1989 German Grand Prix

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West Germany  1989 German Grand Prix
Race details
Race 9 of 16 in the 1989 Formula One season
Circuit Hockenheimring-1982.svg
Date July 30, 1989
Official name LI Grosser Mobil 1 Preis von Deutschland
Location Hockenheimring
near Heidelberg, West Germany
Course Permanent racing facility
6.797 km (4.2234 mi)
Distance 45 laps, 305.865 km (190.055 mi)
Weather Warm, cloudy
Pole position
Driver Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda
Time 1:42.300
Fastest lap
Driver Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda
Time 1:45.884 on lap 43
Podium
First Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda
Second France Alain Prost McLaren-Honda
Third United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Ferrari

The 1989 German Grand Prix was a Formula One race held at Hockenheimring on July 30, 1989.

Pre-qualifying[edit]

Pre-qualifying had been reorganised going into the second half of the season; no points in the first half of the season meant that the Larrousse team with their Lamborghini V12 engines joined the session, where Philippe Alliot was now partnered by Michele Alboreto who had left Tyrrell over a rumored sponsorship dispute before the French Grand Prix (Alboreto was personally sponsored by Marlboro and Ken Tyrrell had signed the rival Camel brand as the team's major sponsor. Ironically Marlboro ended their contract with Alboreto shortly after he left Tyrrell which allowed him to join the Camel backed Larrousse team). Roberto Moreno was also forced to pre-qualify in the second half of the season, thus joining his Coloni team mate Pierre-Henri Raphanel. Despite his sixth place finish at the Mexican Grand Prix, this was not enough to prevent Gabriele Tarquini from having to pre-qualify his AGS, so the Italian now joined his new team mate Yannick Dalmas in the session. Stefano Modena's third place and team mate Martin Brundle's sixth place finish at the Monaco Grand Prix resulted in the Brabham team no longer having to pre-qualify for the remainder of the season, while Alex Caffi's fourth place in the same race, as well as a sixth in Canada, meant the Italian would not have to pre-qualify his Dallara either. Volker Weidler also found himself free of pre-qualifying thanks to his Rial team mate Christian Danner's fourth place finish at the United States Grand Prix, despite the fact he had never finished any of the pre-qualifying sessions beforehand in a position higher than seventh. In the pre-qualifying session itself, Alboreto beat Dalmas by mere 0.001 second for the last berth in the qualifying sessions.

Qualifying[edit]

As expected, the McLaren-Honda's of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost dominated qualifying on the ultra fast Hockenheim circuit, with Senna just under a second faster than Prost, who was himself was almost eight-tenths faster than the Ferrari 640 of Nigel Mansell.

McLaren weren't without their problems in qualifying though. During the Friday session Senna ran over a stone which put a sizeable hole in his cars under tray and the resulting damage would require a complete change of car, the problem being that the team only had three of the new transverse gearbox cars in Germany. As a precaution the teams secondary (test) crew, who were on their way to Imola for a week of testing with the new car, were instructed to stop in Dijon (France) in case the race team needed a replacement chassis. When Senna's car was deemed too badly damaged, the test crew made their way to Hockenheim and McLaren were back to having three full cars ready for use by Saturday's morning practice.

Race[edit]

The race started with Senna on pole position and Prost alongside him. At the start, Gerhard Berger in the semi-automatic Ferrari made a tremendous start from fourth, passing both Senna, Prost and his team mate Mansell and led the entire field into the first corner with Senna, Prost and Mansell following in succession. At the start Philippe Alliot went off the track at the start in spectacular fashion as he was touched from behind by the Minardi of Pierluigi Martini and lost control of his Lola, spinning off into the grass. He was able to rejoin but his race only lasted 20 laps after his V12 Lamborghini developed an oil leak. His new team mate Michele Alboreto was forced out of his first race with Larrousse just past turn 1 on the second lap after the Lamborghini's electrics failed. Alboreto had qualified 26th and last, only 0.016 ahead of the Minardi of Luis Pérez-Sala.

Berger's lead was to last about a quarter of a lap as the power of the Honda V10 engines told. Senna had Berger before the first chicane, and Prost outbraked him at the Ostkurve. At the start of the second lap, it was Senna leading from Prost, Berger, Mansell, Thierry Boutsen, Alessandro Nannini, Emanuele Pirro, Riccardo Patrese, and Nelson Piquet.

The McLarens of Senna and Prost and the Ferraris of Mansell and Berger started to pull away from the field, with the Benetton-Fords of Pirro and Nannini, and the Williams-Renault of Patrese just barely clinging on (Boutsen retired on lap 5 after being punted off by Pirro at the Bremsschikane 2). On lap 14, Mansell had been hounding Berger for 2 laps, but Berger had a puncture right when approaching the first chicane, and he went up on the marker, launching his Ferrari in midair, landing on a grassy patch and went across the track, just barely avoiding Mansell and came to rest on the trackside grass.

Prost and Senna were on the limit the entire race and Prost hounded Senna for 16 laps, until he went in for his pit stop for tyres, which was a terribly slow one of 18 seconds, which put Mansell in second place and Senna even further away. The next lap, Mansell came into the pits for his tyre change and his pit stop was faster than Prost's but still a poor stop of 11 seconds, which dropped him down back to fourth behind, Senna, Pirro and Prost. Then Senna decided to take advantage of his huge lead and came into the pits for his tyre change, and his stop was even worse than Prost's, lasting 23 seconds. This dropped him down to second behind Prost and Pirro had come into the pits for a tyre change and dropped to fourth.

Pirro crashed into the styrofoam barriers at the stadium entrance and had to be taken to the hospital. With Mansell having problems with his Ferrari, Senna and Prost battled for the entire race, as both drivers were driving on the limit. They started trading off fastest laps[citation needed] and Prost held off Senna for almost the entire race- but on lap 43, Prost's gearbox malfunctioned, lost sixth gear and Senna passed him coming into the stadium. Prost limped around the track for the next 2 laps and Senna cruised around the track to grab his fourth victory of the season, followed by Prost second, Mansell third, Patrese fourth, Piquet fifth and Derek Warwick sixth.

In the post race press conference, Senna refused to speculate on whether he would have been able to pass Prost if the Frenchman hadn't lost top gear, instead stating that winning after suffering four straight DNFs was all he was concerned about. For his part, Prost was of the firm belief that he would have had no trouble holding on for the win had he not had a gearbox problem.

Classification[edit]

Pre Qualifying[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 37 Belgium Bertrand Gachot Onyx-Ford 1:47.283
2 36 Sweden Stefan Johansson Onyx-Ford 1:47.700 +0.417
3 30 France Philippe Alliot Lola-Lamborghini 1:47.746 +0.463
4 29 Italy Michele Alboreto Lola-Lamborghini 1:47.919 +0.636
5 41 France Yannick Dalmas AGS-Ford 1:47.920 +0.637
6 17 Italy Nicola Larini Osella-Ford 1.48.301 +1.018
7 40 Italy Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Ford 1:48.558 +1.275
8 18 Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani Osella-Ford 1:48.564 +1.281
9 31 Brazil Roberto Moreno Coloni-Ford 1:48.567 +1.284
10 32 France Pierre-Henri Raphanel Coloni-Ford 1:48.780 +1.457
11 33 Switzerland Gregor Foitek Euro Brun-Judd 1:49.458 +2.175
12 35 Japan Aguri Suzuki Zakspeed-Yamaha 1:49.527 +2.244
13 34 West Germany Bernd Schneider Zakspeed-Yamaha 1:50.455 +3.172

Qualifying[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Q1 Q2 Gap
1 1 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 1:42.300 1:42.790
2 2 France Alain Prost McLaren-Honda 1:43.306 1:43.295 +0.995
3 27 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Ferrari 1:44.020 1:44.076 +1.720
4 28 Austria Gerhard Berger Ferrari 1:44.467 1:44.509 +2.167
5 6 Italy Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault 1:45.062 1:44.511 +2.211
6 5 Belgium Thierry Boutsen Williams-Renault 1:45.520 1:44.702 +2.402
7 19 Italy Alessandro Nannini Benetton-Ford 1:45.033 1:45.040 +2.733
8 11 Brazil Nelson Piquet Lotus-Judd 1:47.316 1:45.475 +3.175
9 20 Italy Emanuele Pirro Benetton-Ford 1:46.521 1:45.845 +3.545
10 4 France Jean Alesi Tyrrell-Ford 1:47.551 1:46.888 +4.588
11 26 France Olivier Grouillard Ligier-Ford 1:47.408 1:46.893 +4.593
12 7 United Kingdom Martin Brundle Brabham-Judd 1:47.216 1:47.796 +4.916
13 23 Italy Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ford 1:48.222 1:47.380 +5.080
14 15 Brazil Maurício Gugelmin March-Judd 1:47.387 1:47.578 +5.087
15 30 France Philippe Alliot Lola-Lamborghini 1:47.486 1:47.566 +5.186
16 8 Italy Stefano Modena Brabham-Judd 1:47.511 1:47.552 +5.211
17 9 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Arrows-Ford 1:47.756 1:47.533 +5.233
18 12 Japan Satoru Nakajima Lotus-Judd 1:48.782 1:47.663 +5.363
19 3 United Kingdom Jonathan Palmer Tyrrell-Ford 1:47.836 1:47.676 +5.376
20 21 Italy Alex Caffi Dallara-Ford 1:48.671 1:47.679 +5.379
21 22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Dallara-Ford 1:47.879 1:48.005 +5.579
22 16 Italy Ivan Capelli March-Judd 1:48.239 1:48.078 +5.778
23 25 France René Arnoux Ligier-Ford 1:48.266 1:48.598 +5.966
24 36 Sweden Stefan Johansson Onyx-Ford 1:49.935 1:48.348 +6.048
25 10 United States Eddie Cheever Arrows-Ford 1:48.396 1:48.553 +6.096
26 29 Italy Michele Alboreto Lola-Lamborghini 1:48.670 1:48.726 +6.370
27 24 Spain Luis Pérez-Sala Minardi-Ford 1:49.587 1:48.686 +6.386
28 37 Belgium Bertrand Gachot Onyx-Ford 1:49.252 1:49.004 +6.704
29 38 West Germany Christian Danner Rial-Ford 1:50.679 1:49.767 +7.467
DSQ 39 West Germany Volker Weidler Rial-Ford

Race[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 45 1:21:43.302 1 9
2 2 France Alain Prost McLaren-Honda 45 + 18.151 2 6
3 27 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Ferrari 45 + 1:23.254 3 4
4 6 Italy Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault 44 + 1 Lap 5 3
5 11 Brazil Nelson Piquet Lotus-Judd 44 + 1 Lap 8 2
6 9 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Arrows-Ford 44 + 1 Lap 17 1
7 22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Dallara-Ford 44 + 1 Lap 21  
8 7 United Kingdom Martin Brundle Brabham-Judd 44 + 1 Lap 12  
9 23 Italy Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ford 44 + 1 Lap 13  
10 4 France Jean Alesi Tyrrell-Ford 43 + 2 Laps 10  
11 25 France René Arnoux Ligier-Ford 42 + 3 Laps 23  
12 10 United States Eddie Cheever Arrows-Ford 40 Fuel System 25  
Ret 8 Italy Stefano Modena Brabham-Judd 37 Engine 16  
Ret 12 Japan Satoru Nakajima Lotus-Judd 36 Spun Off 18  
Ret 16 Italy Ivan Capelli March-Judd 32 Electrical 22  
Ret 15 Brazil Maurício Gugelmin March-Judd 28 Gearbox 14  
Ret 20 Italy Emanuele Pirro Benetton-Ford 26 Spun Off 9  
Ret 30 France Philippe Alliot Lola-Lamborghini 20 Oil Leak 15  
Ret 3 United Kingdom Jonathan Palmer Tyrrell-Ford 16 Engine 19  
Ret 28 Austria Gerhard Berger Ferrari 13 Puncture 4  
Ret 36 Sweden Stefan Johansson Onyx-Ford 8 Overheating 24  
Ret 19 Italy Alessandro Nannini Benetton-Ford 6 Electrical 7  
Ret 5 Belgium Thierry Boutsen Williams-Renault 4 Collision 6  
Ret 21 Italy Alex Caffi Dallara-Ford 2 Engine 20  
Ret 29 Italy Michele Alboreto Lola-Lamborghini 1 Electrical 26  
Ret 26 France Olivier Grouillard Ligier-Ford 0 Gearbox 11  
DNQ 24 Spain Luis Pérez-Sala Minardi-Ford    
DNQ 37 Belgium Bertrand Gachot Onyx-Ford    
DNQ 38 West Germany Christian Danner Rial-Ford    
DSQ 39 West Germany Volker Weidler Rial-Ford   Push-start  
DNPQ 41 France Yannick Dalmas AGS-Ford    
DNPQ 17 Italy Nicola Larini Osella-Ford    
DNPQ 40 Italy Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Ford    
DNPQ 18 Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani Osella-Ford    
DNPQ 31 Brazil Roberto Moreno Coloni-Ford    
DNPQ 32 France Pierre-Henri Raphanel Coloni-Ford    
DNPQ 33 Switzerland Gregor Foitek Euro Brun-Judd    
DNPQ 35 Japan Aguri Suzuki Zakspeed-Yamaha    
DNPQ 34 West Germany Bernd Schneider Zakspeed-Yamaha    

Lap leaders[edit]

  • Ayrton Senna 21 (1-19, 44-45), Alain Prost 24 (20-43)

Standings after the race[edit]

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.

References[edit]


Previous race:
1989 British Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1989 season
Next race:
1989 Hungarian Grand Prix
Previous race:
1988 German Grand Prix
German Grand Prix Next race:
1990 German Grand Prix