1992 Spanish Grand Prix
- Sunday, May 3, 1992
- Gran Premio Tio Pepe de Espana
- F1 World Championship
It was a curiously frustrating event, the Spanish GP. Oh, Nigel Mansell still won, dominating in style as he brought his tally of victories equal to Jim Clark's 25, and matching Senna's 1991 feat of winning the first four on the trot. But what we all went there to see was whether McLaren Honda had managed to close the gap in the period since the disastrous debut of the MP4/7A in Brazil. Whether the combination of Michael Schumacher and the new Benetton B192 could continue to chip away at the wall of the Williams' fortress.
There were plenty of tasters during Friday qualifying, when Mansell lapped barely one second faster than Schumacher and Senna (on the grid in Interlagos the respective gaps had been 2.838s and 2.199s), but then along came the rain and away was washed all of Saturday's contest. With it went a lot of the expected answers.
Certainly, McLaren had made progress, revising the electronics and computer mapping on the hitherto troublesome and underpowered RA122E version of the Honda V12, and Benetton was likewise on a roll with the ugly B192. But how much, if anything, had they clawed back? That could not be quantified with any degree of accuracy, especially since neither Mansell nor Riccardo Patrese had been happy with the set-up they achieved on the FW14Bs when it was dry. Nobody could be sure whether the basic ground of comparison had been firm or soft.
Permanent road course
Michael Schumacher (Benetton B193B-Ford), 1m20.989, 131.116 mph, F1, 1993
First Race1991 Spanish Grand Prix