1991 Spanish Grand Prix
There was a lot of action in the backrooms in the week separating the Portuguese and Spanish Grands Prix with the big news being that Max Mosley was elected president of the FISA, replacing Jean-Marie Balestre. There were also changes in the driver line-ups as Michael Bartels returned to Lotus replacing Johnny Herbert who had obligations in the Japanese Formula 3000. Jordan had replaced Roberto Moreno with young Italian rookie Alessandro Zanardi, and Fondmetal had sacked Olivier Grouillard and replaced him with Gabriele Tarquini of AGS, Grouillard promptly taking Tarquini's old seat. The cash-strapped Coloni team was in dire straits with their driver Pedro Chaves having decided to jump off the ship before it sunk and, as no-one else wanted to attempt to pre-qualify the car (something that Chaves had been unable to do all season), the team were forced to stay in the garage. Championship challenger Nigel Mansell was limping all weekend, the Williams driver having injured his ankle in a football match. Qualifying saw Gerhard Berger do a favor to teammate Ayrton Senna by taking pole position from Mansell, Senna, Riccardo Patrese, Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost, Jean Alesi, Ivan Capelli, Emanuele Pirro and Nelson Piquet.
On race morning it was raining, but by start time it had stopped, although the track was still wet. At the start Senna got away well and challenged Berger, while Mansell was right on his tail. Toward the end of lap 1 Schumacher surprised Mansell to take third place. At the back Éric Bernard and Érik Comas collided, both men being out on the spot. The track was incredibly slippery and there was a lot of action at the front with Senna, Schumacher, Mansell, and Alesi all fighting over third place, while Berger started to scamper away in the lead. Mansell tried to chase the leader and forced his way past Schumacher before setting off after Senna. Eventually he pounced on the main straight, the two great rivals going wheel to wheel,just millimeters apart, with Mansell taking the position and setting off after Berger. Prost was the first front-runner to stop for dry tyres, followed shortly by leader Berger, who had a very bad stop. Mansell and Senna both stopped on the same lap and it was the McLaren team who won the confrontation, getting Senna out ahead and into the lead from Berger, Mansell, and Schumacher.
On the following lap Senna let Berger through as Mansell was closing in. The rain returned and Senna had a dramatic spin at the last corner, dropping from second to fifth while Schumacher passed Prost for third. Mansell closed on Berger, and on lap 20 he made his way up the inside to take the lead and proceeded to pull away, while Berger came under pressure from the charging Schumacher. A close battle ended when Schumacher spun while trying to pass, he would stay in the race, but down in sixth place, which would become fifth when Berger retired with yet another electronic failure. The action continued for the major placings as Patrese passed Senna for third then Alesi blew past Senna for fourth after Schumacher pitted. Mansell duly took victory from Prost, Patrese, Alesi, Senna, and Schumacher, while the Minardi drivers ended the race red faced due to a last lap collision between Gianni Morbidelli and Pierluigi Martini. Mansell's win with Senna fifth meant that the title race was back on, but Senna still led by sixteen points as the teams headed on to Japan.
Following the race, AGS withdrew from Formula One.
|1||7||23x15px Martin Brundle||Brabham-Yamaha||1:21.504||—|
|2||8||23x15px Mark Blundell||Brabham-Yamaha||1:21.727||+0.223|
|3||9||23x15px Michele Alboreto||Footwork-Ford||1:23.744||+2.240|
|4||14||23x15px Gabriele Tarquini||Fondmetal-Ford||1:23.994||+2.490|
|5||10||23x15px Alex Caffi||Footwork-Ford||1:24.056||+2.552|
|6||18||23x15px Fabrizio Barbazza||AGS-Ford||1:24.744||+3.240|
|7||17||23x15px Olivier Grouillard||AGS-Ford||1:25.305||+3.801|
|1||2||23x15px Gerhard Berger||McLaren-Honda||1:18.751||1:21.208||—|
|2||5||23x15px Nigel Mansell||Williams-Renault||1:18.970||1:19.971||+0.219|
|3||1||23x15px Ayrton Senna||McLaren-Honda||1:19.474||1:19.064||+0.313|
|4||6||23x15px Riccardo Patrese||Williams-Renault||1:19.643||1:20.392||+0.892|
|5||19||23x15px Michael Schumacher||Benetton-Ford||1:19.733||1:20.779||+0.982|
|6||27||23x15px Alain Prost||Ferrari||1:20.245||1:19.936||+1.185|
|7||28||23x15px Jean Alesi||Ferrari||1:20.197||1:20.690||+1.446|
|8||16||23x15px Ivan Capelli||Leyton House-Ilmor||1:21.682||1:20.584||+1.833|
|9||21||23x15px Emanuele Pirro||Dallara-Judd||1:21.250||1:20.651||+1.900|
|10||20||23x15px Nelson Piquet||Benetton-Ford||1:20.853||1:20.676||+1.925|
|11||7||23x15px Martin Brundle||Brabham-Yamaha||1:21.415||1:20.677||+1.926|
|12||8||23x15px Mark Blundell||Brabham-Yamaha||1:21.021||1:20.724||+1.973|
|13||15||23x15px Maurício Gugelmin||Leyton House-Ilmor||1:21.319||1:20.743||+1.992|
|14||4||23x15px Stefano Modena||Tyrrell-Honda||1:20.788||1:21.576||+2.037|
|15||22||23x15px JJ Lehto||Dallara-Judd||1:22.249||1:20.967||+2.216|
|16||24||23x15px Gianni Morbidelli||Minardi-Ferrari||1:21.801||1:22.523||+3.050|
|17||33||23x15px Andrea de Cesaris||Jordan-Ford||1:21.865||1:22.992||+3.114|
|18||3||Template:Country data Japan Satoru Nakajima||Tyrrell-Honda||1:22.480||1:22.114||+3.363|
|19||23||23x15px Pierluigi Martini||Minardi-Ferrari||1:22.575||1:22.510||+3.759|
|20||32||23x15px Alessandro Zanardi||Jordan-Ford||1:22.580||1:23.448||+3.829|
|21||11||23x15px Mika Häkkinen||Lotus-Judd||1:22.646||1:23.407||+3.895|
|22||14||23x15px Gabriele Tarquini||Fondmetal-Ford||1:22.837||1:26.214||+4.086|
|23||29||23x15px Éric Bernard||Lola-Ford||1:22.944||1:23.883||+4.193|
|24||9||23x15px Michele Alboreto||Footwork-Ford||1:23.145||1:23.868||+4.394|
|25||26||23x15px Érik Comas||Ligier-Lamborghini||1:23.359||1:23.755||+4.608|
|26||25||23x15px Thierry Boutsen||Ligier-Lamborghini||1:23.553||1:23.623||+4.802|
|27||30||Template:Country data Japan Aguri Suzuki||Lola-Ford||1:24.211||1:26.346||+5.460|
|28||34||23x15px Nicola Larini||Lambo-Lamborghini||1:25.330||1:26.109||+6.579|
|29||12||23x15px Michael Bartels||Lotus-Judd||1:25.640||1:25.392||+6.641|
|30||35||23x15px Eric van de Poele||Lambo-Lamborghini||1:27.501||1:27.566||+8.750|
- Lap leaders: Gerhard Berger 17 (1-8, 12-20), Nigel Mansell 46 (9, 21-65), Riccardo Patrese 1 (10), Ayrton Senna 1 (11)
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. 222–223. ISBN 0-905138-87-2.
- "The Official Formula 1 website". Retrieved 2007-08-08.
1991 Portuguese Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1991 Japanese Grand Prix
1990 Spanish Grand Prix
|Spanish Grand Prix||Next race:|
1992 Spanish Grand Prix