The 1987 Portuguese Grand Prix, otherwise known as the XVI Grande Prémio de Portugal, was the twelfth race of the 1987 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Autódromo do Estoril on the 20 September 1987. The race would see Alain Prost claim a record 28th race victory at the wheel of a McLaren-TAG Porsche, after the race was marred by a huge accident at the start.
There would be something of a shock in qualifying, for Gerhard Berger and Ferrari brought an end to Honda's season long domination of pole position. Indeed, the Austrian racer edged out Williams-Honda's Nigel Mansell by a third of a second at the head of the field, with Championship leader Nelson Piquet starting from fourth behind Prost.
Mansell would get the jump on Berger at the start of the race, although it was a collision between their teammate's Piquet and Michele Alboreto that drew everyone's attention. Indeed, their pair had jinked right into one-another while trying to jump ahead of Prost, resulting in the two coming together and blocking the circuit.
The result would be a series of collisions among the field behind, with the circuit ultimately ending up completely blocked. Fortunately, there would only be a couple of completely crippled cars, and with drivers able to access spares the field was almost up to full strength when the race was restarted.
Indeed, everyone bar Christian Danner would take the restart, with Mansell again scrambling off the line ahead of Berger. The rest of the field got away cleanly enough behind, with the Austrian racer duly sneaking back ahead of the Brit before the end of the opening tour.
The race quickly settled down, with Berger leading from Mansell, Senna and Piquet, with the top four soon pulling clear. Indeed, the only changes to the order early on came when Piquet took third away from Senna, while Mansell tumbled down the order when his engine picked up a terminal misfire.
Senna would also drop out with an electrical failure, allowing Alboreto to sweep onto the back of Piquet to battle for second. The pair would subsequently squabble until they hit the pits for fresh tyres, where Alboreto would suffer a transmission failure when trying to launch out of his pitbox.
Prost, meanwhile, would get the jump on Piquet to claim second, and duly spent the second half of the race hunting down Berger out front. The Frenchman's ominous charge would see Berger put under intense pressure during the closing stages, before Berger finally made a mistake with three laps to go to hand Prost the lead.
With that Prost stormed away from the Austrian to claim his 28th career win, moving him one clear of Jackie Stewart on the all-time winner's list. Berger was a heartbroken second ahead of Piquet, who had extended his Championship lead, while Teo Fabi, Stefan Johansson and Eddie Cheever collected the remaining points.
A third victory of the season for Nelson Piquet in Monza had left the Brazilian ace with a comfortable lead in the Championship battle, arriving in Portugal with a fourteen point advantage. Ayrton Senna had remained his closest challenger, but with Nigel Mansell a major threat to him despite losing a small amount of ground. Indeed, the title was set to be fought for between those three, with Alain Prost leaving Italy some 32 points off of Piquet in fourth.
In the Constructors' Championship, meanwhile, Williams-Honda had once again managed to extend their lead by a considerable margin, and hence left Italy with 106 points to their name. That left the Anglo-Japanese effort 51 points clear with 75 left to fight for, meaning they could win the title in Portugal. Indeed, Lotus-Honda, having just overtaken McLaren-TAG Porsche would have to score at least six points at Estoril just to keep the fight alive.
Jonathan Palmer's lead in the Jim Clark Trophy had been reduced last time out in Italy, although the Brit still held an eleven point lead with five races to go. His teammate Philippe Streiff was his nearest, and arguably only, threat, with third placed Pascal Fabre only holding 35 points after eleven races. Likewise, Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth had already won the Colin Chapman Trophy with a third of the season to go, having left Italy 84 points clear with just 75 left to fight for.
The full entry list for the 1987 Portuguese 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 Portuguese Grand Prix are outlined below:
|3||1||Alain Prost||McLaren-TAG Porsche||1:18.404||1:17.994||+0.374s|
|8||2||Stefan Johansson||McLaren-TAG Porsche||1:20.134||1:20.227||+2.514s|
|9||20||Thierry Boutsen||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:20.305||1:20.558||+2.685s|
|10||19||Teo Fabi||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:20.483||1:20.548||+2.863s|
|13||8||Andrea de Cesaris||Brabham-BMW||1:22.060||1:21.725||+4.105s|
|14||24||Alessandro Nannini||Minardi-Motori Moderni||1:21.784||1:22.128||+4.164s|
|19||30||Philippe Alliot||Lola-Ford Cosworth||1:24.181||1:23.580||+5.960s|
|20||23||Adrián Campos||Minardi-Motori Moderni||1:24.822||1:23.591||+5.971s|
|21||4||Philippe Streiff||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:23.810||1:24.436||+6.190s|
|22||16||Ivan Capelli||March-Ford Cosworth||1:24.533||1:23.905||+6.285s|
|24||3||Jonathan Palmer||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:24.392||1:24.217||+6.597s|
|25||21||Alex Caffi||Osella-Alfa Romeo||1:24.792||1:25.232||+7.172s|
|26||22||Franco Forini||Osella-Alfa Romeo||1:27.219||1:26.635||+9.015s|
|DNQ||14||Pascal Fabre||AGS-Ford Cosworth||1:28.756||1:26.946||+9.326s|
- 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.
|14||Andrea de Cesaris|
- * Danner was unable to take the restart due to damage.
- † Campos and Palmer would start the race from the pitlane.
The full results for the 1987 Portuguese 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.
- * Fabi and Nannini were still classified despite retiring as they had completed 90% of the race distance.
- Andrea de Cesaris started his 100th Grand Prix.
- 50th Grand Prix starts for Jonathan Palmer and Martin Brundle.
- Piercarlo Ghinzani entered his 75th Grand Prix.
- Maiden pole position for Gerhard Berger.
- 28th career victory for Alain Prost.
- McLaren secured their 55th win as a constructor.
- Adrián Campos set a new record for consecutive retirements - 11.
Nelson Piquet opened out an eighteen point lead with four races to go in Portugal, although the Brazilian was set to lose potential points for the rest of the season due to the dropped scores rule. Indeed, that gave main rival Ayrton Senna hope for the final four races of the season, with the veteran racer only able to score seventeen more points, while Senna could claim a maximum 32. Nigel Mansell, meanwhile, would leave Portugal 24 behind his title leading teammate, but could claim all 36 remaining points.
In the Constructors' Championship, meanwhile, McLaren-TAG Porsche had done enough to prevent Williams-Honda from taking the crown, leaving Portugal with 62 points. Indeed, the Anglo-Japanese squad held a 48 point lead over their rivals with four races to go, and would head into the Spanish Grand Prix with a shot at claiming the title. Lotus-Honda had also remained in the chase for the Championship, although they were some 55 points off the lead with just 60 left to fight for.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Jim Clark/Colin Chapman Trophy
Jonathan Palmer had extended his lead in the Jim Clark Trophy, moving thirteen ahead of Philippe Streiff in the hunt for the cup. The Frenchman was now the only driver mathematically capable of beating Palmer with four races to go, with dropped scores not applied to the JCT. In the Colin Chapman Trophy, meanwhile, there had been a change at the bottom of the field, March-Ford Cosworth having overtaken Lola-Ford Cosworth, while Champions Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth had once again extended their lead.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- '12. Portugal 1987', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1987/portugal.aspx, (Accessed 05/04/2019)
- 'Portuguese GP, 1987', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2015), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr448.html, (Accessed 05/04/2019)
- 'Italy 1987: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1987/italie/engages.aspx, (Accessed 04/04/2019)
- '1987 Portuguese Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1987/races/522/portugal/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 05/04/2019)
- '1987 Portuguese Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 2', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1987/races/522/portugal/qualifying-2.html, (Accessed 05/04/2019)
- 'Portugal 1987: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1987/portugal/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 05/04/2019)
- 'Portugal 1987: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1987/portugal/classement.aspx, (Accessed 05/04/2019)
- '1987 Portuguese GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2015), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1987&gp=Portuguese%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 05/04/2019)
|V T E||1987 Formula One Season|
|Teams||McLaren • Tyrrell • Williams • Brabham • Zakspeed • Lotus • AGS • March • Arrows • Benetton • Osella • Minardi • Ligier • Ferrari • Lola • Coloni|
|Engines||Alfa Romeo • BMW • Ferrari • Ford • Honda • Megatron • Motori Moderni • TAG • Zakspeed|
|Drivers||1 Prost • 2 Johansson • 3 Palmer • 4 Streiff • 5 Mansell • 5 Patrese • 6 Piquet • 7 Patrese • 7 Modena • 8 De Cesaris • 9 Brundle • 10 Danner • 11 Nakajima • 12 Senna • 14 Fabre • 14 Moreno • 16 Capelli • 17 Warwick • 18 Cheever • 19 Fabi • 20 Boutsen • 21 Caffi • 22 Tarquini • 22 Forini • 23 Campos • 24 Nannini • 25 Arnoux • 26 Ghinzani • 27 Alboreto • 28 Berger • 29 Dalmas • 30 Alliot • 32 Larini|
|Other Drivers||Dumfries • Hoshino • Schlesser|
|Cars||Williams FW11B • McLaren MP4/3 • Lotus 99T • Ferrari F1/87 • Benetton B187 • Tyrrell DG016 • Arrows A10 • Brabham BT56 • Lola LC87 • Zakspeed 861 • Zakspeed 871 • Ligier JS29 • AGS JH22 • March 87P • March 871 • Minardi M187 • Osella FA1I • Coloni FC187|
|Races||Brazil • San Marino • Belgium • Monaco • Detroit • France • Britain • Germany • Hungary • Austria • Italy • Portugal • Spain • Mexico • Japan • Australia|
|See also||1986 Formula One Season • 1988 Formula One Season • Category|
|V T E||Portuguese Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Boavista (1958, 1960), Monsanto (1959), Estoril (1984-1996), Algarve (2020-2021)|
|Formula One Races||1958 • 1959 • 1960 • 1961–1983 • 1984 • 1985 • 1986 • 1987 • 1988 • 1989 • 1990 • 1991 • 1992 • 1993 • 1994 • 1995 • 1996 • 1997–2019 • 2020 • 2021|
|v·d·e||Nominate this page for Featured Article|