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1991 German Grand Prix

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1991 German Grand Prix
Race 9 of 16 in the 1991 Formula One World Championship
Circuit Hockenheimring-1982.svg
Race details
Date 28 July 1991
Official name Grosser Mobil 1 Preis von Deutschland
Location Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 6.802 km (4.226 mi)
Distance 45 laps, 306.090 km (190.195 mi)
Weather Hot and sunny
Pole position
Driver Williams-Renault
Time 1:37.087
Fastest lap
Driver Italy Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault
Time 1:43.569 on lap 35
First Williams-Renault
Second Williams-Renault
Third Ferrari

The 1991 German Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at the Hockenheimring on 28 July 1991. It was the ninth round of the 1991 Formula One season. The 45-lap race was won by Williams driver Nigel Mansell after he started from pole position. His teammate Riccardo Patrese finished second with Ferrari driver Jean Alesi third. This was the first German Grand Prix to be held after the German reunification.[citation needed]


Ayrton Senna spent a night in a hospital in Mannheim after crashing during pre-race testing a week earlier. Senna suffered a tyre failure at the end of a long straight, causing the car to launch into the air and turn over several times. The McLaren-Honda went 15 feet into the air and was destroyed in the crash, according to witnesses. After regaining consciousness, Senna was taken to hospital with neck and chest bruising.[1][2][3][4]

There were two changes to the entry list, the first was at Lotus where Johnny Herbert was replaced by young German Michael Bartels because of the former's Japanese Formula 3000 commitments, and the second was at Footwork where Alex Caffi was back in action after his road accident. Elsewhere Satoru Nakajima announced he would retire at the end of the year.


Pre-qualifying report

The participants in the Friday morning pre-qualifying sessions were reshuffled prior to this event, the season having reached its mid-point. Scuderia Italia (Dallara) and Jordan had scored points, and were thus relieved of the requirement to pre-qualify, and could automatically join the rest of the field in the main qualifying sessions from here on. By virtue of Nicola Larini's seventh place finish at the first round in Phoenix, the Modena team were also lifted out of pre-qualifying, despite struggling in the sessions at recent Grands Prix.[5]

Taking their places during the Friday morning sessions were Brabham, AGS, and Footwork, who had all failed to score points so far in 1991, or match Modena Lambo's seventh place finish at any race. Fondmetal and Coloni were also still required to pre-qualify.

Here at Hockenheim, the fastest pre-qualifier was Martin Brundle in the Brabham BT60Y. He was over a second faster than the AGS JH25B of Gabriele Tarquini, with Michele Alboreto just a tenth behind in the Footwork FA12C, despite gearbox problems. The fourth pre-qualifier was the other Brabham of Mark Blundell.[5]

The four entrants missing out included Fondmetal driver Olivier Grouillard, who suffered an engine failure and finished fifth fastest, ahead of the second Footwork of Alex Caffi, who had returned to the cockpit after missing four races. The second AGS of Italian Fabrizio Barbazza was seventh, nearly a second ahead of regular backmarker Pedro Chaves for the cash-strapped Coloni team.[5]

Pre-qualifying classification

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 7 United Kingdom Martin Brundle Brabham-Yamaha 1:42.810
2 17 Italy Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Ford 1:43.939 +1.129
3 9 Italy Michele Alboreto Footwork-Ford 1:44.034 +1.224
4 8 United Kingdom Mark Blundell Brabham-Yamaha 1:44.257 +1.447
5 14 France Olivier Grouillard Fondmetal-Ford 1:44.645 +1.835
6 10 Italy Alex Caffi Footwork-Ford 1:45.282 +2.472
7 18 Italy Fabrizio Barbazza AGS-Ford 1:46.604 +3.794
8 31 Portugal Pedro Chaves Coloni-Ford 1:47.546 +4.736

Qualifying report

In Saturday practice Érik Comas had a massive accident in his Ligier. The French driver was unhurt, but it raised questions about the safety of the second chicane. In Qualifying, Nigel Mansell took pole from title rival Ayrton Senna. Gerhard Berger was third, followed by Riccardo Patrese, Alain Prost, Jean Alesi, Andrea de Cesaris, Nelson Piquet, Roberto Moreno, and Pierluigi Martini in the Minardi, taking full advantage of his Ferrari engine around the high speed circuit.

Qualifying classification

Pos No Driver Constructor Q1 Q2 Gap
1 5 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Williams-Renault 1:37.467 1:37.087
2 1 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 1:38.208 1:37.274 +0.187
3 2 Austria Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda 1:37.946 1:37.393 +0.306
4 6 Italy Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault 1:38.146 1:37.435 +0.348
5 27 France Alain Prost Ferrari 1:39.422 1:39.034 +1.947
6 28 France Jean Alesi Ferrari 1:39.391 1:39.042 +1.955
7 33 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Jordan-Ford 1:40.387 1:40.239 +3.152
8 20 Brazil Nelson Piquet Benetton-Ford 1:40.560 1:40.878 +3.473
9 19 Brazil Roberto Moreno Benetton-Ford 1:41.968 1:40.957 +3.870
10 23 Italy Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ferrari 1:40.998 1:41.373 +3.911
11 32 Belgium Bertrand Gachot Jordan-Ford 1:41.443 1:41.308 +4.221
12 16 Italy Ivan Capelli Leyton House-Ilmor 1:42.025 1:41.330 +4.243
13 3 Japan Satoru Nakajima Tyrrell-Honda 1:41.515 1:41.390 +4.303
14 4 Italy Stefano Modena Tyrrell-Honda 1:41.566 1:41.952 +4.479
15 7 United Kingdom Martin Brundle Brabham-Yamaha 1:42.294 1:41.615 +4.528
16 15 Brazil Maurício Gugelmin Leyton House-Ilmor no time 1:41.735 +4.648
17 25 Belgium Thierry Boutsen Ligier-Lamborghini 1:41.823 1:41.929 +4.736
18 21 Italy Emanuele Pirro Dallara-Judd 1:42.021 1:42.672 +4.934
19 24 Italy Gianni Morbidelli Minardi-Ferrari 1:42.132 1:42.058 +4.971
20 22 Finland JJ Lehto Dallara-Judd 1:42.171 1:42.708 +5.084
21 8 United Kingdom Mark Blundell Brabham-Yamaha 1:43.414 1:42.216 +5.129
22 30 Japan Aguri Suzuki Lola-Ford 1:45.037 1:42.474 +5.387
23 11 Finland Mika Häkkinen Lotus-Judd 1:44.816 1:42.726 +5.639
24 34 Italy Nicola Larini Lambo-Lamborghini 1:44.596 1:43.035 +5.948
25 29 France Éric Bernard Lola-Ford 1:43.797 1:43.321 +6.234
26 26 France Érik Comas Ligier-Lamborghini 1:43.803 1:43.364 +6.277
27 9 Italy Michele Alboreto Footwork-Ford 1:44.362 1:43.409 +6.322
28 12 Germany Michael Bartels Lotus-Judd 1:46.409 1:43.624 +6.537
29 17 Italy Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Ford 1:43.787 1:43.918 +6.700
30 35 Belgium Eric van de Poele Lambo-Lamborghini 1:44.489 1:44.207 +7.120


Race report

On Sunday, a couple of hours before the race, there was a FIA driver's meeting and Senna requested to race director Roland Bruynseraede that the tyre walls at the chicanes be replaced with traffic cones because of the possibly of hitting the tyres and rolling; that happened to him during qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix, and this heated up when FIA president Jean-Marie Balestre, Senna and a few other drivers had a brief argument over the regulations involving safety. Balestre then instigated a democratic vote, and the vote went towards removing the tyre walls and replacing them with traffic cones.

At the start of the race, Mansell made a great start while Berger slotted into second ahead of team-mate Senna, with Prost, Patrese, and Alesi rounding out the top six. At the back Mark Blundell spun but continued, although Larini spun off into retirement in his attempt to avoid the Brabham. Berger made a bad pit-stop and fell back to tenth, while Prost started to reel in Senna. Mansell was running away at the front and when he pitted for tyres he dropped just behind Alesi, but did not waste time in changing the situation and passed Alesi two laps later to re-take the lead. While Mansell was surging away, a tremendous battle developed for third place between Senna, Prost, and Patrese, with Riccardo beating both men before setting off after Alesi. Senna and Prost continued to squabble over fourth and the major talking point came on lap 37 when Prost attempted to pass Senna going into the first chicane. Prost was faster and tried to go around the outside, Senna would not give way and Prost went off and proceeded to stall the engine. Prost blamed Senna and said he would not be so forgiving the next time while Senna accused Prost of complaining for the sake of complaining. Prost's comments would earn him a one-race suspended ban, while the FIA ordered a sit-down meeting between the two men at the next race. Meanwhile, Mansell cruised to his third straight win, leading home Patrese, Alesi, Berger, de Cesaris, and Gachot, Senna having run out of fuel on the last lap for the second straight race and being classified seventh, allowing Mansell to close to within eight points of Senna in the drivers championship.

Race classification

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 5 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Williams-Renault 45 1:19:29.661[6] 1 10
2 6 Italy Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault 45 + 13.779 4 6
3 28 France Jean Alesi Ferrari 45 + 17.618 6 4
4 2 Austria Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda 45 + 32.651 3 3
5 33 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Jordan-Ford 45 + 1:17.537 7 2
6 32 Belgium Bertrand Gachot Jordan-Ford 45 + 1:40.605 11 1
7 1 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 44 Out of fuel 2
8 19 Brazil Roberto Moreno Benetton-Ford 44 + 1 lap 9
9 25 Belgium Thierry Boutsen Ligier-Lamborghini 44 + 1 lap 17
10 21 Italy Emanuele Pirro Dallara-Judd 44 + 1 lap 18
11 7 United Kingdom Martin Brundle Brabham-Yamaha 43 + 2 laps 15
12 8 United Kingdom Mark Blundell Brabham-Yamaha 43 + 2 laps 21
13 4 Italy Stefano Modena Tyrrell-Honda 41 + 4 laps 14
Ret 27 France Alain Prost Ferrari 37 Spun off 5
Ret 16 Italy Ivan Capelli Leyton House-Ilmor 36 Engine 12
Ret 22 Finland JJ Lehto Dallara-Judd 35 Engine 20
Ret 20 Brazil Nelson Piquet Benetton-Ford 27 Engine 8
Ret 3 Japan Satoru Nakajima Tyrrell-Honda 26 Gearbox 13
Ret 26 France Érik Comas Ligier-Lamborghini 22 Engine 26
Ret 15 Brazil Maurício Gugelmin Leyton House-Ilmor 21 Gearbox 16
Ret 11 Finland Mika Häkkinen Lotus-Judd 19 Engine 23
Ret 30 Japan Aguri Suzuki Lola-Ford 15 Engine 22
Ret 24 Italy Gianni Morbidelli Minardi-Ferrari 14 Differential 19
Ret 23 Italy Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ferrari 11 Differential 10
Ret 29 France Éric Bernard Lola-Ford 9 Transmission 25
Ret 34 Italy Nicola Larini Lambo-Lamborghini 0 Spun off 24
DNQ 9 Italy Michele Alboreto Footwork-Ford
DNQ 12 Germany Michael Bartels Lotus-Judd
DNQ 17 Italy Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Ford
DNQ 35 Belgium Eric van de Poele Lambo-Lamborghini
DNPQ 14 France Olivier Grouillard Fondmetal-Ford
DNPQ 10 Italy Alex Caffi Footwork-Ford
DNPQ 18 Italy Fabrizio Barbazza AGS-Ford
DNPQ 31 Portugal Pedro Chaves Coloni-Ford

Championship standings after the race

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


  1. ^ "AUTO RACING; Senna Hospitalized". New York Times. 1991-07-20.
  2. ^ "Senna Crashes in Test, Escapes Serious Injury". Los Angeles Times. 1991-07-20.
  3. ^ "Senna to compete at German Grand Prix despite crash". UPI. 1991-07-20.
  4. ^ "Senna injured at Hockenheim". UPI. 1991-07-19.
  5. ^ a b c Walker, Murray (1991). Murray Walker's Grand Prix Year. Hazleton Publishing. p. 77–84. ISBN 0-905138-90-2.
  6. ^ Henry, Alan (1991). AUTOCOURSE 1991-92. Hazleton Publishing. p. 183. ISBN 0-905138-87-2.
  7. ^ "1991 German Grand Prix". Archived from the original on 3 November 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Germany 1991 - Championship • STATS F1". Retrieved 18 March 2019.

Previous race:
1991 British Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1991 season
Next race:
1991 Hungarian Grand Prix
Previous race:
1990 German Grand Prix
German Grand Prix Next race:
1992 German Grand Prix
This page was last edited on 25 October 2020, at 02:18
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