Spanish GP 1990
SEPTEMBER 30, 1990
Spanish GP, 1990
The battle for the World Championship and Alain Prost's critical comments about Ferrari and the humour of pre-qualifying (which was scheduled to start when it was still dark) paled into insignificance on Friday when Martin Donnelly's Lotus crashed with enormous violence after a suspension failure on Friday. The Lotus hit the barriers nearly head-on and exploded into pieces. Donnelly was left lying on the track, his legs badly broken and the remains of his seat still strapped to his back. Amazingly he was still alive. In the circumstances Ayrton Senna's extraordinary pole position (his 50th) was a remarkable achievement and exhibited frightening commitment.
In his McLaren Senna was four-tenths of a second faster than Prost's Ferrari with Nigel Mansell third in the second Ferrari. Jean Alesi was fourth in the Tyrrell with Gerhard Berger a frustrated fifth having been blocked on his fastest lap for McLaren. The top 10 was rounded off by the two Williams-Renaults of Riccardo Patrese and Thierry Boutsen, the two Benetton-Fords of Nelson Piquet and Sandro Nannini and Derek Warwick in the one surviving Lotus.
Attention centred on Senna and Prost, running nose to tail at the front with Mansell keeping with them. Berger was clearly in trouble, having started the race on harder compound tyres than most, and behind him there grew a traffic jam, consisting of the two Williams-Renaults and the two Benettons.
Those early laps were exciting since Prost was pressuring Senna, looking for a way through. Overtaking at Jerez is not easy and it gradually became clear that Prost was going to have to settle for second until the pit stops and tyre changes which began on lap 20 when Mansell dived into the pitlane. He was followed by Patrese, Berger and Nannini. On lap 25 Prost and Boutsen headed in and a lap later in came Senna. He rejoined as Mansell was pulling over to let Prost ahead. Realising that he must not get caught behind Mansell, Senna dived ahead of the second Ferrari.
Piquet, who had not stopped, was a second in front but on lap 29 Nelson went off at the back of the track and immediately Prost and Senna were ahead of him. Then Senna began to drop back. Piquet disappeared with electrical trouble and Senna dropped back into the clutches of Mansell. Later it was discovered that some wreckage had pierced a radiator and it was leaking fluid onto the rear tyres. Eventually this put him out as temperatures rose. This left the two Ferraris circulating first and second with Nannini third but dropping back. Boutsen and Berger were disputing fourth. The two cars tangled wheels on lap 57 and the McLaren went off into a sandtrap.
|8||15||Mauricio Gugelmin||Leyton House-Judd||72||12|
|r||16||Ivan Capelli||Leyton House-Judd||59||Driver Discomfort (leg Cramp)||19|
|r||22||Andrea de Cesaris||Dallara-Cosworth||47||Dropped Valve||17|
|r||14||Olivier Grouillard||Osella-Cosworth||45||Wheel Bearing||21|
|r||23||Pierluigi Martini||Minardi-Cosworth||41||Wheel Nut Loose/spin||11|
|r||21||Emanuele Pirro||Dallara-Cosworth||0||Throttle Slides/spin||16|