Australian GP 1990
NOVEMBER 4, 1990
Australian GP, 1990
There was no change to the entry between the Japanese and Australian GPs but there was lots of controversy after the collision between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost (the second one in two years) in Japan. FISA announced plans for a special enquiry into safety after Ferrari threatened to withdraw from F1 unless sanctions were taken against dangerous driving. On the race track the McLarens were ahead with Senna on pole ahead of Gerhard Berger. The two Ferraris of Nigel Mansell and Prost were next and then came Jean Alesi's Tyrrell ahead of the Williams of Riccardo Patrese, the two Benettons of Nelson Piquet and Roberto Moreno, Thierry Boutsen's Williams and Pierluigi Martini in his Minardi.
At the start Senna went into the lead with Berger second but on the second lap Gerhard accidentally hit his ignition switch and by the time he had put it back on again he had lost second place to Mansell. Piquet made quick progress passing Prost on lap six and Berger three laps later. Mansell chased up to Senna and the pair fought until lap 43 when Mansell went up an escape road. He later pitted and dropped to fifth, leaving Piquet in second place. Prost finally moved ahead of Berger to take third place. Mansell caught and passed Berger on lap 57 and five laps later this became third place when Senna had a gearbox glitch and slid off into a tyre barrier. Piquet was leading but Mansell closed in fast, passing Prost and rushing up behind the Benetton as the laps ticked away. Mansell made one desperate lunge for the lead on the last lap, almost hitting the back of the Benetton but Piquet stayed ahead to win. Prost was third with Berger fourth, Boutsen fifth and Patrese sixth.