1991 Italian Grand Prix
|Race 12 of 16 in the 1991 Formula One season|
|Date||September 8, 1991|
|Official name||LXII Coca-Cola Gran Premio d'Italia|
|Location||Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza, Italy|
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
|Course length||5.80 km (3.603 mi)|
|Distance||51 laps, 301.600 km (187.404 mi)|
|Weather||Sunny and warm|
|Time||1:26.061 on lap 41|
The big news between the Belgian and Italian Grands Prix revolved around young Michael Schumacher, who had made his debut for Jordan in Belgium. Schumacher had signed for Benetton while still being under contract to Jordan. After much legal wrangling the German was confirmed in a Benetton, while regular Benetton driver Roberto Moreno had been sacked and went the other way, becoming a Jordan driver. The whole episode was very messy and it made both the Benetton team and Schumacher's managers look bad. Elsewhere Michael Bartels was back at Lotus, as Johnny Herbert had more commitments in Japanese Formula 3000.
In qualifying, Ayrton Senna took pole again, with title rival Nigel Mansell second, the Englishman complaining of traffic on his final two hot laps. Gerhard Berger was third, followed by Riccardo Patrese, Alain Prost, Jean Alesi, the impressive Schumacher, Nelson Piquet, in his 200th Grand Prix, Moreno, and Pierluigi Martini, in the Ferrari powered Minardi.
At the start Senna got away well from Mansell, Berger, Patrese, and Alesi, with everyone making it through the often-eventful double chicane. Moreno was an early casualty as he spun off on lap 2, making for a disappointing Jordan debut.
Patrese at the front started to charge, first he disposed of Berger, and then Mansell. On lap 26 he passed Senna at the Ascari chicane, but on the following lap a gearbox failure took him out. Senna now led from Mansell and Berger, with Mansell pressuring Senna for the lead, and on lap 34 he took it with a perfectly timed out-braking manoeuvre going into the Ascari chicane. Senna proceeded to pit for tyres and emerged down in fifth place, but in no mood to stay there. Senna proceeded to pass Schumacher going into Ascari, and then slipstreamed passed Berger into the first corner, and got back to second by passing arch-rival Prost going into the second chicane. Mansell meanwhile cruised to victory from Senna, Prost, Berger, Schumacher, and Piquet, Alesi having retired with a blown engine. With four races to go Senna still led Mansell by 18 points, but this race confirmed that Mansell and Williams could beat Senna's McLaren in a straight fight.
|8||31||Pedro Chaves||Coloni-Ford||—||Did Not Start|
|12||16||Ivan Capelli||Leyton House-Ilmor||1:23.674||1:24.755||+2.560|
|14||33||Andrea de Cesaris||Jordan-Ford||1:24.060||1:23.921||+2.807|
|18||15||Maurício Gugelmin||Leyton House-Ilmor||1:24.391||1:25.023||+3.277|
|29||35||Eric van de Poele||Lambo-Lamborghini||1:27.110||1:27.099||+5.985|
Championship standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
1991 Belgian Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1991 Portuguese Grand Prix
1990 Italian Grand Prix
|Italian Grand Prix||Next race:
1992 Italian Grand Prix