1987 Detroit Grand Prix
- Sunday, June 21, 1987
- Detroit Grand Prix
- F1 World Championship
The Detroit Grand Prix hammered home the same message we have been hearing since the start of the 1987 season — namely that there are now three distinct categories within Formula One: non-turbos, turbos and Hondas. It was not simply the fact that Nigel Mansell took his fifth pole position in six races which was so impressive, but the real index of the collective mastery of Williams, Lotus and Honda was that the gap between Nelson Piquet’s Williiams FW11B (third on the grid behind Mansell and Ayrton Senna’s Lotus 99T, and fourth man Thierry Boutsen’s Benetton-Ford B187 was a staggering 1.1sec!
Honda had produced yet another update of its successful V6 engine — officially and curiously dubbed the ‘GE two-step’ — incorporating an improved combustion chamber design to offer more power, even further improved economy and better flexibility.
This is all part of the on-going development programme which may well see Honda running through the 1988 season with its turbochurged engine running to the 2.5-bar/150-litre rule which will be applied from January 1. For the time being, of course, the Japanese engine manufacturer has simply left all its rivals wondering how they can get on terms with, never mind beat, Williams and Lotus.
Temporary street circuit
Ayrton Senna (Lotus 99T-Honda), 1m40.464, 89.584 mph, F1, 1987
First Race1982 Detroit Grand Prix