San Marino GP 1990
MAY 13, 1990
San Marino GP, 1990
The third round of the World Championship was not until seven weeks after the race in Brazil by which time there had been some changes in the field. David Brabham had been bought in to drive for the Brabham team while Gregor Foitek replaced the unhappy Stefan Johansson at the Monteverdi Onyx team. Emanuele Pirro had got over his hepatitis and was driving alongside Andrea de Cesaris at Scuderia Italia, while Gary Brabham had given up with the hopeless Life team and had been replaced by veteran Bruno Giacomelli.
The battle for pole position between the McLarens of Ayrton Senna and Gerhard Berger was a fascinating one but it was Senna who came out ahead. The two Williams-Renaults were on the second row, Riccardo Patrese beating Thierry Boutsen, while the Ferraris of Nigel Mansell and Alain Prost were on row three ahead of Jean Alesi's new Tyrrell 019 (with its revolutionary raised-nose aerodynamics), Nelson Piquet's Benetton, Sandro Nannini's Benetton and Derek Warwick's Lotus. Pierluigi Martini had a heavy accident in his Minardi at Acque Minerale, breaking the Minardi monocoque in half and cracking a bone in his ankle. He was out for the weekend.
There was a huge crowd on race day and at the start Berger beat Senna away while Boutsen also started well. At Tosa Berger missed a gear and so Senna and Boutsen went ahead. In the midfield there were problems as Satoru Nakajima (Tyrrell) hit Ivan Capelli (Leyton House). The Tyrrell crashed heavily into the wall, the impact tearing the engine from the car. The left front wheel was bashed back into the chassis and made a large hole in the side of the monocoque but Nakajima was unhurt. Also involved was Roberto Moreno's EuroBrun. Further down the road Martin Donnelly spun his Lotus in the middle of the pack, scattering cars in all directions.
At the top of the hill Pirro spun into a sandtrap. Senna would soon do the same at the Rivazza corner, a stone having sliced through the wheel rim of his car. This left Boutsen in the lead with Berger behind while Patrese was happy to shadow them. Mansell and Prost looked more combative and the Englishman overtook Patrese. On lap 18 Gerhard suddenly found himself in the lead as Boutsen went into the pits with a blown engine. But Berger too had problems. Mansell began to close in and Patrese stayed right with him. On lap 36 Mansell challenged for the lead at Tamburello, getting on the grass as he did so. This caused him to spin dramatically. He set off after Berger but soon afterwards his engine blew up. Berger struggled on as Patrese closed in. Nannini had inherited third, although Prost was right on his tail. On lap 51 Patrese moved into the lead and pulled away from Berger. The battle for third continued right to the line, with Nannini holding off Prost. Piquet and Alesi rounded up the top six.