1987 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Brazil  1987 Brazilian Grand Prix
Race details
Race 1 of 16 in the 1987 Formula One season
Circuit Jacarepagua.png
Date April 12, 1987
Official name 16º Grande Premio do Brasil
Location Jacarepaguá Circuit,
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 5.031 km (3.126 mi)
Distance 61 laps, 306.891 km (190.70 mi)
Weather Sunny
Pole position
Driver Williams-Honda
Time 1:26.128
Fastest lap
Driver Brazil Nelson Piquet Williams-Honda
Time 1:33.861 on lap 41
First McLaren-TAG
Second Williams-Honda
Third McLaren-TAG

The 1987 Brazilian Grand Prix was a Formula One race held on April 12, 1987 at the Jacarepaguá Circuit in Rio de Janeiro. It was the first race of the 1987 Formula One season. It was the sixteenth Brazilian Grand Prix and the eighth to be held at the Rio circuit. It was held over 61 laps of the flat 5.031 km (3.126 mi) circuit for a race distance of 306.891 km (190.70 mi).

The race was won by the reigning world champion, Frenchman Alain Prost driving a McLaren MP4/3. It was Prost's fourth victory in the Brazilian Grand Prix, expanding his own record. Prost won the race by 40 seconds over local hero Nelson Piquet driving a Williams FW11B. Third was Prost's new Swedish team mate Stefan Johansson.

Race summary[edit]

Qualifying was dominated by the Honda powered Williams, with Nigel Mansell ahead of Nelson Piquet. Third was Ayrton Senna, with Lotus. The total number of cars entered for the event was 23, but on race day the March team ran out of Cosworth DFZs, blowing their last in the Sunday morning warm-up and there were only 22 starters.

At the start Piquet was fastest, taking the lead from Senna, while Mansell made a bad start; the Benetton B187s of Thierry Boutsen and Teo Fabi outdragged Mansell and Alain Prost. Adrián Campos was disqualified for an incorrect starting procedure, he had forgotten his ear plugs and by the time he had fitted them on the grid the rest of the field had moved away on the warm-up lap. Campos resumed his grid position instead of starting at the rear and race officials removed him for his rookie mistake.[1] Piquet's lead did not last long: on lap 7, he had to pit with engine overheating caused by litter on the track getting into the radiator sidepods. He rejoined back in eleventh position, leaving Senna to lead Mansell (who in the meantime fought back to second) although he too entered in the pits to have his radiators cleared. He rejoined behind Piquet and the pair began to climb through the field.

Senna pitted because of handling troubles of his Lotus 99T and so Prost went into the lead. When Prost stopped for fresh tyres the lead was briefly passed to Thierry Boutsen, who was performing admirably with his Benetton B187, before Piquet went back to first before his second stop, on lap 21. Prost then went ahead again and led for the rest of the race, never looking threatened as he preserved his tyres to only require two stops, while his rivals Senna and Piquet had three.

Mansell's race was compromised late in the race by a tyre puncture, who sent him back to seventh place. On lap 51 Senna suffered an engine failure, causing him to retire from the second place he held for much of the race despite problems with the Lotus' active suspensions.

Prost won ahead of Piquet, his teammate Stefan Johansson, Gerhard Berger (who battled for the whole race with handling problems of his Ferrari F1/87), Boutsen and Mansell, who caught the last point. Satoru Nakajima's first Grand Prix, saw him finish just outside of the points in seventh in his Lotus 99T. This was Prost's 26th victory, which made him the second most successful Grand Prix winner at the time, moving him ahead of Jim Clark and just one win behind tying with Jackie Stewart as the most successful.


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 61 1:39:45.141 5 9
2 6 Brazil Nelson Piquet Williams-Honda 61 + 40.547 2 6
3 2 Sweden Stefan Johansson McLaren-TAG 61 + 56.758 10 4
4 28 Austria Gerhard Berger Ferrari 61 + 1:39.235 7 3
5 20 Belgium Thierry Boutsen Benetton-Ford 60 + 1 Lap 6 2
6 5 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Williams-Honda 60 + 1 Lap 1 1
7 11 Japan Satoru Nakajima Lotus-Honda 59 + 2 Laps 12  
8 27 Italy Michele Alboreto Ferrari 58 Spun Off 9  
9 10 West Germany Christian Danner Zakspeed 58 + 3 Laps 17  
10 (1) 3 United Kingdom Jonathan Palmer Tyrrell-Ford 58 + 3 Laps 18  
11 (2) 4 France Philippe Streiff Tyrrell-Ford 57 + 4 Laps 20  
12 (3) 14 France Pascal Fabre AGS-Ford 55 + 6 Laps 22  
Ret 18 United States Eddie Cheever Arrows-Megatron 52 Overheating 14  
Ret 12 Brazil Ayrton Senna Lotus-Honda 50 Engine 3  
Ret 7 Italy Riccardo Patrese Brabham-BMW 48 Electrical 11  
Ret 8 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Brabham-BMW 21 Differential 13  
Ret 17 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Arrows-Megatron 20 Engine 8  
Ret 21 Italy Alex Caffi Osella-Alfa Romeo 20 Withdrew 21  
Ret 24 Italy Alessandro Nannini Minardi-Motori Moderni 17 Suspension 15  
Ret 9 United Kingdom Martin Brundle Zakspeed 15 Turbo 19  
Ret 19 Italy Teo Fabi Benetton-Ford 9 Turbo 4  
DSQ 23 Spain Adrián Campos Minardi-Motori Moderni 3 Disqualified 16  
DNS 16 Italy Ivan Capelli March-Ford 0 Non Starter 23  

Standings after the race[edit]

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


  1. ^ Roebuck, Nigel; Henry, Alan (1987). Naismith, Barry, ed. "Round 1:Brazil The More Things Change...". Grand Prix (Glen Waverly, Victoria: Garry Sparke & Associates) 3: 40. ISBN 0-908081-27-8. 

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