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1988 Portuguese Grand Prix

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1988 Portuguese Grand Prix
Race 13 of 16 in the 1988 Formula One World Championship
Circuito de Estoril 1972-1993.png
Race details
Date 25 September 1988
Official name XXII Grande Prémio de Portugal
Location Autódromo do Estoril, Estoril, Portugal
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 4.350 km (2.703 miles)
Distance 70 laps, 304.500 km (189.207 miles)
Weather Sunny and hot
Pole position
Driver McLaren-Honda
Time 1:17.411
Fastest lap
Driver Austria Gerhard Berger Ferrari
Time 1:21.961 on lap 31
First McLaren-Honda
Second March-Judd
Third Benetton-Ford
Lap leaders

The 1988 Portuguese Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 25 September 1988 at the Autódromo do Estoril, Estoril. It was the thirteenth race of the 1988 Formula One World Championship. The 71-lap race was won by Alain Prost, driving a McLaren-Honda, with Ivan Capelli second in a March-Judd and Thierry Boutsen third in a Benetton-Ford. Prost's teammate and Drivers' Championship rival, Ayrton Senna, could only manage sixth.


McLaren gained their 9th front row of the year with Alain Prost in front of Ayrton Senna for the first time since France. Prost, whose MP4/4 had a brand new, stiffer chassis, set his fastest time early in Saturday qualifying, and then sat out the rest of the session, confident that Senna could not better the time. Senna indeed qualified second. They were ahead of Ivan Capelli in the atmospheric March-Judd, with Maurício Gugelmin in fifth behind the Ferrari of Monza winner Gerhard Berger. Both Capelli and Gugelmin expressed delight with their cars, especially in the fast corners.[citation needed]

After finishing third and fourth in Italy, the Arrows-Megatrons of Derek Warwick (10th) and Eddie Cheever (18th) struggled in Portugal. Both drivers complained of little grip on the rarely used Estoril circuit, which was compounded by slow turns which exposed the Straight-4 Megatron engine's lack of throttle response.

After missing the previous two races in Belgium and Italy due to illness, Nigel Mansell was back in his Williams-Judd. He complained of a sore neck but qualified 6th, less than 0.1 behind Gugelmin.

Julian Bailey (Tyrrell-Ford), Stefano Modena (EuroBrun-Ford), and the Zakspeeds of Piercarlo Ghinzani and Bernd Schneider all failed to qualify while Oscar Larrauri (EuroBrun-Ford) failed to pre-qualify.


The first start was aborted when the Rial-Ford of Andrea de Cesaris stalled on the grid. The second start was aborted after Derek Warwick stalled his Arrows A10 and was hit by de Cesaris, with Luis Pérez-Sala (Minardi) and Satoru Nakajima (Lotus). Ayrton Senna led off at the third start, to the delight of the Portuguese crowd. At the start of lap 2, Alain Prost pulled out of Senna's slipstream to pass him. Senna moved violently over on Prost and forced him towards the pit wall at over 280 km/h (174 mph). The Frenchman nonetheless maintained his will to pass the Brazilian, not lifting off the throttle, and passed Senna into the first corner.

Prost was not impressed with Senna's tactics and the pair exchanged words in the McLaren camp after the race. Senna countered Prost's anger by stating that he had almost been pushed onto the grass by Prost before the first corner after the start.[citation needed] Prost's lead built up to 7 seconds and would last until the flag, while Senna was being troubled by an erratic (and ultimately false) fuel readout which was telling him he was using too much. This allowed Capelli to close right up on him. On lap 22 the Italian out-braked Senna to excited acclaim and opened up a gap on him. It was the first time all season other than when Prost suffered from severe misfires at both the British and Italian GP's that a McLaren-Honda had been passed on track by any other car. Soon after Gerhard Berger also passed the McLaren, leaving Senna exposed to the attacks of Nigel Mansell's Williams. The Briton was closer on the corners, but the Honda turbo was superior in the fast sectors of the track.

Berger had claimed the fastest lap in his pursuit of Capelli, but spun off on lap 36. He had accidentally set off his fire extinguisher, with the resultant freezing of his leg with carbon dioxide causing his foot to slip off the pedals. Berger had been attempting a cockpit adjustment to his car but on the bumpy Estoril surface simply hit the wrong button. On lap 55, Mansell and Senna attempted to lap the Tyrrell of Jonathan Palmer: during this manoeuvre Mansell hit the back off the McLaren and spun into the barriers though without any damage to Senna who continued on. Maurício Gugelmin, Nelson Piquet (Lotus-Honda), Michele Alboreto (Ferrari), Riccardo Patrese (Williams-Judd) and Thierry Boutsen (Benetton-Ford) were hotly contesting the last point place in 6th. On lap 29 Patrese retired with a split radiator and the next lap Piquet retired with clutch and gearbox problems. On lap 57, Senna, still having problems with his fuel readout, pitted for a tyre change and was passed by Alboreto, Boutsen and Derek Warwick, falling to 6th.

Prost won from Capelli, who at one stage was catching the McLaren, but backed off to save his engine after seeing his teammate's car sitting beside the track with a dead engine; the gap at the line was 9.5 seconds and Prost himself was marginal on fuel. It was Capelli's first podium finish in Formula One and the first time a March had finished on the podium of a Grand Prix since the 1976 Italian Grand Prix. Fuel problems were a feature of this race: on the last corner of the race Alboreto's engine stuttered-his car was running out of fuel despite the gauge indicating he had plenty left. Boutsen passed him to get his 5th podium of the year and Warwick claimed 4th place. The dry Ferrari of Alboreto and McLaren of Senna were classified 5th and 6th.

Prost's 5th win of the year, and his first since France, along with Senna's 6th place, saw him remain in strong contention for his third World Championship.



Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 36 Italy Alex Caffi Dallara-Ford 1:21.468
2 21 Italy Nicola Larini Osella 1:23.051 +1.583
3 31 Italy Gabriele Tarquini Coloni-Ford 1:23.807 +2.339
4 33 Italy Stefano Modena EuroBrun-Ford 1:24.076 +2.608
DNPQ 32 Argentina Oscar Larrauri EuroBrun-Ford 1:25.146 +3.678


Pos No Driver Constructor Q1 Q2 Gap
1 11 France Alain Prost McLaren-Honda 1:18.378 1:17.411
2 12 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 1:18.032 1:17.869 +0.458
3 16 Italy Ivan Capelli March-Judd 1:20.390 1:18.812 +1.401
4 28 Austria Gerhard Berger Ferrari 1:20.065 1:18.903 +1.492
5 15 Brazil Maurício Gugelmin March-Judd 1:20.791 1:19.045 +1.634
6 5 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Williams-Judd 1:20.908 1:19.131 +1.720
7 27 Italy Michele Alboreto Ferrari 1:21.647 1:19.372 +1.961
8 1 Brazil Nelson Piquet Lotus-Honda 1:19.551 1:19.872 +2.140
9 19 Italy Alessandro Nannini Benetton-Ford 1:21.008 1:19.572 +2.161
10 17 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Arrows-Megatron 1:21.240 1:19.603 +2.192
11 6 Italy Riccardo Patrese Williams-Judd 1:19.878 1:19.797 +2.386
12 22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Rial-Ford 1:21.386 1:19.940 +2.529
13 20 Belgium Thierry Boutsen Benetton-Ford 1:20.700 1:20.314 +2.903
14 23 Italy Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ford 1:21.292 1:20.741 +3.330
15 29 France Yannick Dalmas Lola-Ford 1:21.655 1:20.748 +3.337
16 2 Japan Satoru Nakajima Lotus-Honda 1:22.496 1:20.783 +3.372
17 36 Italy Alex Caffi Dallara-Ford 1:22.349 1:20.922 +3.511
18 18 United States Eddie Cheever Arrows-Megatron 1:21.519 1:20.965 +3.554
19 24 Spain Luis Pérez-Sala Minardi-Ford 1:21.909 1:21.094 +3.683
20 30 France Philippe Alliot Lola-Ford 1:21.809 1:21.096 +3.685
21 14 France Philippe Streiff AGS-Ford 1:21.644 1:21.418 +4.007
22 3 United Kingdom Jonathan Palmer Tyrrell-Ford 1:22.797 1:21.788 +4.377
23 25 France René Arnoux Ligier-Judd 1:22.786 1:21.790 +4.379
24 26 Sweden Stefan Johansson Ligier-Judd 1:22.778 1:22.035 +4.624
25 21 Italy Nicola Larini Osella 1:22.883 1:22.119 +4.708
26 31 Italy Gabriele Tarquini Coloni-Ford 1:23.057 1:22.170 +4.759
DNQ 4 United Kingdom Julian Bailey Tyrrell-Ford 1:22.946 1:22.296 +4.885
DNQ 9 Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani Zakspeed 1:24.127 1:22.549 +5.138
DNQ 33 Italy Stefano Modena EuroBrun-Ford 1:23.075 1:23.232 +5.664
DNQ 10 West Germany Bernd Schneider Zakspeed 1:23.393 1:23.300 +5.889


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 11 France Alain Prost McLaren-Honda 70 1:37:40.958 1 9
2 16 Italy Ivan Capelli March-Judd 70 + 9.553 3 6
3 20 Belgium Thierry Boutsen Benetton-Ford 70 + 44.619 13 4
4 17 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Arrows-Megatron 70 + 1:07.419 10 3
5 27 Italy Michele Alboreto Ferrari 70 + 1:11.884 7 2
6 12 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 70 + 1:18.269 2 1
7 36 Italy Alex Caffi Dallara-Ford 69 + 1 Lap 17  
8 24 Spain Luis Pérez-Sala Minardi-Ford 68 + 2 Laps 19  
9 14 France Philippe Streiff AGS-Ford 68 + 2 Laps 21  
10 25 France René Arnoux Ligier-Judd 68 + 2 Laps 23  
11 31 Italy Gabriele Tarquini Coloni-Ford 65 + 5 Laps 26  
12 21 Italy Nicola Larini Osella 63 + 7 Laps 25  
Ret 15 Brazil Maurício Gugelmin March-Judd 59 Engine 5  
Ret 5 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Williams-Judd 54 Spun Off 6  
Ret 3 United Kingdom Jonathan Palmer Tyrrell-Ford 53 Overheating 22  
Ret 19 Italy Alessandro Nannini Benetton-Ford 52 Handling 9  
Ret 28 Austria Gerhard Berger Ferrari 35 Spun Off 4  
Ret 1 Brazil Nelson Piquet Lotus-Honda 34 Clutch 8  
Ret 6 Italy Riccardo Patrese Williams-Judd 29 Radiator 11  
Ret 23 Italy Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ford 27 Engine 14  
Ret 29 France Yannick Dalmas Lola-Ford 20 Alternator 15  
Ret 2 Japan Satoru Nakajima Lotus-Honda 16 Spun Off 16  
Ret 22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Rial-Ford 11 Halfshaft 12  
Ret 18 United States Eddie Cheever Arrows-Megatron 10 Turbo 18  
Ret 30 France Philippe Alliot Lola-Ford 7 Engine 20  
Ret 26 Sweden Stefan Johansson Ligier-Judd 4 Engine 24  
DNQ 4 United Kingdom Julian Bailey Tyrrell-Ford    
DNQ 9 Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani Zakspeed    
DNQ 33 Italy Stefano Modena EuroBrun-Ford    
DNQ 10 West Germany Bernd Schneider Zakspeed    
DNPQ 32 Argentina Oscar Larrauri EuroBrun-Ford    

Championship standings after the race

  • Bold Text indicates World Champions.
  • Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. Points accurate at final declaration of results. The Benettons were subsequently disqualified from the Belgian Grand Prix and their points reallocated.


  1. ^ "1988 Portuguese Grand Prix". Archived from the original on 18 January 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Portugal 1988 - Championship • STATS F1". Retrieved 20 March 2019.

Previous race:
1988 Italian Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1988 season
Next race:
1988 Spanish Grand Prix
Previous race:
1987 Portuguese Grand Prix
Portuguese Grand Prix Next race:
1989 Portuguese Grand Prix
This page was last edited on 5 April 2023, at 23:52
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