The 1988 British Grand Prix, otherwise advertised as the XLI Shell Oils British Grand Prix, was the eighth round of the 1988 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Silverstone Circuit on the 10 July 1988. The race would see Ayrton Senna claim his fourth win of the season ahead of Nigel Mansell, as the Brazilian's major title rival Alain Prost retired.
Qualifying would see arguably the biggest shock of the season to that point, for Ferrari managed to lock-out the front row ahead of McLaren-Honda. Indeed, Gerhard Berger claimed pole ahead of teammate Michele Alboreto in a straight fight between the two, with Senna and Prost half a second off in third and fourth, having claimed pole in all seven of the previous Grand Prix in 1988.
Rain on raceday further unsettled things at the sharp end of the field, with F1 not having had a truly wet race since the 1985 Belgian Grand Prix. Fortunately the rain fell consistently enough to ensure that everyone would start on wet tyres, although that in itself brought its own level on unpredictability.
The start would see the two Ferraris squirm away at the head of the field, with Alboreto briefly getting ahead of Berger before the Austrian seized the lead with the inside line through Copse. Senna went with them but failed to squeeze inside the Italian, while a miserable start from Prost saw him tumble back to ninth.
Senna would elbow his way past Alboreto early on, while Prost fell right to the back of the field complaining of handling issues. Alboreto was left in a healthy third, Alessandro Nannini, Maurício Gugelmin and Nigel Mansell scrapped for fourth amongst themselves, while Senna ducked and weaved behind Berger.
The Brazilian finally pounced on the Austrian on lap fifteen, sending his McLaren skating inside Berger as the pair lapped Prost in the sister car. Senna duly sprinted away with the lead, quickly leaving Berger in a lonely second, while Prost took his lapping as a sign to retire his car.
With Senna clear out front the attention, particularly for the home fans, shifted back to Mansell in the Williams-Judd, with the Brit muscling his way up to third on lap 22. He duly spent the better part of the race hunting down Berger, using wetter parts of the track to cool his tyres as he set a succession of fastest laps.
On lap 50 the Williams duly slithered past the Ferrari, prompting roars from the crowd as the Brit sprinted off after Senna. Unfortunately for him, the Brazilian had built a huge lead at the head of the field, which would remain on the larger side of twenty seconds through to the chequered flag.
Indeed, Senna would cruise home to claim a crucial win for himself and McLaren, which left him six off of teammate Prost in the Championship. Mansell was a delighted second ahead of Nannini, with Berger having to back off massively in the closing stages to avoid running out of fuel, a fate that did befall his teammate Alboreto.
Alain Prost had once again managed to extend his Championship lead in France, with his fourth victory of the season moving him onto 54 points after seven races. Ayrton Senna was, unsurprisingly, his closest challenger, with the pair split by a fifteen point gap at the head of the field. Indeed, those two truly were in a class of their own, for third placed Gerhard Berger had slipped eighteen points behind Senna in France, and some 33 behind Prost.
In the Constructors' Championship it had been another incredibly good day for McLaren-Honda in Le Castellet, with their fifth one-two of the campaign leaving them on 93 points. That had translated into a crushing 59 point lead over second placed Ferrari arriving in Silverstone, with the Italian outfit already looking at finishing the season in second. In truth, the Scuderia were a fairly comfortable second leaving France, with a twenty point lead over third placed Lotus-Honda.
The full entry list for the 1988 British Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 1988 British Grand Prix are outlined below:
|8||19||Alessandro Nannini||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:13.400||1:12.737||+2.604s|
|12||20||Thierry Boutsen||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:12.960||1:13.287||+2.827s|
|14||22||Andrea de Cesaris||Rial-Ford Cosworth||1:13.910||1:13.438||+3.305s|
|16||14||Philippe Streiff||AGS-Ford Cosworth||1:15.272||1:14.260||+4.127s|
|17||3||Jonathan Palmer||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:16.607||1:14.451||+4.318s|
|18||24||Luis Pérez-Sala||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:15.590||1:14.643||+4.510s|
|19||23||Pierluigi Martini||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:14.732||1:14.832||+4.599s|
|20||33||Stefano Modena||EuroBrun-Ford Cosworth||1:17.889||1:14.888||+4.755s|
|21||36||Alex Caffi||Dallara-Ford Cosworth||1:15.779||1:14.924||+4.791s|
|22||30||Philippe Alliot||Lola-Ford Cosworth||1:15.635||1:14.992||+4.859s|
|23||29||Philippe Streiff||Lola-Ford Cosworth||1:16.014||1:15.004||+4.871s|
|24||4||Julian Bailey||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:16.249||1:15.135||+5.002s|
|DNQ||32||Oscar Larrauri||EuroBrun-Ford Cosworth||1:16.691||1:16.026||+5.893s|
|DNPQ||31||Gabriele Tarquini||Coloni-Ford Cosworth||1:17.028|
- 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||______________|
- * Palmer would start the race from the pit lane.
The full results for the 1988 British Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Alboreto and Larinin were still classified despite retiring as they had completed 90% of the race distance.
- 25th entry for Alex Caffi.
- Pierluigi Martini entered his twentieth Grand Prix.
- Gerhard Berger claimed the 75th pole position for Ferrari as a constructor and engine supplier.
- Ayrton Senna secured his tenth career victory.
- McLaren claimed their 63rd win as a constructor.
- Williams claimed their 100th podium finish.
- Maiden podium finish for Alessandro Nannini.
- Maurício Gugelmin claimed his maiden points finish.
- Mansell recorded his tenth fastest lap.
- This was also the maiden fastest lap recorded by a Judd engine.
Victory for Ayrton Senna saw the Brazilian close the gap to Championship leading teammate Alain Prost, with the Frenchman having failed to score for the first time all season. Indeed, Senna had moved onto 48 points with his fourth win of the season, leaving him six off of Prost's tally at the halfway point of the season. Those two were now the only drivers realistically in the hunt for the crown, with Gerhard Berger having lost even more ground in third.
McLaren-Honda ended the first half of the season having passed the century mark in the Constructors' Championship, leaving the UK with 102 points. Ferrari were still their closest "challengers", although they had slipped 68 points behind, the equivalent of four and a half races worth of points. Benetton-Ford Cosworth were even further back in third, a point ahead of Lotus-Honda in fourth.
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 1.17 'British GP, 1988', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2015), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr460.html, (Accessed 10/04/2019)
- ↑ 'Britain 1988: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1988/grande-bretagne/engages.aspx, (Accessed 10/04/2019)
- ↑ 'Shell Oils British Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1988/races/534/great-britain/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 10/04/2019)
- ↑ 'Shell Oils British Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 2', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1988/races/534/great-britain/qualifying-2.html, (Accessed 10/04/2019)
- ↑ 'Britain 1988: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1988/grande-bretagne/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 10/04/2019)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 'Britain 1988: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1988/grande-bretagne/classement.aspx, (Accessed 10/04/2019)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 '1988 British GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2015), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1988&gp=British%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 10/04/2019)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 8.9 '8. Britain 1988', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1988/grande-bretagne.aspx, (Accessed 10/04/2019)
|V T E||British Grand Prix|
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