1989 Brazilian GP

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

If the Honda Marlboro McLaren steamroller had thus been halted, there were some valid reasons, and the indications were that either Senna or Prost could have won the race. The Brazilian threw away his chance with the sort of impetuosity that is now a surprise from the man who was so incredible at Suzuka last year. The Frenchman, however, had a more sensible excuse.

Rio has a highly abrasive surface, and where drivers made only one tyre-stop last year when everyone was running the same rubber, this year two were expected thanks to the re-engaged competition between Goodyear and Pirelli.

While Patrese and Williams hoped to make it through with only one, and suffered as a result, Prost was fully intending to make two, and was cunning enough to time his first for lap 15, earlier than most.

However, just prior to it he had begun to detect a problem with his clutch, and this developed to the point where he could no longer use it. Without it he was thus consigned to run the remaining 45 laps on the same tyres.

That set the scene for one of the greatest drives of a glittering career, for with minimal fuss and his own unique blend of speed, precision and gentleness he coaxed that McLaren to the finish. Not only that, but to second place, just 7.809 seconds adrift of Mansell.

“If I had been able to stop for a third set of tyres, I am sure I would have won,” he ventured. It was no idle boast from a beaten racer, either, but a quietly spoken comment from a man who had put in the best drive of the race. The pity of it was that so few people seemed to realise just how good it had been.

The Williams-Renault challenge ultimately came away with nothing, which was rather less than it deserved. Throughout testing, Boutsen had been bang on the pace, and when McLaren’s new MP4/5 arrived late, on the Thursday of the allotted week, its sprint-car oversteer had vexed Senna so much that Prost took over honing it until he finally achieved some semblance of balance. Senna then hacked it round as hard as he could and just pipped Boutsen’s times, but as the Belgian sought to retaliate his rear suspension broke.

Already Philippe Streiff’s accident had cast a pall over affairs and raised questions about the wisdom of the current breed of cars. Now Boutsen’s accident raised more, since it was clearly a component failure. What was most worrying was that Patrick Head’s cars don’t break. “They might loosen the odd wheel in America,” he quipped at the race, in deference to Watkins Glen in 1980, “but they don’t break. The worrying thing is that the corner which broke was the most damaged in the ensuing shunt.”