Belgian GP 1989
AUGUST 27, 1989
Belgian GP, 1989
The future of Brabham was once again called into question by the news that Joachim Luhti had been arrested in connection with allegations of fraud in Switzerland. The political battle at Benetton had come to a head with team manager Peter Collins leaving and Flavio Briatore taking on an important new role within the team. As Jean Alesi was busy trying to win the Formula 3000 title his place at Tyrrell was taken by Johnny Herbert while at Coloni Pierre-Henri Raphanel had given up trying to pre-qualify the cars and had been replaced by Enrico Bertaggia. Raphanel had replaced Volker Weidler at Rial.
The battle for the World Championship was the talking point and in qualifying Ayrton Senna was on pole in his McLaren-Honda ahead of his team mate Alain Prost. Gerhard Berger was third in his Ferrari with Thierry Bousten fourth in his Williams ahead of his team mate Riccardo Patrese. Nigel Mansell was sixth in his Ferrari ahead of Sandro Nannini (Benetton), Stefano Modena (Brabham), Mauricio Gugelmin (Leyton House) and Derek Warwick (Arrows). There was disaster for Lotus as neither Nelson Piquet not Satoru Nakajima was able to qualify.
On race day it was wet and at the start Senna went into the lead with Prost, Berger, Mansell, Boutsen, Patrese and Warwick chasing him. Berger disappeared in the early laps when his Ferrari aquaplaned off. It made no difference at the front where Senna led Prost for the entire race. Mansell ended up third with Boutsen fourth, Nannini fifth and Warwick sixth.