1990 Japanese Grand Prix
- Sunday, October 21, 1990
- Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix
- F1 World Championship
The worldwide Formula One Championship took the travelling 'circus' to Japan on October 21st, to the medium fast interesting Suzuka circuit with its unusual figure of eight layout with a flyover in the middle, and then south to the Adelaide street circuit in Australia on November 4th, there to wind up the 1990 season of sixteen races. The Australian Grand Prix was the 500th event to count for the FIA World Championship for Drivers, not the 500th Grand Prix race, nor even the 500th World Championship Grand Prix race, as so much of the media quoted. It was hoped that the Championship would be settled between Senna and Prost with a stirring race to the end in the Australian Grand Prix, or at least an exciting finale in Japan to keep Honda happy.
But it was not to be, for exactly 9.2 seconds after the start of the Japanese Grand Prix Prost and Senna collided and the FIA's 'sacred' World Championship ended in a cloud of dust as the Ferrari and the McLaren spun off across the wide run-off area of the first corner. While the marshals cleared the wreckage out of the way Senna walked back to the pits as the 1990 World Champion, and Prost prepared a whingeing campaign that was to continue for two weeks.
If you have always viewed the World Championship as a bit of a farce, or at least since 1958 when Stirling Moss was not World Champion as I have, this unhappy ending to the 1990 Championship was about par for the course.
Suzuka, Mie Prefecture
Permanent road course
Ralf Schumacher (Williams FW23-BMW), 1m36.944, 135.208 mph, F1, 2001
First Race1973 Suzuka Japanese F2000