1990 Formula One World Championship

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1990 FIA Formula One
World Championship
Drivers' Champion: Ayrton Senna
Constructors' Champion: McLaren-Honda
Previous: 1989 Next: 1991
Ayrton Senna won his second title with McLaren.
Defending champion Alain Prost (pictured in 2008) was runner-up for Ferrari.
Nelson Piquet, former triple world champion, finished the season ranked third for Benetton.

The 1990 FIA Formula One World Championship was the 44th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 1990 Formula One World Championship for Drivers and the 1990 Formula One World Championship for Constructors, which were contested concurrently over a sixteen-race series that commenced on 11 March and ended on 4 November. Ayrton Senna won the Drivers' Championship for the second time, and McLaren-Honda won their third consecutive Constructors' Championship.

The championship featured a dramatic battle between Senna and former teammate Alain Prost, who had made the switch to Ferrari. Prost mounted Ferrari's first title challenge for several years, and led the championship after three consecutive mid-season wins. Senna fought back strongly and went into the penultimate round at the Suzuka circuit in Japan with a nine-point lead over Prost. There, Senna took pole position only for Prost to beat him off the line; the Brazilian driver then drove into the Frenchman at the first corner, putting both out and thus settling the championship in Senna's favour. This was the second year in succession that the two drivers had collided at Suzuka. Senna admitted the following year that the collision was deliberate, as he was furious that Prost had been able to start on the clean side of the grid and had decided that he was not going to allow the Frenchman to 'make the corner' should he lose the start.[1]

Drivers and constructors[edit]

The following teams and drivers competed in the 1990 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Tyre No Driver Rounds
Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 641 Ferrari 036 3.5 V12
Ferrari 037 3.5 V12
G 1 France Alain Prost All
2 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell All
United Kingdom Tyrrell Racing Organisation Tyrrell-Ford 018
019
Ford Cosworth DFR 3.5 V8 P 3 Japan Satoru Nakajima All
4 France Jean Alesi All
United Kingdom Canon Williams Team Williams-Renault FW13B Renault RS2 3.5 V10 G 5 Belgium Thierry Boutsen All
6 Italy Riccardo Patrese All
United Kingdom Motor Racing Developments Brabham-Judd BT58
BT59
Judd EV 3.5 V8 P 7 Switzerland Gregor Foitek 1–2
Australia David Brabham 3–16
8 Italy Stefano Modena All
United Kingdom Footwork Arrows Racing Arrows-Ford A11
A11B
Ford Cosworth DFR 3.5 V8 G 9 Italy Michele Alboreto All
10 Germany Bernd Schneider 1, 14
Italy Alex Caffi 2–13, 15–16
United Kingdom Camel Team Lotus Lotus-Lamborghini 102 Lamborghini 3512 3.5 V12 G 11 United Kingdom Derek Warwick All
12 United Kingdom Martin Donnelly 1–14
United Kingdom Johnny Herbert 15–16
Italy Osella Squadra Corse Osella-Ford FA1M
FA1ME
Ford Cosworth DFR 3.5 V8 P 14 France Olivier Grouillard All
United Kingdom Leyton House Racing Leyton House-Judd CG901 Judd EV 3.5 V8 G 15 Brazil Maurício Gugelmin All
16 Italy Ivan Capelli All
France Automobiles Gonfaronnaises Sportives AGS-Ford JH24
JH25
Ford Cosworth DFR 3.5 V8 G 17 Italy Gabriele Tarquini All
18 France Yannick Dalmas All
United Kingdom Benetton Formula Ltd Benetton-Ford B189B
B190
Ford HBA4 3.5 V8 G 19 Italy Alessandro Nannini 1–14
Brazil Roberto Moreno 15–16
20 Brazil Nelson Piquet All
Italy BMS Scuderia Italia Dallara-Ford F190 Ford Cosworth DFR 3.5 V8 P 21 Italy Gianni Morbidelli 1–2
Italy Emanuele Pirro 3–16
22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris All
Italy SCM Minardi Team Minardi-Ford M189
M190
Ford Cosworth DFR 3.5 V8 P 23 Italy Pierluigi Martini All
24 Italy Paolo Barilla 1–14
Italy Gianni Morbidelli 15–16
France Equipe Ligier Gitanes Ligier-Ford JS33B Ford Cosworth DFR 3.5 V8 G 25 Italy Nicola Larini All
26 France Philippe Alliot All
United Kingdom Honda Marlboro McLaren McLaren-Honda MP4/5B Honda RA109E 3.5 V10 G 27 Brazil Ayrton Senna All
28 Austria Gerhard Berger All
France ESPO Larrousse F1 Lola-Lamborghini LC89B
LC90
Lamborghini 3512 3.5 V12 G 29 France Éric Bernard All
30 Japan Aguri Suzuki All
Italy Subaru Coloni Racing
Italy Coloni Racing
Coloni-Subaru C3B Subaru 1235 3.5 F12 G 31 Belgium Bertrand Gachot 1–8
Coloni-Ford C3C Ford Cosworth DFR 3.5 V8 9–16
Italy EuroBrun Racing EuroBrun-Judd ER189B Judd CV 3.5 V8 P 33 Brazil Roberto Moreno 1–14
34 Italy Claudio Langes 1–14
United Kingdom Monteverdi Onyx Formula One Onyx-Ford ORE-1
ORE-1B
Ford Cosworth DFR 3.5 V8 G 35 Sweden Stefan Johansson 1–2
Switzerland Gregor Foitek 3–10
36 Finland JJ Lehto 1–10
Italy Life Racing Engines Life L190 Life F35 3.5 W12 G 39 Australia Gary Brabham 1–2
Italy Bruno Giacomelli 3–12
Life-Judd Judd CV 3.5 V8 13–14

Pre-season[edit]

McLaren retained 1988 champion Ayrton Senna, now partnered by Gerhard Berger. Ferrari signed reigning World Champion Alain Prost, Senna's great rival and former teammate, to partner Nigel Mansell. The other main team, Williams, retained their 1989 pairing of Thierry Boutsen and Riccardo Patrese. Benetton retained Alessandro Nannini, now in his third year with the team, and signed triple world champion Nelson Piquet, who had had two disappointing years at Lotus in 1988 and 1989. Piquet's contract turned out to be incentive-based: he would be paid US$100,000 for every point scored, though he was also paid a season retainer.

With experienced Japanese driver Satoru Nakajima having also left Lotus for Tyrrell, the Hethel-based team signed Derek Warwick (who had been blocked from joining in 1986 by Senna) and young Northern Irish driver Martin Donnelly. The cars would be powered by the Lamborghini V12 engine, as would the Lola cars used by the French Larrousse team. Tyrrell retained Jean Alesi for his first full season of Formula One, whilst Nakajima replaced the retired Jonathan Palmer. Brabham kept Italian Stefano Modena, but Martin Brundle left F1 to return to the World Sportscar Championship with TWR, his place taken first by Swiss driver Gregor Foitek and then (after two races) by David Brabham, the youngest son of team founder and triple world champion Sir Jack Brabham. Foitek moved to the Onyx team, which was now part-owned by his father Karl Foitek. Arrows boss Jackie Oliver had sold the majority of the team to the Japanese Footwork company, while Italians Michele Alboreto and Alex Caffi replaced Warwick and Eddie Cheever, who returned home to America to embark on a successful career in IndyCar racing.

During the off-season, German teams Zakspeed and Rial pulled out of Formula One. Zakspeed had withdrawn after five unsuccessful seasons and returned to sports car racing, while Rial had folded after just two seasons.

New Italian team Life appeared on the grid, their car powered by their own unconventional (and ultimately uncompetitive) W12 engine design. David Brabham's older brother Gary piloted the car in the first two rounds before pulling out and being replaced by Bruno Giacomelli, returning to F1 for the first time since the end of 1983.

In all, there were 19 teams and 35 cars at the start of 1990, meaning that nine cars from six teams would be required to pre-qualify during the first half of the season. The teams were Larrousse, AGS, EuroBrun, Osella, Coloni and Life; the first three all ran two cars while the others ran one.

Races[edit]

Race 1: USA[edit]

The first race of the year was held on an angular street circuit in Phoenix, Arizona, USA; this race became the season opener to race in cooler weather and avoid the 104F+ (40C) degree heat that made conditions very difficult in June of the previous year. Unexpected rain in qualifying led to a grid with Gerhard Berger on pole position with Pierluigi Martini second in the Minardi, Andrea de Cesaris third in the Dallara, Jean Alesi fourth in the Tyrrell, Ayrton Senna down in fifth and Nelson Piquet sixth. Alesi took the lead at the start ahead of Berger, de Cesaris, Senna, Martini and Piquet.

Alesi pulled away and Berger was dropping back. Senna passed de Cesaris and Berger hit a wall on lap 9, forcing him to pit. He charged back but retired with clutch problems. Alesi was 8.2 seconds ahead but Senna started to reel him in. Senna attacked on lap 34 but Alesi defended and kept the lead. Senna did the job properly one lap later and pulled away to win. Behind, Thierry Boutsen passed Piquet to take third with Stefano Modena's Brabham and Satoru Nakajima's Tyrrell getting the final points.

Race 2: Brazil[edit]

The Brazilian Grand Prix had returned to the Interlagos Autodrome in São Paulo for the first time since 1980, having been at the Jacarepagua Riocentro Autodrome in Rio de Janeiro for 9 previous seasons consecutively, and 1978. The circuit had been shortened from 4.9 mi (7.9 km) to 2.6 mi (4.2 km).

During qualifying, Senna and Berger were 1–2 with Boutsen and Patrese 3–4 and the Ferraris of Nigel Mansell and Alain Prost behind them. At the start, Senna led Berger, Boutsen, Prost, Patrese and Mansell. Boutsen passed Berger early on but could not keep up with Senna.

At the stops, Boutsen ran into a tyre and had to change his nose cone, dropping back to 11th and some good work from the Ferrari crew got Prost ahead of Berger and Mansell ahead of Patrese. Senna was ahead of Prost, Berger, Mansell, Patrese and Alesi. Senna, 10 seconds ahead of everybody hit the backmarker, former teammate Nakajima, forcing him to pit and drop back to third. With just a few laps to go, Patrese retired with a broken oil cooler. Prost won from Berger, Senna, Mansell, the recovering Boutsen and Piquet.

Race 3: San Marino[edit]

There was a six-week gap before the San Marino round, at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari near Bologna in Italy; a number of changes were made to most of the cars during this period. An almost identical grid to Brazil saw Senna, Berger, Patrese, Boutsen, Mansell and Prost line up after qualifying. At the start, Senna and Berger got away well but Boutsen sliced ahead of Patrese to take third with Mansell and Prost behind. Boutsen passed Berger on lap 2. On the next lap, a stone sliced through Senna's wheelrim, spinning him into a sand trap and out of the race. Boutsen pulled away from Berger but his engine blew on lap 18.

Soon Mansell passed Patrese and then attacked Berger. Berger closed the door and Mansell spun without hitting anything nor losing a place. He set off after Berger again but retired with engine problems. At the second stops, Nannini got ahead of Prost. Patrese closed in on Berger and passed him on lap 51. Patrese pulled away and won his first Grand Prix since South Africa in 1983 from Berger, Nannini, Prost, Piquet and Alesi.

Race 4: Monaco[edit]

In Monaco, Senna took pole but Prost was second with Alesi third ahead of Patrese, Berger and Boutsen. At the start, Berger collided with Prost, blocking the track and stopping the race. The second was all right and Senna led from Prost, Alesi, Berger, Patrese and Boutsen.

The race settled down and nothing changed until lap 30 when Prost retired with a battery failure. Then Mansell hit the back of Boutsen and was forced to pit and changed his front wing. Patrese's distributor failed on lap 42. Behind, Mansell was charging through the field and passed Boutsen to take fourth. But then he was sidelined with the same problem as Prost. At the front, Senna won from Alesi, Berger, Boutsen, Alex Caffi in the Arrows and Éric Bernard's Larrousse.

Race 5: Canada[edit]

Canada was next and at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal the McLarens were 1–2 in qualifying with Senna ahead of Berger with Prost third, Nannini fourth, Piquet fifth and Boutsen sixth. The track was damp on race day and Berger jumped the start and then hesitated. He got a 1-minute time penalty as well as allowing Senna to lead on the road. Senna led Nannini, Alesi, Prost, Boutsen and Piquet.

The track began to dry and everyone pitted. But when Nannini rejoined, he hit a groundhog and had to pit again for repairs. He spun off on lap 22. Berger took the lead on the road but he needed a minute to stay ahead at the end. He charged and was a second quicker than the others as Boutsen spun off while battling Prost. Senna now led from Prost, Piquet, Mansell, Patrese and Derek Warwick.

Piquet after many laps finally passed Prost who was then attacked by Mansell. Patrese retired putting Berger to fifth (he got ahead of Warwick before). Mansell passed Prost and slowly pulled away. With two laps to go, Berger got past Prost on aggregate but could not get ahead of Mansell. Senna won from Piquet, Mansell, Berger, Prost and Warwick.

Race 6: Mexico[edit]

After Canada came the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City and Berger qualified on pole position with Patrese beside him and Senna third, Mansell fourth, Boutsen fifth and Alesi sixth. At the start, Patrese and Berger jumped Senna while Piquet got ahead of Boutsen and Mansell. Early on, Senna passed Patrese and Berger followed him through. Patrese was dropping back and Piquet got by him as well. Boutsen was the next to go through but at the same time Berger had a problem with his tyre and was forced to stop and dropped to 12th position. Senna lead from Piquet, Boutsen, Patrese, Mansell and Prost.

Soon, Mansell passed Patrese and got Boutsen four laps later as Prost did the same to Patrese. Prost sneaked ahead of Boutsen as Mansell closed in on Piquet. Mansell got ahead on lap 36 and Prost followed him through six laps later. Piquet soon stopped and dropped behind Nannini, Boutsen (who already stopped) and Berger. Berger passed Boutsen on lap 47 and Nannini four laps later. Prost passed Mansell on lap 55 and they began to close in on Senna. Prost, passed Senna followed by Mansell. Then Mansell spun but at the same time Senna got a puncture that let to him retiring in the pits 4 laps before the end and allowing Berger to get third and close in to Mansell. With a daring move Berger passed Mansell but Mansell charged back and attacked taking back second place after making an even more daring pass around the outside of Berger at the fastest corner on the track, the 180-degree Peraltada corner. Prost won with Mansell second making it a Ferrari 1–2 ahead of Berger, Nannini, Boutsen and Piquet.

Race 7: France[edit]

France was next, being held at the Paul Ricard circuit near the coastal city of Marseille. The fans were wearing red and a Ferrari did take pole position. However, it was not their hero Prost but Mansell who was ahead of Berger, Senna, Prost, Nannini and Patrese. At the start, Berger got past Mansell while Prost lost out as well. Berger led with Mansell, Senna, Nannini, Patrese and Prost behind. On lap 2, Senna passed Mansell for second and soon after Prost passed Patrese. The order stayed like that until Senna passed Berger who had been too hard on his tyres in the early stages.

Nannini and Piquet pitted early while Berger and Senna went too late. Mansell's and Prost's tyres lasted longer and thus they pitted late. Riccardo Patrese went too late and was the big loser. This left the two Leyton Houses (they planned the race without a stop) ahead with a totally shuffled order behind them. Ivan Capelli led Maurício Gugelmin, Prost, Nannini, Mansell and Senna. Prost then caught and passed Gugelmin who then went out with engine trouble.

As Prost closed in on Capelli, Mansell in 8th place could not get by Berger, Piquet and Senna. Capelli continued to defend from Prost as Mansell went out with engine trouble. Nannini moved into third but was then forced to retire with electrical trouble, while Prost finally passed Capelli with three laps to go. Prost won ahead of Capelli, Senna, Piquet, Berger and Patrese.

Race 8: Great Britain[edit]

Britain was next and Mansell, roared on by his home fans at the fast Silverstone airfield circuit, took pole from Senna, followed by Berger, Boutsen, Prost and Alesi. Senna passed Mansell at the first corner and led for the first 11 laps before Mansell retook the lead; the Brazilian then spun on lap 14, dropping down to fifth.

As Prost passed Boutsen for third, Mansell began to have troubles with his gearbox. Berger passed him for the lead on lap 22 but then began to suffer handling issues, enabling Mansell to re-pass him on lap 28. Meanwhile, Prost closed up to both drivers, before passing Berger on lap 31 and then Mansell on lap 44 as the Englishman's gearbox issues worsened.

Mansell remained second until lap 56 when his gearbox failed altogether; he promptly threw his gloves into the crowd and announced his retirement from Formula One at the end of the season. Capelli briefly ran third ahead of Berger before his fuel pipe broke; Berger's race then ended four laps from home with a throttle failure. This left Prost to win by nearly 40 seconds from Boutsen, the Belgian driver in turn finishing four seconds ahead of Senna. Bernard, Piquet and Aguri Suzuki rounded out the top six.

At the halfway stage of the season, Prost led the Drivers' Championship by two points from Senna, 41 to 39, with Berger third on 25, Piquet fourth on 18 and Boutsen fifth on 17. McLaren led the Constructors' Championship with 64 points, followed by Ferrari on 54, Williams on 27 and Benetton on 25.

Race 9: Germany[edit]

At the start of the second half of the season, there was one change in pre-qualifying: Larrousse-Lola's five points meant that they were automatically promoted into main qualifying, dropping fellow French team Ligier into the Friday morning session. Meanwhile, Coloni had terminated their unsuccessful partnership with Subaru and were now using Cosworth engines, although these failed to improve the team's performance.

At the very fast, forested Hockenheimring, McLarens were 1–2 in qualifying, Senna ahead of Berger. Ferraris were 3–4 with Prost ahead of Mansell and Williamses were 5–6 to complete the "Noah's Ark" (two-by-two) formation, Patrese ahead of Boutsen. At the start, Berger took off better than Senna but Senna just stayed ahead with Berger second, Prost third, Mansell fourth, Patrese fifth and Piquet sixth.

There were no changes until lap 11 when Piquet tried to pass Patrese and went through an escape road, allowing Nannini to get ahead. Three laps later Mansell went through the grass at Ostkurve without losing a place but damaging his car. It proved crucial as he retired two laps later, the damage being too great. Meanwhile, Nannini passed Patrese as the top three stopped for tyres, the Williamses and Benettons planning to go without a stop. Piquet retired with engine trouble.

Thus, Nannini led Senna, Patrese, Piquet, Berger and Prost. Patrese's tyres were very badly damaged and he was forced to pit. Prost then passed Boutsen for fourth with Patrese following him two laps later. On lap 34, Senna passed Nannini for the lead and pulled away. Senna won from Nannini, Berger, Prost, Patrese and Boutsen.

Race 10: Hungary[edit]

Hungary was next and at the Hungaroring near Budapest, the Williamses qualified ahead of the McLarens, Boutsen taking pole ahead of Patrese, Berger, Senna, Mansell and Alesi. At the start, Boutsen kept the lead but it was Berger went away best and passed Patrese while Senna was worst and lost out to both Mansell and Alesi. Thus, it was Boutsen, Berger, Patrese, Mansell, Alesi and Senna.

It stayed like that on lap 21 when Senna passed Alesi for fifth but he was forced to pit on the next lap with a slow puncture. Nannini soon passed Alesi to take fifth. The leaders stopped and Berger was the big loser with Nannini and Senna the big gainers, rising directly behind the Williams men. The order was: Boutsen, Patrese, Nannini, Senna, Mansell and Berger. Boutsen then pulled away while Patrese held up the others until Nannini streamed by with Senna following him.

Patrese then pitted and dropped behind Piquet as Berger passed Mansell only for Mansell to get back at him. Senna tried to pass Nannini on lap 64 and tipped Nannini into a spin and retirement. Berger tried to do the same thing on Mansell on lap 72 at the same corner with the same result – a collision but with both cars out. Boutsen won ahead of Senna, Piquet, Patrese, Warwick and Bernard.

Race 11: Belgium[edit]

The financially troubled Monteverdi Onyx team pulled out of F1 before the Belgian round, which allowed the Ligier team to escape from pre-qualifying. At the historic Spa-Francorchamps circuit, McLaren were 1–2 with Senna on pole ahead of Berger, Prost, Boutsen, Mansell and Patrese. At the start, Piquet pushed Mansell off the road and soon Nakajima and Modena collided as well, causing the race to be stopped.

At the second start, Senna took the lead while Boutsen sliced into second and Prost dropped to fifth. However, Paolo Barilla crashed his Minardi heavily at Eau Rouge, sending debris all over the track and causing the race to be stopped again.

The third start was clean and Senna took the lead ahead of Berger, Prost, Boutsen, Patrese and Nannini. On lap 11, Mansell went into the pits with handling problems; he went back out but retired eight laps later. On lap 14, Prost sliced ahead of Berger who then pitted for tyres. Senna and Prost, separated by 2 seconds stopped at the same time but then Nannini who was planning to go without stopping came in between them. Then both Patrese and Boutsen went out with gearbox troubles. Prost passed Nannini and Berger tried the same but this time Nannini came back at him to keep the place. On lap 41, Nannini went wide and Berger sailed through to take third. Senna duly won from Prost, Berger, Nannini, Piquet and Gugelmin.

With five races remaining, the Drivers' Championship now lay firmly between Senna on 63 points and Prost on 50. Berger was third on 33, Boutsen fourth on 27 and Piquet fifth on 24. McLaren held a comfortable lead in the Constructors' Championship with 96 points against Ferrari's 63, with Williams third on 42 and Benetton fourth on 40.

Race 12: Italy[edit]

After Belgium came Italy and at the historic Monza Autodrome near Milan, Senna took pole again with Prost second, Berger third, Mansell fourth, Alesi fifth and Boutsen sixth. At the start, Berger raced past Prost while Alesi jumped by both the Ferraris. But Warwick crashed at the Parabolica, bringing out the red flags. In the restart, Berger got past Prost and Alesi repeated his previous effort and had passed both Ferraris before the second chicane, so we had Senna leading Berger, Alesi, Prost, Mansell and Boutsen.

On lap 5, Alesi spun off and retired. Nothing changed until lap 18 when Boutsen retired with a suspension failure and Berger's tyres began to fade. Prost then passed Berger and the stops did not change anything. The top three then began to battle for the lead but none was able to close in on the other while Mansell continued to drop back, fighting a faulty throttle return spring. Senna won from Prost, Berger, Mansell, Patrese and Nakajima.

Race 13: Portugal[edit]

In Portugal, at the Estoril circuit near Lisbon, the Ferraris took 1–2 in qualifying with Mansell ahead of Prost, Senna, Berger, Patrese and Piquet. At the start, Mansell got too much wheel spin and he slid across the track and almost took Prost out; as a result, the McLarens blasted by them with Piquet getting by Prost as well. The order was: Senna, Berger, Mansell, Piquet, Prost and Boutsen.

On lap 13, Prost overtook Piquet for fourth and later Mansell went to the grass, allowing Prost to take third. Mansell and Berger pitted soon as Prost passed Senna at the same time to lead. These two soon pitted as well with a shuffled order: Senna, Mansell, Berger, Prost, Nannini and Piquet. By then, the Ferraris started to close in on the McLarens in front of them. Behind them, Piquet passed Nannini to take fifth.

On lap 50, Mansell was close to Senna and passed him to lead. He pulled away fast but then hit Phillipe Alliot while lapping him, pushing the Ligier into a wall while Mansell got away with no damage. Prost then passed Berger on lap 59. Two laps later, Suzuki and Caffi collided and with the latter stuck in the cockpit in a zone with the wall next to the track, the race was stopped. Thus Mansell won from Senna, Prost, Berger, Piquet and Nannini.

Race 14: Spain[edit]

Qualifying in Spain, at the Jerez circuit near Seville, was marred by a serious incident involving Martin Donnelly. During a hot lap on the Friday, the Northern Irishman suffered a suspension failure on one of the fastest corners of the circuit, sending his Lotus into the barriers head-on. The car was destroyed while Donnelly was thrown across the track with his seat still strapped to his back; he suffered severe leg fractures and bruising on his brain and lungs. Remarkably, he survived, though his Formula One career was over.

Senna, shaken by this incident, took his 50th career pole position ahead of Prost, Mansell, Alesi, Berger and Patrese. At the start, Senna led away from Prost, while Alesi was hit by Patrese and spun into retirement. Mansell kept up with the championship challengers, while Berger struggled on hard tyres and held up the Williams and Benettons. The pit stops saw Mansell get ahead of Prost before waving his teammate through; he did so just as Senna was emerging from his own stop. The Brazilian, realising that he could not afford to be behind Mansell, dived ahead of him.

Piquet, who had not pitted, held a narrow lead over Prost; the Frenchman pressured him into running wide on lap 29, dropping him down to fourth. He eventually retired with battery problems. Senna began to struggle with a punctured radiator, and was passed by Mansell before dropping out on lap 54. Nannini was now up to third while Boutsen and Berger disputed fourth; the two tangled on lap 57, sending Berger into retirement. Prost and Mansell duly completed a Ferrari 1–2, the Frenchman 22 seconds ahead, with Nannini, Boutsen, Patrese and Suzuki completing the top six.

With two races to go, Senna had 78 points to Prost's 69; both had had eleven points finishes and would therefore have to drop points if they scored again. Senna was still in a strong position, however, as a win or a second place (if Prost did not win) in the next race would give him the championship. Berger was third with 40, Mansell was up to fourth with 31 and Boutsen was fifth with 30. Similarly, McLaren retained a strong position in the Constructors' Championship with 118 points against Ferrari's 100, with Williams a distant third on 49 and Benetton fourth on 47.

Race 15: Japan[edit]

Before the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, Nannini was involved in a helicopter crash, suffering a severed right forearm. Though it was reattached using microsurgery, his F1 career ended. Meanwhile, the EuroBrun and Life teams withdrew (meaning that pre-qualifying was unnecessary); Benetton duly took on EuroBrun's Roberto Moreno as Nannini's replacement.

In qualifying, Senna took pole ahead of Prost, Mansell, Berger, Boutsen and Piquet. However, Senna was unhappy at the pole being located on the dirty side of the track and thus the second place being on the racing line which should give the second-placed driver the advantage into the first corner. He went to FISA president Jean Marie Balestre to change the side on which pole was located, but was refused. After this, he decided that he would intentionally drive his race car into Prost's Ferrari into the first corner if Prost had the advantage. At the start, Prost did have the advantage and Senna drove into the Frenchman, who drove the normal racing line. Senna's left front touched Prost's rear wing, spinning both of them into the gravel trap. The world championship was sealed.

Although Senna led by 9 points and there were 9 points for a win, if Prost won the last race he would have had to drop his fifth place in Canada which meant that he would be two points behind Senna even if Senna retired. Senna was the new world champion. In the race Berger was leading Mansell, Piquet, Moreno, Boutsen and Patrese. At the start of the second lap, Berger spun off into retirement after hitting debris from the Senna-Prost collision. This left Mansell who was under pressure by the Benettons leading.

Mansell then began to pull away from Piquet and Moreno as Suzuki passed Warwick for sixth. Mansell pitted with a 15-second lead on lap 27 for tyres but his driveshaft snapped as he went out of his garage. He retired giving the Constructors title to McLaren as they were 18 points ahead and a 1–2 can get only 15 points. The Benettons and Suzuki did not stop but Patrese and Boutsen did with Patrese getting ahead at the stops but both rejoined behind Suzuki. Then Nakajima passed Warwick to take sixth as Warwick then retired with gearbox trouble. Piquet won with Moreno making it a Benetton 1–2. Suzuki was third, Patrese fourth, Boutsen fifth and Nakajima sixth.

Race 16: Australia[edit]

The last race of the year was in Australia for what would be the 500th World Championship Grand Prix race, and at the Adelaide City street circuit the McLarens took 1–2 in qualifying ahead of the Ferraris, Senna ahead of Berger, Mansell, Prost, Alesi and Patrese. At the start, Senna took off into the lead with Berger defending from the Ferraris and Piquet getting by Alesi and Patrese. The order was: Senna, Berger, Mansell, Prost, Piquet and Alesi.

On lap 2, Berger accidentally hit the engine kill switch allowing Mansell to get ahead before he could bump start the McLaren. Then while defending from Prost, he held up Prost allowing Piquet to get ahead of the Frenchman. Piquet then soon passed Berger for third and the order settled down. Senna and Mansell continued to pull away from the rest, none of them able to keep up. Soon Patrese got past Alesi with Boutsen following suit.

Then, on lap 43, Mansell went up an escape road, giving Senna a good lead. Mansell was caught and passed by Piquet and pitted for tyres soon after. At the stops, Boutsen got ahead of Patrese. Berger then ran wide entering the Brabham straight, allowing Prost to take third. Mansell passed Berger on lap 57 and soon passed Prost on his new tyres. Senna had a gearbox glitch on lap 62 and went straight on into the wall and retired. Mansell closed in on Piquet, breaking the lap record 3 times towards the finish, taking 2 seconds a lap out of his lead. Piquet made an error with 4 laps to go, allowing Mansell to close right up. Mansell attacked on the last lap with a desperate passing attempt at the end of the straight, was too far behind to make the pass. Thus, Piquet won from Mansell, Prost, Berger, Boutsen and Patrese.

At the end of the season, Senna was world champion with 78 points with Prost second with 71 (he got 73 but had to drop 2 points), Piquet third with 43 (he got 44 but had to drop 1 point), Berger fourth with 43 (Piquet had 2 wins to Berger's none), Mansell fifth with 37, Boutsen sixth with 34, Patrese seventh with 23 and Nannini eighth with 21. In the constructors, McLaren were champions with 121 points with Ferrari second with 110, Benetton third with 71 and Williams fourth with 55.

Season review[edit]

Round Grand Prix Date Location Pole Position Fastest Lap Winning Driver Winning Constructor Report
1 United States United States Grand Prix 11 March Phoenix Austria Gerhard Berger Austria Gerhard Berger Brazil Ayrton Senna United Kingdom McLaren-Honda Report
2 Brazil Brazilian Grand Prix 25 March Interlagos Brazil Ayrton Senna Austria Gerhard Berger France Alain Prost Italy Ferrari Report
3 Italy San Marino Grand Prix 13 May Imola Brazil Ayrton Senna Italy Alessandro Nannini Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Williams-Renault Report
4 Monaco Monaco Grand Prix 27 May Monaco Brazil Ayrton Senna Brazil Ayrton Senna Brazil Ayrton Senna United Kingdom McLaren-Honda Report
5 Canada Canadian Grand Prix 10 June Circuit Gilles Villeneuve Brazil Ayrton Senna Austria Gerhard Berger Brazil Ayrton Senna United Kingdom McLaren-Honda Report
6 Mexico Mexican Grand Prix 24 June Hermanos Rodríguez Austria Gerhard Berger France Alain Prost France Alain Prost Italy Ferrari Report
7 France French Grand Prix 8 July Paul Ricard United Kingdom Nigel Mansell United Kingdom Nigel Mansell France Alain Prost Italy Ferrari Report
8 United Kingdom British Grand Prix 15 July Silverstone United Kingdom Nigel Mansell United Kingdom Nigel Mansell France Alain Prost Italy Ferrari Report
9 West Germany German Grand Prix 29 July Hockenheimring Brazil Ayrton Senna Belgium Thierry Boutsen Brazil Ayrton Senna United Kingdom McLaren-Honda Report
10 Hungary Hungarian Grand Prix 12 August Hungaroring Belgium Thierry Boutsen Italy Riccardo Patrese Belgium Thierry Boutsen United Kingdom Williams-Renault Report
11 Belgium Belgian Grand Prix 26 August Spa-Francorchamps Brazil Ayrton Senna France Alain Prost Brazil Ayrton Senna United Kingdom McLaren-Honda Report
12 Italy Italian Grand Prix 9 September Monza Brazil Ayrton Senna Brazil Ayrton Senna Brazil Ayrton Senna United Kingdom McLaren-Honda Report
13 Portugal Portuguese Grand Prix 23 September Estoril United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Italy Ferrari Report
14 Spain Spanish Grand Prix 30 September Jerez Brazil Ayrton Senna Italy Riccardo Patrese France Alain Prost Italy Ferrari Report
15 Japan Japanese Grand Prix 21 October Suzuka Brazil Ayrton Senna Italy Riccardo Patrese Brazil Nelson Piquet United Kingdom Benetton-Ford Report
16 Australia Australian Grand Prix 4 November Adelaide Brazil Ayrton Senna United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Brazil Nelson Piquet United Kingdom Benetton-Ford Report

1990 Drivers' Championship final standings[edit]

Points towards the 1990 FIA Formula One World Championship for Drivers were awarded on a 9–6–4–3–2–1 basis for the first six places at each round. Only the best eleven round results were retained, any other points being discarded.

Pos Driver USA
United States
BRA
Brazil
SMR
Italy
MON
Monaco
CAN
Canada
MEX
Mexico
FRA
France
GBR
United Kingdom
GER
West Germany
HUN
Hungary
BEL
Belgium
ITA
Italy
POR
Portugal
ESP
Spain
JPN
Japan
AUS
Australia
Points[2]
1 Brazil Ayrton Senna 1 3 Ret 1 1 20 3 3 1 2 1 1 2 Ret Ret Ret 78
2 France Alain Prost Ret 1 4 Ret (5) 1 1 1 4 Ret 2 2 3 1 Ret 3 71 (73)
3 Brazil Nelson Piquet 4 (6) 5 DSQ 2 6 4 5 Ret 3 5 7 5 Ret 1 1 43 (44)
4 Austria Gerhard Berger Ret 2 2 3 4 3 5 14 3 16 3 3 4 Ret Ret 4 43
5 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Ret 4 Ret Ret 3 2 18 Ret Ret 17 Ret 4 1 2 Ret 2 37
6 Belgium Thierry Boutsen 3 5 Ret 4 Ret 5 Ret 2 6 1 Ret Ret Ret 4 5 5 34
7 Italy Riccardo Patrese 9 13 1 Ret Ret 9 6 Ret 5 4 Ret 5 7 5 4 6 23
8 Italy Alessandro Nannini 11 10 3 Ret Ret 4 16 Ret 2 Ret 4 8 6 3 21
9 France Jean Alesi 2 7 6 2 Ret 7 Ret 8 11 Ret 8 Ret 8 Ret DNS 8 13
10[3] Italy Ivan Capelli Ret DNQ Ret Ret 10 DNQ 2 Ret 7 Ret 7 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 6
=[3] Brazil Roberto Moreno 13 DNPQ Ret DNQ DNQ DSQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ 2 7 6
12 Japan Aguri Suzuki Ret Ret Ret Ret 12 Ret 7 6 Ret Ret Ret Ret 14 6 3 Ret 6
13 France Éric Bernard 8 Ret 13 6 9 Ret 8 4 Ret 6 9 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 5
14 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Ret Ret 7 Ret 6 10 11 Ret 8 5 11 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 3
15 Japan Satoru Nakajima 6 8 Ret Ret 11 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 6 DNS Ret 6 Ret 3
16[4] Italy Alex Caffi Ret DNQ 5 8 DNQ Ret 7 9 9 10 9 13 9 DNQ 2
=[4] Italy Stefano Modena 5 Ret Ret Ret 7 11 13 9 Ret Ret 17 Ret Ret Ret Ret 12 2
18 Brazil Maurício Gugelmin 14 DNQ Ret DNQ DNQ DNQ Ret DNS Ret 8 6 Ret 12 8 Ret Ret 1
Italy Nicola Larini Ret 11 10 Ret Ret 16 14 10 10 11 14 11 10 7 7 10 0
United Kingdom Martin Donnelly Ret Ret 8 Ret Ret 8 12 Ret Ret 7 12 Ret Ret DNS 0
Italy Pierluigi Martini 7 9 DNS Ret Ret 12 Ret Ret Ret Ret 15 Ret 11 Ret 8 9 0
Switzerland Gregor Foitek Ret Ret Ret 7 Ret 15 DNQ DNQ Ret DNQ 0
France Philippe Alliot DSQ 12 9 Ret Ret 18 9 13 DSQ 14 DNQ 13 Ret Ret 10 11 0
Italy Michele Alboreto 10 Ret DNQ DNQ Ret 17 10 Ret Ret 12 13 12 9 10 Ret DNQ 0
France Yannick Dalmas DNPQ Ret DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ 17 DNPQ DNQ DNQ DNQ NC Ret 9 DNQ DNQ 0
Italy Emanuele Pirro Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 11 Ret 10 Ret Ret 15 Ret Ret Ret 0
Italy Andrea de Cesaris Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 13 DSQ Ret DNQ Ret Ret 10 Ret Ret Ret Ret 0
Italy Paolo Barilla Ret Ret 11 Ret DNQ 14 DNQ 12 DNQ 15 Ret DNQ DNQ DNQ 0
Finland JJ Lehto DNQ DNQ 12 Ret Ret Ret DNQ DNQ NC DNQ 0
Germany Bernd Schneider 12 DNQ 0
France Olivier Grouillard Ret Ret Ret DNQ 13 19 DNPQ DNQ DNQ DNPQ 16 Ret DNQ Ret DNQ 13 0
Italy Gabriele Tarquini DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNQ Ret DNPQ 13 DNQ DNQ DNQ Ret DNQ Ret 0
Italy Gianni Morbidelli DNQ 14 Ret Ret 0
Australia David Brabham DNQ Ret DNQ Ret 15 DNQ Ret DNQ Ret DNQ Ret DNQ Ret Ret 0
United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Ret Ret 0
Belgium Bertrand Gachot DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ 0
Sweden Stefan Johansson DNQ DNQ 0
Italy Claudio Langes DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ 0
Italy Bruno Giacomelli DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ 0
Australia Gary Brabham DNPQ DNPQ 0
Pos Driver USA
United States
BRA
Brazil
SMR
Italy
MON
Monaco
CAN
Canada
MEX
Mexico
FRA
France
GBR
United Kingdom
GER
West Germany
HUN
Hungary
BEL
Belgium
ITA
Italy
POR
Portugal
ESP
Spain
JPN
Japan
AUS
Australia
Points
Key
Colour Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green Other points position
Blue Other classified position
Not classified, finished (NC)
Purple Not classified, retired (Ret)
Red Did not qualify (DNQ)
Did not pre-qualify (DNPQ)
Black Disqualified (DSQ)
White Did not start (DNS)
Race cancelled (C)
Blank Did not practice (DNP)
Excluded (EX)
Did not arrive (DNA)
Withdrawn (WD)

Bold – Pole position
Italics – Fastest lap

Driver did not finish the Grand Prix, but was classified as he completed over 90% of the race distance.

1990 Constructors' Championship final standings[edit]

McLaren won the 1990 Formula One World Championship for Constructors
Ferrari placed second in the 1990 Formula One World Championship for Constructors
Benetton placed third in the 1990 Formula One World Championship for Constructors

Points towards the 1990 FIA Formula One World Championship for Constructors were awarded on a 9–6–4–3–2–1 basis for the first six places at each round.

Pos Constructor Car
no.
USA
United States
BRA
Brazil
SMR
Italy
MON
Monaco
CAN
Canada
MEX
Mexico
FRA
France
GBR
United Kingdom
GER
West Germany
HUN
Hungary
BEL
Belgium
ITA
Italy
POR
Portugal
ESP
Spain
JPN
Japan
AUS
Australia
Pts
1 United Kingdom McLaren-Honda 27 1 3 Ret 1 1 20 3 3 1 2 1 1 2 Ret Ret Ret 121
28 Ret 2 2 3 4 3 5 14 3 16 3 3 4 Ret Ret 4
2 Italy Ferrari 1 Ret 1 4 Ret 5 1 1 1 4 Ret 2 2 3 1 Ret 3 110
2 Ret 4 Ret Ret 3 2 18 Ret Ret 17 Ret 4 1 2 Ret 2
3 United Kingdom Benetton-Ford 19 11 10 3 Ret Ret 4 16 Ret 2 Ret 4 8 6 3 2 7 71
20 4 6 5 DSQ 2 6 4 5 Ret 3 5 7 5 Ret 1 1
4 United Kingdom Williams-Renault 5 3 5 Ret 4 Ret 5 Ret 2 6 1 Ret Ret Ret 4 5 5 57
6 9 13 1 Ret Ret 9 6 Ret 5 4 Ret 5 7 5 4 6
5 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 3 6 8 Ret Ret 11 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 6 DNS Ret 6 Ret 16
4 2 7 6 2 Ret 7 Ret 8 11 Ret 8 Ret 8 Ret DNS 8
6 France Lola-Lamborghini[5] 29 8 Ret 13 6 9 Ret 8 4 Ret 6 9 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 11
30 Ret Ret Ret Ret 12 Ret 7 6 Ret Ret Ret Ret 14 6 3 Ret
7 United Kingdom Leyton House-Judd 15 14 DNQ Ret DNQ DNQ DNQ Ret DNS Ret 8 6 Ret 12 8 Ret Ret 7
16 Ret DNQ Ret Ret 10 DNQ 2 Ret 7 Ret 7 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret
8 United Kingdom Lotus-Lamborghini 11 Ret Ret 7 Ret 6 10 11 Ret 8 5 11 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 3
12 Ret Ret 8 Ret Ret 8 12 Ret Ret 7 12 Ret Ret DNS Ret Ret
9 United Kingdom Brabham-Judd 7 Ret Ret DNQ Ret DNQ Ret 15 DNQ Ret DNQ Ret DNQ Ret DNQ Ret Ret 2
8 5 Ret Ret Ret 7 11 13 9 Ret Ret 17 Ret Ret Ret Ret 12
= United Kingdom Arrows-Ford 9 10 Ret DNQ DNQ Ret 17 10 Ret Ret 12 13 12 9 10 Ret DNQ 2
10 12 Ret DNQ 5 8 DNQ Ret 7 9 9 10 9 13 DNQ 9 DNQ
France Ligier-Ford 25 Ret 11 10 Ret Ret 16 14 10 10 11 14 11 10 7 7 10 0
26 DSQ 12 9 Ret Ret 18 9 13 DSQ 14 DNQ 13 Ret Ret 10 11
Italy Minardi-Ford 23 7 9 DNS Ret Ret 12 Ret Ret Ret Ret 15 Ret 11 Ret 8 9 0
24 Ret Ret 11 Ret DNQ 14 DNQ 12 DNQ 15 Ret DNQ DNQ DNQ Ret Ret
United Kingdom Onyx-Ford 35 DNQ DNQ Ret 7 Ret 15 DNQ DNQ Ret DNQ 0
36 DNQ DNQ 12 Ret Ret Ret DNQ DNQ NC DNQ
France AGS-Ford 17 DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNQ Ret DNPQ 13 DNQ DNQ DNQ Ret DNQ Ret 0
18 DNPQ Ret DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ 17 DNPQ DNQ DNQ DNQ Ret Ret 9 DNQ DNQ
Italy Dallara-Ford 21 DNQ 14 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 11 Ret 10 Ret Ret 15 Ret Ret Ret 0
22 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 13 DSQ Ret DNQ Ret Ret 10 Ret Ret Ret Ret
Italy Osella-Ford 14 Ret Ret Ret DNQ 13 19 DNPQ DNQ DNQ DNPQ 16 Ret DNQ Ret DNQ 13 0
Italy EuroBrun-Judd 33 13 DNPQ Ret DNQ DNQ DSQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ 0
34 DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ
Italy Coloni-Ford 31 DNPQ DNPQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ 0
Italy Life 39 DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ 0
Italy Coloni-Subaru 31 DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ 0
Italy Life-Judd 39 DNPQ DNPQ 0
Pos Constructor Car
no.
USA
United States
BRA
Brazil
SMR
Italy
MON
Monaco
CAN
Canada
MEX
Mexico
FRA
France
GBR
United Kingdom
GER
West Germany
HUN
Hungary
BEL
Belgium
ITA
Italy
POR
Portugal
ESP
Spain
JPN
Japan
AUS
Australia
Pts

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Collantine, Keith (21 October 2010). "20 years since Senna took Prost out at Suzuka". F1 Fanatic. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  2. ^ Only the best 11 results counted towards the Drivers' Championship. Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.
  3. ^ a b Results published in the 1991 FIA Yearbook of Automobile Sport show Capelli and Moreno as equal 10th in the Drivers' Championship
  4. ^ a b Results published in the 1991 FIA Yearbook of Automobile Sport show Modena and Caffi as equal 16th in the Drivers' Championship
  5. ^ Results published in 1991 FIA Yearbook of Automobile Sport credit sixth place to "Larrousse" rather than "Lola"

External links[edit]