1987 Belgian Grand Prix

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Belgium  1987 Belgian Grand Prix
Race details
Race 3 of 16 in the 1987 Formula One season
Belgian Grand Prix Spa.png
Date 17 May 1987
Official name XLV Grand Prix de Belgique
Location Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 6.940 km (4.312 mi)
Distance 43 laps, 298.420 km (185.429 mi)
Weather Cloudy and cool
Pole position
Driver Williams-Honda
Time 1:52.026
Fastest lap
Driver France Alain Prost McLaren-TAG
Time 1:57.153 on lap 26
First McLaren-TAG
Second McLaren-TAG
Third Brabham-BMW

The 1987 Belgian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 17 May 1987 at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Spa. Contested over 43 laps, the race was the 45th Belgian Grand Prix, the 33rd to be held at Spa and the fourth since the circuit was redeveloped in 1979, and the third race of the 1987 Formula One season.

The race was won by France's Alain Prost driving a McLaren-TAG. This was Prost's second victory of the 1987 season and his second in the Belgian Grand Prix (after 1983), as well as his 27th Grand Prix victory overall, equalling Jackie Stewart's all-time record. Prost's Swedish team-mate Stefan Johansson finished second, the only other driver on the same lap, giving McLaren their first 1-2 finish since the previous year's Monaco Grand Prix. Italy's Andrea de Cesaris, driving a Brabham-BMW, finished third despite having to push his car over the line as he had run out of fuel.

The win gave Prost a five-point lead over Johansson in the Drivers' Championship. Williams driver Nigel Mansell was three points further back; a first-lap collision with Ayrton Senna's Lotus had ultimately led to his retirement from the race, after which he angrily confronted the Brazilian driver in the Lotus garage.

Race summary[edit]

Qualifying runs saw the two Williams FW11Bs take the front row, with Nigel Mansell on the pole, nearly 1.5 seconds faster than Nelson Piquet. Certainly, Piquet was still suffering the results of his accident at Imola. Ayrton Senna took the third place in his Lotus 99T ahead of the two Ferrari F1/87s of Gerhard Berger and Michele Alboreto.

The race required two starts. On the first start Mansell took the lead ahead of Senna, Piquet and Alboreto. At the back of the grid René Arnoux (Ligier JS29B) and Andrea de Cesaris (Brabham BT56) tangled, whilst Thierry Boutsen (Benetton B187) hit Berger's spinning Ferrari F1/87. A more serious accident befell Philippe Streiff who crashed heavily at the Eau Rouge before the wreckage was hit by Tyrrell teammate Jonathan Palmer; both were unhurt but their Tyrrell DG016s were reduced to scrap. By virtue of qualifying 23rd to his team mate's 24th, and ironically by crashing first, Streiff was given the spare car for the restart forcing Palmer out of the race.

On the second start, Senna led Mansell away, but during lap one the Briton tried to overtake the Brazilian. The two controversially tangled, leading to the retirement of the Lotus 99T. Mansell rejoined the race at the back, until the damage sustained in the collision finally forced him to retire on lap 17. Mansell subsequently visited the Lotus garage where harsh words were exchanged and punches were thrown.

Berger retired on lap three with a broken piston whilst on lap 10 second place Michele Alboreto's wheel bearing broke and Nelson Piquet retired with a broken turbo pipe, handing the lead to Alain Prost from Teo Fabi and Stefan Johansson. The pitstops changed little in the situation, and he maintained this to win easily by 25 seconds, despite concerns with his fuel consumption due to a faulty gauge.

This was Prost's 27th win, equalling Jackie Stewart's record with team-mate Johansson making it a McLaren 1-2. Andrea de Cesaris drove superbly to finish third for Brabham despite having to push his car over the line with Eddie Cheever (Arrows A10), Satoru Nakajima (Lotus 99T) and Arnoux taking the remaining points. With the setbacks to the Tyrrell drivers, the Jim Clark points were won by the Lola LC87 of Philippe Alliot.


Numbers in brackets refer to positions of normally aspirated entrants competing for the Jim Clark Trophy.

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1 France Alain Prost McLaren-TAG 43 1:27:03.217 6 9
2 2 Sweden Stefan Johansson McLaren-TAG 43 + 24.764 10 6
3 8 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Brabham-BMW 42 + 1 Lap 13 4
4 18 United States Eddie Cheever Arrows-Megatron 42 + 1 Lap 11 3
5 11 Japan Satoru Nakajima Lotus-Honda 42 + 1 Lap 15 2
6 25 France René Arnoux Ligier-Megatron 41 + 2 Laps 16 1
7 26 Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani Ligier-Megatron 40 + 3 Laps 17  
8 (1) 30 France Philippe Alliot Lola-Ford 40 + 3 Laps 22  
9 (2) 4 France Philippe Streiff Tyrrell-Ford 39 + 4 Laps 23  
10 (3) 14 France Pascal Fabre AGS-Ford 38 + 5 Laps 25  
Ret 19 Italy Teo Fabi Benetton-Ford 34 Engine 9  
Ret 9 United Kingdom Martin Brundle Zakspeed 19 Overheating 18  
Ret 20 Belgium Thierry Boutsen Benetton-Ford 18 Wheel Bearing 7  
Ret 5 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Williams-Honda 17 Accident 1  
Ret 16 Italy Ivan Capelli March-Ford 14 Engine 21  
Ret 6 Brazil Nelson Piquet Williams-Honda 11 Exhaust 2  
Ret 21 Italy Alex Caffi Osella-Alfa Romeo 11 Fuel Leak 26  
Ret 27 Italy Michele Alboreto Ferrari 9 Transmission 5  
Ret 10 West Germany Christian Danner Zakspeed 9 Brakes 20  
Ret 17 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Arrows-Megatron 8 Radiator 12  
Ret 7 Italy Riccardo Patrese Brabham-BMW 5 Clutch 8  
Ret 28 Austria Gerhard Berger Ferrari 2 Engine 4  
Ret 24 Italy Alessandro Nannini Minardi-Motori Moderni 1 Turbo 14  
Ret 12 Brazil Ayrton Senna Lotus-Honda 0 Collision 3  
Ret 23 Spain Adrián Campos Minardi-Motori Moderni 0 Gearbox 19  
Ret 3 United Kingdom Jonathan Palmer Tyrrell-Ford 0 Collision 24  

Championship standings after the race[edit]

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


  1. ^ "1987 Belgian Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 3 November 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2015. 

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