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1990 Spanish Grand Prix

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1990 Spanish Grand Prix
Race 14 of 16 in the 1990 Formula One World Championship
Circuito de Jerez (1985-1992).svg
Race details
Date 30 September 1990
Official name XXXI Gran Premio Tio Pepe de España
Location Circuito Permanente de Jerez
Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 4.218 km (2.6209 mi)
Distance 73 laps, 307.918 km (191.328 mi)
Weather Dry, hot, sunny
Pole position
Driver McLaren-Honda
Time 1:18.387
Fastest lap
Driver Italy Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault
Time 1:24.513 on lap 53
First Ferrari
Second Ferrari
Third Benetton-Ford

The 1990 Spanish Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Jerez on 30 September 1990. It was the fourteenth race of the 1990 Formula One World Championship, and the fifth and last Spanish Grand Prix to be held at Jerez (though the circuit would host the European Grand Prix in 1994 and 1997).

The 73-lap race was won by Alain Prost, driving a Ferrari, with teammate Nigel Mansell second and Alessandro Nannini third in a Benetton-Ford. Prost's Drivers' Championship rival, Ayrton Senna, took the 50th pole position of his career in his McLaren-Honda, but retired with a failed radiator, allowing Prost to close to within nine points of him in the championship with two races remaining.

The event was marred by a serious incident during Friday practice, when Martin Donnelly crashed his Lotus at the high-speed Turn 14. Donnelly was thrown from the wreckage, suffering serious injuries that ended his Formula One career. This also turned out to be the last F1 race for Nannini, who severed his right arm in a helicopter crash the following week (though he would return to racing as a touring car driver), as well as the last race for the back-marking EuroBrun and Life teams.


Pre-qualifying report

In the Friday morning pre-qualifying session, the same four drivers went through to the main qualifying sessions as had progressed in the previous three events. This time it was Yannick Dalmas who topped the time sheets in his AGS, the first time he had done so this season. Gabriele Tarquini made it an AGS 1–2, just over a tenth of a second behind. Olivier Grouillard was a shade slower in third in the Osella, while Bertrand Gachot was nearly two seconds slower in the Coloni, back in fourth.

In fifth place, Roberto Moreno missed the cut by just 0.018 of a second in the EuroBrun, with Claudio Langes just over a second behind in sixth. Langes' gap to Gachot of 1.133 seconds represented the closest the Italian had come all season to successfully pre-qualifying, as he had failed to pre-qualify for all 14 races so far this season. This proved to be his last opportunity, as EuroBrun withdrew from Formula One after this event.[1] It was also the last event for the hapless Life team, who also withdrew from the sport after this weekend. Bruno Giacomelli managed two laps in the L190 before it stopped out on the circuit, the switch to the Judd engine apparently not providing much improvement. The car had never come within 12 seconds of pre-qualifying successfully at any of its 14 events.[1][2] The absence of EuroBrun and Life at the last two Grands Prix of the season avoided the need for pre-qualifying at those events.

Pre-qualifying classification

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 18 France Yannick Dalmas AGS-Ford 1:22.470
2 17 Italy Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Ford 1:22.592 +0.122
3 14 France Olivier Grouillard Osella-Ford 1:22.708 +0.238
4 31 Belgium Bertrand Gachot Coloni-Ford 1:24.603 +2.133
5 33 Brazil Roberto Moreno EuroBrun-Judd 1:24.621 +2.151
6 34 Italy Claudio Langes EuroBrun-Judd 1:25.736 +3.266
7 39 Italy Bruno Giacomelli Life-Judd 1:42.699 +20.229

Qualifying report

Qualifying classification

Pos No Driver Constructor Q1 Q2 Gap
1 27 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 1:18.900 1:18.387
2 1 France Alain Prost Ferrari 1:20.026 1:18.824 +0.437
3 2 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Ferrari 1:21.005 1:19.106 +0.719
4 4 France Jean Alesi Tyrrell-Ford 1:19.923 1:19.604 +1.217
5 28 Austria Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda 1:19.643 1:19.618 +1.231
6 6 Italy Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault 1:20.562 1:19.647 +1.260
7 5 Belgium Thierry Boutsen Williams-Renault 1:20.721 1:19.689 +1.302
8 20 Brazil Nelson Piquet Benetton-Ford 1:21.111 1:19.700 +1.313
9 19 Italy Alessandro Nannini Benetton-Ford 1:21.383 1:20.367 +1.980
10 11 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Lotus-Lamborghini 1:22.111 1:20.610 +2.223
11 23 Italy Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ford 1:22.255 1:21.060 +2.673
12 15 Brazil Maurício Gugelmin Leyton House-Judd 1:23.019 1:21.167 +2.780
13 26 France Philippe Alliot Ligier-Ford 1:23.783 1:21.170 +2.783
14 3 Japan Satoru Nakajima Tyrrell-Ford 1:22.690 1:21.215 +2.828
15 30 Japan Aguri Suzuki Lola-Lamborghini 1:21.740 1:21.244 +2.857
16 21 Italy Emanuele Pirro Dallara-Ford 1:23.485 1:21.277 +2.890
17 22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Dallara-Ford 1:22.953 1:21.467 +3.080
18 29 France Éric Bernard Lola-Lamborghini 1:22.403 1:21.551 +3.164
19 16 Italy Ivan Capelli Leyton House-Judd 1:23.866 1:21.916 +3.529
20 25 Italy Nicola Larini Ligier-Ford 1:23.290 1:21.996 +3.609
21 14 France Olivier Grouillard Osella-Ford 1:24.784 1:22.288 +3.901
22 17 Italy Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Ford 1:23.260 1:22.466 +4.079
23 12 United Kingdom Martin Donnelly Lotus-Lamborghini 1:22.659 no time +4.272
24 18 France Yannick Dalmas AGS-Ford 1:23.249 1:22.716 +4.329
25 8 Italy Stefano Modena Brabham-Judd 1:23.641 1:23.133 +4.746
26 9 Italy Michele Alboreto Arrows-Ford 1:24.043 1:23.161 +4.774
27 7 Australia David Brabham Brabham-Judd 1:25.899 1:23.163 +4.776
28 24 Italy Paolo Barilla Minardi-Ford 1:25.093 1:23.274 +4.887
29 10 Germany Bernd Schneider Arrows-Ford 1:24.675 1:23.924 +5.537
30 31 Belgium Bertrand Gachot Coloni-Ford 1:26.593 1:25.114 +6.727


Race report

On the start Patrese collided with Jean Alesi, and sending the Frenchman into a heavy spin at turn 1 into the gravel trap and then retired as a result. As it was Senna who lead the early stages before lap 27 as Nelson Piquet then took the lead for two laps as a result of not pitting before Prost then took the lead on lap 29, Piquet who pitted after 40 laps would eventually retire with battery problems after 48 laps, Ayrton Senna would also retire with the result of a punctured radiator on lap 54 forcing the Brazilian into retirement, as did Gerhard Berger after colliding with Thierry Boutsen on Lap 57. From there the Ferrari drivers eventually dominated the race with reigning world champion Alain Prost leading his teammate Nigel Mansell home by 22 seconds for a 1-2 finish. British Team Lotus driver Martin Donnelly had a horrific crash during Friday practice at the very fast Turn 14; the seat of his Lotus 102 broke free and was flung clear of the wreck. Donnelly received serious injuries that took months of recovery, bringing an end to his Formula One career, although he later returned to racing. Team Lotus decided not to retire from the race, and Derek Warwick was close to the point-scoring positions when he became the race's final retirement on lap 63 with a broken gearbox in the other Lotus 102. Donnelly attributed his survival to safety improvements made after Riccardo Paletti's fatal accident at the 1982 Canadian Grand Prix.

The race also turned out to be the last race of Alessandro Nannini's Formula One career. Nannini claimed the final podium position of the race in his Benetton B190, the ninth podium of his career, finishing ahead of the Williams pair of Thierry Boutsen and Riccardo Patrese. One week after the race, his right arm was severed in a helicopter accident. Nannini recovered and returned to racing as a touring car driver.

At the start of the race, Gerhard Berger, desperate to move up from his fifth place on the grid, gave Jean Alesi no room, resulting in Alesi moving to the outside, where he was hit and put out of the race by Riccardo Patrese.

The Larrousse-Lola of Aguri Suzuki claimed the final championship point of the race, continuing an encouraging season for the French team. It was an encouraging race for another French team, Yannick Dalmas and Gabriele Tarquini both qualified in AGS JH25s in a first for the team, but AGS never again got two cars onto a Formula One grid. Dalmas finished in ninth position, the highlight of the season for the small French team. The ninth-placed finish saved the team from pre-qualifying for the first half of 1991 as it moved them up to a crucial 13th place in the Constructors Championship. As a consequence, Scuderia Italia dropped into pre-qualifying, as they failed to finish higher than 10th all season.

McLaren driver Ayrton Senna's lap 53 retirement with a failed radiator reduced his lead in the world championship over Prost to nine points with just the Japanese and Australian Grands Prix remaining in the season.

Race classification

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1 France Alain Prost Ferrari 73 1:48:01.461 2 9
2 2 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Ferrari 73 + 22.064 3 6
3 19 Italy Alessandro Nannini Benetton-Ford 73 + 34.874 9 4
4 5 Belgium Thierry Boutsen Williams-Renault 73 + 43.296 7 3
5 6 Italy Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault 73 + 57.530 6 2
6 30 Japan Aguri Suzuki Lola-Lamborghini 73 + 1:03.728 15 1
7 25 Italy Nicola Larini Ligier-Ford 72 + 1 lap 20
8 15 Brazil Maurício Gugelmin Leyton House-Judd 72 + 1 lap 12
9 18 France Yannick Dalmas AGS-Ford 72 + 1 lap 23
10 9 Italy Michele Alboreto Arrows-Ford 71 + 2 laps 25
Ret 11 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Lotus-Lamborghini 63 Gearbox 10
Ret 16 Italy Ivan Capelli Leyton House-Judd 59 Physical 19
Ret 28 Austria Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda 56 Collision 5
Ret 27 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 53 Radiator 1
Ret 20 Brazil Nelson Piquet Benetton-Ford 47 Battery 8
Ret 22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Dallara-Ford 47 Engine 17
Ret 14 France Olivier Grouillard Osella-Ford 45 Wheel bearing 21
Ret 23 Italy Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ford 41 Spun off 11
Ret 26 France Philippe Alliot Ligier-Ford 22 Spun off 13
Ret 29 France Éric Bernard Lola-Lamborghini 20 Gearbox 18
Ret 3 Japan Satoru Nakajima Tyrrell-Ford 13 Spun off 14
Ret 17 Italy Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Ford 5 Engine 22
Ret 8 Italy Stefano Modena Brabham-Judd 5 Collision 24
Ret 4 France Jean Alesi Tyrrell-Ford 0 Spun off 4
Ret 21 Italy Emanuele Pirro Dallara-Ford 0 Throttle 16
DNS 12 United Kingdom Martin Donnelly Lotus-Lamborghini Driver injured
DNQ 7 Australia David Brabham Brabham-Judd
DNQ 24 Italy Paolo Barilla Minardi-Ford
DNQ 10 Germany Bernd Schneider Arrows-Ford
DNQ 31 Belgium Bertrand Gachot Coloni-Ford
DNPQ 33 Brazil Roberto Moreno EuroBrun-Judd
DNPQ 34 Italy Claudio Langes EuroBrun-Judd
DNPQ 39 Italy Bruno Giacomelli Life-Judd

Championship standings after the race

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


  1. ^ a b Walker, Murray (1990). Murray Walker's Grand Prix Year. Hazleton Publishing. p. 119–126. ISBN 0 905138 82 1.
  2. ^ "Motoring News". 3 October 1990.
  3. ^ "1990 Spanish Grand Prix". Archived from the original on 21 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Spain 1990 - Championship • STATS F1". Retrieved 20 March 2019.

Previous race:
1990 Portuguese Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1990 season
Next race:
1990 Japanese Grand Prix
Previous race:
1989 Spanish Grand Prix
Spanish Grand Prix Next race:
1991 Spanish Grand Prix
This page was last edited on 13 October 2020, at 21:15
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