The 1987 Mexican Grand Prix, otherwise known as the XI Gran Premio de Mexico, was the fourteenth round of the 1987 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez on the 18 October 1987. The race would be won in rather confusing circumstances by Nigel Mansell, after a heavy accident for Derek Warwick mid-race effectively split the race into two heats.
Mansell started the weekend in a position of strength, claiming a twelfth pole position of the season for Williams-Honda. Gerhard Berger was his closest challenger during qualifying, claiming second, while Mansell's Championship leading teammate Nelson Piquet sat in third, with a chance of claiming the title in Mexico.
A poor getaway for Mansell would see the Brit drop to fifth at the start, with Berger streaking into the lead ahead of Thierry Boutsen. Piquet and Alain Prost also got ahead of the #5 Williams-Honda, although those two subsequently removed themselves from the lead pack when they tangled at the first corner.
Boutsen duly moved into the lead early on the second lap, although both himself and Berger would have enough pace to ease ahead of Mansell. That was, until Boutsen's bid for victory was crippled by a misfire, while Berger's race was curtailed by an engine failure.
Mansell was thus left with a fair lead over Ayrton Senna and Riccardo Patrese, while Piquet had recovered from his first corner tangle to claim fourth. However, as the race ticked towards half-distance red flags blossomed around the circuit, with a cloud of dust and debris erupting at the Parabolica.
The source of the cloud was Warwick's Arrows-Megatron, which had suffered a suspension failure mid-corner and duly flung itself into the barriers. Warwick would miraculously escape without major injury, although with bits of his destroyed car left in the middle of the circuit, the race had to be stopped.
It was decided to restart the race from a standing start, meaning the race would effectively become a battle of two heats, with the final order resolved on aggregate times. At the restart it was Piquet who jumped into the lead, with Mansell tucking in right behind to prevent the Brazilian from escaping.
Indeed, the two Williams-Hondas spent the rest of the race virtually nose-to-tail, meaning Mansell ultimately claimed victory despite trailing Piquet at the chequered flag. Senna was set for second but spun out of the race late on, meaning Patrese was promoted onto the podium.
Fourth place for Nelson Piquet in Spain had meant that his lead at the top of the Championship had remained at eighteen points, although the Brazilian had reached his limit of eleven race scores. That meant that he would only be able to improve his tally with three better results than he had achieved previously, effectively reducing the number of points he could score. Behind, his nearest challenger was Nigel Mansell, who could still claim a full 27 points from the three remaining races, with the Brit a point ahead of Ayrton Senna upon arrival in Mexico.
The Constructors' Championship, meanwhile, was all over as Williams-Honda had left Spain with 122 points and the Championship crown. Indeed, their closest challengers McLaren-TAG Porsche were some 50 points behind, and with only 45 available at the remaining races there was no chance of them catching the Anglo-Japanese squad. Instead, McLaren-TAG were set to duel with Lotus-Honda to claim second, although that battle may well have been settled as the former had opened out a fifteen point advantage at the end of the European season.
With three races to go it seemed as if the inaugural Jim Clark Trophy would be fought for through to the end of the season, with Philippe Streiff having moved within seven points of his teammate last time out. Indeed, Jonathan Palmer had retained his lead in the JCT in Spain in-spite of the fact that he had failed to score, with those two set to duel for the crown. Their employers Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth, meanwhile, had once again eased ahead in the Colin Chapman Trophy, with March-Ford Cosworth emerging in second ahead of AGS-Ford Cosworth.
The full entry list for the 1987 Mexican 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 Mexican Grand Prix are outlined below:
|4||20||Thierry Boutsen||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:20.766||1:18.691||+0.308s|
|5||1||Alain Prost||McLaren-TAG Porsche||1:20.572||1:18.742||+0.359s|
|6||19||Teo Fabi||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:22.666||1:18.992||+0.609s|
|10||8||Andrea de Cesaris||Brabham-BMW||1:22.930||1:20.141||+1.758s|
|14||24||Alessandro Nannini||Minardi-Motori Moderni||1:26.055||1:22.035||+3.652s|
|15||2||Stefan Johansson||McLaren-TAG Porsche||1:22.185||1:22.382||+3.802s|
|19||23||Adrián Campos||Minardi-Motori Moderni||1:27.798||1:23.955||+5.572s|
|20||16||Ivan Capelli||March-Ford Cosworth||1:27.161||1:24.404||+6.021s|
|22||3||Jonathan Palmer||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:27.306||1:24.723||+6.340s|
|23||29||Yannick Dalmas||Lola-Ford Cosworth||1:28.156||1:24.745||+6.362s|
|24||30||Philippe Alliot||Lola-Ford Cosworth||1:27.184||1:25.096||+6.713s|
|25||4||Philippe Streiff||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:27.011||1:26.305||+7.922s|
|26||21||Alex Caffi||Osella-Alfa Romeo||1:27.670||1:30.010||+9.287s|
|DNQ||14||Pascal Fabre||AGS-Ford Cosworth||1:30.285||1:28.655||+10.272s|
- 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.
- * Pirro's entry was withdrawn after Trussardi's registration as an entrant was rejected.
|Andrea de Cesaris||______________|
The full results for the 1987 Mexican 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.
- 250th entry for a car using #25 as its race number.
- Eddie Cheever started his 100th Grand Prix.
- 50th start for Gerhard Berger.
- 50th entry for Philippe Alliot.
- Thirteenth career victory for Nigel Mansell.
- Williams claimed their 40th win as a constructor.
- Nelson Piquet claimed his 50th podium finish.
- Williams claimed their 40th fastest lap as a constructor.
Victory for Nigel Mansell meant that the Brit still had a slim hope of taking the title, closing to within twelve points of teammate Nelson Piquet. Yet, while Piquet was now only able to score eight points at the final two rounds, while Mansell could claim eighteen, the Brazilian could still win the title if Mansell failed to finish on the podium in Japan. Behind, Ayrton Senna was out of the fight in third, and was instead in a fight with Alain Prost to finish there.
Williams-Honda had already won the Constructors' Championship in Spain, meaning all of the attention was on the fight for second. Yet, there had been no movement in that fight either, as both McLaren-TAG Porsche and Lotus-Honda had failed to score at all in Mexico. That meant that the Anglo-German alliance could secure the runner-up spot in Japan, as long as Lotus-Honda finished behind them.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Jim Clark/Colin Chapman TrophyEdit
Jonathan Palmer continued to lead the Jim Clark Trophy with two races to go, and could win the title in Japan if he finished ahead of Philippe Streiff. Indeed, the Frenchman was the only man capable of defeating his teammate, and would have to claim at least one point, regardless of Palmer's result, to keep the fight alive. Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth, meanwhile, had long since won the Colin Chapman Trophy, as Lola-Ford Cosworth climbed into second in Mexico.
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 1.7 1.8 '14. Mexico 1987', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1987/mexique.aspx, (Accessed 06/04/2019)
- ↑ 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 'Mexican GP, 1987', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2015), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr450.html, (Accessed 06/04/2019)
- ↑ 'Mexico 1987: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1987/mexique/engages.aspx, (Accessed 06/04/2019)
- ↑ '1987 Mexican Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1987/races/524/mexico/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 06/04/2019)
- ↑ '1987 Mexican Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 2', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1987/races/524/mexico/qualifying-2.html, (Accessed 06/04/2019)
- ↑ 'Mexico 1987: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1987/mexique/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 06/04/2019)
- ↑ 'Mexico 1987: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1987/mexique/classement.aspx, (Accessed 06/04/2019)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 '1987 Mexican GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2015), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1987&gp=Mexican%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 06/04/2019)
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