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1989 German Grand Prix

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1989 German Grand Prix
Race 9 of 16 in the 1989 Formula One World Championship
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

The 1989 German Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at the Hockenheimring on 30 July 1989. The race was won by Ayrton Senna, ahead of Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell.

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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.


Pre-qualifying report

Pre-qualifying had been reorganised going into the second half of the season, with several drivers and teams either losing or gaining the right to progress without the need to pre-qualify. Brabham, Dallara and Rial had scored enough points across the opening rounds of the season to enable them to escape the Friday morning sessions entirely. Larrousse, with their Lamborghini V12-engined Lolas had scored no points thus far, so were required 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 classification

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

* Driver failed to pre-qualify.

Qualifying report

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

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 (eastern 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.

Qualifying classification

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

* Driver failed to qualify.


Race report

The race started with Senna on pole position and Prost alongside him. At the start, Gerhard Berger in the semi-automatic Ferrari made a strong start from fourth, passing both Senna, Prost and his teammate Mansell to lead tinto the first corner with Senna, Prost and Mansell following in succession. At the start Philippe Alliot went off the track at the start after 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 before his 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 his car'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, 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 slow one of 18 seconds,[clarification needed] which put Mansell in second place and gave Senna a stronger lead. 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. Senna decided to take advantage of his lead and came into the pits for his tyre change, 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. On lap 43, Prost's gearbox malfunctioned, lost sixth (top) gear and Senna passed him at turn 11. 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 he 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 classification

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

Championship standings after the race

  • 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. pp. 77–84. ISBN 1-870066-22-7.
  3. ^ "1989 German Grand Prix". Archived from the original on 18 January 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Germany 1989 - Championship • STATS F1". Retrieved 18 March 2019.

Previous race:
1989 British Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1989 season
Next race:
1989 Hungarian Grand Prix
Previous race:
1988 German Grand Prix
German Grand Prix Next race:
1990 German Grand Prix
This page was last edited on 26 March 2023, at 19:27
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