The 59° Coca-Cola Gran Premio d'Italia, otherwise known as the 1988 Italian Grand Prix, was the twelfth round of the 1988 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza on the 11 September 1988. The race would see Gerhard Berger end McLaren-Honda's dominant run of victories at the wheel of his Ferrari, a win that was also the first for the Scuderia since the death of founder Enzo Ferrari.
Qualifying would see Ayrton Senna record his tenth pole of the season, once again beating teammate Alain Prost in a straight fight for the top position. The two scarlet Ferraris were best of the rest, Berger ahead of teammate Michele Alboreto, while the two Arrows-Megatrons shared the third row.
Senna and Prost would duly sprint away from the back at the start of the race, with the Brazilian ahead of the Frenchman. Berger was hence left to the lead the rest of the field on the opening lap, fending off a challenge from Alboreto into the Rettifilo.
The two McLarens soon disappeared out of sight, although Prost's engine was suffering from a noticeable misfire that had appeared shortly after the start. Prost, however, was determined to disprove his critics for simply giving up (as he reportedly had at the 1988 British Grand Prix), and so turned up the boost pressure to attack Senna.
Unfortunately for Prost his race was effectively over on lap 30, for his misfire worsened drastically and caused him to slip from the back of Senna. Five laps later and the #11 McLaren had been overtaken by the two Ferraris, amid a huge roar from the tifosi, prompting Prost to retire at the end of lap 35.
That move seemed to motivate Berger, who duly sprinted after Senna as Alboreto briefly eased off to cool his gearbox oil. After a brief respite he too would go chasing off after Senna, with the two Ferraris steadily making ground as the race wore on.
Yet, Senna appeared to have everything in hand, with the gains that the Ferraris were making written off as the Brazilian pacing himself. That was, until Senna tried to lap Jean-Louis Schlesser at the Rettifilo, only to be collected by the Frenchman as he tried to avoid sliding off into the gravel.
The Williams-Judd smashed into the right rear of the McLaren-Honda, breaking the suspension and leaving Senna beached on the kerb. A few seconds later and the two Ferraris swept through the scene, prompting more cheers from the tifosi as they realised that they were to witness a fabled victory.
Indeed, a little over three minutes later and Berger charged across the line to claim the win, fending off a last lap challenge from Alboreto to do so. Eddie Cheever was best of the rest in third, having kept teammate Derek Warwick at bay throughout the race, while Ivan Capelli and Riccardo Patrese completed the points.
There would be some controversy after the race, however, for Berger's Ferrari would fail three fuel tank capacity checks during post-race scrutineering. Indeed, it was only on the fourth attempt of checking the Austrian's fuel tank that FISA cleared the car, with a similar issue on Cheever's car suggesting that there was an issue with their testing equipment.
Ayrton Senna had moved three points clear of Alain Prost at the head of the Championship, with the Frenchman set to hit the eleven race points limit with his next point score. Those two were the only two drivers mathematically in the title fight, for Gerhard Berger had slipped 47 points off the lead with just 45 left to fight for. He was hence leading his own fight for third, ten points ahead of Nelson Piquet.
In the Constructors' Championship, meanwhile, McLaren-Honda had already secured the crown, their eleventh straight win of the season, and eighth one-two, putting them onto 147 points. Incredibly, that translated into a 103 point lead with a third of the season still to go, with Ferrari only able to score 75 points across the rest of the season. They were now officially in a fight to finish the season in second, with double the points of Benetton-Ford Cosworth in third.
The full entry list for the 1988 Italian Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 1988 Italian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|8||20||Thierry Boutsen||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:29.607||1:28.870||+2.896s|
|9||19||Alessandro Nannini||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:28.969||1:28.958||+2.984s|
|14||23||Pierluigi Martini||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:30.734||1:30.125||+4.151s|
|18||22||Andrea de Cesaris||Rial-Ford Cosworth||1:31.263||1:30.560||+4.586s|
|19||24||Luis Pérez-Sala||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:30.944||1:30.698||+4.724s|
|20||30||Philippe Alliot||Lola-Ford Cosworth||1:31.168||1:30.962||+4.988s|
|21||36||Alex Caffi||Dallara-Ford Cosworth||1:30.989||1:31.009||+5.015s|
|23||14||Philippe Streiff||AGS-Ford Cosworth||1:31.676||1:31.687||+5.702s|
|25||29||Yannick Dalmas||Lola-Ford Cosworth||1:32.164||1:32.686||+6.190s|
|26||4||Julian Bailey||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:32.573||1:32.290||+6.316s|
|DNQ||3||Jonathan Palmer||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:32.405||1:33.067||+6.431s|
|DNQ||31||Gabriele Tarquini||Coloni-Ford Cosworth||1:32.829||1:35.805||+6.855s|
|DNQ||33||Stefano Modena||EuroBrun-Ford Cosworth||1:34.727||1:33.226||+7.252s|
|DNPQ||32||Oscar Larrauri||EuroBrun-Ford Cosworth||1:34.044|
- 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|
- * Nannini would start the race from the pit lane.
The full results for the 1988 Italian Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Senna was still classified despite retiring as he had completed 90% of the race distance.
- Ford Cosworth attended their 300th Grand Prix as an engine supplier.
- 75th entries for Ayrton Senna and Stefan Johansson.
- 50th race entry for Philippe Streiff.
- Jean-Louis Schlesser made his debut.
- It was also Schlesser's only Grand Prix start, and first entry since the 1983 French Grand Prix.
- Senna claimed his tenth pole position of the season.
- This was also a new record for most poles in a single season.
- Fourth career victory for Gerhard Berger.
- Ferrari claimed their 94th win as both a constructor and engine supplier.
- Eddie Cheever earned the first (and only) podium finish for Megatron as an engine supplier.
- Michele Alboreto recorded his fifth and final fastest lap.
With both Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost retiring there had been no changes to the order at the head of the Championship, with Senna remaining three points ahead. Behind, Gerhard Berger had tightened his grip on third after his first victory of the campaign, moving fifteen clear of teammate Michele Alboreto. The Italian had leapt past Nelson Piquet and Thierry Boutsen to claim fourth, but remained an outsider to finish in the top three.
In the Constructors' Championship, meanwhile, the Italian Grand Prix had proved to be a very positive race for Ferrari, with their one-two further bolstering their hold on second. Indeed, with McLaren-Honda already declared as Champions the Scuderia were fighting for second, but had opened a significant 36 point gap to third placed Benetton-Ford Cosworth. Whether the British squad would overcome that gap would largely depend on how reliable the two McLaren-Hondas remained for the rest of the season, for Senna and Prost were still expected to win all of the remaining four races.
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 1.9 'Italian GP, 1988', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2015), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr464.html, (Accessed 11/04/2019)
- ↑ 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 2.16 '12. Italy 1988', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1988/italie.aspx, (Accessed 11/04/2019)
- ↑ 'Italy 1988: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1988/italie/engages.aspx, (Accessed 11/04/2019)
- ↑ 'Brazilian Grand Prix 1985 - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1985/races/482/brazil/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 01/04/2019)
- ↑ 'Brazilian Grand Prix 1985 - QUALIFYING 2', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1985/races/482/brazil/qualifying-2.html, (Accessed 01/04/2019)
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; no text was provided for refs named
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 'Italy 1988: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1988/italie/classement.aspx, (Accessed 12/04/2019)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 '1988 Italy GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2015), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1988&gp=Italian%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 11/04/2019)
|V T E||Italian Grand Prix|
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