German GP 1991

JULY 28, 1991

German GP, 1991

The entry was as it had been at the British GP except that Johnny Herbert was committed to a Japanese Formula 3000 race and so Team Lotus ran pay-driver Michael Bartels (who would fail to qualify).

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.

Nigel Mansell Williams-Renault  45 1h19m29.661s  
Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault  45 1h19m43.440s  
28 Jean Alesi Ferrari  45 1h19m47.279s  
Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda  45 1h20m02.312s  
33 Andrea de Cesaris Jordan-Cosworth  45 1h20m47.198s  
32 Bertrand Gachot Jordan-Cosworth  45 1h21m10.266s  11 
7r Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda  44 Out Of Fuel 
19 Roberto Moreno Benetton-Cosworth  44  
25 Thierry Boutsen Ligier-Lamborghini  44  17 
10 21 Emanuele Pirro Dallara-Judd  44  18 
11 Martin Brundle Brabham-Yamaha  43  15 
12 Mark Blundell Brabham-Yamaha  43  21 
13 Stefano Modena Tyrrell-Honda  41  14 
27 Alain Prost Ferrari  37 Accident 
16 Ivan Capelli Leyton House-Ilmor  36 Misfire 12 
22 JJ Lehto Dallara-Judd  35 Engine 20 
20 Nelson Piquet Benetton-Cosworth  27 Gearbox 
Satoru Nakajima Tyrrell-Honda  26 Gearbox 13 
26 Erik Comas Ligier-Lamborghini  22 Oil Pressure 26 
15 Mauricio Gugelmin Leyton House-Ilmor  21 Gearbox 16 
11 Mika Hakkinen Lotus-Judd  19 Engine 23 
30 Aguri Suzuki Lola-Cosworth  15 Engine 22 
24 Gianni Morbidelli Minardi-Ferrari  14 Differential 19 
23 Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ferrari  11 Engine/spin 10 
29 Eric Bernard Lola-Cosworth  Crown Wheel & Pinion 25 
34 Nicola Larini Lamborghini  Spin 24 
nq Michele Alboreto Footwork-Porsche    27 
nq 12 Michael Bartels Lotus-Judd    28 
nq 17 Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Cosworth    29 
nq 35 Eric van de Poele Lamborghini    30 
npq 14 Olivier Grouillard Fomet-Cosworth    31 
npq 10 Alex Caffi Footwork-Porsche    32 
npq 18 Fabrizio Barbazza AGS-Cosworth    33 
npq 31 Pedro Chaves Coloni-Cosworth    34