Spanish GP 1986
APRIL 13, 1986
Spanish GP, 1986
There had not been a Spanish GP for five years but the local authorities in Jerez had built a new circuit and so the F1 trucks rolled down to southern Spain for the event. There were no changes to the entry and in qualifying it was a familiar story with Ayrton Senna (Lotus-Renault) ahead of the two Williams-Hondas of Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell. The McLarens of Alain Prost and Keke Rosberg were next ahead of the Ligier-Renault of Rene Arnoux, Gerhard Berger's Benetton-BMW, Jacques Laffite in the second Ligier, Teo Fabi in the second Benetton and Johnny Dumfries in the second Lotus. Ferrari was struggling with Stefan Johansson 11th and Michele Alboreto 13th.
At the start Senna took the lead and with Piquet second and Rosberg and Prost quickly getting ahead of Mansell. The Englishman then began to charge and he moved gradually back up to second place and on the 39th lap he overtook Senna to take the lead. Mansell then pulled out a four second lead by Senna gradually reeled him in again, while Prost sat on his tail in his McLaren-TAG, Piquet having gone out with engine trouble.
With 10 laps to go Senna challenged for the lead but Mansell held him off. Senna was not going to be beaten and tried again at the hairpin at the back of the track. This time he made it through and Mansell had to lift off, which allowed the canny Prost to sneak into second place.
Mansell decided to go for a desperate gamble. He pitted for fresh tires, emerging 20secs behind Senna with nine laps to go. Those were mighty laps as Mansell carved into Senna's lead at a rate of four seconds a lap. But ahead of him on the road was Prost - and he was not going to give up without a fight.
Nigel was able to pass Prost but he was 0.7s slower on that lap than Senna. Mansell took up the chase again and as they set off on the last lap the pair were separated by only a second and a half. At the hairpin Mansell was right with Senna but there was nothing he could do through the next few corners. It was all going to be down to the acceleration out of the last corner.
The Williams-Honda was quicker but Senna got to the line first, the two cars side by side, separated by 0.014secs. It was the second closest finish in F1 history.
Prost was third with Rosberg fourth, Fabi fifth and Berger sixth.
|3||1||Alain Prost||McLaren-TAG Porsche||72||1h49m09.287s||4|
|4||2||Keke Rosberg||McLaren-TAG Porsche||71||5|
|r||3||Martin Brundle||Tyrrell-Renault||41||Oil Loss||12|
|r||26||Jacques Laffite||Ligier-Renault||40||Drive Shaft||8|
|r||6||Nelson Piquet||Williams-Honda||39||Engine Overheating||2|
|r||17||Marc Surer||Arrows-BMW||39||Fuel Leak||22|
|r||8||Elio de Angelis||Brabham-BMW||29||Gearbox||15|
|r||25||Rene Arnoux||Ligier-Renault||29||Drive Shaft||6|
|r||27||Michele Alboreto||Ferrari||22||Wheel Bearing||13|
|r||4||Philippe Streiff||Tyrrell-Renault||22||Oil Loss||20|
|r||22||Christian Danner||Osella-Alfa Romeo||14||Engine||23|
|r||21||Piercarlo Ghinzani||Osella-Alfa Romeo||10||Engine||21|
|r||23||Andrea de Cesaris||Minardi-Motori Moderni||1||Differential||24|
|r||24||Alessandro Nannini||Minardi-Motori Moderni||-1||Differential||25|