German GP 1991
JULY 28, 1991
German GP, 1991
In pre-race testing at Hockenheim Ayrton Senna suffered a tyre failure and had one of the biggest accidents of his career: the McLaren launched into a series of rolls after it went over a kerb. Senna was shaken but unhurt. There was to be another huge crash on Saturday when Erik Comas crashed his Ligier heavily at the Ostkurve, flipping through the air in a sheet of flame.
In qualifying Mansell took pole despite an incident with Comas as the Ligier driver was flat out trying to qualify the spare car after his crash in the morning. Senna and his McLaren team mate Gerhard Berger and Mansell's Williams colleague Riccardo Patrese were all within 0.34sec of pole position. The Ferraris were one and a half seconds behind with Alain Prost outqualifying Jean Alesi while seventh-placed Andrea de Cesaris was 3.2 secs off Mansell's pace in his Jordan. Nelson Piquet and Roberto Moreno were eighth and ninth in their Benettons, while Pierluigi Martini rounded off the top 10 in his Minardi-Ferrari.
Mansell made a fabulous start and left everyone behind. He went on to dominate the race from flag to flag, leaving his rivals to fight for second place. Berger made the better start of the two McLaren drivers but he had Senna, Prost, Alesi and Patrese behind him. While Patrese soon repassed Alesi, Berger disappeared into the pits early on with a wheel balance problem. His stop lasted much longer than it should have done and he dropped out of contention. On lap 17 the battle moved suddenly to the pits as both Senna and Prost came in for tyres. Mansell too pitted and for one lap Patrese was ahead before he pitted. Alesi had decided on a non-stop strategy and was briefly in the lead but Mansell soon blasted ahead again. Patrese overtook Prost, Senna and Alesi to take second but he could nothing about Mansell.
Senna and Prost battled for fourth place until Alain went off. Prost felt he had been pushed off by Senna. On the last lap Senna ran out of fuel for the second consecutive race. The Brazilian was furious for three valuable World Championship points had been lost. Berger was luckier. He ran out on the slowing down lap and so took fourth place while de Cesaris beat his Jordan team mate Bertrand Gachot to fifth place.
|5||33||Andrea de Cesaris||Jordan-Cosworth||45||1h20m47.198s||7|
|7r||1||Ayrton Senna||McLaren-Honda||44||Out Of Fuel||2|
|r||16||Ivan Capelli||Leyton House-Ilmor||36||Misfire||12|
|r||26||Erik Comas||Ligier-Lamborghini||22||Oil Pressure||26|
|r||15||Mauricio Gugelmin||Leyton House-Ilmor||21||Gearbox||16|
|r||29||Eric Bernard||Lola-Cosworth||9||Crown Wheel & Pinion||25|
|nq||35||Eric van de Poele||Lamborghini||30|