1988 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Portugal  1988 Portuguese Grand Prix
Race details
Race 13 of 16 in the 1988 Formula One season
Circuit Estoril 1984-1993.png
Date September 25, 1988
Official name XXII Grande Premio de Portugal
Location Autódromo do Estoril, Estoril, Portugal
Course Permanent racing facility
4.350 km (2.703 mi)
Distance 71 laps, 304.500 km (189.207 mi)
Weather Sunny and hot
Pole position
Driver France Alain Prost McLaren-Honda
Time 1:17.411
Fastest lap
Driver Austria Gerhard Berger Ferrari
Time 1:21.961 on lap 31
Podium
First France Alain Prost McLaren-Honda
Second Italy Ivan Capelli March-Judd
Third Belgium Thierry Boutsen Benetton-Ford

The 1988 Portuguese Grand Prix was a Formula One race held on September 25, 1988 at the Autódromo do Estoril, Estoril. It was the thirteenth race of the 1988 Formula One season.

Qualifying[edit]

McLaren gained their 9th front row of the year with Alain Prost in front of Ayrton Senna for the first time since France. Prost, whose MP4/4 had a brand new, stiffer chassis, set his fastest time early in Saturday qualifying, and then confident that Senna couldn't better the time, spent the rest of qualifying lounging around the McLaren pit in jeans and t-shirt while Senna simply couldn't find a clear lap. They were ahead of Ivan Capelli in the atmospheric March-Judd. In fact, both Marches were in the top five, with Maurício Gugelmin in fifth behind the Ferrari of Monza winner Gerhard Berger. Both Capelli and Gugelmin expressed delight with their cars, especially in the fast corners and many saw them as a chance to upset the McLaren apple cart in the race.

After their impressive performance in Italy which resulted in a 3-4 finish for the team, the Arrows-Megatrons of Derek Warwick (10th) and Eddie Cheever (18th) struggled in Portugal. Both drivers complained of little grip on the rarely used Estoril circuit, which was compounded by slow turns which exposed the Straight-4 Megatron engine's famous lack of throttle response.

After missing the previous two races in Belgium and Italy due to illness, Nigel Mansell was back in his Williams-Judd. Other than complaints of a sore neck he never missed a beat and qualified a fine 6th, less than 0.1 behind Gugelmin, though he knew it would be a long race which would test his fitness.

Julian Bailey (Tyrrell-Ford), Stefano Modena (EuroBrun-Ford), and the Zakspeeds of Piercarlo Ghinzani and Bernd Schneider all failed to qualify while Oscar Larrauri (EuroBrun-Ford) failed to pre-qualify.

Race[edit]

The first start was aborted when the Rial-Ford of Andrea de Cesaris stalled on the grid. The second start was aborted after Derek Warwick stalled his Arrows A10 and was hit by de Cesaris, with Luis Pérez-Sala (Minardi) and Satoru Nakajima (Lotus). Ayrton Senna led off at the third start, to the delight of the Portuguese crowd. At the start of lap 2, Alain Prost pulled out of Senna's slipstream to pass him. Senna moved violently over on Prost and forced him towards the pit wall at over 280 km/h (174 mph). The Frenchman nonetheless maintained his will to pass the Brazilian, not lifting off the throttle, and passed Senna into the first corner.

Prost was not impressed with Senna's tactics and this led to some strong, but controlled, words in the McLaren camp after the race (Senna countered Prost's anger by stating that he had almost been pushed onto the grass by Prost before the first corner after the start, though many saw this as a tactic used by almost all drivers, including Senna, at just about every start). Prost's lead built up to 7 seconds and would last until the flag, while Senna was being troubled by an erratic (and ultimately false) fuel readout which was telling him he was using too much. This allowed Capelli to close right up on him. On lap 22 the Italian out-braked Senna to excited acclaim and opened up a gap on him. It was the first time since Prost suffered from a severe misfire and poor handling from the start of the wet British Grand Prix (that ultimately led to an early retirement) that a McLaren had been passed on track by anything other than another McLaren. Soon after Gerhard Berger also passed the McLaren, leaving Senna exposed to the attacks of Nigel Mansell's Williams. The Briton was closer on the corners, but the Honda engine was superior in the fast sectors of the track.

Berger had claimed the fastest lap in his pursuit of Capelli, but spun off on lap 36. He had accidentally set off his fire extinguisher, with the resultant freezing of his leg with carbon dioxide causing his foot to slip off the pedals. Berger had been attempting a cockpit adjustment to his car but on the bumpy Estoril surface simply hit the wrong button. On lap 55, Mansell and Senna attempted to lap Jonathan Palmer: during this manoeuvre Mansell hit the back off the McLaren and spun into the barriers though without any damage to Senna who continued on. Maurício Gugelmin, Nelson Piquet, Michele Alboreto, Riccardo Patrese and Thierry Boutsen were hotly contesting the last point place in 6th. On lap 29 Patrese retired with a split radiator and the next lap Piquet retired with clutch and gearbox problems. On lap 57, Senna, still having problems with his fuel readout, pitted for a tyre change and was passed by Alboreto, Boutsen and Derek Warwick, falling to 6th.

Prost won convincing from a stunning Capelli; the gap at the line was just 9.5 seconds and Prost himself was marginal on fuel. Fuel problems were a notable feature of this race: on the very last corner of the race Alboreto's engine stuttered-his car was running out of fuel despite the gauge indicating he had plenty left. Boutsen passed him to get his 5th podium of the year and Warwick claimed 4th place. The dry Ferrari of Alboreto and McLaren of Senna were classified 5th and 6th.

Classification[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Q1 Q2 Gap
1 11 France Alain Prost McLaren-Honda 1:18.378 1:17.411
2 12 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 1:18.032 1:17.869 +0.458
3 16 Italy Ivan Capelli March-Judd 1:20.390 1:18.812 +1.401
4 28 Austria Gerhard Berger Ferrari 1:20.065 1:18.903 +1.492
5 15 Brazil Mauricio Gugelmin March-Judd 1:20.791 1:19.045 +1.634
6 5 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Williams-Judd 1:20.908 1:19.131 +1.720
7 27 Italy Michele Alboreto Ferrari 1:21.647 1:19.372 +1.961
8 1 Brazil Nelson Piquet Lotus-Honda 1:19.551 1:19.872 +2.140
9 19 Italy Alessandro Nannini Benetton-Ford 1:21.008 1:19.572 +2.161
10 17 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Arrows-Megatron 1:21.240 1:19.603 +2.192
11 6 Italy Riccardo Patrese Williams-Judd 1:19.878 1:19.797 +2.386
12 22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Rial-Ford 1:21.386 1:19.940 +2.529
13 20 Belgium Thierry Boutsen Benetton-Ford 1:20.700 1:20.314 +2.903
14 23 Italy Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ford 1:21.292 1:20.741 +3.330
15 29 France Yannick Dalmas Lola-Ford 1:21.655 1:20.748 +3.337
16 2 Japan Satoru Nakajima Lotus-Honda 1:22.496 1:20.783 +3.372
17 36 Italy Alex Caffi Dallara-Ford 1:22.349 1:20.922 +3.511
18 18 United States Eddie Cheever Arrows-Megatron 1:21.519 1:20.965 +3.554
19 24 Spain Luis Pérez-Sala Minardi-Ford 1:21.909 1:21.094 +3.683
20 30 France Philippe Alliot Lola-Ford 1:21.809 1:21.096 +3.685
21 14 France Philippe Streiff AGS-Ford 1:21.644 1:21.418 +4.007
22 3 United Kingdom Jonathan Palmer Tyrrell-Ford 1:22.797 1:21.788 +4.377
23 25 France René Arnoux Ligier-Judd 1:22.786 1:21.790 +4.379
24 26 Sweden Stefan Johansson Ligier-Judd 1:22.778 1:22.035 +4.624
25 21 Italy Nicola Larini Osella 1:22.883 1:22.119 +4.708
26 31 Italy Gabriele Tarquini Coloni-Ford 1:23.057 1:22.170 +4.759
DNQ 4 United Kingdom Julian Bailey Tyrrell-Ford 1:22.946 1:22.296 +4.885
DNQ 9 Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani Zakspeed 1:24.127 1:22.549 +5.138
DNQ 33 Italy Stefano Modena EuroBrun-Ford 1:23.075 1:23.232 +5.664
DNQ 10 West Germany Bernd Schneider Zakspeed 1:23.393 1:23.300 +5.889
DNPQ 32 Argentina Oscar Larrauri EuroBrun-Ford 1:25.146

Race[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 11 France Alain Prost McLaren-Honda 70 1:37:40.958 1 9
2 16 Italy Ivan Capelli March-Judd 70 + 9.553 3 6
3 20 Belgium Thierry Boutsen Benetton-Ford 70 + 44.619 13 4
4 17 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Arrows-Megatron 70 + 1:07.419 10 3
5 27 Italy Michele Alboreto Ferrari 70 + 1:11.884 7 2
6 12 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 70 + 1:18.269 2 1
7 36 Italy Alex Caffi Dallara-Ford 69 + 1 Lap 17  
8 24 Spain Luis Pérez-Sala Minardi-Ford 68 + 2 Laps 19  
9 14 France Philippe Streiff AGS-Ford 68 + 2 Laps 21  
10 25 France René Arnoux Ligier-Judd 68 + 2 Laps 23  
11 31 Italy Gabriele Tarquini Coloni-Ford 65 + 5 Laps 26  
12 21 Italy Nicola Larini Osella 63 + 7 Laps 25  
Ret 15 Brazil Maurício Gugelmin March-Judd 59 Engine 5  
Ret 5 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Williams-Judd 54 Spun Off 6  
Ret 3 United Kingdom Jonathan Palmer Tyrrell-Ford 53 Overheating 22  
Ret 19 Italy Alessandro Nannini Benetton-Ford 52 Handling 9  
Ret 28 Austria Gerhard Berger Ferrari 35 Spun Off 4  
Ret 1 Brazil Nelson Piquet Lotus-Honda 34 Clutch 8  
Ret 6 Italy Riccardo Patrese Williams-Judd 29 Radiator 11  
Ret 23 Italy Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ford 27 Engine 14  
Ret 29 France Yannick Dalmas Lola-Ford 20 Alternator 15  
Ret 2 Japan Satoru Nakajima Lotus-Honda 16 Spun Off 16  
Ret 22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Rial-Ford 11 Halfshaft 12  
Ret 18 United States Eddie Cheever Arrows-Megatron 10 Turbo 18  
Ret 30 France Philippe Alliot Lola-Ford 7 Engine 20  
Ret 26 Sweden Stefan Johansson Ligier-Judd 4 Engine 24  
DNQ 4 United Kingdom Julian Bailey Tyrrell-Ford    
DNQ 9 Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani Zakspeed    
DNQ 33 Italy Stefano Modena Euro Brun-Ford    
DNQ 10 West Germany Bernd Schneider Zakspeed    
DNPQ 32 Argentina Oscar Larrauri Euro Brun-Ford    

Standings after the race[edit]

  • Bold Text indicates World Champions.
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. Points accurate at final declaration of results. The Benettons were subsequently disqualified from the Belgian Grand Prix and their points reallocated.

References[edit]


Previous race:
1988 Italian Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1988 season
Next race:
1988 Spanish Grand Prix
Previous race:
1987 Portuguese Grand Prix
Portuguese Grand Prix Next race:
1989 Portuguese Grand Prix