1989 Brazilian Grand Prix
|Race 1 of 16 in the 1989 Formula One season|
|Date||26 March 1989|
|Official name||XVIII Grande Prêmio do Brasil|
|Location||Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet
Jacarepaguá, Rio de Janeiro
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
|Course length||5.031 km (3.126 mi)|
|Distance||61 laps, 306.981 km (190.692 mi)|
|Weather||Very hot, dry, sunny|
|Time||1:32.507 on lap 47|
Ayrton Senna took pole position in qualifying ahead of Riccardo Patrese, making a record-breaking 177th appearance at a Grand Prix, and Gerhard Berger in the new Ferrari 640, which featured the first semi-automatic gearbox in Formula One. For Patrese it was actually his first front row start since he started second at the 1983 European Grand Prix at Brands Hatch, a gap of 81 races. On his debut for Ferrari, Berger's teammate Nigel Mansell qualified sixth. After the race Mansell joked that he was so convinced of his new car's unreliability that he had booked an early flight home.
At the start, Nicola Larini was disqualified for an illegal start. Mansell became the first man since Mario Andretti in 1971 to win on his Formula One debut for Ferrari, a feat that was not matched until Kimi Räikkönen won for Ferrari at the 2007 Australian Grand Prix. It was also the first race ever to be won by a car with a semi-automatic gearbox. Mansell cut his hands on the trophy following the race. He was joined on the podium by McLaren's Alain Prost and March's Maurício Gugelmin, making his first appearance on the podium. Johnny Herbert finished fourth and scored points for Benetton on his debut. Herbert, still recovering from his horrifying Formula 3000 crash at Brands Hatch six months earlier, finished 4th on debut and only 1.123 seconds behind Gugelmin and 7.748 seconds in front of team mate Alessandro Nannini who finished 6th.
The hard luck of the story of the race was Arrows driver Derek Warwick. There was a problem fitting a rear wheel during his second stop for tyres which lost him over 25 seconds. He would eventually finish in 5th place, less than 18 seconds behind Mansell suggesting that the pit stop may have cost Warwick his maiden grand prix victory.
Warwick's Arrows team mate Eddie Cheever collapsed after exiting his car following the collision involving the Zakspeed of Bernd Schneider that ended his race. Arrows actually had to modify Cheevers car after he failed the FIA safety check where a driver had 5 seconds to be able to exit their car. The new Ross Brawn designed Arrows A11 was a tight fit for the tall American and he had trouble fitting into the car before practice. Schneider, whose car carried the new Yamaha V8 engine, only got into the race after Philippe Streiff's crash and the FIA had allowed 5 pre-qualifiers to enter the main field instead of 4. Schneider would not qualify for another race until the season's penultimate round in Japan some 7 months later. His new team mate Aguri Suzuki would fail to qualify for all 16 rounds of the 1989 season.
|Pos||No||Driver||Team||Q1 Time||Q2 Time||Gap|
|15||22||Andrea de Cesaris||Dallara-Ford||1:29.005||1:29.206||+3.703|
- Riccardo Patrese (17) 1-15, 21-22; Nigel Mansell (37) 16-20, 28-44, 47-61; Alain Prost (7) 23-27, 45-46
Championship standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
- Benson, Andrew (7 October 2009). "Pick your classic Brazilian Grand Prix". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
- "Do you remember when Mansell cut his hands on the podium?". F1 Racing (141). Derwent Howard. December 2008. p. 39.
- "1989 Brazilian Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 18 January 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
- Pre-Qualifying results from FIA Yearbook 1989
1988 Australian Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1989 San Marino Grand Prix
1988 Brazilian Grand Prix
|Brazilian Grand Prix||Next race:
1990 Brazilian Grand Prix