1991 French Grand Prix

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France  1991 French Grand Prix
Race details
Race 7 of 16 in the 1991 Formula One season
Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours (1991).svg
Date 7 July 1991
Location Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, Magny-Cours, France
Course Permanent circuit
4.250 km (2.651 mi)
Distance 72 laps, 306.000 km (190.892 mi)
Pole position
Driver Italy Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault
Time 1:14.559[1]
Fastest lap
Driver United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Williams-Renault
Time 1:19.168 on lap 49[2]
Podium
First United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Williams-Renault
Second France Alain Prost Ferrari
Third Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda

The 1991 French Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Magny-Cours on July 7, 1991. It was the seventh round of the 1991 Formula One season.

Report[edit]

The French Grand Prix had moved from its home in Paul Ricard to Magny-Cours to mixed reviews. There were no changes in the driver market, but the Footwork team had decided to abandon the disastrous Porsche V12 engine project and went back to Ford engines while Ferrari introduced a new car, the 643. In qualifying Alain Prost impressed at home, as he often does, and looked good to score Ferrari's first pole position of the season, but in the dying minutes Riccardo Patrese in the Williams-Renault came through to pip the French driver to the pole. Championship leader Ayrton Senna spun on Olivier Grouillard's oil on his final qualifying attempt and had to settle for third alongside Nigel Mansell in the second Williams, with the rest of the top ten starting spots occupied by Gerhard Berger, Jean Alesi, Nelson Piquet, Roberto Moreno, Maurício Gugelmin, and the impressive Gianni Morbidelli in a Minardi. At the start Patrese made a disastrous start and dropped to 10th position on lap 1, so Prost led from Mansell, Senna, Berger, and Alesi, while Bertrand Gachot spun off on the first lap in his Jordan. Berger was the first of the big boys to go out when his engine failed on lap 6, his third consecutive DNF due to engine problems. Patrese started another recovery drive by passing both Piquet and Morbidelli in one fell swoop when Morbidelli botched an overtaking attempt, taking himself out of the running. At the front Mansell pressured Prost and on Lap 21 he made his move taking advantage of traffic to out-brake the French star going into the hairpin. Mansell slowly pulled away but problems at his first tyre stop dropped him back behind Prost. Mansell once again closed on Prost and the two battled it out until Mansell finally managed to take advantage of traffic, again, and took the lead on Lap 54 by this time outbraking Prost around the outside at the hairpin. Mansell pulled away and scored his first win of the season, Prost was second followed by Senna, Alesi, Patrese, and de Cesaris.

Classification[edit]

Pre Qualifying[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 33 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Jordan-Ford 1:19.729
2 22 Finland JJ Lehto Dallara-Judd 1:20.172 +0.443
3 14 France Olivier Grouillard Fondmetal-Ford 1:20.227 +0.498
4 32 Belgium Bertrand Gachot Jordan-Ford 1:20.309 +0.580
5 21 Italy Emanuele Pirro Dallara-Judd 1:20.539 +0.810
6 34 Italy Nicola Larini Lambo-Lamborghini 1:20.628 +0.899
7 35 Belgium Eric van de Poele Lambo-Lamborghini 1:21.304 +1.575
8 31 Portugal Pedro Chaves Coloni-Ford 1:22.229 +2.500

Qualifying[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Q1 Q2 Gap
1 6 Italy Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault 1:17.472 1:14.559 -
2 27 France Alain Prost Ferrari 1:17.386 1:14.789 +0.230
3 1 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 1:16.557 1:14.857 +0.298
4 5 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Williams-Renault 1:17.095 1:14.895 +0.336
5 2 Austria Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda 1:18.087 1:15.376 +0.817
6 28 France Jean Alesi Ferrari 1:17.303 1:15.877 +1.318
7 20 Brazil Nelson Piquet Benetton-Ford 1:20.449 1:16.816 +2.257
8 19 Brazil Roberto Moreno Benetton-Ford 1:19.711 1:16.961 +2.402
9 15 Brazil Maurício Gugelmin Leyton House-Ilmor 1:19.728 1:17.015 +2.456
10 24 Italy Gianni Morbidelli Minardi-Ferrari 1:20.635 1:17.020 +2.461
11 4 Italy Stefano Modena Tyrrell-Honda 1:19.530 1:17.114 +2.555
12 23 Italy Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ferrari 1:19.426 1:17.149 +2.590
13 33 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Jordan-Ford 1:20.097 1:17.163 +2.604
14 26 France Érik Comas Ligier-Lamborghini 1:20.427 1:17.504 +2.945
15 16 Italy Ivan Capelli Leyton House-Ilmor 1:19.555 1:17.533 +2.974
16 25 Belgium Thierry Boutsen Ligier-Lamborghini 1:19.187 1:17.775 +3.216
17 8 United Kingdom Mark Blundell Brabham-Yamaha 1:22.277 1:17.836 +3.277
18 3 Japan Satoru Nakajima Tyrrell-Honda 1:21.020 1:18.144 +3.585
19 32 Belgium Bertrand Gachot Jordan-Ford 1:20.374 1:18.150 +3.591
20 12 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Lotus-Judd 1:21.230 1:18.185 +3.626
21 14 France Olivier Grouillard Fondmetal-Ford 1:20.640 1:18.210 +3.651
22 30 Japan Aguri Suzuki Lola-Ford 1:22.058 1:18.224 +3.665
23 29 France Éric Bernard Lola-Ford 1:21.613 1:18.540 +3.981
24 7 United Kingdom Martin Brundle Brabham-Yamaha 1:20.999 1:18.826 +4.267
25 9 Italy Michele Alboreto Footwork-Ford 1:21.966 1:18.846 +4.287
26 22 Finland JJ Lehto Dallara-Judd 1:21.323 1:19.267 +4.708
27 11 Finland Mika Häkkinen Lotus-Judd 1:22.274 1:19.491 +4.932
28 18 Italy Fabrizio Barbazza AGS-Ford 1:22.319 1:20.110 +5.551
29 17 Italy Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Ford 1:22.737 1:20.262 +5.703
30 10 Sweden Stefan Johansson Footwork-Ford 1:24.114 1:21.000 +6.441

Race[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 5 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Williams-Renault 72 1:38:00.056 4 10
2 27 France Alain Prost Ferrari 72 + 5.003 2 6
3 1 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 72 + 34.934 3 4
4 28 France Jean Alesi Ferrari 72 + 35.920 6 3
5 6 Italy Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault 71 + 1 Lap 1 2
6 33 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Jordan-Ford 71 + 1 Lap 13 1
7 15 Brazil Maurício Gugelmin Leyton House-Ilmor 70 + 2 Laps 9  
8 20 Brazil Nelson Piquet Benetton-Ford 70 + 2 Laps 7  
9 23 Italy Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ferrari 70 + 2 Laps 12  
10 12 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Lotus-Judd 70 + 2 Laps 20  
11 26 France Érik Comas Ligier-Lamborghini 70 + 2 Laps 14  
12 25 Belgium Thierry Boutsen Ligier-Lamborghini 69 + 3 Laps 16  
Ret 19 Brazil Roberto Moreno Benetton-Ford 63 Physical 8  
Ret 4 Italy Stefano Modena Tyrrell-Honda 57 Gearbox 11  
Ret 14 France Olivier Grouillard Fondmetal-Ford 47 Oil Leak 21  
Ret 29 France Éric Bernard Lola-Ford 43 Transmission 23  
Ret 22 Finland JJ Lehto Dallara-Judd 39 Tyre 26  
Ret 8 United Kingdom Mark Blundell Brabham-Yamaha 36 Spun Off 17  
Ret 30 Japan Aguri Suzuki Lola-Ford 32 Transmission 22  
Ret 9 Italy Michele Alboreto Footwork-Ford 31 Gearbox 25  
Ret 7 United Kingdom Martin Brundle Brabham-Yamaha 21 Gearbox 24  
Ret 3 Japan Satoru Nakajima Tyrrell-Honda 12 Spun Off 18  
Ret 24 Italy Gianni Morbidelli Minardi-Ferrari 8 Collision 10  
Ret 16 Italy Ivan Capelli Leyton House-Ilmor 7 Spun Off 15  
Ret 2 Austria Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda 6 Engine 5  
Ret 32 Belgium Bertrand Gachot Jordan-Ford 0 Spun Off 19  
DNQ 11 Finland Mika Häkkinen Lotus-Judd    
DNQ 18 Italy Fabrizio Barbazza AGS-Ford    
DNQ 17 Italy Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Ford    
DNQ 10 Sweden Stefan Johansson Footwork-Ford    
DNPQ 21 Italy Emanuele Pirro Dallara-Judd    
DNPQ 34 Italy Nicola Larini Lambo-Lamborghini    
DNPQ 35 Belgium Eric van de Poele Lambo-Lamborghini    
DNPQ 31 Portugal Pedro Chaves Coloni-Ford    

Notes[edit]

  • Debut of the new Ferrari 643
  • First French GP to be held at the new Magny Cours venue, previously held at Paul Ricard
  • Porsche leaves Footwork F1 team, giving them no choice but to revert to Ford engines
  • Mansell's first win of the 1991 season, and 17th of his career, thereby breaking the record of Grand Prix wins by an English driver, previously held by Stirling Moss.

Standings after Grand Prix[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ Henry, Alan (1991). AUTOCOURSE 1991-92. Hazleton Publishing. p. 162. ISBN 0-905138-87-2. 
  2. ^ Henry, Alan (1991). AUTOCOURSE 1991-92. Hazleton Publishing. p. 163. ISBN 0-905138-87-2. 


Previous race:
1991 Mexican Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1991 season
Next race:
1991 British Grand Prix
Previous race:
1990 French Grand Prix
French Grand Prix Next race:
1992 French Grand Prix
Awards
Preceded by
1990 Australian Grand Prix
Formula One Promotional Trophy
for Race Promoter

1991
Succeeded by
1992 French Grand Prix