The Detroit Grand Prix V, otherwise known as the 1986 Detroit Grand Prix (and unofficially as the 1986 United Stats Grand Prix), was the seventh round of the 1986 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Detroit Street Circuit on the 22 June 1986. The race would see Ayrton Senna claim a memorable victory for Lotus-Renault, recovering from an early puncture to beat Jacques Laffite.
Qualifying would see the aforementioned Brazilian grab pole position, ahead of Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet. René Arnoux was next in the first of the Ligier-Renaults, with Stefan Johansson and Laffite sharing the third row.
It was Senna's lead to lose at the start, with the #12 Lotus duly streaking away to leave Mansell to defend from Arnoux. The rest of the field thundered into the first corner behind them, with no major collisions to thin the field.
Senna was not able to escape however, and duly lost the lead early on the second lap when he missed a gear. Indeed, Senna would spend the rest of the lap trying to keep Arnoux at bay, before re-catching and passing Mansell when the Brit's brakes began to fade.
Yet, before the Brazilian could even establish himself in the lead a stray piece of debris would puncture a tyre, forcing him to pit at the end of lap twelve. That handed the lead to the two Ligier-Renaults, Arnoux ahead of Laffite, whom had overtaken Mansell as Williams-Honda pilot continued to struggle with his brakes.
Laffite duly took the lead a couple of laps later, and would continue to do so until the now familiar stop for tyres mid-race. There, Ligier's lack of funding for pitcrews was made abundantly clear, with Laffite and Arnoux losing so much time in the pits that they became a non-factor.
Furthermore, with Piquet enduring a slow stop and Williams taking time to analyse Mansell's brake issues, Senna was able to filter back into the lead, with no need to stop again. Piquet duly led the chase from Arnoux, although a collision between the two, which also involved Thierry Boutsen would ultimately leave Senna to cruise out front for the rest of the race.
With that the race was run, with Senna claiming victory and the lead in the Championship ahead of Laffite. Former Championship leader Alain Prost claimed third after developing a late misfire, with Michele Alboreto, Mansell, and Riccardo Patrese securing the rest of the points.
Alain Prost had moved back to the top of the Championship hunt after the Canadian Grand Prix, establishing a small two point advantage. Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna were next and level on 27 points, although the Brit was considered to be ahead by virtue of his two wins to the Brazilian's one. Nelson Piquet, meanwhile, had lost ground in fourth after the battle of Montreal, but remained ahead of Keke Rosberg, with no further changes further down the field.
In the Constructors' Championship it was advantage Williams-Honda upon arrival in Detroit, with their double podium in Canada having put them back ahead of McLaren-TAG Porsche. Those two had ended the Canadian weekend some three points apart, before a significant sixteen point gap back to third placed Lotus-Renault. The Ethel based squad themselves seemed to be in a secure position, holding more than double the points of fourth placed Ligier-Renault at the start of Detroit meeting, while Ferrari arrived in fifth.
The full entry list for the 1986 Detroit Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 1986 Detroit Grand Prix are outlined below:
|7||1||Alain Prost||McLaren-TAG Porsche||1:43.368||1:40.715||+2.414s|
|9||2||Keke Rosberg||McLaren-TAG Porsche||1:43.732||1:40.848||+2.547s|
|10||16||Eddie Cheever||Lola-Ford Cosworth||1:46.499||1:41.540||+3.239s|
|21||15||Alan Jones||Lola-Ford Cosworth||1:45.521||1:44.450||+6.149s|
|22||21||Piercarlo Ghinzani||Osella-Alfa Romeo||1:49.067||1:45.059||+6.887s|
|23||23||Andrea de Cesaris||Minardi-Motori Moderni||1:47.359||1:46.705||+8.404s|
|24||24||Alessandro Nannini||Minardi-Motori Moderni||1:47.230||11:12.906||+8.929s|
|25||22||Allen Berg||Osella-Alfa Romeo||1:56.741||1:48.682||+10.381s|
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car to set their best time in that session.
- Bold indicates a driver's best/qualifying time.
|Andrea de Cesaris||24|
- * Rothengatter was unable to start the race after an electrical failure.
The full results for the 1986 Detroit Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Rothengatter was unable to start after an electrical failure.
- Ferrari appeared at their 400th Grand Prix as a constructor.
- Debut race for Allen Berg.
- Fourth career victory for Ayrton Senna.
- Lotus secured their 77th victory as a constructor.
- Jacques Laffite claimed his 32nd and final podium finish.
- Nelson Piquet recorded the 25th fastest lap for a car using Mobil as a lubricant supplier.
Victory in Detroit would propel Ayrton Senna back into the lead of the Championship, with the Brazilian opening out a three point lead over Alain Prost. Furthermore, with Nigel Mansell just four points further back in third, it seemed as if it would be a three way fight for the Championship, with all three drivers holding two wins across the first seven races. Behind, Nelson Piquet was ten points off his third placed teammate, with Keke Rosberg even further back in fifth.
It was a similar picture the Constructors Championship, with Williams-Honda and McLaren-TAG Porsche ending the Detroit weekend just a point apart. It was the Anglo-Japanese combination, rather than the Anglo-German alliance that led, before an eleven point gap back to third placed Lotus-Renault. Indeed, the Ethel based squad were also in the hunt for the crown, provided that second driver Johnny Dumfries became a regular scorer, leaving Ligier-Renault in an increasingly distant fourth.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 '7. USA 1985', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1986/etats-unis.aspx, (Accessed 28/03/2019)
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 'United States GP, 1986', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2015), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr427.html, (Accessed 24/03/2019)
- ↑ 'USA 1986: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1986/etats-unis/engages.aspx, (Accessed 28/03/2019)
- ↑ 'Detroit Grand Prix V - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1986/races/504/detroit/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 28/03/2019)
- ↑ 'Detroit Grand Prix V - QUALIFYING 2', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1986/races/504/detroit/qualifying-2.html, (Accessed 28/03/2019)
- ↑ 'USA 1986: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1986/etats-unis/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 28/03/2019)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 'USA 1986: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1986/etats-unis/classement.aspx, (Accessed 28/03/2019)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 '1986 Detroit GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2015), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1986&gp=Detroit%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 28/03/2019)
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