 Bernd Schneider Zakspeed    30 
npq 21 Nicola Larini Osella-Alfa Romeo    31