1989 German Grand Prix

The 1989 German Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at the Hockenheimring on 30 July 1989.

1989 German Grand Prix
Race 9 of 16 in the 1989 Formula One World Championship
Circuit Hockenheimring-1982.svg
Race details
Date 30 July 1989
Official name LI Grosser Mobil 1 Preis von Deutschland
Location Hockenheimring
near Heidelberg, West Germany
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 6.802 km (4.227[1] miles)
Distance 45 laps, 305.865 km (190.055 miles)
Weather Warm, cloudy
Pole position
Driver McLaren-Honda
Time 1:42.300
Fastest lap
Driver Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda
Time 1:45.884 on lap 43
First McLaren-Honda
Second McLaren-Honda
Third Ferrari
Lap leaders


Pre-qualifying reportEdit

Pre-qualifying had been reorganised going into the second half of the season, with several drivers and teams now being required to pre-qualify, or avoiding the need to do so. Brabham, Dallara and Rial had scored enough points in previous races to enable them to escape the Friday morning sessions entirely. Larrousse, with their Lamborghini V12-engined Lolas had scored no points thus far, so they were required now to pre-qualify for Grands Prix. Philippe Alliot was now partnered by Michele Alboreto who had left Tyrrell after a sponsorship dispute, replacing Éric Bernard, who had stood in at Larrousse for two races.

Also new to pre-qualifying was Roberto Moreno, joining his Coloni team-mate Pierre-Henri Raphanel; and Gabriele Tarquini, joining his AGS team-mate Yannick Dalmas in the Friday morning sessions. This was despite Tarquini's sixth-place finish at the Mexican Grand Prix, as Minardi had scored three points at Silverstone. Onyx had also only scored two points so were forced to continue to pre-qualify. Osella, EuroBrun and Zakspeed had scored no points thus far, so also had to continue to pre-qualify.

Bertrand Gachot topped the pre-qualifying session for the third time in a row, with his Onyx team-mate Stefan Johansson second. The two Larrousse-Lola drivers were third and fourth, with Alboreto edging out Dalmas in the AGS by a thousandth of a second. Nicola Larini was sixth in his Osella, with his team-mate Piercarlo Ghinzani again failing at this stage, down in eighth. Moreno and Raphanel were ninth and tenth, with Gregor Foitek eleventh in the new, untested EuroBrun ER189. The Zakspeeds were bottom of the time sheets, with Aguri Suzuki outpacing Bernd Schneider for only the second time this season.[2]

Pre-qualifying classificationEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 37   Bertrand Gachot Onyx-Ford 1:47.283
2 36   Stefan Johansson Onyx-Ford 1:47.700 +0.417
3 30   Philippe Alliot Lola-Lamborghini 1:47.746 +0.463
4 29   Michele Alboreto Lola-Lamborghini 1:47.919 +0.636
5 41   Yannick Dalmas AGS-Ford 1:47.920 +0.637
6 17   Nicola Larini Osella-Ford 1.48.301 +1.018
7 40   Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Ford 1:48.558 +1.275
8 18   Piercarlo Ghinzani Osella-Ford 1:48.564 +1.281
9 31   Roberto Moreno Coloni-Ford 1:48.567 +1.284
10 32   Pierre-Henri Raphanel Coloni-Ford 1:48.780 +1.457
11 33   Gregor Foitek EuroBrun-Judd 1:49.458 +2.175
12 35   Aguri Suzuki Zakspeed-Yamaha 1:49.527 +2.244
13 34   Bernd Schneider Zakspeed-Yamaha 1:50.455 +3.172

Qualifying reportEdit

As expected, the McLaren-Honda's of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost dominated qualifying on the ultra fast Hockenheim circuit, with Formula One's supreme qualifier Senna just under a second faster than Prost, who was himself almost eight-tenths faster than the Ferrari 640 of Nigel Mansell.

McLaren weren't without their problems in qualifying though. During the Friday session Senna ran over a stone which put a sizeable hole in his car's undertray and the resulting damage would require a complete change of car, the problem being that the team only had three of the new transverse gearbox cars in Germany. As a precaution, team manager Jo Ramírez instructed the team's secondary (test) crew, who were on their way to Imola for a week of testing with the new car, to stop in Dijon (France) in case the race team needed a replacement chassis. When Senna's car was deemed too badly damaged, the test crew made their way to Hockenheim and McLaren were back to having three full cars ready for use by Saturday's morning practice.

Prior to the race meeting there had been a major shakeup of management at Team Lotus. Long time Lotus man and team boss since Colin Chapman's untimely death in 1982 Peter Warr had been asked to leave the team and was replaced as team manager by Rupert Manwaring, while Lotus also had a new chairman in Tony Rudd.

Qualifying classificationEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Q1 Q2 Gap
1 1   Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 1:42.300 1:42.790
2 2   Alain Prost McLaren-Honda 1:43.306 1:43.295 +0.995
3 27   Nigel Mansell Ferrari 1:44.020 1:44.076 +1.720
4 28   Gerhard Berger Ferrari 1:44.467 1:44.509 +2.167
5 6   Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault 1:45.062 1:44.511 +2.211
6 5   Thierry Boutsen Williams-Renault 1:45.520 1:44.702 +2.402
7 19   Alessandro Nannini Benetton-Ford 1:45.033 1:45.040 +2.733
8 11   Nelson Piquet Lotus-Judd 1:47.316 1:45.475 +3.175
9 20   Emanuele Pirro Benetton-Ford 1:46.521 1:45.845 +3.545
10 4   Jean Alesi Tyrrell-Ford 1:47.551 1:46.888 +4.588
11 26   Olivier Grouillard Ligier-Ford 1:47.408 1:46.893 +4.593
12 7   Martin Brundle Brabham-Judd 1:47.216 1:47.796 +4.916
13 23   Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ford 1:48.222 1:47.380 +5.080
14 15   Maurício Gugelmin March-Judd 1:47.387 1:47.578 +5.087
15 30   Philippe Alliot Lola-Lamborghini 1:47.486 1:47.566 +5.186
16 8   Stefano Modena Brabham-Judd 1:47.511 1:47.552 +5.211
17 9   Derek Warwick Arrows-Ford 1:47.756 1:47.533 +5.233
18 12   Satoru Nakajima Lotus-Judd 1:48.782 1:47.663 +5.363
19 3   Jonathan Palmer Tyrrell-Ford 1:47.836 1:47.676 +5.376
20 21   Alex Caffi Dallara-Ford 1:48.671 1:47.679 +5.379
21 22   Andrea de Cesaris Dallara-Ford 1:47.879 1:48.005 +5.579
22 16   Ivan Capelli March-Judd 1:48.239 1:48.078 +5.778
23 25   René Arnoux Ligier-Ford 1:48.266 1:48.598 +5.966
24 36   Stefan Johansson Onyx-Ford 1:49.935 1:48.348 +6.048
25 10   Eddie Cheever Arrows-Ford 1:48.396 1:48.553 +6.096
26 29   Michele Alboreto Lola-Lamborghini 1:48.670 1:48.726 +6.370
27 24   Luis Pérez-Sala Minardi-Ford 1:49.587 1:48.686 +6.386
28 37   Bertrand Gachot Onyx-Ford 1:49.252 1:49.004 +6.704
29 38   Christian Danner Rial-Ford 1:50.679 1:49.767 +7.467
EX 39   Volker Weidler Rial-Ford


Race reportEdit

The race started with Senna on pole position and Prost alongside him. At the start, Gerhard Berger in the semi-automatic Ferrari made a tremendous start from fourth, passing both Senna, Prost and his teammate Mansell and led the entire field into the first corner with Senna, Prost and Mansell following in succession. At the start Philippe Alliot went off the track at the start in spectacular fashion as he was touched from behind by the Minardi of Pierluigi Martini and lost control of his Lola, spinning off into the grass. He was able to rejoin but his race only lasted 20 laps after his V12 Lamborghini developed an oil leak. His new teammate Michele Alboreto was forced out of his first race with Larrousse just past turn 1 on the second lap after the Lamborghini's electrics failed. Alboreto had qualified 26th and last, only 0.016 ahead of the Minardi of Luis Pérez-Sala.

Berger's lead was to last about a quarter of a lap as a result of the greater power of the Honda V10 engines. Senna had Berger before the first chicane, and Prost outbraked him at the Ostkurve. At the start of the second lap, it was Senna leading from Prost, Berger, Mansell, Thierry Boutsen (Williams-Renault), Alessandro Nannini (Benetton-Ford), Emanuele Pirro (Benetton-Ford), Riccardo Patrese (Williams-Renault), and Nelson Piquet (Lotus-Judd).

The McLarens of Senna and Prost and the Ferraris of Mansell and Berger started to pull away from the field, with the Benettons of Pirro and Nannini, and the Williams of Patrese just barely clinging on (Boutsen retired on lap 5 after being punted off by Pirro at the Bremsschikane 2). On lap 14, Mansell had been hounding Berger for 2 laps, but Berger had a puncture right when approaching the first chicane, and he went up on the marker, launching his Ferrari in midair, landing on a grassy patch and went across the track, just barely avoiding Mansell and came to rest on the trackside grass.

Prost and Senna were on the limit the entire race and Prost hounded Senna for 16 laps, until he went in for his pit stop for tyres, which was a terribly slow one of 18 seconds, which put Mansell in second place and Senna even further away. The next lap, Mansell came into the pits for his tyre change and his pit stop was faster than Prost's but still a poor stop of 11 seconds, which dropped him down back to fourth behind, Senna, Pirro and Prost. Then Senna decided to take advantage of his huge lead and came into the pits for his tyre change, but his stop was even worse than Prost's, lasting 23 seconds. This dropped him down to second behind Prost and Pirro had come into the pits for a tyre change and dropped to fourth.

Pirro crashed into the styrofoam barriers at the stadium entrance on lap 26 and had to be taken to the hospital after one of the barriers had hit his helmet. With Mansell having problems with his Ferrari, Senna and Prost battled for the entire race, as both drivers were driving on the limit. They started trading off fastest laps[citation needed] and Prost held off Senna for almost the entire race, but on lap 43, Prost's gearbox malfunctioned, lost sixth (top) gear and Senna passed him coming into the stadium. Prost limped around the track for the next 2 laps and Senna cruised around the track to grab his fourth victory of the season, followed by Prost second, Mansell third, Patrese fourth, Piquet fifth and Derek Warwick (Arrows-Ford) sixth.

In the post race press conference, Senna refused to speculate on whether he would have been able to pass Prost if the Frenchman hadn't lost top gear, instead stating that winning after suffering four straight DNFs was all he was concerned about. For his part, Prost was of the firm belief that he would have had no trouble holding on for the win had he not had a gearbox problem.

Race classificationEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1   Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 45 1:21:43.302 1 9
2 2   Alain Prost McLaren-Honda 45 + 18.151 2 6
3 27   Nigel Mansell Ferrari 45 + 1:23.254 3 4
4 6   Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault 44 + 1 Lap 5 3
5 11   Nelson Piquet Lotus-Judd 44 + 1 Lap 8 2
6 9   Derek Warwick Arrows-Ford 44 + 1 Lap 17 1
7 22   Andrea de Cesaris Dallara-Ford 44 + 1 Lap 21  
8 7   Martin Brundle Brabham-Judd 44 + 1 Lap 12  
9 23   Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ford 44 + 1 Lap 13  
10 4   Jean Alesi Tyrrell-Ford 43 + 2 Laps 10  
11 25   René Arnoux Ligier-Ford 42 + 3 Laps 23  
12 10   Eddie Cheever Arrows-Ford 40 Fuel System 25  
Ret 8   Stefano Modena Brabham-Judd 37 Engine 16  
Ret 12   Satoru Nakajima Lotus-Judd 36 Spun Off 18  
Ret 16   Ivan Capelli March-Judd 32 Electrical 22  
Ret 15   Maurício Gugelmin March-Judd 28 Gearbox 14  
Ret 20   Emanuele Pirro Benetton-Ford 26 Spun Off 9  
Ret 30   Philippe Alliot Lola-Lamborghini 20 Oil Leak 15  
Ret 3   Jonathan Palmer Tyrrell-Ford 16 Engine 19  
Ret 28   Gerhard Berger Ferrari 13 Puncture 4  
Ret 36   Stefan Johansson Onyx-Ford 8 Overheating 24  
Ret 19   Alessandro Nannini Benetton-Ford 6 Electrical 7  
Ret 5   Thierry Boutsen Williams-Renault 4 Collision 6  
Ret 21   Alex Caffi Dallara-Ford 2 Engine 20  
Ret 29   Michele Alboreto Lola-Lamborghini 1 Electrical 26  
Ret 26   Olivier Grouillard Ligier-Ford 0 Gearbox 11  
DNQ 24   Luis Pérez-Sala Minardi-Ford    
DNQ 37   Bertrand Gachot Onyx-Ford    
DNQ 38   Christian Danner Rial-Ford    
EX 39   Volker Weidler Rial-Ford   Push-start  
DNPQ 41   Yannick Dalmas AGS-Ford    
DNPQ 17   Nicola Larini Osella-Ford    
DNPQ 40   Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Ford    
DNPQ 18   Piercarlo Ghinzani Osella-Ford    
DNPQ 31   Roberto Moreno Coloni-Ford    
DNPQ 32   Pierre-Henri Raphanel Coloni-Ford    
DNPQ 33   Gregor Foitek Euro Brun-Judd    
DNPQ 35   Aguri Suzuki Zakspeed-Yamaha    
DNPQ 34   Bernd Schneider Zakspeed-Yamaha    

Championship standings after the raceEdit

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.


  1. ^ "1989 German Grand Prix | Motorsport Database".
  2. ^ Walker, Murray (1989). Murray Walker's Grand Prix Year. First Formula Publishing. p. 77–84. ISBN 1-870066-22-7.
  3. ^ "1989 German Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 18 January 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Germany 1989 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 18 March 2019.

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1989 British Grand Prix
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