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1989 San Marino Grand Prix

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1989 San Marino Grand Prix
Race 2 of 16 in the 1989 Formula One World Championship
Imola Circuit 1980-1995 Layout.png
Race details
Date 23 April 1989
Official name IX Gran Premio Kronenbourg di San Marino
Location Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 5.040 km (3.132 miles)
Distance 58 laps, 292.32 km (181.638 miles)
Scheduled distance 61 laps, 307.440 km (191.052 miles)
Weather Warm, dry, sunny
Pole position
Driver McLaren-Honda
Time 1:26.010
Fastest lap
Driver France Alain Prost McLaren-Honda
Time 1:26.795 on lap 45
First McLaren-Honda
Second McLaren-Honda
Third Benetton-Ford
Lap leaders

The 1989 San Marino Grand Prix (formally the IX Gran Premio Kronenbourg di San Marino) was a Formula One motor race held at the Imola circuit on 23 April 1989. It was the second race of the 1989 Formula One season. The race was overshadowed by Gerhard Berger's massive accident at Tamburello corner. The race was stopped for one hour and restarted. The race was won by Ayrton Senna who started from pole position. The Grand Prix had a total of 39 entrants, the largest amount in Formula One history. This record was equalled in the following 14 races of the season but, as of 2022, it has not been broken.


Pre-qualifying report

As at the previous race in Brazil, the Brabhams were easily the fastest cars in the Friday morning session. Stefano Modena was quickest on this occasion, with Martin Brundle in second. Alex Caffi pre-qualified his Dallara in third, with Nicola Larini's Osella in fourth. Only four cars went through from this session now that the injured Philippe Streiff had been replaced at AGS by Gabriele Tarquini, who had left the abortive FIRST team.

Onyx improved on their showing in Brazil, with Bertrand Gachot just missing out on pre-qualification in fifth place. The EuroBrun of Gregor Foitek was sixth, ahead of the second Osella of Piercarlo Ghinzani. The other Onyx of Stefan Johansson was eighth, followed by the second AGS of Joachim Winkelhock. Tenth was the Coloni of Pierre-Henri Raphanel, just ahead of the two Zakspeeds of Aguri Suzuki and Bernd Schneider, the Japanese driver outpacing his more experienced team-mate. Nearly four seconds adrift at the bottom of the time sheets was the Rial of Volker Weidler, despite the German trying all three of the team's cars.[1]

Pre-qualifying classification

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 8 Italy Stefano Modena Brabham-Judd 1:27.350
2 7 United Kingdom Martin Brundle Brabham-Judd 1:28.197 +0.747
3 21 Italy Alex Caffi Dallara-Ford 1:29.346 +1.996
4 17 Italy Nicola Larini Osella-Ford 1:29.787 +2.437
5 37 Belgium Bertrand Gachot Onyx-Ford 1:30.384 +3.034
6 33 Switzerland Gregor Foitek EuroBrun-Judd 1:30.620 +3.270
7 18 Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani Osella-Ford 1:30.631 +3.281
8 36 Sweden Stefan Johansson Onyx-Ford 1:30.647 +3.297
9 41 Germany Joachim Winkelhock AGS-Ford 1:32.071 +4.721
10 32 France Pierre-Henri Raphanel Coloni-Ford 1:32.267 +4.917
11 35 Japan Aguri Suzuki Zakspeed-Yamaha 1:32.287 +4.937
12 34 Germany Bernd Schneider Zakspeed-Yamaha 1:32.855 +5.485
13 39 Germany Volker Weidler Rial-Ford 1:36.480 +9.130

Qualifying report

The only change to the entry list for the San Marino Grand Prix was the arrival of Gabriele Tarquini in the second car of the small AGS team, which had only run one car in Brazil after Philippe Streiff had suffered career ending injuries in pre-season testing. A record 39 cars were entered for the Grand Prix,[citation needed] although only 26 were allowed to start the race.

After their defeat in Brazil, McLaren spent eight days testing at Imola prior to the San Marino Grand Prix. According to Ayrton Senna, they tested everything on the McLaren MP4/5, including aerodynamics, suspension, brakes and fuel consumption. It worked for Senna and Alain Prost, as they locked out the front row and were over 1.5 seconds faster than the Ferrari of Nigel Mansell. Riccardo Patrese showed his and Williams' revival with fourth on the grid followed by Gerhard Berger (Ferrari) with Thierry Boutsen rounding out the top six.

At Tyrrell, Michele Alboreto failed to qualify for a race for the first time since the 1981 German Grand Prix, in the new Tyrrell 018. Only one 018 was available, and although team mate Jonathan Palmer managed to sneak onto the grid in 25th in the older model 017, he raced the 018.

Qualifying classification

Pos No Driver Constructor Q1 Q2 Gap
1 1 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 1:42.939 1:26.010
2 2 France Alain Prost McLaren-Honda 1:44.538 1:26.235 +0.225
3 27 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Ferrari 1:49.665 1:27.652 +1.642
4 6 Italy Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault 1:47.486 1:27.920 +1.910
5 28 Austria Gerhard Berger Ferrari 1:42.781 1:28.089 +2.079
6 5 Belgium Thierry Boutsen Williams-Renault 1:49.451 1:28.308 +2.298
7 19 Italy Alessandro Nannini Benetton-Ford 1:45.536 1:28.854 +2.844
8 11 Brazil Nelson Piquet Lotus-Judd 1:48.124 1:29.057 +3.047
9 21 Italy Alex Caffi Dallara-Ford 1:48.868 1:29.069 +3.059
10 26 France Olivier Grouillard Ligier-Ford 1:47.371 1:29.104 +3.094
11 23 Italy Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ford 1:47.321 1:29.152 +3.142
12 9 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Arrows-Ford 1:47.859 1:29.281 +3.271
13 16 Italy Ivan Capelli March-Judd 1:48.178 1:29.385 +3.375
14 17 Italy Nicola Larini Osella-Ford 1:47.577 1:29.485 +3.475
15 24 Spain Luis Pérez-Sala Minardi-Ford 1:46.800 1:29.503 +3.493
16 22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Dallara-Ford 1:53.681 1:29.669 +3.659
17 8 Italy Stefano Modena Brabham-Judd 1:48.415 1:29.761 +3.751
18 40 Italy Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Ford 1:48.795 1:29.913 +3.903
19 15 Brazil Maurício Gugelmin March-Judd 1:52.119 1:30.163 +4.153
20 30 France Philippe Alliot Lola-Lamborghini 2:00.293 1:30.168 +4.158
21 10 United States Eddie Cheever Arrows-Ford 1:45.375 1:30.233 +4.223
22 7 United Kingdom Martin Brundle Brabham-Judd 1:46.279 1:30.271 +4.261
23 20 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Benetton-Ford 2:05.126 1:30.347 +4.337
24 12 Japan Satoru Nakajima Lotus-Judd 1:46.483 1:30.697 +4.687
25 3 United Kingdom Jonathan Palmer Tyrrell-Ford 1:51.229 1:30.928 +4.918
26 29 France Yannick Dalmas Lola-Lamborghini 1:58.083 1:31.137 +5.127
27 4 Italy Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Ford 1:51.329 1:31.206 +5.196
28 25 France René Arnoux Ligier-Ford 1:48.091 1:31.268 +5.258
29 38 Germany Christian Danner Rial-Ford 1:47.967 1:31.341 +5.331
30 31 Brazil Roberto Moreno Coloni-Ford 1:50.947 1:31.775 +5.765


Start and lap 4 accident (red flag)

At the start Ayrton Senna got away well but behind him Alain Prost found himself just ahead of Nigel Mansell's Ferrari but the Englishman could not find his way around Prost's McLaren. Mansell fell off a little after that and found himself battling with Riccardo Patrese while on the second lap Ivan Capelli had a nasty accident in his March. On lap four, fifth-placed Gerhard Berger's Ferrari speared off the track at the fast Tamburello corner due to a mechanical failure. Berger hit the wall at an estimated 180 mph and when his car came to a rest it was covered in fuel and it immediately burst into flames. Three fire marshalls (Bruno Miniati, Paolo Verdi and Gabriele Violi) arrived on foot sixteen seconds after impact and the fire was put out ten seconds later; the fuel had also burned up in the inferno. The race was red-flagged and Berger escaped with broken ribs and second-degree burns.

Race restart and conclusion

The race was restarted after half an hour and run a further 55 laps on aggregate timing. This time Prost got away much better and got past Senna while behind them Mansell made a poor start and fell behind Patrese and Alessandro Nannini. On the run-down to the Tosa hairpin Senna got alongside Prost into Villeneuve and out-braked him into Tosa. The McLarens proceeded to pull away from the competition while behind them there was more drama as Stefano Modena put his Brabham into the wall rather violently, escaping unhurt. Olivier Grouillard was disqualified on Lap 5 for his car being illegally worked on by his team during the one-hour delay.

As the McLarens pulled away Mansell, Patrese, and Nannini were busy fighting over third place. It was settled in the space of three laps as Patrese retired with a timing belt failure and Mansell followed shortly afterwards with a gearbox problem. This left Nannini in third while up front Senna cruised home to victory from Prost who, in his pursuit of Senna, had suffered a spin on lap 42 at Variante Bassa. Nannini led home Thierry Boutsen, Derek Warwick in the Arrows and Jonathan Palmer in the Tyrrell. Olivier Grouillard was disqualified because Ligier illegally repaired his car on the grid before the second start. Thierry Boutsen and Alex Caffi were initially disqualified after a protest from Ligier because they had changed tyres in the pitlane before the second start, but were reinstated following an appeal.

The Prost/Senna war began to build up speed after the Frenchman said that McLaren had a pre-race agreement that whoever led into the first turn should stay there, which was ironically suggested by Senna.[2] In Prost's view, Senna had broken this agreement by passing him partway round the first lap after the restart.

Race classification

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 58 1:26:51.245 1 9
2 2 France Alain Prost McLaren-Honda 58 + 40.225 2 6
3 19 Italy Alessandro Nannini Benetton-Ford 57 + 1 lap 7 4
4 5 Belgium Thierry Boutsen Williams-Renault 57 + 1 lap 6 3
5 9 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Arrows-Ford 57 + 1 lap 12 2
6 3 United Kingdom Jonathan Palmer Tyrrell-Ford 57 + 1 lap 25 1
7 21 Italy Alex Caffi Dallara-Ford 57 + 1 lap 9
8 40 Italy Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Ford 57 + 1 lap 18
9 10 United States Eddie Cheever Arrows-Ford 56 + 2 laps 21
10 22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Dallara-Ford 56 + 2 laps 16
11 20 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Benetton-Ford 56 + 2 laps 23
12 17 Italy Nicola Larini Osella-Ford 52 Spun off 14
Ret 7 United Kingdom Martin Brundle Brabham-Judd 51 Fuel system 22
NC 12 Japan Satoru Nakajima Lotus-Judd 46 Not classified 24
Ret 24 Spain Luis Pérez-Sala Minardi-Ford 43 Spun off 15
Ret 15 Brazil Maurício Gugelmin March-Judd 39 Transmission 19
Ret 11 Brazil Nelson Piquet Lotus-Judd 29 Engine 8
Ret 27 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Ferrari 23 Gearbox 3
Ret 6 Italy Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault 21 Engine 4
Ret 8 Italy Stefano Modena Brabham-Judd 19 Spun off 17
Ret 23 Italy Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ford 6 Gearbox 11
DSQ 26 France Olivier Grouillard Ligier-Ford 4 Illegal car repairs 10
Ret 28 Austria Gerhard Berger Ferrari 3 Accident 5
Ret 16 Italy Ivan Capelli March-Judd 1 Spun off 13
Ret 30 France Philippe Alliot Lola-Lamborghini 0 Electrical 20
Ret 29 France Yannick Dalmas Lola-Lamborghini 0 Electrical 26
DNQ 4 Italy Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Ford
DNQ 25 France René Arnoux Ligier-Ford
DNQ 38 Germany Christian Danner Rial-Ford
DNQ 31 Brazil Roberto Moreno Coloni-Ford
DNPQ 37 Belgium Bertrand Gachot Onyx-Ford
DNPQ 33 Switzerland Gregor Foitek EuroBrun-Judd
DNPQ 18 Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani Osella-Ford
DNPQ 36 Sweden Stefan Johansson Onyx-Ford
DNPQ 41 Germany Joachim Winkelhock AGS-Ford
DNPQ 32 France Pierre-Henri Raphanel Coloni-Ford
DNPQ 35 Japan Aguri Suzuki Zakspeed-Yamaha
DNPQ 34 Germany Bernd Schneider Zakspeed-Yamaha
DNPQ 39 Germany Volker Weidler Rial-Ford

Championship standings after the race

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


  1. ^ Walker, Murray (1989). Murray Walker's Grand Prix Year. First Formula Publishing. pp. 21–28. ISBN 1-870066-22-7.
  2. ^ Rubython, Tom: The Life of Senna
  3. ^ "1989 San Marino Grand Prix". Archived from the original on 18 January 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b "San Marino 1989 - Championship • STATS F1". Retrieved 20 March 2019.

Previous race:
1989 Brazilian Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1989 season
Next race:
1989 Monaco Grand Prix
Previous race:
1988 San Marino Grand Prix
San Marino Grand Prix Next race:
1990 San Marino Grand Prix
This page was last edited on 13 November 2022, at 10:07
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