The 1987 French Grand Prix, otherwise known as the 73e Grand Prix de France, was the sixth race of the 1987 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged on the shortened Circuit Paul Ricard on the 5 July 1987. The race would see Nigel Mansell sweep to victory for Williams-Honda, after a race long battle with teammate Nelson Piquet at the head of the field.
It had been advantage Mansell during qualifying, with the Brit claiming pole position as Piquet claimed fourth. They were split by Alain Prost in the McLaren-TAG Porsche and Championship leader Ayrton Senna, with Thierry Boutsen best of the rest in the first of the Benetton-Ford Cosworths.
Mansell would make a strong start to sprint away from Prost into the first corner, while Piquet got the jump on Senna to claim third. The rest of the field were led by Boutsen and his teammate Teo Fabi, the latter scrapping with Michele Alboreto.
Piquet would power past Prost on the run to Signes on the opening tour, before joining Mansell in a quick sprint away from the rest of the field. That left Prost to lead the rest of the field, while a clumsy accident between Stefan Johansson and Andrea de Cesaris left debris at the first corner.
That debris looked to prove crucial a few laps later, with Mansell running over the debris to damage his car. Piquet, meanwhile, would make a rare mistake sliding wide to gift second back to Prost, and was powerless to re-pass the McLaren as his tyres faded.
Yet, Piquet would have an excellent first stop for tyres, jumping both Prost and Mansell to claim the lead. Mansell would also drop behind Prost, Williams taking time to look for damage after his debris strike, although it was not long before the Brit charged past Prost to claim second.
Mansell duly cruised onto the back of Piquet but, try as he might, he could not find a way past the Brazilian to reclaim the lead. That was, until Piquet suddenly slid wide for the second time in the race, gifting the lead to Mansell shortly before they stopped for their third set of tyres.
This time it was Piquet who had the slow stop, stalling as he tried to leave the pits and hence lost ten second. That would effectively end the fight for victory, with Mansell able to cruise to the chequered flag, while Piquet tried in vain to catch his teammate. Prost, meanwhile, would finish third ahead of Senna, while Fabi secured fifth ahead of Philippe Streiff.
Victory propelled Mansell back into the title hunt, moving to within six points of Championship leader Senna. Prost, meanwhile, would move a point behind the leading Brazilian, while Piquet retained third, three of his compatriot out front.
Victory in Detroit had ensured that Ayrton Senna left the US in the lead of the Championship, albeit with a slim, two point lead. Alain Prost, former leader, had dropped to second as he looked for a third straight crown, while Nelson Piquet had climbed above Stefan Johansson for third. Behind, Nigel Mansell had retained fifth ahead of Gerhard Berger, with no new names added to the scorers' list in Detroit.
In the Constructors' Championship it had been a relatively neutral day in Motor City, although the gaps at the top of the title hunt had come down. Indeed, while McLaren-TAG Porsche had retained their lead, their advantage over Williams-Honda had been reduced to five points, while Lotus-Honda had closed to within seven of the Anglo-German alliance. Behind, Ferrari were an increasingly distant but solid fourth, while Arrows-Megatron moved level with Brabham-BMW in fifth.
Jonathan Palmer had returned to the top of the Jim Clark Trophy in Detroit, opening out a five point gap to Pascal Fabre. The Frenchman himself had overhauled Palmer's teammate Philippe Streiff in Detroit, leaving a point ahead of his compatriot, before a six point gap back to Philippe Alliot. Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth, meanwhile, had continued to dominate the Colin Chapman Trophy, largely due to the fact that they were the only effort fielding two cars.
The full entry list for the 1987 French 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 French Grand Prix are outlined below:
|2||1||Alain Prost||McLaren-TAG Porsche||1:06.877||1:07.843||+0.423s|
|5||20||Thierry Boutsen||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:08.077||1:08.176||+1.623s|
|7||19||Teo Fabi||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:08.293||1:11.815||+1.839s|
|9||2||Stefan Johansson||McLaren-TAG Porsche||1:08.577||1:09.095||+2.123s|
|11||8||Andrea de Cesaris||Brabham-BMW||1:09.499||1:08.949||+2.495s|
|15||24||Alessandro Nannini||Minardi-Motori Moderni||1:10.388||1:09.868||+3.414s|
|20||21||Alex Caffi||Osella-Alfa Romeo||1:12.167||1:12.555||+5.713s|
|21||23||Adrián Campos||Minardi-Motori Moderni||1:13.145||1:12.551||+6.097s|
|22||16||Ivan Capelli||March-Ford Cosworth||1:13.204||1:12.654||+6.200s|
|23||30||Philippe Alliot||Lola-Ford Cosworth||1:13.026||1:14.422||+6.572s|
|24||3||Jonathan Palmer||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:13.443||1:13.474||+6.989s|
|25||4||Philippe Streiff||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:13.533||1:13.525||+7.071s|
|26||14||Pascal Fabre||AGS-Ford Cosworth||1:14.699||1:14.787||+8.245s|
- 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.
|12||Andrea de Cesaris|
The full results for the 1987 French 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.
- * Nakajima was unable to be classified as he failed to complete 90% of the race distance.
- Riccardo Patrese started his 150th Grand Prix.
- Stefan Johansson started his 50th race.
- Tenth entry for Ivan Capelli.
- Ninth victory for Nigel Mansell.
- This was the 50th win for a car using #5 as its race number.
- Williams claimed their 33rd win as a constructor.
- Alain Prost recorded the 140th podium finish for McLaren as a constructor.
Ayrton Senna retained the lead in the Championship hunt, although he ended the French Grand Prix just a point ahead of second placed Alain Prost. Nelson Piquet was next, just two further back, while Nigel Mansell's victory shot him back into contention, six off the leader. Stefan Johansson, meanwhile, appeared to have already fallen out of the fight, although he held onto his top five status ahead of Gerhard Berger.
In the Constructors' Championship it was advantage Williams-Honda after the battle of Le Castellet, leaving France six ahead of former leaders McLaren-TAG Porsche. The Anglo-German squad had done enough to remain in the fight, however, with Lotus-Honda losing ground in third. Ferrari had also lost ground in their lonely fourth place position, while Benetton-Ford Cosworth had joined Arrows-Megatron and Brabham-BMW on four points in fifth.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Jim Clark/Colin Chapman TrophyEdit
Philippe Streiff moved back within three points of teammate Jonathan Palmer at the head of the Jim Clark Trophy chase, and hence moved back ahead of compatriot Pascal Fabre. Philippe Alliot and Ivan Capelli were the only other scorers in the Cup, while Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth continued to dominate the Colin Chapman Trophy after another one-two.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 'French GP, 1987', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr442.html, (Accessed 02/04/2019)
- ↑ 'France 1987: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1987/france/engages.aspx, (Accessed 02/04/2019)
- ↑ 'French Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1987/races/516/france/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 02/04/2019)
- ↑ 'French Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 2', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1987/races/516/france/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 02/04/2019)
- ↑ 'France 1987: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1987/france/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 02/04/2019)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 'France 1987: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1987/france/classement.aspx, (Accessed 02/04/2019)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 '6. France 1987', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1987/france.aspx, (Accessed 02/04/2019)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 '1987 French GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1987&gp=French%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 02/04/2019)
|V T E||French Grand Prix|
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