1988 Canadian Grand Prix
|Race 5 of 16 in the 1988 Formula One season|
|Date||June 12, 1988|
|Official name||Molson Gran Prix du Canada|
|Location||Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, Canada|
|Course||Temporary street circuit
4.390 km (2.728 mi)
|Distance||69 laps, 302.910 km (188.220 mi)|
|Weather||Sunny and hot with temperatures up to 29 °C (84 °F); wind speeds up to 19 kilometres per hour (12 mph)|
|Time||1:24.973 on lap 53|
Formula One returned to Canada after a one year's absence from the calendar. In that time the pits and facilities of the Gilles Villeneuve circuit had been upgraded and moved further up the track and some modifications had been carried out eliminating two turns in order to make the new pit straight. As usual, the qualifying session was to McLaren's benefit. Ayrton Senna collected his fifth consecutive pole from Alain Prost with a time of 1:21.681, this was 2.4 seconds faster than Nigel Mansell's pole time from 1986 when there were no restrictions on turbos, though there were two less turns on the circuit. As expected the Ferraris of Gerhard Berger and Michele Alboreto filled the second row followed by the Benetton-Ford of Alessandro Nannini in 5th, the fastest of the atmo cars with a time of 1:23.968, 2.3 seconds slower than Senna.
Both Williams drivers were suffering from continuing problems with the FW12's reactive suspension leaving Mansell and Riccardo Patrese in 9th and 11th respectively with Mansell, 3.2 seconds slower than Senna's pole time and 0.8 slower than his own 1986 pole time set in the Williams-Honda.
Derek Warwick suffered a serious accident coming onto the new pit straight on the Saturday session when his car flew over the curbs after his Arrows A10B lost control in the braking area for the chicane on dirt kicked up moments before by the AGS of Philippe Streiff. Thierry Boutsen in the Benetton-Ford was following the AGS and seeing what happened he was able to avoid the dirt Streiff had kicked onto the track. Warwick was next through arriving moments later not knowing about the mess and under breaking the Arrows broke away at the rear as Warwick was turning into the right-left chicane. The Arrows bounced over the inside curb and became airborne. When it hit the ground the impact caused Warwick to black out. The car, still travelling at speed then became airborne again before landing and hitting what is now the "Mur du Québec" (Quebec Wall) or "The Wall Of Champions" opposite the new pits at unabated speed. In the Williams pit directly opposite was Nigel Mansell who had suffered a similar crash in practice for the 1987 Japanese Grand Prix. Knowing the best thing Warwick could do was not to move at that point he immediately jumped the pit fence onto the track and was the first on the scene to give aid to a now conscious Warwick, removing his helmet and instructing him to stay in the car until F1's on-track medical team headed by Prof. Sid Watkins arrived. Courageously, Warwick, who had injured his back in the accident and admitted in an interview on race morning to being very stiff and sore, would start from his 16th qualifying position the next day in the same car he crashed, the Arrows team having repaired it overnight.
At this, another circuit notoriously heavy on fuel for the turbos, Honda engineers decided to set the pop-off valve at 2.3 Bar for the race to lessen the possibility of running out of fuel. While this gave both McLaren and Lotus approximately 40 bhp (30 kW; 41 PS) less than they could use in qualifying, it was expected that the power of the Honda would enable McLaren to once again run comfortably in front of their rivals. Despite this, the leading atmo team Benetton were reasonably confident about the race and the B188s of Nannini and Boutsen allegedly went to the grid with 215 litres of fuel on board. The theory being that the while initially slower due to the weight, when the fuel load lightened the atmo cars could continue pushing while the turbo cars would be getting slower in order to finish before running dry.
Prost led from the start, away from Senna, the Ferraris and the Benettons, although after ten laps Gerhard Berger began having issues with the fuel system of his Ferrari. On lap 19 while coming up to traffic, Senna managed to pass his team mate at the L'Epingle hairpin to take a lead he would not lose. Alessandro Nannini retired from fourth position just past the pits with electrical problems on lap 15 while Berger retired with engine problems at the same place on lap 23. Meanwhile Nigel Mansell relished passing his old team mate Nelson Piquet in the Honda turbo powered Lotus, although this would only last six laps before his engine failed leaving the Briton with his sixth DNF out of six races. The same happened five laps later to his team mate Riccardo Patrese.
On lap 34, Michele Alboreto retired, his Ferrari experiencing a similar engine problem as Berger allowing Thierry Boutsen to take the third place, which he maintained until the finish of the race, though he made no impression on the leading McLarens. With many of the front runners out, minor teams had a clear chance of scoring points. By the middle of the race Philippe Streiff brought his AGS up to the fifth place, ahead of Andrea de Cesaris' Rial in sixth. Their luck didn't last though: Streiff retired after rear suspension failure caused a spin on lap 41, while de Cesaris, with a car that was widely known to have too small a fuel tank, ran out of fuel with 3 laps to go. This allowed Ivan Capelli to put in the most surprising performance of the day, taking his March-Judd to the fifth place.
Ayrton Senna won, 5.9 seconds ahead of Prost with Boutsen 45.5 seconds behind Prost in third. Piquet was fourth in the Lotus, albeit a lap down on Senna, with Capelli finishing fifth in the March. The final point surprisingly went to Jonathan Palmer in the troublesome Tyrrell 017. The injured Derek Warwick put in the drive of the race in his Arrows-Megatron to finish just outside of the points in seventh after a half-race long duel with team mate Eddie Cheever that ended when Cheever retired with a broken throttle cable on lap 31. Warwick also had to endure the turbo pop-off valve cutting in early leaving him with less than desirable power from his turbo engine and an increasingly sore back from his accident the previous day.
Senna set the circuit lap record with a 1:24.973 on lap 53 of the 69 lap race. This compared to Nelson Piquet's previous lap record set in 1986 of 1:25.443 set in a Williams-Honda when the turbo cars had approximately 400 bhp (298 kW; 406 PS) more than 1988. However, the changes to the circuit between the 1986 and 1988 races had eliminated what were the turn 5 and 6 curves which were replaced by making the new pit straight longer, leaving only a left hand turn leading into the now turn 2 Epingle de L'ile hairpin.
Boutsen's third place was the first time since the 1983 Dutch Grand Prix that a naturally aspirated powered car legally finished on a Formula One podium.
|12||22||Andrea de Cesaris||Rial-Ford||1:26.039||1:24.988||+3.307|
|26||31||Gabriele Tarquini||Coloni-Ford||no time||1:27.655||+5.974|
|DNQ||29||Yannick Dalmas||Lola-Ford||no time||1:28.012||+6.331|
Standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
- "Weather information for the "1988 Canadian Grand Prix"". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2014-09-07.
- Unless otherwise indicated, all race results are taken from "The Official Formula 1 website". Retrieved 2007-07-12.
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1989 Canadian Grand Prix