British GP 1989

JULY 16, 1989

British GP, 1989

While the battle for the World Championship was not very exciting with Alain Prost well ahead, the fight to get out of pre-qualifying was frantic as the mid-year changeover point approached. On the top 13 teams qualified automatically. Before Silverstone it seemed that Brabham, Scuderia Italia, Rial and Onyx would get out of the predicament but AGS, Osella, Coloni, Zakspeed and EuroBrun looked to be stuck while Larrousse and Minardi were in trouble and Ligier and perhaps even Lotus looked threatened if there was a surprise result from one of the smaller teams. For the occasion AGS decided that it would replace Joachim Winkelhock with Yannick Dalmas.

There were a couple of changes in the field with Derek Warwick returning to Arrows having missed the French GP because of a bank injury. Eric Bernard stayed with Larrousse for a second race but it was announced that Michele Alboreto would be joining the team in Germany.

Qualifying was the usual story with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost ahead in their McLaren-Hondas. the two Ferraris of Nigel Mansell and Gerhard Berger shared the second row while Riccardo Patrese's Williams was alongside Mauricio Gugelmin's March on row three. Then came Thierry Boutsen (Williams), Ivan Capelli (March), Sandro Nannini (Benetton) and Nelson Piquet (Lotus). Pierluigi Martini's Minardi was 11th.

Before the start Gugelmin hit trouble and had to start from the spare car in pitlane. Prost took the lead but Senna was not to be denied and forced his way ahead at the first corner (in another move which did not impress Prost). There was an element of humor at the back of the field where Nicola Larini (Osella) had started from the pits and was running way behind everyone else. He arrived at Woodcote Corner to find FISA President Jean-Marie Balestre (a loud campaigner for safety issues) in the process of walking across the track (which is not allowed). Fortunately Larini managed to avoid the errant official although the Frenchman's credibility suffered somewhat.

Berger disappeared quickly into the pits with a gearbox problem and so Boutsen and Patrese moved to fifth and sixth. On the 12th lap Senna spun from the lead, leaving his rival Prost in charge with Mansell second and Boutsen third. Thierry would drop down through the field because of a rear puncture and so Piquet moved to third until the closing laps when Nannini overtook him to take the final place on the podium. Piquet was fourth while the Minardi team stormed to an unlikely fifth and sixth places with great drives from both Martini and Luis Sala. The three points gained lifted the team from pre-qualifying and condemned Onyx to another six months of pre-qualifying hell.

Alain Prost McLaren-Honda  64 1h19m22.131s  
27 Nigel Mansell Ferrari  64 1h19m41.500s  
19 Alessandro Nannini Benetton-Cosworth  64 1h20m10.150s  
11 Nelson Piquet Lotus-Judd  64 1h20m28.866s  10 
23 Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Cosworth  63  11 
24 Luis Sala Minardi-Cosworth  63  15 
26 Olivier Grouillard Ligier-Cosworth  63  24 
12 Satoru Nakajima Lotus-Judd  63  16 
Derek Warwick Arrows-Cosworth  62  19 
10 Thierry Boutsen Williams-Renault  62  
11 20 Emanuele Pirro Benetton-Cosworth  62  26 
12 37 Bertrand Gachot Onyx-Cosworth  62  21 
15 Mauricio Gugelmin March-Judd  54 Gearbox 
Martin Brundle Brabham-Judd  49 Engine 20 
28 Gerhard Berger Ferrari  49 Gearbox 
29 Eric Bernard Lola-Lamborghini  46 Gearbox 13 
30 Philippe Alliot Lola-Lamborghini  39 Engine 12 
Jonathan Palmer Tyrrell-Cosworth  32 Accident 18 
Stefano Modena Brabham-Judd  31 Engine 14 
Jean Alesi Tyrrell-Cosworth  28 Accident 22 
17 Nicola Larini Osella-Cosworth  23 Handling 17 
Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault  19 Water Leak/accident 
16 Ivan Capelli March-Judd  15 Differential 
22 Andrea de Cesaris Dallara-Cosworth  14 Gearbox 25 
Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda  11 Gearbox/spin 
31 Roberto Moreno Coloni-Cosworth  Gearbox 23 
nq 25 Rene Arnoux Ligier-Cosworth    27 
nq 10 Eddie Cheever Arrows-Cosworth    28 
nq 40 Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Cosworth    29 
nq 38 Christian Danner Rial-Cosworth    30 
npq 36 Stefan Johansson Onyx-Cosworth    31 
npq 21 Alex Caffi Dallara-Cosworth    32 
npq 33 Gregor Foitek EuroBrun-Judd    33 
npq 18 Piercarlo Ghinzani Osella-Cosworth    34 
npq 41 Yannick Dalmas AGS-Cosworth    35 
npq 34 Bernd Schneider Zakspeed-Yamaha    36 
npq 32 Pierre-Henri Raphanel Coloni-Cosworth    37 
npq 35 Aguri Suzuki Zakspeed-Yamaha    38 
npq 39 Volker Weidler Rial-Cosworth    39