French GP 1986
JULY 6, 1986
French GP, 1986
Elio de Angelis's accident had led the Paul Ricard authorities to shorten the circuit dramatically and it now cut through on the racing school circuit, which took out the high-speed esses where de Angelis had crashed and reduced the length of the Mistral Straight.
Patrick Tambay was back in action with the Haas Lola team after missing the Detroit GP because of leg injuries from an accident in Canada. Patrick also had a new engineer, Adrian Newey having been hired from the March Indycar project. In the days before the race the FISA had also announced plans to introduce a new 3.5-liter normally-aspirated formula in 1989.
Qualifying resulted in another pole position for Ayrton Senna in his Lotus-Renault with the two Williams-Hondas of Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet second and third. Rene Arnoux was fourth in the Ligier-Renault ahead of Alain Prost's McLaren-TAG. Then came Michele Alboreto's Ferrari, Keke Rosberg's McLaren, the Benetton-BMWs of Gerhard Berger and Teo Fabi and Stefan Johansson's Ferrari.
At the start Alboreto stalled and was left behind while Mansell took the lead from Senna, Arnoux, Berger, Prost, a fast-starting Johnny Dumfries in the second Lotus, Piquet and Rosberg. Fabi collided with Derek Warwick's Brabham during the first lap and both had to pit.
On the fifth lap Senna went off on oil left by Andrea de Cesaris's exploding Minardi-Motori Moderni. The Lotus hit the barriers and Senna was out. Mansell was left alone at the front with Arnoux second and Berger under pressure from both McLarens. They soon passed the Benetton while later ran into Christian Danner's Arrows and had to pit for repairs. Prost and Rosberg chased after Arnoux and were both ahead of the Ligier by lap 18. Mansell had two tire stops and Prost was briefly in the lead but with new rubber and no fuel problems, Mansell was able to retake the lead on lap 58 and went on to win the race. Prost was second. Piquet was struggling with electrical trouble all afternoon but managed to overtake Rosberg to finish third while the top six was completed by the two Ligiers of Arnoux and Laffite.
|2||1||Alain Prost||McLaren-TAG Porsche||80||1h37m36.400s||5|
|4||2||Keke Rosberg||McLaren-TAG Porsche||80||1h38m07.975s||7|
|r||16||Patrick Tambay||Lola-Hart||64||Brake Caliper||13|
|r||4||Philippe Streiff||Tyrrell-Renault||43||Fuel Injection/fire||17|
|r||22||Allen Berg||Osella-Alfa Romeo||25||Turbo||26|
|r||20||Gerhard Berger||Benetton-BMW||22||Accident/gear Selector||8|
|r||21||Piercarlo Ghinzani||Osella-Alfa Romeo||3||Accident||25|
|r||24||Alessandro Nannini||Minardi-Motori Moderni||3||Accident||19|
|r||23||Andrea de Cesaris||Minardi-Motori Moderni||3||Turbo||23|