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1991 Japanese Grand Prix

The 1991 Japanese Grand Prix (formally the XVII Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held at Suzuka on 20 October 1991. It was the fifteenth round of the 1991 Formula One season. The 53-lap race was won by McLaren driver Gerhard Berger after he started from pole position. His teammate Ayrton Senna finished second and Riccardo Patrese was third for the Williams team.

1991 Japanese Grand Prix
Race 15 of 16 in the 1991 Formula One World Championship
Suzuka circuit map (1987-2002).svg
Race details
Date 20 October 1991
Official name XVII Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix
Location Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka, Japan
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 5.864 km (3.644 mi)
Distance 53 laps, 310.792 km (193.117 mi)
Weather Sunny, warm
Pole position
Driver McLaren-Honda
Time 1:34.700
Fastest lap
Driver Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda
Time 1:41.532 on lap 39
Podium
First McLaren-Honda
Second McLaren-Honda
Third Williams-Renault

ReportEdit

Formula One moved to Japan with the fight for the title still open; this was the fifth year in a row that the title would be decided at the Suzuka circuit. The organizers were hoping that the events of 1990 would not repeat themselves. Both championship contenders Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell knew exactly what they needed to do, Mansell had to win with help and Senna needed to beat Mansell. There were several changes to the driver lineup, the most notable being at Leyton House where Ivan Capelli had been replaced by young Austrian Karl Wendlinger. Elsewhere AGS had run out of money and did not make the voyage to Japan, while fellow stragglers Coloni had hired local driver Naoki Hattori, but he failed to pre-qualify. Johnny Herbert was back behind the wheel of the Lotus after having missed a few races in the second half of the season due to Japanese Formula 3000 commitments.

Qualifying saw many large accidents, including young sensation Michael Schumacher and Ferrari driver Jean Alesi. The biggest of these accidents was the one that befell Éric Bernard who broke his ankle and would not take any further part in the race. At the end of the qualifying sessions it was a McLaren front row with Gerhard Berger ahead of Ayrton Senna. Mansell was third followed by the unhappy Alain Prost, Riccardo Patrese, Jean Alesi, Pierluigi Martini, Gianni Morbidelli, Michael Schumacher, and Nelson Piquet. Senna was right where he wanted to be, while Mansell knew he had his work cut out for him.

At the start of the race Berger got away well and Senna blocked Mansell the way that Mansell had done to him in Portugal. Elsewhere Jean Alesi's day ended on the first lap in a cloud of smoke, his Ferrari engine having blown. At the end of lap 1 the order was Berger, Senna, Mansell, Patrese, and Prost. There was a huge accident on lap two when Andrea de Cesaris spun his Jordan while leading other cars, and the resulting accident took Wendlinger, Pirro, and Lehto with him. At the front Berger pulled off into the lead while Mansell hounded Senna. It all ended on lap 10 when Mansell made a mistake on the first corner and spun off. His Williams was stuck in the gravel and Mansell was out of championship contention.

With the news of Mansell's retirement, Senna and Berger both went off into the distance, with Berger waving his recrowned world champion teammate through. The two ran in formation for the rest of the race with Senna letting Berger through on the last lap to win his first race for McLaren.

Patrese finished third followed by Prost, Martin Brundle scoring the last points in the history of the Brabham team, and Stefano Modena in the Tyrrell. Senna had won his third world championship.

ClassificationEdit

Pre-qualifyingEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 7   Martin Brundle Brabham-Yamaha 1:41.289
2 10   Alex Caffi Footwork-Ford 1:42.382 +1.093
3 9   Michele Alboreto Footwork-Ford 1:42.479 +1.190
4 14   Gabriele Tarquini Fondmetal-Ford 1:43.025 +1.736
5 8   Mark Blundell Brabham-Yamaha 1:44.025 +2.736
6 31   Naoki Hattori Coloni-Ford 2:00.035 +18.746

QualifyingEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Q1 Q2 Gap
1 2   Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda 1:36.458 1:34.700
2 1   Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 1:36.490 1:34.898 +0.198
3 5   Nigel Mansell Williams-Renault 1:36.529 1:34.922 +0.222
4 27   Alain Prost Ferrari 1:37.565 1:36.670 +1.970
5 6   Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault 1:37.874 1:36.882 +2.182
6 28   Jean Alesi Ferrari 1:37.718 1:37.140 +2.740
7 23   Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ferrari 1:40.176 1:38.154 +3.454
8 24   Gianni Morbidelli Minardi-Ferrari 1:41.088 1:38.248 +3.548
9 19   Michael Schumacher Benetton-Ford 1:39.742 1:38.363 +3.663
10 20   Nelson Piquet Benetton-Ford 1:40.557 1:38.614 +3.914
11 33   Andrea de Cesaris Jordan-Ford 1:40.407 1:38.842 +4.142
12 22   JJ Lehto Dallara-Judd 1:40.191 1:38.911 +4.211
13 32   Alessandro Zanardi Jordan-Ford 1:39.051 1:38.923 +4.223
14 4   Stefano Modena Tyrrell-Honda 1:39.245 1:38.926 +4.226
15 3   Satoru Nakajima Tyrrell-Honda 1:40.100 1:39.118 +4.418
16 21   Emanuele Pirro Dallara-Judd 1:41.246 1:39.238 +4.538
17 25   Thierry Boutsen Ligier-Lamborghini 1:39.946 1:39.499 +4.799
18 15   Maurício Gugelmin Leyton House-Ilmor 1:40.714 1:39.518 +4.818
19 7   Martin Brundle Brabham-Yamaha 1:40.867 1:39.697 +4.997
20 26   Érik Comas Ligier-Lamborghini 1:41.251 1:39.820 +5.120
21 11   Mika Häkkinen Lotus-Judd 1:41.485 1:40.024 +5.324
22 16   Karl Wendlinger Leyton House-Ilmor 1:41.639 1:40.092 +5.392
23 12   Johnny Herbert Lotus-Judd 1:40.512 1:40.170 +5.470
24 14   Gabriele Tarquini Fondmetal-Ford 1:42.835 1:40.184 +5.484
25 30   Aguri Suzuki Lola-Ford 1:41.528 1:40.255 +5.555
26 10   Alex Caffi Footwork-Ford 1:40.517 1:40.402 +5.702
27 9   Michele Alboreto Footwork-Ford 1:41.536 1:40.844 +6.144
28 34   Nicola Larini Lambo-Lamborghini 1:43.057 1:42.492 +7.792
29 35   Eric van de Poele Lambo-Lamborghini 1:46.641 1:42.724 +8.024
30 29   Éric Bernard Lola-Ford DNS*

* injured during practice (broken leg)

RaceEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 2   Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda 53 1:32:10.695 1 10
2 1   Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 53 + 0.344 2 6
3 6   Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault 53 + 56.731 5 4
4 27   Alain Prost Ferrari 53 + 1:20.761 4 3
5 7   Martin Brundle Brabham-Yamaha 52 + 1 Lap 19 2
6 4   Stefano Modena Tyrrell-Honda 52 + 1 Lap 14 1
7 20   Nelson Piquet Benetton-Ford 52 + 1 Lap 10  
8 15   Maurício Gugelmin Leyton House-Ilmor 52 + 1 Lap 18  
9 25   Thierry Boutsen Ligier-Lamborghini 52 + 1 Lap 17  
10 10   Alex Caffi Footwork-Ford 51 + 2 Laps 26  
11 14   Gabriele Tarquini Fondmetal-Ford 50 + 3 Laps 24  
Ret 26   Érik Comas Ligier-Lamborghini 41 Alternator 20  
Ret 23   Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ferrari 39 Electrical 7  
Ret 19   Michael Schumacher Benetton-Ford 34 Engine 9  
Ret 12   Johnny Herbert Lotus-Judd 31 Engine 23  
Ret 3   Satoru Nakajima Tyrrell-Honda 30 Spun off 15  
Ret 30   Aguri Suzuki Lola-Ford 26 Engine 25  
Ret 24   Gianni Morbidelli Minardi-Ferrari 15 Wheel 8  
Ret 5   Nigel Mansell Williams-Renault 9 Spun Off 3  
Ret 32   Alessandro Zanardi Jordan-Ford 7 Gearbox 13  
Ret 11   Mika Häkkinen Lotus-Judd 4 Engine 21  
Ret 33   Andrea de Cesaris Jordan-Ford 1 Collision 11  
Ret 22   JJ Lehto Dallara-Judd 1 Collision 12  
Ret 21   Emanuele Pirro Dallara-Judd 1 Collision 16  
Ret 16   Karl Wendlinger Leyton House-Ilmor 1 Collision 22  
Ret 28   Jean Alesi Ferrari 0 Engine 6  
DNQ 9   Michele Alboreto Footwork-Ford        
DNQ 34   Nicola Larini Lambo-Lamborghini        
DNQ 35   Eric van de Poele Lambo-Lamborghini        
DNQ 29   Éric Bernard Lola-Ford        
DNPQ 8   Mark Blundell Brabham-Yamaha        
DNPQ 31   Naoki Hattori Coloni-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 Japanese Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 3 November 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Japan 1991 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 18 March 2019.


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1991 Spanish Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1991 season
Next race:
1991 Australian Grand Prix
Previous race:
1990 Japanese Grand Prix
Japanese Grand Prix Next race:
1992 Japanese Grand Prix