1988 Brazilian Grand Prix
- Sunday, April 3, 1988
- Grande Premio do Brasil
- F1 World Championship
Ron Dennis’ uncompromising commitment to the pursuit of success might rub some people up the wrong way, but even his critics came away from the Autodromo Nelson Piquet after the Brazilian Grand Prix with grudging admiration for the manner in which, yet again, his team had won first time out with a brand new car.
Before the weekend, neither Alain Prost’s nor Ayrton Senna’s race-cars had so much as turned a wheel, while the spare–earmarked this time for Senna but to be shared equally through the season –had only 300 miles on it from its maiden test outing at Imola two weeks earlier. Yet after the first untimed session on the Friday they headed the timesheets, the advantage with Prost, and thereafter no other manufacturer got even a sniff of victory.
Honda Marlboro McLaren’s pill had a bitter-sweet coating. There was Senna’s brilliant pole-lap followed by Prost’s eventual triumph, but that was balanced by the former champion’s qualifying gremlins, an uncharacteristic structural defect when the front wings collapsed on the Frenchman’s race-car on Saturday, Senna’s raceday gear-linkage problem and then his subsequent disqualification for swapping to a different chassis after the warming-up lap–which suggested the team had forgotten the lesson of Monza 1986 when the same fate befell Prost.
Jacarepagua, Rio de Janeiro
Permanent road course
Riccardo Patrese (Williams FW12C-Renault), 1m32.507, 121.652 mph, F1, 1989
First Race1978 Brazilian Grand Prix