1992 Australian Grand Prix

Foster's Australian Grand Prix

Sunday, November 8, 1992
Warm, dry and overcast
Fastest Lap:
Schumacher, 1m16.078
1992 season:

From the Motor Sport Archive

Hondas bow out of F1 on a winning note

"It was possibly one of the best strategies that we have ever applied. In the middle of the race we deliberately ran at a pace which, if sustained, would have seen the car run out of fuel by the finish in order to open out a significant advantage once we were in the lead. Gerhard's tyre stop went well, a credit to the team, and the engineers timed it to perfection. Of course it was a good race to win for Gerhard and an incredible success for the team."

Ron Dennis speaking. Smiling. Laughing. Rightly savouring victory. It was a good one, this, taken the hard way but on a weekend when McLaren Honda was markedly closer to Williams Renault than it has been all year. The red and white cars were competitive from the outset, and they stayed that way. Either Senna or Berger could have won.

The odds, as usual though, tended to be stacked in the favour of the Didcot cars, for Adelaide is a tough circuit, and a long race in terms of the number of hard corners that have to be negotiated. Neither Nigel Mansell nor Patrick Head thought that their active ride would confer as much of an advantage here as it does on most other tracks, but what the FW14Bs really had over the McLaren MP4/7As was a package offering performance with economy. They could run them with reasonable downforce and still get through okay on fuel; McLaren wasn't so sure. The Honda V12 has always gone to the line with more fuel than the Renault-powered contenders, because the RA122E demands a fair bit more, and Dennis knew only too well that the situation would be marginal if the pace set by Senna in the opening laps, during a fleet and aggressive pursuit of Mansell, was going to be maintained.