1988 Spanish Grand Prix

The 1988 Spanish Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 2 October 1988 at the Circuito Permanente de Jerez, Jerez de la Frontera. It was the fourteenth race of the 1988 Formula One season.

1988 Spanish Grand Prix
Race 14 of 16 in the 1988 Formula One World Championship
Circuito de Jerez (1985-1992).svg
Race details
Date 2 October 1988
Official name XXX Gran Premio Tio Pepe de España
Location Circuito Permanente de Jerez, Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 4.218 km (2.620 mi)
Distance 72 laps, 303.696 km (188.708 mi)
Weather Sunny and hot
Pole position
Driver McLaren-Honda
Time 1:24.067
Fastest lap
Driver France Alain Prost McLaren-Honda
Time 1:27.845 on lap 60
First McLaren-Honda
Second Williams-Judd
Third Benetton-Ford


After weeks of speculation, Benetton announced that British Formula 3000 driver Johnny Herbert would be joining the team in 1989 to replace Thierry Boutsen who would be joining Williams. At the time of the announcement Herbert was still in hospital recovering from his horrifying F3000 crash at Brands Hatch just a few weeks earlier. With Alessandro Nannini remaining with the team, the Italian would become the team's #1 driver for 1989.


During qualifying, F1's most experienced driver of the time Riccardo Patrese (who was only 3 races from equalling Graham Hill's record number of F1 starts), was on his hot lap when the slower Julian Bailey (who was heading for the pits) got on the wrong side of the track and Patrese had to slow down considerably to avoid hitting Bailey, ruining a fast lap for the veteran Italian. A furious Patrese retaliated by getting in front of Bailey and brake testing his Tyrrell, the subsequent collision sending Bailey's car into the air and off the track into the gravel trap.[1] Officials at first blamed Bailey and also called his Tyrrell team mate Jonathan Palmer to the hearing for good measure on the premise that the slower Tyrrells were generally a menace and both drivers needed to be told. After a protest by Ken Tyrrell however, officials later reviewed the incident again and Patrese was fined $10,000 for his actions, although most in the Formula One paddock argued that Patrese's fine was not enough, and that he should also pay the Tyrrell team to fix the damages on the Tyrrell 017 and the general feeling was that Patrese, Grand Prix racing's most experienced driver of the day, should have faced a harsher penalty. One unnamed driver was quoted as saying "I hope they fine him his bloody retainer. There are enough accidental shunts in this business without people actually trying to cause them....."

McLaren locked out the front row for the 10th time in 14 races in 1988 with Ayrton Senna putting his Honda powered McLaren MP4/4 on pole for the 11th time in 14 races. On this tight and twisty track that was as slippery as ever due to its dusty surroundings and lack of use for anything other than car and motorcycle Grand Prix racing, it was no surprise to see 1987 race winner Nigel Mansell in third place in his Williams-Judd only 2/10ths from the pole. In fact, the nature of the circuit saw atmo cars line up from 3rd to 7th on the grid. The next best turbo behind the McLarens being the Ferrari of Gerhard Berger in 8th place, though the Austrian was only 1.399 slower than Senna with Nelson Piquet (Lotus-Honda) and Michele Alboreto qualifying in 10th and 11th places.

For Arrows, the A10Bs with their 4 cyl Megatron turbo engines could not match McLaren, Ferrari or Lotus-Honda at Jerez with Derek Warwick qualifying 17th and Eddie Cheever just scrambling onto the back row of the grid in 25th. The A10Bs were in fact slower than Nicola Larini's Osella FA1L with its ancient Alfa Romeo V8 turbo which qualified 14th.

Both Zakspeed turbos of Piercarlo Ghinzani and Bernd Schneider failed to qualify, as did Julian Bailey, while there was a general sigh of relief on this tight circuit that the EuroBrun ER188 of Oscar Larrauri who had proven to be something of a mobile chicane in his rookie year and had a reputation for ignoring blue flags and his mirrors, also failed to make the cut. Gabriele Tarquini failed to pre-qualify his Coloni.

Race summaryEdit

From the 10th all-McLaren front row of the year, Alain Prost made a good start, with the Williams of Nigel Mansell drafting past Ayrton Senna into 2nd. Ivan Capelli and Thierry Boutsen tangled, damaging the Benetton's nosecone. On lap 2, Senna passed Mansell but ran wide, allowing the Englishman to retake the lead. On lap 16, Michele Alboreto retired with engine problems on his Ferrari. For the first 28 laps there was no change amongst the top 7: Prost (cautiously conserving tyres and fuel, after the problems experienced in Portugal) led Mansell by a mere half second. Senna had to defend his 3rd place from Riccardo Patrese and Capelli, who in turn was being challenged by Alessandro Nannini and Gerhard Berger.

Around lap 30, Nannini, Berger and Piquet all pitted for new tyres. After trailing the Williams for the first hour of the race, and doing so without a clutch since the early laps, Capelli managed to pass Patrese to gain 4th place on lap 36 and then three laps later at exactly the same corner he passed Senna's McLaren. Sadly on lap 46 his engine starting smoking and the March driver retired after another outstanding drive.

Mansell managed to keep Prost within arms length, but with a less powerful engine on the tight Jerez circuit, could not get past, or close enough, to the Frenchman who was driving close to a perfect race (Mansell described it as "following the master"). On lap 47 Mansell pitted but a sticking wheel nut delayed him and enabled Prost to pull ahead. Meanwhile, Nannini was going fast on his new tyres, passing both Patrese and Senna in one lap. Mansell's slow stop allowed Prost to pit on lap 50 without losing his lead (though he accidentally selected second gear and was slow getting away from his pit), and a lap later Senna also pitted for new tyres and dropped out of the points. He passed Gugelmin and Berger before finally overtaking Patrese on lap 65, who drove the entire race on one set of tyres.

Prost sealed his 34th career victory with a fastest lap record and Mansell gaining his 2nd second-place of the year from just two finishes. Nannini collected another podium finish ahead of Senna (troubled with fuel readout problems again, crossing the line with his readout telling him he had almost no fuel left), Patrese and Berger (almost out of fuel) in 6th.[citation needed]



Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 36   Alex Caffi Dallara-Ford 1:28.378
2 21   Nicola Larini Osella 1:29.293 +0.915
3 32   Oscar Larrauri EuroBrun-Ford 1:30.003 +1.625
4 33   Stefano Modena EuroBrun-Ford 1:30.419 +2.041
DNPQ 31   Gabriele Tarquini Coloni-Ford 1:30.459 +2.081


Pos No Driver Constructor Q1 Q2 Gap
1 12   Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 1:24.775 1:24.067
2 11   Alain Prost McLaren-Honda 1:26.735 1:24.134 +0.067
3 5   Nigel Mansell Williams-Judd 1:25.898 1:24.269 +0.202
4 20   Thierry Boutsen Benetton-Ford EX 1:24.904 +0.837
5 19   Alessandro Nannini Benetton-Ford 1:26.673 1:25.032 +0.965
6 16   Ivan Capelli March-Judd 1:26.221 1:25.115 +1.048
7 6   Riccardo Patrese Williams-Judd 1:27.504 1:25.217 +1.150
8 28   Gerhard Berger Ferrari 1:27.796 1:25.466 +1.399
9 1   Nelson Piquet Lotus-Honda 1:28.015 1:25.648 +1.581
10 27   Michele Alboreto Ferrari 1:29.034 1:26.447 +2.380
11 15   Maurício Gugelmin March-Judd 1:27.414 1:26.578 +2.511
12 30   Philippe Alliot Lola-Ford 1:27.927 1:26.832 +2.765
13 14   Philippe Streiff AGS-Ford 1:28.099 1:26.971 +2.904
14 21   Nicola Larini Osella 1:28.417 1:27.012 +2.945
15 2   Satoru Nakajima Lotus-Honda 1:28.840 1:27.171 +3.104
16 29   Yannick Dalmas Lola-Ford 1:29.688 1:27.187 +3.120
17 17   Derek Warwick Arrows-Megatron 1:28.473 1:27.240 +3.173
18 36   Alex Caffi Dallara-Ford 1:27.907 1:27.350 +3.283
19 25   René Arnoux Ligier-Judd 1:29.157 1:27.351 +3.284
20 23   Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ford 1:27.826 1:27.407 +3.340
21 26   Stefan Johansson Ligier-Judd 1:28.009 1:27.474 +3.407
22 3   Jonathan Palmer Tyrrell-Ford 1:27.582 1:27.548 +3.481
23 22   Andrea de Cesaris Rial-Ford 1:28.315 1:27.798 +3.731
24 24   Luis Pérez-Sala Minardi-Ford 1:28.694 1:27.833 +3.816
25 18   Eddie Cheever Arrows-Megatron 1:29.305 1:27.859 +3.792
26 33   Stefano Modena EuroBrun-Ford 1:30.759 1:27.977 +3.910
DNQ 10   Bernd Schneider Zakspeed 1:31.144 1:28.194 +4.127
DNQ 32   Oscar Larrauri EuroBrun-Ford 1:31.366 1:28.664 +4.597
DNQ 4   Julian Bailey Tyrrell-Ford 1:30.125 1:29.066 +4.999
DNQ 9   Piercarlo Ghinzani Zakspeed 1:29.824 1:29.503 +5.436
  • Note: Boutsen's time from Q1 excluded as front wing end plates were 5mm longer than allowed.


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 11   Alain Prost McLaren-Honda 72 1:48:43.851 2 9
2 5   Nigel Mansell Williams-Judd 72 + 26.232 3 6
3 19   Alessandro Nannini Benetton-Ford 72 + 35.446 5 4
4 12   Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 72 + 46.710 1 3
5 6   Riccardo Patrese Williams-Judd 72 + 47.430 7 2
6 28   Gerhard Berger Ferrari 72 + 51.813 8 1
7 15   Maurício Gugelmin March-Judd 72 + 1:15.964 11  
8 1   Nelson Piquet Lotus-Honda 72 + 1:17.309 9  
9 20   Thierry Boutsen Benetton-Ford 72 + 1:17.655 4  
10 36   Alex Caffi Dallara-Ford 71 + 1 Lap 18  
11 29   Yannick Dalmas Lola-Ford 71 + 1 Lap 16  
12 24   Luis Pérez-Sala Minardi-Ford 70 + 2 Laps 24  
13 33   Stefano Modena Euro Brun-Ford 70 + 2 Laps 26  
14 30   Philippe Alliot Lola-Ford 69 + 3 Laps 12  
Ret 26   Stefan Johansson Ligier-Judd 62 Wheel 21  
Ret 18   Eddie Cheever Arrows-Megatron 60 Chassis 25  
Ret 16   Ivan Capelli March-Judd 45 Engine 6  
Ret 17   Derek Warwick Arrows-Megatron 41 Chassis 17  
Ret 22   Andrea de Cesaris Rial-Ford 37 Engine 23  
Ret 14   Philippe Streiff AGS-Ford 16 Engine 13  
Ret 27   Michele Alboreto Ferrari 15 Engine 10  
Ret 23   Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ford 15 Gearbox 20  
Ret 2   Satoru Nakajima Lotus-Honda 14 Spun Off 15  
Ret 21   Nicola Larini Osella 9 Suspension 14  
Ret 3   Jonathan Palmer Tyrrell-Ford 4 Chassis 22  
Ret 25   René Arnoux Ligier-Judd 0 Throttle 19  
DNQ 10   Bernd Schneider Zakspeed    
DNQ 32   Oscar Larrauri Euro Brun-Ford    
DNQ 4   Julian Bailey Tyrrell-Ford    
DNQ 9   Piercarlo Ghinzani Zakspeed    
DNPQ 31   Gabriele Tarquini Coloni-Ford

Championship standings after the raceEdit

  • Bold Text indicates World Champions.
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. Drivers could only count their best 11 results; numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored. Points accurate at final declaration of results. The Benettons were subsequently disqualified from the Belgian Grand Prix and their points reallocated.


  1. ^ 1988 Spanish GP - Patrese / Bailey
  2. ^ "1988 Spanish Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 18 January 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Spain 1988 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 20 March 2019.

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1988 Portuguese Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1988 season
Next race:
1988 Japanese Grand Prix
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1987 Spanish Grand Prix
Spanish Grand Prix Next race:
1989 Spanish Grand Prix