1990 - Senna's revange!
This year there were a record of 35 cars listed, but as FIA rules do not allow more than 30 cars in the official practices it was necessary to create a way to select them. They created a pre-qualifying section with nine cars, whose team were not into thirteen places in the last half of the previous season. Of course all new teams were obligated to take part of it. Almost all the year teams like Life, Eurobrun, Coloni, AGS, Lola Larrousse and Osella have to decide who will take part at qualifying sections. For the races, only the 26 fastests cars will take place on the grid.
1 - USA_PHOENIX For the first GP of the year, the pre-qualifying created a big expectation. Moreno, with Eurobrun registred the best mark and got the right to go to official qualifying with Alliot, Johansson, Morbidelli and Letho. Out of the race: AGS (Tarquini and Dalmas), Eurobrun (Langes), Life (Brabham) and Osella (Gachot). For the race both Onyx and one Dallara (Morbidelli) did not achieve time and Alliot was disqualified. Berger took the pole with a big surprise in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th place: Martini (Minardi), De Cesaris (Dallara) and Alesi (Tyrrell) all equiped with Pirelli tyres, followed by Senna and Piquet. Amazing 16th place for Moreno ahead of Mansell's Ferrari... At this track Pirelli were very fast, but at the race they would suffer with the consuming. At the start Alesi jumped into the lead, followed by Berger, de Cesaris, Senna, Martini and Piquet. Alesi polled away from the group, but Senna surpassed his oponents and started chasing the french driver. It was a great battle. At lap 34, Senna overtook Alesi, but was surprised by Alesi's agressivity when he retook his position in the next corner! But Senna demonstrated all his ability. He waited until the next moment to repeat this manouvre, but this time he didn't let any space for Alesi's recovery. Senna won, Alesi 2nd, Boutsen 3rd, Piquet 4th, Modena 5th and Nakajima 6th. Prost had a broken gearbox and Berger clutch problems, but before that he had touched the barriers...
2 - BRAZIL The second race of the year brought the circus to Interlagos track. But as the circuit was redesigned by FIA order, unfortunately it is not a big challenge for the drivers. Pole for Senna and big mockery to Balestre when he arrived at the circuit. The crowd was so mad with the french executive, that even his helicopter had problem to land at the circuit- strnog winds... Senna dominated the race until a misjudge at "Bico de Pato" corner approach, cause a damage on his car, when he touched Nakajima's Tyrrell. This little accident danified his front wing and he had to pit. He came back to finish 3rd place, behind Prost's first victory with Ferrari and Berger in 2nd. Mansell- 4th, Boutsen 5th and Piquet (who had to change tyres) in 6th , after a unforggetable overtaking against Alesi in the very last corner at the last lap!
3 - SAN MARINO Senna and Berger again dominated the practices, followed by both Williams and Ferraris. At the race, Senna led easily until a brake faiulre knocked him out of the track. Boutsen took the front, but had a engine broken. So, Berger took the command, followed by Patrese and Mansell. The british driver, decided to get the lead, surpassed Patrese and quickly discounted Berger's advantage. Then happened one of the most impressives images of F1 history. Exactly when they were, Berger and Mansell, flat out going to Tosa corner, Mansell put his cars at right side and immediately jumped to left side, trying to pass Berger. But Berger also moved to left side and there was no space for Mansell! He put both left wheels at the grass and...spun at 300km/h...and returned to the track furious, apparently with no damage on his car! He scored the fastest lap in the following lap, but his engine broke! Patrese took advantage of the fight between them and overtook Berger to take his victory. Berger 2nd, Nannini 3rd, Prost 4th, Piquet 5th and Alesi 6th (again both had a big battle, including a brushed wheels...).
4 - MONACO As usual at Monaco, Senna dominated all the week-end. Pole, all time leader and fastest lap. Nobody could beat him there...even when he finished the race just 1'0 second ahead Alesi, with some problems in his engine! Berger 3rd, Boutsen 4th, Caffi briliant 5th with his Arrows (starting from 22nd place!) and Bernard took the first points for Lola Larrousse in 6th.
5 - CANADA The circuit named as Gilles Villeneuve usually atract great races, as they happened to remember the great canadian driver. This year was not a exception. Wet and dry track always forced the drivers and teams to the limit. At this point, the best drivers make it happen!. So there was no other result acceptable besides Senna and Piquet in front... At the practices Senna on the his usual place, pole, with Berger, Prost, Nannini, Piquet, Boutsen and Mansell. The rain stopped, but the track was wet in the beginning, so drivers started usuing grooved tyres. Berger jumped just before green flag and was penalised in 1 minute. Senna led, with Nannini, Alesi, Piquet, Prost, Boutsen and Mansell. At lap 12, Piquet and Senna changed to slick tyres. One detail would determine Piquet's performance: he asked the crew to remove the tape from his air-brake coolers, as in wet track it's not necessary to ventilate the brakes, but in dry track it's imperative! Next lap Prost and Alesi also change tyres, followed by Mansell. Nannini led until lap 15 and went to change tyres. Senna retook the lead with Prost, Piquet and Mansell more than 30 seconds behind. In the following laps it happened a great battle between the three drivers, with Piquet putting strong pressure over Prost, followed very close by Mansell. Senna was managing his advantage, but they were closing him. At lap 49, Piquet surprised Prost overtaking him at the hairpin. Mansell did the same in the following lap and tryied hard to catch Piquet, but in vain. Berger made a excelent recovery and stole 4th place from Prost in the final. Senna, Piquet, Mansell, Berger, Prost and Warwick were in the points.
6 - MEXICO Berger interrupted the pole series of Senna, with Patrese completing the front row. Senna was third side by side with Mansell. Prost? Only 13th...At the lights Senna jumped to second place behind Patrese, but before the end of fist lap he was already in first place, followed by Patrese, Berger, Boutsen, Piquet and Mansell, with Prost in 15th place! Soon Berger overtook Patrese for second and the italian also lost place to Piquet. But Berger had to pit with his tyres in bad shape (McLaren was one of the few teams to use soft tyres) and Piquet jumped to second, now followed by Mansell, Boutsen, Prost, Patrese and Nannini. Althought Piquet also have to pit, while Prost overtook Boutsen to catch Mansell. In a great manouvre, Prost overtook his team-mate while they had latercomers in front of them. Senna, Prost, Mansell, Nannini and Berger (in a big recovery) were the top 5. Then Senna felt some problem with his tyres and asked the team to change, but they told him to stay on track. It was a mistake, because Prost and Mansell were discounting the advantage very quickly. At 61st lap Prost took the lead to win. Senna tried to stay out of pit, but he had a blew tyre and abandoned. Mansell spun and lost 2nd place to Berger. But the british recovery the speed and made a spectacular supassing over Berger, using the ouside of Peralta corner, one of the highest speed corner of F1! Prost won, Mansell second (since 88 Ferrari did not finish a race in 1-2), followed by Berger, Nannini, Boutsen and Piquet.
7 - FRENCH Mansell scored his first pole driving for Ferrari, with Berger, Senna and Prost very close. At the lights Mansell took the front, but at the Mistral straight Berger overtook him, with Senna in 3rd, Nannini, Patrese, Prost, Piquet, Alesi, Capelli e Gugelmin. Senna also passed Mansell in the second lad, stoling the lead from his team-mate. At the half of the race the drivers went to pit for tyres change. All of them, unless Capelli and Gugelmin. Both March's drivers were dominating the race and did not demonstrate any need of tyre change. Senna and Berger had long pit-stops: 16 and 12 seconds, what got them out of fight for the victory. Prost, in 3rd place, chasing Gugelmin. But the brazilian, with oil pressure problem, let Prost pass and soon abandoned. The team advise Capelli to slow down a little, just to conserve the engine, what allowed Prost to close him. But Capelli decided to sustain his lead and avoid all attempt of the french driver. But with only three laps to go, his engine lost gas pressure and he had to let Prost go away, almost losing the second place to Senna. Piquet excelent 4th, Berger 5th and Patrese 6th. Mansell and Nannini had engine problems. Prost scored the 100th victory for Ferrari team in his home town!
8 - GREAT BRITAIN Amazing pole for Mansell at Silverstone, with more than half seconds ahead Senna...At the race Senna while jumped to the lead, Piquet had to start in the last place as his engine did not function at the warm-up lap. For twelve laps Senna led followed very close by Mansell. Then Mansell overtook Senna and polled away easily. Senna spun off in high speed and came to pit to change tyres. While Berger and Prost were catching Mansell, Piquet was in a fantatic recovering coming from last place to 6th in 30 laps. Then Mansell had his nightmare: his gearbox had some problems and he slowed the rythim. Berger took the lead, but Mansell retook it three laps later, but Prost was in second place yet. As Mansell's gearbox problem got worse, Prost overtook him and pooled away. Mansell had to abandon, as did Berger. So, Boutsen and Senna gained a podium finished as a gift. Bernard was 4th, Piquet 5th and Suzuki 6th. Half of the season and the standings were: Prost, 41 where group by Senna, 39 where group by Berger, 25 where group by Piquet, 18 where group by Boutsen, 17 and Mansell/Alesi, 13.
9 - GERMAIN Again both McLarens and Ferraris dominated the practices, followed by both Williams, Piquet, Alesi, Nannini and Capelli. At the race, Senna and Berger took the front, with Prost, Mansell, Patrese, Boutsen, Piquet and Nannini close. The McLaren's apparently would dominated all the race...but as they went to pit, Benneton strategy appeared: they started with hard compound (B tyres) and won't make any pit. Nannini took the lead as just before the group pit, Piquet missed a chicane and lost place to his team-mate. When Senna came to track, he found himself just behind the italian driver, with Piquet and Berger very close of him. Senna pushed as hard as he could to pass Nannini, but the Benneton was fast in the stadium part and every time he tried, Nannini secured his position very well. The Piquet had a blow engine, losing third place to Berger. Senna manage to sustain his distance to Nannini, waiting any opportunuty to pass. Finnally when Nannini had some latecomers to overtake, Senna took adavantage and stole the lead. Nannini finished excelent second, Berger 3rd, Prost 4th, Patrese 5th and Boutsen 6th.
10 - HUNGARY Surprinsing front row for Williams: Boutsen and Patrese dominated the practices, with Berger and Senna on second row. Boutsen jumped to first place followed by Berger, Patrese, Mansell, Alesi, Senna, De Cesaris, Nannini and Piquet. Senna overtook Alesi, while Prost would abandon for first time this yeaar. Alsei knocked himself and Martini out with a disatrous overtaking tentative, as Berger would do the same over Mansell when he came back from his tyres change. Senna had to also to change tyres due a problem in one of his front wheels and was driving a amazing recovering. Boutsen sustained his lead, but Nannini was very quick and closing the gap. The Senna forced Nannini at the chicane, causing a collision and the abandon of the italian driver. But Senna could manage not only to stay in track, as he was capable to reach Boutsen. But the belgium driver knew that overtaking here was very difficult, so he just controled to the flag. Piquet 3rd followed by Patrese, Warwcik and Bernard.
11 - BELGIUM Senna came back to his usual pole with Berger, Prost, Boutsen, Mansell, Nannini, Patrese and Piquet behind him. In the race, an accident with Mansell suspended the start. In the second green light, Senna jumped to the lead and hold it to the final, even when Prost came close. Both went to the pit for tyres change, but McLaren work 4 seconds quicker than Ferrari, so Senna gained a extra advantage. Excelent race for Nannini, once more without change his tyres, fighting with Berger for 3rd place, losing it with 3 laps to go...Piquet, 5th and Gugelmin 6th completed those who scored points.
12 - ITALY Pole for Senna, but this time Prost was in second, followed by Berger and Mansell. In the first start Warwick had a tremendous accident at Parabolica, exactly in the place that FIA was experimenting a new type of fences with rubber and water. His Lotus hit the rubber barriers and came to the track, with a lot of drivers trying to avoid him...At the second start, with Warwick, Senna once more took the lead and gave no chance neither to Ferraris nor to his team-mate. Prost pushed very hard to be second, but Senna was unstoppable. Berger 3rd, Mansell 4th, Patrese 5th and Nakajima 6th.
13 - PORTUGAL Mansell and Prost were in the front row again, Senna and Berger in the second. It seemed that Ferrari was developing his chassis better than McLaren, while british team apparently always depended of Senna's talent and Honda's power to be at the front. But once more Mansell would be the man of Portugal GP. As he did last year, he would made a move that decided Prost destiny at the race. At the lights he overpower his wheels, but squeezed Prost at his right side, allowing both McLarens to take the front...First lap: Senna, Berger, Mansell, Piquet and Prost! Many laps for Prost overtake Piquet and the race was almost decided there. Masell could take the front as Ferrari's were much more quicker than any other, but Prost could be only third, furious with his team-mate...team-mate? Berger 4th, Piquet 5th and Nannin 6th.
14 - SPAIN Another astonishing pole for Senna, half second ahead of Prost, but the margin to his team-mate was 1'3 seconds...what demonstrated all his amazing ability in flying laps. But for the race he knew he would have car to fight with the Ferrari of Prost. He jumped to the front and sustained Prost, Mansell and Piquet behind him. He went to change tyres after Mansell and Prost, but when he came back, both were crossing the line and Senna found himself in 4th place, as Piquet was leading! But of course with new tyres and without Senna holding him, Prost catched Piquet easily and run to his victory. Mansell let Senna pass, while Piquet tried to secure his place. But Senna could pass for second, while Piquet abandoned with eletrical failure. Althought Senna also would abandon due to a hole in his radiator. So Ferrari would mark another 1-2, Nannini 3rd, Boutsen 4th, Patrese 5th and Suzuki 6th.
15 - JAPAN Another time McLaren (Senna) and Ferrari (Prost) were in the front row. Another time the championship may be decided here at Japan. Senna, of course, was int the pole. Prost just at his side. Senna tried to convince the organization that he should start at the left side, but they did not accpet his arguments...On the pole, Senna would start at the dirty side of the track and would give a chance to Prost to take the front. If Prost won, even Senna being second, they would decide the championship in the next race. Otherwise Senna had not forgetten last year's little accident with his former team-mate...and as light appears he tried to stay ahead of Prost, but the french made a briliant start and took the lead...only until the first corner. As Prost let a little space, Senna just dived there and both collided and had to abandon. Senna, as the new champion and with his revange done. (He would regonize it was a revange in the following year, in a interview at the same circuit). As the race continuous, Berger took the lead and soun at the final of the first corner in the dust caused by the accident...so Mansell was the new leader, followed by both Benneton (Piquet, Moreno - Nannini's subsitute). Piquet apparently was following Mansell with no difficulty, not 6 seconds far behind. When Mansell came change tyres, Piquet took the lead. But Nigel would exagerate, as he accelerate to much before his wheels touch the ground. So, as the crew turned his car down, he had a broken transmission. Piquet just manage to win with his new team-mate, friend and country man Moreno in second! Suzuki would make the crowd delirious with podium, but Nakajima was also int the points (6th). Patresew 4th and Boutsen 5th completed those who scored points.
16 - AUSTRALIA Another pole for Senna. At the race, Senna took the front and pushed very hard, even when he felt some braking problems. But with twenty laps to go, with Piquet in second he missed a shift and crashed. So Piquet were in the front again, But this time he had passed by his own Prost, Berger and was pushing over Mansell, when the british went to change tyres. The last 15 laps Mansell overpassed Berger, Prost and was closing to Piquet. But Nelson would not give a chance to his ex-team-mate. Piquet won the GP number 500 of F1 history, his second win of the season. Mansell 2nd, Prost 3rd, Berger 4th, Boutsen 5th and Patrese 6th.
- With his victory at German GP Ayrton Senna even Juan Manuel Fangio with 24 first places.
- While his (Senna) victory at Belgium GP put him aside Jim Clark, with 25 success!
- Senna scored his 50th pole at Spain!
- With two consecutive victories at the end of the season, Piquet would be catch third place at the championship, beating one McLaren, one Ferrari, and both Williams!
- Life team did not accomplish any time to take part of oficial practices. The car was so heavy and slow, that the best ever result it was 2'9 seconds worst than the car ahead him. Usually they were 15 seconds slower than it and almost 50km/h slower on the straights...
- Martin Donnelly suffered a huge accident at Jerez that put him in a wheel-chair for life. He crashed his Lotus at 230 km/h in high speed corner where the wall were very close to the track. The impact was so hard, that the driver was trowed out of the car, very similar as happened with Gilles Villeneuve in 1982.
- Drivers: D.Brabham, C.Langes, M.Donnelly, G.Morbidelli, J.Letho
- Constructors/Teams: Life.
Wroten by : Alexandre Vasconcellos, BRAZIL