1987 Belgian Grand Prix
The 1987 Belgian Grand Prix was a Formula One race held on May 17, 1987 at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Spa. It was the third race of the 1987 Formula One season. It was the 45th Belgian Grand Prix and the 33rd to be held at Spa. It was the fourth since the circuit was redeveloped in 1979.
The race was won by French McLaren driver Alain Prost driving a McLaren MP4/3. It was Prost's second win in the Belgian Grand Prix and his 27th Grand Prix victory, equalling Jackie Stewart's all-time record. Prost won the race by 25 seconds over his Swedish team mate Stefan Johansson. It was the first 1-2 finish for McLaren since the previous year's Monaco Grand Prix. Third was Andrea de Cesaris driving a Brabham BT56. It would be de Cesaris' 1987 high point and one of only two race finishes for the year. It was also de Cesaris' fourth podium finish, having previously finished second all the way back in the 1983 South African Grand Prix.
The win, Prost's second for 1987, put him firmly in the championship lead, five points ahead of team mate Johansson and eight ahead of Williams driver Nigel Mansell.
Qualifying runs saw the two Williams FW11Bs take the front row, with Nigel Mansell on the pole, nearly 1.5 seconds faster than Nelson Piquet. Ayrton Senna took the third place in his Lotus 99T ahead of the two Ferrari F1/87s of Gerhard Berger and Michele Alboreto.
The race required two starts. On the first start Mansell took the lead ahead of Senna, Piquet and Alboreto. At the back of the grid René Arnoux (Ligier JS29B) and Andrea de Cesaris (Brabham BT56) tangled, whilst Thierry Boutsen (Benetton B187) hit Berger's spinning Ferrari F1/87. A more serious accident befell Philippe Streiff who crashed heavily at the Eau Rouge before the wreckage was hit by Tyrrell teammate Jonathan Palmer; both were unhurt but their Tyrrell DG016s were reduced to scrap. By virtue of qualifying 23rd to his team mate's 24th, and ironically by crashing first, Streiff was given the spare car for the restart forcing Palmer out of the race.
On the second start, Senna led Mansell away, but during lap one the Briton tried to overtake the Brazilian. The two controversially tangled, leading to the retirement of the Lotus 99T. Mansell rejoined the race at the back, until the damage sustained in the collision finally forced him to retire on lap 17. Mansell subsequently visited the Lotus garage where harsh words were exchanged and punches were thrown.
Berger retired on lap three with a broken piston whilst on lap 10 second place Michele Alboreto's wheel bearing broke and Nelson Piquet retired with a broken turbo pipe, handing the lead to Alain Prost from Teo Fabi and Stefan Johansson. The pitstops changed little in the situation, and he maintained this to win easily by 25 seconds, despite concerns with his fuel consumption due to a faulty gauge.
This was Prost's 27th win, equalling Jackie Stewart's record with team-mate Johansson making it a McLaren 1-2. Andrea de Cesaris drove superbly to finish third for Brabham despite having to push his car over the line with Eddie Cheever (Arrows A10), Satoru Nakajima (Lotus 99T) and Arnoux taking the remaining points. With the setbacks to the Tyrrell drivers, the Jim Clark points were won by the Lola LC87 of Philippe Alliot.
Standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for all four sets of standings.
- Unless otherwise indicated, all race results are taken from "The Official Formula 1 website". Retrieved 2007-07-08.
1987 San Marino Grand Prix
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1986 Belgian Grand Prix
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1988 Belgian Grand Prix