United States GP 1990

MARCH 11, 1990

United States GP, 1990

The months between the end of the 1989 season and the first race of 1990 were marked by an ongoing political battle between FISA President Jean-Marie Balestre and McLaren's Ayrton Senna over the events surrounding the 1989 Japanese Grand Prix. There was also a lot of movement amid the F1 teams with both Rial and Zakspeed withdrawing and AGS, Osella, Brabham, Coloni, Arrows and Onyx all coming under new ownership.

On the driver front Alain Prost moved from McLaren to join Nigel Mansell at Ferrari and Gerhard Berger went in the opposite direction to join Ayrton Senna at McLaren. Thierry Boutsen and Riccardo Patrese stayed at Williams for another season while Sandro Nannini was joined at Benetton by Nelson Piquet. Arrows (which had become Footwork and had announced plans to run with Porsche engines in 1991) hired Michele Alboreto and paid for Alex Caffi to be released by Scuderia Italia. The young Italian was missing in Phoenix, however, having injured himself in a cycling accident. His place was taken by Bernd Schneider.

The Larrousse team had Eric Bernard and Aguri Suzuki in its Lola-Lamborghinis while Lotus had also signed up for the Italian engines and hired Derek Warwick and Martin Donnelly to drive. Ligier was running Cosworths and had hired Nicola Larini to partner Philippe Alliot, while Leyton House Racing retained Judd V8 engines and re-signed Ivan Capelli and Mauricio Gugelmin. The Onyx team had been sold to eccentric Swiss Peter Monteverdi but continued with Stefan Johansson and JJ Lehto while AGS (under the ownership of Cyril de Rouvre) retained Gabriele Tarquini and Yannick Dalmas.

Of the Pirelli tyre runners, Tyrrell had Jean Alesi partnering Satoru Nakajima (the team having agreed a deal for Honda engines in 1991). Brabham had been sold to the Middlebridge organization amid much legal wrangling but ran Stefano Modena and Gregor Foitek. The Osella team had been acquired by Gabriele Rumi of Fondmetal and he hired Olivier Grouillard. Scuderia Italia planned to run Andrea de Cesaris and Emanuele Pirro but Pirro was out of action with hepitatis and so his seat was taken in Phoenix by youngster Gianni Morbidelli. Minardi ran Pierluigi Martini and F1 newcomer pasta heir Paolo Barilla while EuroBrun had hired Roberto Moreno and Claudio Langes and the new Life Racing Engines had signed up Gary Brabham, son of Sir Jack and brother of David. Enzo Coloni had sold his Coloni team to Subaru and Bertrand Gachot had been hired to drive.

Qualifying resulted in pole position for Berger but the Pirelli qualifiers were impressive and so Martini was second with de Cesaris third ahead of Alesi, Senna, Piquet, Prost and Grouillard. The top 10 was completed by Boutsen and Modena. Ligier had a bad time, Alliot being excluded for receiving outside assistance during one of the practice sessions.

At the start Alesi took the lead and led Berger, de Cesaris and Senna. The Brazilian moved up through the order (being helped when Berger spun) and on lap 33 Senna was ready to attack Alesi for the lead. Alesi refused to back down and fought back after Senna passed him. On lap 35 Senna got ahead and pulled away while Alesi followed him home with Thierry Boutsen getting ahead of Piquet to grab third place. Piquet was fourth with Modena fifth and Nakajima sixth.

27 Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda  72 1h52m32.829s  
Jean Alesi Tyrrell-Cosworth  72 1h52m41.514s  
Thierry Boutsen Williams-Renault  72 1h52m26.909s  
20 Nelson Piquet Benetton-Cosworth  72 1h53m41.187s  
Stefano Modena Brabham-Judd  72 1h53m42.332s  10 
Satoru Nakajima Tyrrell-Cosworth  71  11 
23 Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Cosworth  71  
29 Eric Bernard Lola-Lamborghini  71  15 
Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault  71  12 
10 Michele Alboreto Arrows-Cosworth  70  21 
11 19 Alessando Nannini Benetton-Cosworth  70  22 
12 10 Bernd Schneider Arrows-Cosworth  70  20 
13 33 Roberto Moreno EuroBrun-Judd  67  16 
14 15 Mauricio Gugelmin Leyton House-Judd  66  25 
24 Paolo Barilla Minardi-Cosworth  54 Driver Discomfort (arm Cramp) 14 
30 Aguri Suzuki Lola-Lamborghini  53 Brakes 18 
Nigel Mansell Ferrari  49 Clutch/spin/fire 17 
28 Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda  44 Clutch 
Gregor Foitek Brabham-Judd  39 Accident 23 
14 Olivier Grouillard Osella-Cosworth  39 Accident/front Suspension 
22 Andrea de Cesaris Dallara-Cosworth  25 Brakes/engine 
Alain Prost Ferrari  21 Oil Leak 
16 Ivan Capelli Leyton House-Judd  20 Electrics/suspension 26 
11 Derek Warwick Lotus-Lamborghini  Rear Suspension 24 
25 Nicola Larini Ligier-Cosworth  Throttle Jammed 13 
ns 12 Martin Donnelly Lotus-Lamborghini   Ignition On Dummy Grid 19 
nq 35 Stefan Johansson Oynx-Cosworth    27 
nq 21 Gianni Morbidelli Dallara-Cosworth    28 
nq 36 JJ Lehto Oynx-Cosworth    29 
exc 26 Philippe Alliot Ligier-Cosworth   Push Start During Practice 30 
npq 17 Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Cosworth    31 
npq 18 Yannick Dalmas AGS-Cosworth    32 
npq 34 Claudio Langes EuroBrun-Judd    33 
npq 39 Gary Brabham Life    34 
npq 31 Bertrand Gachot Coloni-Subaru    35