The 1987 Australian Grand Prix, otherwise known officially as the LII Foster's Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix, was the sixteenth and final round of the 1987 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Adelaide Street Circuit in South Australia on the 15 November 1987. The race would see Gerhard Berger sweep to victory and his only career Grand Chelem, fending off a race long challenge from Ayrton Senna before the Brazilian was disqualified.
With no titles to be fought for in Australia there was a sense of "end of term" around the paddock, although there would be one noticeable absentee. Indeed, Nigel Mansell would miss the season finale due to the injuries he sustained in Japan, forcing Williams-Honda to do a deal with Brabham-BMW to use Riccardo Patrese one race early.
Regardless, it was Berger who emerged on pole position after qualifying, beating out-going Champion Alain Prost. New World Champion Nelson Piquet, meanwhile, would start the race from third ahead of Senna, while Thierry Boutsen and Michele Alboreto shared the third row ahead of Patrese.
It was Piquet who made the best start off the grid, slipping between Berger and Prost to claim the lead into the first chicane. Berger duly shot off after the Brazilian ahead of Prost, while Alessandro Nannini was sent skating into the barriers at the back of the field.
Berger would send his Ferrari skating back past Piquet's Williams before the end of the opening lap, before sprinting clear early on. Piquet, meanwhile, was left to fight with Prost, Alboreto and Senna, with their four way fight lasting until the stops.
Piquet was the first to stop from the quartet, although his advantage on fresh tyres was ruined by a brake issue a few laps later. That left Prost, Alboreto and Senna in a truel, although that soon became a duel between the latter two when Prost also disappeared with a brake problem.
Senna emerged ahead in the closing stages, and duly made a second stop for fresh tyres in a bid to catch Berger out front. Yet, Berger would collect fastest lap en-route to a surprisingly dominant victory and Grand Chelem without the Brazilian seriously challenging, while Alboreto finished third.
After the race, however, it was found that Senna's brake ducts were outside of the regulations, resulting in the Brazilian getting disqualified. Alboreto was hence classified in second ahead of Boutsen, ahead of Jim Clark Trophy competitors Jonathan Palmer, Yannick Dalmas and Roberto Moreno.
Senna's disqualification meant that Mansell officially ended the year in second in the Championship, behind teammate Piquet. Williams-Honda, meanwhile, ended the season 61 points clear in the Constructors' Championship, with McLaren-TAG Porsche in second ahead of Lotus-Honda.
With Nigel Mansell out injured Nelson Piquet had effectively won his third World Championship crown before the race in Japan, although it was only after the chequered flag fell that his title had been officially confirmed. Mansell was hence left to fight for second, although with the injuries sustained in his practice accident the Brit would not compete in Australia. That hence allowed Ayrton Senna to potentially nip into the runner-up spot at the season finale, although he would have to finish second or higher to do so.
Williams-Honda had had a rare non-score in Japan, although that was of little concern given that they had already won the Constructors' Championship. McLaren-TAG Porsche, meanwhile, had almost secured second, but would need to score at least two points in Australia to prevent Lotus-Honda sneaking ahead. Elsewhere, Ferrari had effectively claimed fourth ahead of Benetton-Ford Cosworth, while Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth and Lola-Ford Cosworth were both in the top ten ahead of the finale.
A sixth class victory in the Jim Clark Trophy last time out in Japan had been enough to see Jonathan Palmer become the inaugural Champion with a race to spare, moving twelve clear of second placed Philippe Streiff. Indeed, the Frenchman was left in second ahead of the trip to Australia, with Philippe Alliot a very distant third. Likewise, Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth had once again extended their huge lead in the Colin Chapman Trophy, arriving in Adelaide with 160 points to their name.
The full entry list for the 1987 Australian Grand Prix is outlined below:
- Entries with a white background denote eligibility for the Jim Clark Trophy and Colin Chapman Trophy.
The full qualifying results for the 1987 Australian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|2||1||Alain Prost||McLaren-TAG Porsche||1:18.200||1:17.967||+0.700s|
|5||20||Thierry Boutsen||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:18.943||1:18.523||+1.256s|
|8||2||Stefan Johansson||McLaren-TAG Porsche||1:19.761||1:18.826||+1.559s|
|9||19||Teo Fabi||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:19.461||1:20.301||+2.194s|
|10||8||Andrea de Cesaris||Brabham-BMW||1:19.768||1:19.590||+2.323s|
|13||24||Alessandro Nannini||Minardi-Motori Moderni||1:20.701||1:21.523||+3.434s|
|17||30||Philippe Alliot||Lola-Ford Cosworth||1:21.888||1:22.846||+4.621s|
|18||4||Philippe Streiff||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:21.971||1:22.434||+4.704s|
|19||3||Jonathan Palmer||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:22.315||1:22.087||+4.820s|
|21||29||Yannick Dalmas||Lola-Ford Cosworth||1:25.021||1:22.650||+5.383s|
|23||16||Ivan Capelli||March-Ford Cosworth||1:22.698||1:22.704||+5.437s|
|25||14||Roberto Moreno||AGS-Ford Cosworth||1:23.659||1:24.149||+6.392s|
|26||23||Adrián Campos||Minardi-Motori Moderni||1:25.760||1:24.121||+6.859s|
|DNQ||21||Alex Caffi||Osella-Alfa Romeo||1:25.872||1:27.331||+8.585s|
- A white background indicates an entrant in the Jim Clark Trophy.
- 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.
- * Suzuki's entry was withdrawn after Trussardi's registration as an entrant was rejected.
|______________||Andrea de Cesaris|
The full results for the 1987 Australian Grand Prix are outlined below:
- A white background indicates an entrant in the Jim Clark Trophy with numbers in brackets indicating their finishing position in that class.
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Dalmas was not awarded points as Lola-Ford Cosworth had only registered one car as a Championship entry.
- † de Cesaris and Patrese were still classified despite retiring as they had completed 90% of the race distance.
- Senna was disqualified for using oversized brake ducts.
- TAG Porsche started their 68th and final Grand Prix as an engine supplier.
- 250th entry for a car using #27 as its race number.
- Ivan Capelli entered his 20th Grand Prix.
- Third career victory for Gerhard Berger.
- It was also Berger's first (and only) Grand Chelem.
- 93rd victory for Ferrari as a constructor and engine supplier.
With that the 1987 World Championship tour was over, with Nelson Piquet officially claiming his third World title by twelve points. Nigel Mansell was classified in second come the end of the season, four ahead of Ayrton Senna, while Alain Prost was a distant fourth. The end-of-season victory for Gerhard Berger, meanwhile, had put the Austrian into the top five, ahead of Stefan Johansson.
Williams-Honda officially ended the 1987 Constructors' Championship with 137 points to their name, leaving them 61 points clear at the head of the field. McLaren-TAG Porsche ended their relationship in second, twelve ahead of Lotus-Honda, while Ferrari ended the season in fourth, 84 points off the Champions. Benetton-Ford Cosworth ended sophomore year in fifth, while the non-turbo charged Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth squad claimed sixth ahead of Arrows-Megatron and Brabham-BMW.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Jim Clark/Colin Chapman TrophyEdit
Jonathan Palmer and Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth rounded out the first, and ultimately only campaign for the Jim Clark and Colin Chapman Trophies with victory, adding to their Championship winning tallies. Indeed, Palmer ended the season on 95 points, 21 ahead of teammate Philippe Streiff in second. Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth, meanwhile, ended the season with 169 CCT points to their name, almost four times the number of second placed Lola-Ford Cosworth.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 '16. Australia 1987', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1987/australie.aspx, (Accessed 07/04/2019)
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 'Australian GP, 1987', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2015), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr452.html, (Accessed 26/03/2019)
- ↑ 'Australia 1987: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1987/australie.aspx, (Accessed 07/04/2019)
- ↑ 'Foster's Australian Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1987/races/526/australia/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 07/04/2019)
- ↑ 'Foster's Australian Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 2', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1987/races/526/australia/qualifying-2.html, (Accessed 07/04/2019)
- ↑ 'Australia 1987: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1987/australie/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 07/04/2019)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 'Australia 1987: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1987/australie/classement.aspx, (Accessed 07/04/2019)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 '1987 Australian GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2015), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1987&gp=Australian%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 07/04/2019)
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