The 1988 Detroit Grand Prix, otherwise known officially as the Enichem Detroit Grand Prix VII, was the sixth round of the 1988 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Detroit Street Circuit on the 19 June 1988. The race would see Ayrton Senna claim his third victory of the season ahead of McLaren-Honda teammate Alain Prost, who had to battle his way back up the order to join his teammate at the head of the field.
Indeed, the Frenchman had had a relatively poor qualifying session, slipping into fourth as Senna swept to his sixth straight pole position. In between the two McLarens would come the two scarlet Ferraris, with Gerhard Berger ahead of Michele Alboreto.
Away from the sharp end of the grid and there would be another heavy accident during qualifying, this time involving Ivan Capelli. The Italian's March-Judd spun wildly exiting the final corner before slamming into the pitwall, resulting in Capelli breaking a bone in his foot, while debris caused cuts and bruises to four bystanders.
The start of the race saw Senna sprint away into an early lead, while a poor getaway from Prost saw him get mugged by Thierry Boutsen. That left the Frenchman in fifth for the rest of the opening lap, as Senna danced his McLaren away at the head of the field.
Indeed, Prost would take several laps to move through to second, completing a series of fairly simple moves to grab second on lap six. He duly powered off in a vain attempt to catch teammate Senna, while Berger and Alboreto were left to fight with Boutsen.
Boutsen duly moved past Alboreto to scrap with Berger, only for the pair to come together and slash the Austrian's tyre. A few moments later and Boutsen's teammate Alessandro Nannini attacked Alboreto, only to bounce off the #27 Ferrari and bury his car into the barriers.
Their various issues allowed Pierluigi Martini and Jonathan Palmer into the top six, the latter having lost almost half a lap at the start after a clash with Stefano Modena. They duly scrapped for fifth during the second half of the race, with the track surface deteriorating severely in the closing stages.
Out front, meanwhile, Senna was able to sweep home almost 40 seconds clear of Prost to claim victory, with the two McLarens the only cars on the lead lap. Boutsen was next ahead of Andrea de Cesaris, claiming the first points for Rial-Ford Cosworth, while Palmer beat Martini to the line to claim fifth.
The results of the race left Prost with a twelve point lead at the head of the Championship, with Senna his closest challenger. Berger completed the top three, some fifteen points behind the Brazilian, while McLaren-Honda had a dominant 51 point lead in the Constructors' Championship after just six races.
Victory for Ayrton Senna last time out in Canada had seen the Brazilian ace move into a clear second ahead of Gerhard Berger, and close the gap to Championship leading teammate Alain Prost. Yet, the Frenchman still held a daunting fifteen point lead at the head of the field, meaning Senna was almost two races behind after five races. Elsewhere, Berger himself arrived in a clear third place ahead of Nelson Piquet, while Michele Alboreto completed the top five.
Likewise, Prost and Senna's sparkling form during the early stages of the season had left McLaren-Honda with a huge lead in the Constructors' Championship, leaving Canada with a 36 point lead. Their closest "challengers" were Ferrari, although with less than half the number of points of the Anglo-Japanese alliance there seemed little hope of them catching them. Behind them Lotus-Honda had retained third, and pulled themselves clear of Arrows-Megatron in Canada, while March-Judd had got on the board and were ahead of the similarly powered Williams-Judd squad.
The full entry list for the 1988 Detroit Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 1988 Detroit Grand Prix are outlined below:
|5||20||Thierry Boutsen||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:45.718||1:42.690||+2.084s|
|7||19||Alessandro Nannini||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:43.117||1:45.345||+2.511|
|10||6||Riccardo Patrese||Williams-Judd||1:43.810||1:45.016||+ 3.204s|
|11||14||Philippe Streiff||AGS-Ford Cosworth||1:44.204||1:44.743||+ 3.598s|
|12||22||Andrea de Cesaris||Rial-Ford Cosworth||1:45.866||1:44.216||+ 3.610s|
|13||15||Maurício Gugelmin||March-Judd||1:44.474||1:53.243||+ 3.868s|
|14||30||Philippe Alliot||Lola-Ford Cosworth||1:44.590||3:40.532||+ 3.984s|
|15||18||Eddie Cheever||Arrows-Megatron||1:45.159||1:44.948||+ 4.342s|
|16||23||Pierluigi Martini||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:47.094||1:45.049||+ 4.443s|
|17||3||Jonathan Palmer||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:45.268||1:45.662||+ 4.662s|
|18||26||Stefan Johansson||Ligier-Judd||1:45.275||1:47.135||+ 4.669s|
|19||33||Stefano Modena||EuroBrun-Ford Cosworth||1:45.304||—||+ 4.698s|
|20||25||René Arnoux||Ligier-Judd||1:45.437||1:47.483||+ 4.831s|
|21*||16||Ivan Capelli||March-Judd||1:45.546||—||+ 4.940s|
|22||36||Alex Caffi||Dallara-Ford Cosworth||1:47.493||1:45.750||+ 5.144s|
|23||4||Julian Bailey||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:46.286||1:47.801||+ 5.680s|
|24||32||Oscar Larrauri||EuroBrun-Ford Cosworth||1:46.390||1:48.116||+ 5.784s|
|25||29||Yannick Dalmas||Lola-Ford Cosworth||1:46.422||1:46.447||+ 5.816s|
|26||24||Luis Pérez-Sala||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:48.186||1:46.593||+ 5.987s|
|27||21||Nicola Larini||Osella||1:46.623||1:51.623||+ 6.017s|
|DNQ||2||Satoru Nakajima||Lotus-Honda||1:47.243||1:49.353||+ 6.637s|
|DNQ||10||Bernd Schneider||Zakspeed||1:48.423||1:48.249||+ 7.643s|
|DNQ||9||Piercarlo Ghinzani||Zakspeed||1:48.925||1:48.990||+ 8.319s|
|DNPQ||31||Gabriele Tarquini||Coloni-Ford Cosworth||1:47.312|
- 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.
- * Capelli was unable to start the race after an accident during the second qualifying session.
|______________||Andrea de Cesaris|
The full results for the 1988 Detroit Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Bailey was still classified despite retiring as he had completed 90% of the race distance.
- † Capelli was unable to start the race after an accident during qualifying.
- Seventh and final Detroit Grand Prix to be staged.
- Ninth career victory for Ayrton Senna.
- McLaren registered their 61st victory as a constructor.
Alain Prost had seen his lead reduced by teammate Ayrton Senna in Motor City, although the Frenchman still held a healthy twelve point advantage. Those two were in a class of their own at the head of the field, with Senna fifteen clear of third placed Gerhard Berger, with the Austrian already an outsider for the Championship. Elsewhere, Thierry Boutsen had moved ahead of Nelson Piquet to claim fifth, with fifteen drivers now on the score board.
It was also pure domination in the Constructors' Championship, with McLaren-Honda moving onto 78 points after their fourth one-two of the season. They hence left Detroit with a 51 point lead, more than three races worth of points, with Ferrari still their largest threat in second. Elsewhere, Benetton-Ford Cosworth had moved ahead of Lotus-Honda on count-back, and hence claimed third, while Arrows-Megatron retained their spot in the top five.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 '6. USA 1987', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1988/etats-unis.aspx, (Accessed 09/04/2019)
- ↑ 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 'United States GP, 1988', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2015), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr458.html, (Accessed 09/04/2019)
- ↑ 'USA 1988: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1988/etats-unis/engages.aspx, (Accessed 09/04/2019)
- ↑ 'Enichem Grand Prix of USA - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1988/races/532/detroit/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 09/04/2019)
- ↑ 'Enichem Grand Prix of USA - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1988/races/532/detroit/qualifying-2.html, (Accessed 09/04/2019)
- ↑ 'USA 1988: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1988/etats-unis/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 09/04/2019)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 'USA 1988: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1988/etats-unis/classement.aspx, (Accessed 09/04/2019)
- ↑ '1988 Detroit GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2015), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1988&gp=Detroit%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 09/04/2019)
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