Portuguese GP 1988
SEPTEMBER 25, 1988
Portuguese GP, 1988
After Gerhard Berger's unexpected victory at Monza there might have been hopes of a repeat at Estoril but such ideas were quickly dispelled as Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna dominated qualifying in their McLaren-Hondas, the Frenchman for once beating the Brazilian. On this occasion Ivan Capelli was third quickest in the impressive March-Judd with Gerhard Berger (Ferrari) fourth and Mauricio Gugelmin fifth in his March. Nigel Mansell was back in action and was sixth in his Williams ahead of Michele Alboreto's Ferrari, Nelson Piquet's Lotus, Sandro Nannini's Benetton and the Arrows-Megatron of Derek Warwick.
The race started with a crash as Warwick stalled on the grid and was hit by Andrea de Cesaris (Rial), Luis Sala (Minardi) and Satoru Nakajima (Lotus). The race was red-flagged. This was good news for Riccardo Patrese who had missed the first start because of engine problem.
The field formed up again and Prost got away slightly faster than Senna but the Brazilian dived into the first corner ahead. Prost responded and went to pass Senna at the end of the first lap. Senna swerved to block Prost, forcing the Frenchman to run close to the pitwall. Prost kept his foot down and edged Senna outwards, taking the lead as they went into the first corner. He quickly began to pull away and would not be headed again. After the race Prost was not happy with Senna's maneuver.
Senna had to keep an eye on his fuel and soon fell into the clutches of Capelli and on lap 21 Senna dropped to third. Capelli then began to close the gap on Prost. Berger overtook Senna but went out on lap 36 when he pressed the wrong button in his cockpit and set off the fire extinguisher. This eventually caused him to spin off. Senna then fell back to Mansell and the battled for 20 laps before coming up behind Jonathan Palmer's Tyrrell. As they scrambled to get by Mansell ran into the back of Senna and went off into the barriers. Senna had to stop for new tires.
Prost won as he pleased to score McLaren's 12th victory in 13 races. Capelli was second with Thierry Boutsen (Benetton) third. Warwick was fourth, Alboreto fifth and Senna sixth. The result meant that Prost moved ahead of Senna in the World Championship with 81 points to the Brazilian's 76.
|12||21||Nicola Larini||Osella-Alfa Romeo||63||25|
|r||3||Jonathan Palmer||Tyrrell-Cosworth||53||Engine Overheating||22|
|r||19||Alessandro Nannini||Benetton-Cosworth||52||Vibration/driver Exhausted||9|
|r||28||Gerhard Berger||Ferrari||35||Fire Extinguisher/accident||4|
|r||29||Yannick Dalmas||Lola-Cosworth||20||Alternator Belt||15|
|r||22||Andrea de Cesaris||Rial-Cosworth||11||Drive Shaft||12|