Australian GP 1989
NOVEMBER 5, 1989
Australian GP, 1989
There was no shortage of controversy in Adelaide, despite the fact that the World Championship had been settled when Alain Prost drove into Ayrton Senna in Suzuka. Despite rejoining and winning the race, Senna was deprived of victory by the FIA. In Australia Senna accused FIA President Jean-Marie Balestre of manipulating the World Championship to favor Prost.
Senna qualified on pole ahead of Prost with the remarkable Pierluigi Martini again fast in his Pirelli-shod Minardi which was third on the grid. Then came Sandro Nannini (Benetton), Thierry Boutsen and Riccardo Patrese in their Williams-Renaults, the Ferrari of Nigel Mansell, Stefano Modena's Brabham and they two Scuderia Italia Dallaras of Andrea de Cesaris and Alex Caffi.
It had been cool and dry in qualifying but on race day there was rain and for a long time there were discussions as to whether the race should be started. The conditions were so bad that Alain Prost, the new World Champion, refused to race. It would be a incident-packed race with several drivers running into the rear of other cars because the visibility was so bad. Senna was well in the lead when he did not see Brundle and smashed into the back of the Brabham. There was also a nasty accident when Nelson Piquet (Lotus) ran into the back of Piercarlo Ghinzani's Osella. This left Boutsen in the lead and he did not make a mistake. He was followed home by Nannini, Patrese, Satoru Nakajima (Lotus), Emanuele Pirro (Benetton) and Martini sixth.