German GP 1990

JULY 29, 1990

German GP, 1990

At the German GP there was some confusion over the future of Jean Alesi as the young Frenchman had signed for both Ferrari and Williams for 1991, while still under contract to Tyrrell! Elsewhere in the paddock engine supplier Subaru had withdrawn from the Coloni team and Cosworth engines had been acquired but it seemed to make little difference, Bertrand Gachot still failed to pre-qualify.

The system of pre-qualifying was developed in response to the increasing number of teams competing in Formula 1. It was decided that 30 cars were the maximum safe limit to compete for 26 grid places. The cars which had to pre-qualify were decided at the beginning and the midpoint of each season. The 26 cars which had achieved the best results in the previous two-half seasons automatically entered official qualifying for the race. All the other cars had to pre-qualify for the four other slots available for official qualifying. Those that failed to pre-qualify just went home.

In the actual qualifying it was a familiar story at the front with Ayrton Senna ahead of Gerhard Berger, the two McLarens clear of the two Ferraris (Alain Prost ahead of Nigel Mansell) and the two Williams-Renaults (Riccardo Patrese outqualifying Thierry Boutsen). Nelson Piquet (Benetton) shared the fourth row with Alesi's Tyrrell while the top 10 was completed by Sandro Nannini (Benetton) and Ivan Capelli (Leyton House).

At the start of the race Berger nearly managed to out drag Senna, but Ayrton went ahead and his chasers lined up in team order with Ferrari, Williams and Benetton in formation behind McLaren.

At the back of the grid, there had been a nasty incident when Stefano Modena's Brabham's clutch failed. Michele Alboreto jinked his Arrows to the right to avoid the car and behind him David Brabham (in the Brabham) did the same. The only problem with this was that Brabham moved straight into the path of Emanuele Pirro's Dallara. The two cars touched and Pirro's rear wheel was torn off and hurled at head-height across the track. It hit the pit wall just before Pirro himself and bounced back into Philippe Alliot's path. Pirro had received a nasty bang on the head caused by whiplash as he hit the wall. Alliot, trying to find a way out of the melee, had his seat-belts undone by the marshals. He was then push-started and sent on his way - later to be black-flagged for receiving a push-start and sent back to the pits.

There were yellow flags in the early laps as all this was being cleared up, warning the drivers to keep at a steady pace and not to overtake until the all-clear. Senna and Berger ran together, shadowed by Prost and Mansell and Patrese. Boutsen had a gear selection problem and dropped to 10th.

For the first 11 laps the front four ran together while Patrese held up the Benettons. In trying to pass Riccardo, Piquet took a ride up an escape road and dropped behind Nannini.

Three laps later as the pits were getting ready for tyre stops Mansell went wide at the Ostkurve, bouncing over the kerbs and going across the grass. He trailed into the pits to retire.

When Senna pitted Nannini had just got ahead of Patrese and as Ayrton accelerated out of the pits, Sandro and Riccardo were going down to the first corner. Nannini got there first and took the lead, driving away from the McLaren. Patrese was soon in the pits to change his tyres while Piquet was running third keeping Berger behind him until the Brazilian suffered an engine failure. In the closing laps Nannini began to struggle as his tyres wore out and with 12 laps to go Senna closed in and went ahead. Nannini followed Senna to the finish line with Berger third, Prost fourth, Patrese fifth and Boutsen sixth.

27 Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda  45 1h20m47.164s  
19 Alessando Nannini Benetton-Cosworth  45 1h20m53.684s  
28 Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda  45 1h20m55.717s  
Alain Prost Ferrari  45 1h21m32.434s  
Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault  45 1h21m35.192s  
Thierry Boutsen Williams-Renault  45 1h22m08.655s  
16 Ivan Capelli Leyton House-Judd  44  10 
11 Derek Warwick Lotus-Lamborghini  44  16 
10 Alex Caffi Arrows-Cosworth  44  18 
10 25 Nicola Larini Ligier-Cosworth  43  22 
11r Jean Alesi Tyrrell-Cosworth  40 Cv Joint 
nc 36 JJ Lehto Oynx-Cosworth  39  25 
29 Eric Bernard Lola-Lamborghini  35 Fuel Pressure 12 
30 Aguri Suzuki Lola-Lamborghini  33 Clutch 11 
Satoru Nakajima Tyrrell-Cosworth  24 Electrics 13 
20 Nelson Piquet Benetton-Cosworth  23 Engine 
23 Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Cosworth  20 Engine 15 
35 Gregor Foitek Oynx-Cosworth  19 Spin 26 
Nigel Mansell Ferrari  15 Undertray Damage 
15 Mauricio Gugelmin Leyton House-Judd  12 Dropped Valve 14 
David Brabham Brabham-Judd  12 Valve 21 
dq 26 Philippe Alliot Ligier-Cosworth  12 Push Start After Accident 24 
Michele Alboreto Arrows-Cosworth  10 Engine 19 
12 Martin Donnelly Lotus-Lamborghini  Clutch  20 
21 Emanuele Pirro Dallara-Cosworth  Accident  23 
Stefano Modena Brabham-Judd  Clutch 17 
nq 14 Olivier Grouillard Osella-Cosworth    27 
nq 24 Paolo Barilla Minardi-Cosworth    28 
nq 18 Yannick Dalmas AGS-Cosworth    29 
nq 22 Andrea de Cesaris Dallara-Cosworth    30 
npq 17 Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Cosworth    31 
npq 33 Roberto Moreno EuroBrun-Judd    32 
npq 31 Bertrand Gachot Coloni-Subaru    33 
npq 34 Claudio Langes EuroBrun-Judd    34 
npq 39 Bruno Giacomelli Life    35