1991 Portuguese Grand Prix
The only change to the driver line-up was that Johnny Herbert was back at Lotus and managed to qualify, something that Michael Bartels had failed to do in his three outings for the team. The sunny Estoril was a popular venue among the drivers and qualifying saw a bit of a role reversal with the top teams' second drivers beating the championship contenders with Riccardo Patrese on pole alongside Gerhard Berger, with Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell third and fourth respectively. The top ten was rounded out by Alain Prost, Jean Alesi, Maurício Gugelmin, Pierluigi Martini, Ivan Capelli, and Michael Schumacher, the Benetton team a little off their usual pace.
On Sunday Morning Prost's Ferrari had a rather dramatic blowup in the warmup, and the Frenchman had to start the race in the spare car. The start was very eventful with Patrese getting away well and with Mansell aggressively chopping across the front of Senna. Unimpressed, he tried to retake Mansell going into the first turn but Nigel held his line and then proceeded to sweep underneath Berger to grab second at the second corner. After lap 1 the order was Patrese, Mansell, Berger, Senna, and Alesi. Mansell seemed content to shadow Patrese until lap 18 when he slipstreamed past his teammate on the main straight and proceeded to pull away. Things were looking well for Williams until Mansell came in for his stop on lap 29 and things went horribly wrong. The right rear tyre men got confused and one mechanic raised his hand when the other had not gotten the wheel perfectly on. Mansell set off down the pitlane but his tyre did not want to comply, the tyre fell off and the frustrated Englishman was left stranded in the middle of the pit lane with three wheels. The team ran out and put a fourth wheel on the car, breaking many rules in the process.
Mansell emerged in 17th place and started a furious charge through the field. He was up to sixth when he was inevitably shown the black flag on lap 51; with this disqualification, his championship hopes hung by a thread. The whole accident left Patrese comfortably in the lead from Berger and Senna, and Senna went second when Berger's engine blew on lap 37, he was followed out of the race by Prost's Ferrari, which also decided it had enough. On lap 40 the order was Patrese, Senna, Alesi, Martini, and Capelli, with the latter three being involved in an exciting battle for third place; Alesi didn't make errors despite being under pressure from the Minardi, and so the order remained unchanged until the late stages when the fifth placed Capelli suffered a front wing problem and ended up in the barriers. Patrese cruised home to his second win of the season and fifth of his career. Senna was second and tightened the screw on his third drivers title. Alesi, Martini, Piquet, and Schumacher rounded out the top six. With three races to go Senna led Mansell by 24 points.
|1||7||23x15px Martin Brundle||Brabham-Yamaha||1:17.739||—|
|2||8||23x15px Mark Blundell||Brabham-Yamaha||1:17.788||+0.049|
|3||17||23x15px Gabriele Tarquini||AGS-Ford||1:18.020||+0.281|
|4||9||23x15px Michele Alboreto||Footwork-Ford||1:18.371||+0.583|
|5||18||23x15px Fabrizio Barbazza||AGS-Ford||1:19.292||+1.553|
|6||14||23x15px Olivier Grouillard||Fondmetal-Ford||1:19.500||+1.761|
|7||10||23x15px Alex Caffi||Footwork-Ford||1:19.521||+1.782|
|8||31||23x15px Pedro Chaves||Coloni-Ford||1:23.858||+6.119|
|1||6||23x15px Riccardo Patrese||Williams-Renault||1:14.041||1:13.001||—|
|2||2||23x15px Gerhard Berger||McLaren-Honda||1:13.221||1:13.430||+0.220|
|3||1||23x15px Ayrton Senna||McLaren-Honda||1:13.752||1:13.444||+0.443|
|4||5||23x15px Nigel Mansell||Williams-Renault||1:13.944||1:13.667||+0.666|
|5||27||23x15px Alain Prost||Ferrari||1:15.018||1:14.352||+1.351|
|6||28||23x15px Jean Alesi||Ferrari||1:15.572||1:14.852||+1.851|
|7||15||23x15px Maurício Gugelmin||Leyton House-Ilmor||1:17.214||1:15.266||+2.265|
|8||23||23x15px Pierluigi Martini||Minardi-Ferrari||1:15.394||1:16.982||+2.393|
|9||16||23x15px Ivan Capelli||Leyton House-Ilmor||1:15.481||1:15.827||+2.480|
|10||19||23x15px Michael Schumacher||Benetton-Ford||1:16.477||1:15.578||+2.577|
|11||20||23x15px Nelson Piquet||Benetton-Ford||1:16.241||1:15.666||+2.665|
|12||4||23x15px Stefano Modena||Tyrrell-Honda||1:16.018||1:15.707||+2.706|
|13||24||23x15px Gianni Morbidelli||Minardi-Ferrari||1:16.540||1:15.749||+2.748|
|14||33||23x15px Andrea de Cesaris||Jordan-Ford||1:15.972||1:15.936||+2.935|
|15||8||23x15px Mark Blundell||Brabham-Yamaha||1:16.567||1:16.038||+3.037|
|16||32||23x15px Roberto Moreno||Jordan-Ford||1:16.956||1:16.080||+3.079|
|17||21||23x15px Emanuele Pirro||Dallara-Judd||1:16.725||1:16.135||+3.134|
|18||22||23x15px JJ Lehto||Dallara-Judd||1:16.724||1:16.532||+3.531|
|19||7||23x15px Martin Brundle||Brabham-Yamaha||1:17.298||1:16.536||+3.535|
|20||25||23x15px Thierry Boutsen||Ligier-Lamborghini||1:18.005||1:16.757||+3.756|
|21||3||Template:Country data Japan Satoru Nakajima||Tyrrell-Honda||1:16.926||1:17.035||+3.925|
|22||12||23x15px Johnny Herbert||Lotus-Judd||1:17.713||1:17.015||+4.014|
|23||26||23x15px Érik Comas||Ligier-Lamborghini||1:18.192||1:17.226||+4.225|
|24||9||23x15px Michele Alboreto||Footwork-Ford||1:18.389||1:17.330||+4.329|
|25||30||Template:Country data Japan Aguri Suzuki||Lola-Ford||1:17.434||1:17.537||+4.433|
|26||11||23x15px Mika Häkkinen||Lotus-Judd||1:18.947||1:17.714||+4.713|
|27||29||23x15px Éric Bernard||Lola-Ford||1:18.186||1:17.825||+4.824|
|28||17||23x15px Gabriele Tarquini||AGS-Ford||1:18.295||1:18.022||+5.021|
|29||34||23x15px Nicola Larini||Lambo-Lamborghini||1:21.612||1:18.139||+5.138|
|30||35||23x15px Eric van de Poele||Lambo-Lamborghini||1:20.411||1:18.266||+5.265|
- Nigel Mansell was disqualified for an illegal pit stop. He pitted from the lead but one of the mechanics on the right rear wheel signalled his job was done whilst his fellow mechanic was still fixing the wheel which fell off the car less than 10 yards later; Mansell's car was fixed up with the 4th wheel in the middle of the pit lane and lifted manually by mechanics, but this was against the rules and caused the disqualification. Mansell had rejoined 17th but was back in 6th when he was black flagged. Despite this, his fastest lap was kept.
- Last race: Pedro Chaves
- This was the last race for Olivier Grouillard with Fondmetal in 1991. He was sacked by that team following Monday after this race.
Standings after Grand Prix
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
- Henry, Alan (1991). AUTOCOURSE 1991-92. Hazleton Publishing. pp. 214–215. ISBN 0-905138-87-2.
- "The Official Formula 1 website". Retrieved 2007-08-08.
1991 Italian Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1991 Spanish Grand Prix
1990 Portuguese Grand Prix
|Portuguese Grand Prix||Next race:|
1992 Portuguese Grand Prix