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1991 Belgian Grand Prix

The 1991 Belgian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Spa-Francorchamps on 25 August 1991. It was the eleventh round of the 1991 Formula One season and the debut race of the future world champion Michael Schumacher.

1991 Belgian Grand Prix
Race 11 of 16 in the 1991 Formula One World Championship
Belgian Grand Prix Spa.png
Race details
Date 25 August 1991
Official name XL Grand Prix de Belgique
Location Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 6.940 km (4.312 mi)
Distance 44 laps, 305.360 km (189.741 mi)
Weather Sunny and hot
Pole position
Driver McLaren-Honda
Time 1:47.811
Fastest lap
Driver Brazil Roberto Moreno Benetton-Ford
Time 1:55.161 on lap 40
Podium
First McLaren-Honda
Second McLaren-Honda
Third Benetton-Ford

Contents

Before the raceEdit

The Jordan team dominated the headlines leading up to the Belgian Grand Prix. Driver Bertrand Gachot was in an English jail as a result of an altercation with a London taxi driver, so the team had decided to replace him with young German driver Michael Schumacher. Elsewhere Johnny Herbert had returned to Lotus after having missed the previous two races due to Formula 3000 commitments in Japan.

Honda had arrived at Spa with updated engines for McLaren, the team hoping to get the momentum back in their favour.

QualifyingEdit

Ayrton Senna was fastest most of the weekend and duly took pole position, but Ferrari were right on his heels. Alain Prost qualified third on the road while Jean Alesi had set the fastest first and second sectors only to come across traffic at the end of the lap, resulting in a sixth place start, which would be elevated to fifth. Riccardo Patrese had originally qualified second, but after Saturday qualifying his car was found to not have a reverse gear as per the safety regulations and Patrese's Saturday times were wiped out, he had to start a disappointing seventeenth on the grid. Patrese's misfortune promoted Prost to second, with Nigel Mansell third, Gerhard Berger fourth, Alesi fifth, and Nelson Piquet sixth while the sensation of qualifying, Schumacher, was an amazing seventh for his first Grand Prix. The top ten was completed by Roberto Moreno in the second Benetton, Pierluigi Martini in a Minardi and the ever-impressive Stefano Modena in a Tyrrell.

RaceEdit

At the start both Senna and Prost got away well and the Brazilian led into the first corner. Mansell was third followed by Berger, Piquet, and Schumacher. The German's luck however would run dry just after Eau Rouge when his clutch failed. Out at the front Senna continued to lead but Prost's day ended on lap three when his Ferrari caught on fire, leaving Mansell in second. The determined Englishman proceeded to go after Senna and the two battled lap after lap until Senna pitted for new tyres on lap 15. The stop was a bad one and when Mansell pitted two laps later he was able to emerge ahead of Senna, but just behind Berger who had yet to stop. These stops left Piquet in the lead for one lap before he made his stop.

Mansell quickly closed in on Berger and managed to sweep past into Les Fagnes. When Berger stopped a lap later he had problems and then spun on the pit exit and came back right in front of Modena, nearly causing a bad accident. Mansell's big lead would not last, however as on lap 22 his car stopped, having succumbed to electronic problems, his championship hopes taking a major hit.

 
Ayrton Senna during the race in Spa-Francorchamps on August 25, 1991.

Mansell's misery was Alesi's jubilation as the young Frenchman took the lead with Senna closing. Senna continued to close until he had a small problem and lost ten seconds, putting him into the clutches of Piquet's Benetton. The Piquet-Senna battle was soon joined by Patrese and de Cesaris, who had been battling over fourth. Senna led the quartet, but could not pull away because he was suffering from gearbox problems. Alesi had planned to do the entire race without stopping and his strategy was looking very good until lap 30 when his engine expired. This left Senna ahead of Piquet, de Cesaris, and Patrese, who had gone off the track trying to pass Piquet.

On Lap 31 de Cesaris managed to out brake Piquet into Les Combes and was looking good for Jordan's first podium finish in second place. Meanwhile, Patrese got past Piquet as well and set off after the Jordan. In the late stages Berger got past Piquet and then moved into third when Patrese started to suffer from gearbox problems. De Cesaris's fairy tale run ended just three laps from the end when his engine blew, promoting Berger to second and Piquet to third. Up front Senna limped home to his second consecutive win despite serious gearbox issues. Moreno was fourth, followed by Patrese and Mark Blundell, who scored Brabham's first point of the year (also the team's best result since Stefano Modena finished fifth in a Judd powered BT58 in the 1990 United States Grand Prix). The Fondmetal team and its driver Olivier Grouillard scored their first finish of 1991.

ClassificationEdit

Pre-qualifyingEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 7   Martin Brundle Brabham-Yamaha 1:54.929
2 8   Mark Blundell Brabham-Yamaha 1:56.446 +1.517
3 14   Olivier Grouillard Fondmetal-Ford 1:58.447 +3.518
4 10   Alex Caffi Footwork-Ford 1:59.460 +4.531
5 9   Michele Alboreto Footwork-Ford 1:59.910 +4.981
6 17   Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Ford 1:59.972 +5.043
7 31   Pedro Chaves Coloni-Ford 2:01.921 +6.992
8 18   Fabrizio Barbazza AGS-Ford 2:03.766 +8.837

QualifyingEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Q1 Q2 Gap
1 1   Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 1:49.100 1:47.811
2 27   Alain Prost Ferrari 1:51.369 1:48.821 +1.010
3 5   Nigel Mansell Williams-Renault 1:50.666 1:48.828 +1.017
4 2   Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda 1:49.485 12:29.200 +1.674
5 28   Jean Alesi Ferrari 1:51.832 1:49.974 +2.163
6 20   Nelson Piquet Benetton-Ford 1:53.371 1:50.540 +2.729
7 32   Michael Schumacher Jordan-Ford 1:53.290 1:51.212 +3.401
8 19   Roberto Moreno Benetton-Ford 1:53.664 1:51.283 +3.472
9 23   Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ferrari 1:53.460 1:51.299 +3.488
10 4   Stefano Modena Tyrrell-Honda 1:52.899 1:51.307 +3.496
11 33   Andrea de Cesaris Jordan-Ford 1:54.186 1:51.986 +4.175
12 16   Ivan Capelli Leyton House-Ilmor 1:53.603 1:52.113 +4.302
13 8   Mark Blundell Brabham-Yamaha 1:54.814 1:52.377 +4.566
14 22   JJ Lehto Dallara-Judd 1:54.211 1:52.417 +4.606
15 15   Maurício Gugelmin Leyton House-Ilmor 1:56.027 1:52.623 +4.812
16 7   Martin Brundle Brabham-Yamaha 1:54.921 1:52.626 +4.815
17 6   Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault 1:52.646 +4.835
18 25   Thierry Boutsen Ligier-Lamborghini 1:54.446 1:52.709 +4.898
19 24   Gianni Morbidelli Minardi-Ferrari 1:57.232 1:52.896 +5.085
20 29   Éric Bernard Lola-Ford 1:55.679 1:53.309 +5.498
21 12   Johnny Herbert Lotus-Judd 1:55.523 1:53.361 +5.550
22 3   Satoru Nakajima Tyrrell-Honda 1:55.874 1:53.494 +5.683
23 14   Olivier Grouillard Fondmetal-Ford 1:55.945 1:53.628 +5.817
24 11   Mika Häkkinen Lotus-Judd 1:55.483 1:53.799 +5.988
25 21   Emanuele Pirro Dallara-Judd 1:56.131 1:53.839 +6.028
26 26   Érik Comas Ligier-Lamborghini 1:56.218 1:53.847 +6.036
27 30   Aguri Suzuki Lola-Ford 1:56.594 1:53.869 +6.058
28 34   Nicola Larini Lambo-Lamborghini 1:56.561 1:54.781 +6.970
29 10   Alex Caffi Footwork-Ford 1:57.556 1:57.338 +9.527
30 35   Eric van de Poele Lambo-Lamborghini 35:03.624 1:57.746 +9.935

RaceEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1   Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 44 1:27:17.669 1 10
2 2   Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda 44 + 1.901 4 6
3 20   Nelson Piquet Benetton-Ford 44 + 32.176 6 4
4 19   Roberto Moreno Benetton-Ford 44 + 37.310 8 3
5 6   Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault 44 + 57.187 17 2
6 8   Mark Blundell Brabham-Yamaha 44 + 1:40.035 13 1
7 12   Johnny Herbert Lotus-Judd 44 + 1:44.599 21  
8 21   Emanuele Pirro Dallara-Judd 43 + 1 Lap 25  
9 7   Martin Brundle Brabham-Yamaha 43 + 1 Lap 16  
10 14   Olivier Grouillard Fondmetal-Ford 43 + 1 Lap 23  
11 25   Thierry Boutsen Ligier-Lamborghini 43 + 1 Lap 18  
12 23   Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ferrari 42 Gearbox 9  
13 33   Andrea de Cesaris Jordan-Ford 41 Engine 11  
Ret 4   Stefano Modena Tyrrell-Honda 33 Oil Leak 10  
Ret 22   JJ Lehto Dallara-Judd 33 Oil Pressure 14  
Ret 28   Jean Alesi Ferrari 30 Engine 5  
Ret 24   Gianni Morbidelli Minardi-Ferrari 29 Gearbox 19  
Ret 11   Mika Häkkinen Lotus-Judd 25 Engine 24  
Ret 26   Érik Comas Ligier-Lamborghini 25 Engine 26  
Ret 5   Nigel Mansell Williams-Renault 22 Electrical 3  
Ret 29   Éric Bernard Lola-Ford 21 Gearbox 20  
Ret 16   Ivan Capelli Leyton House-Ilmor 13 Engine 12  
Ret 3   Satoru Nakajima Tyrrell-Honda 7 Spun Off 22  
Ret 27   Alain Prost Ferrari 2 Fuel Leak 2  
Ret 15   Maurício Gugelmin Leyton House-Ilmor 1 Engine 15  
Ret 32   Michael Schumacher Jordan-Ford 0 Clutch 7  
DNQ 30   Aguri Suzuki Lola-Ford    
DNQ 34   Nicola Larini Lambo-Lamborghini    
DNQ 10   Alex Caffi Footwork-Ford    
DNQ 35   Eric van de Poele Lambo-Lamborghini    
DNPQ 9   Michele Alboreto Footwork-Ford    
DNPQ 17   Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Ford    
DNPQ 31   Pedro Chaves Coloni-Ford    
DNPQ 18   Fabrizio Barbazza AGS-Ford    
Source:[1]

Championship standings after the raceEdit

  • Bold text indicates who still has a theoretical chance of becoming World Champion.
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "1991 Belgian Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 3 November 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2015.


Previous race:
1991 Hungarian Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1991 season
Next race:
1991 Italian Grand Prix
Previous race:
1990 Belgian Grand Prix
Belgian Grand Prix Next race:
1992 Belgian Grand Prix