The 1988 Mexican Grand Prix, otherwise known as the XII Gran Premio de Mexico, was the fourth round of the 1988 FIA Formula One World Championship staged at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City on the 29 May 1988. The race would see Alain Prost claim another impressive victory for McLaren-Honda, having overcome teammate Ayrton Senna at the start.
The weekend arrived amid rumours that Renault were seeking a return to F1, less than two years after they cancelled all of their projects in the series. Indeed, they were actively courting Williams in hopes of returning in 1989, with a 3.5 litre V10 engine in the works at their Viry factory in France.
Into the Mexican Grand Prix weekend itself and the McLaren-Hondas would again dominate qualifying, with Senna claiming pole by six tenths from teammate Prost. Their closest challenger proved to be Gerhard Berger in the Ferrari, who was surprisingly close to Prost's best effort, in third.
Qualifying was also marred by another huge accident at the Peraltada, although Philippe Alliot, the banked right-hander's latest victim, miraculously escaped unharmed. Indeed, the Frenchman was able to take the start of the race on Sunday in spite of the accident, with Lola working through the night to rebuild his car.
The original race start had to be aborted after Alessandro Nannini stalled, resulting in a lap being struck from the distance. When the race did getaway a few minutes later it was Prost who aced his start, sprinting clear of teammate Senna as the Brazilian hit his boost limit.
Indeed, the pop-off valve that acted as a restrictor on the turbocharged cars opened too early on Senna's car, and hence allowed Nelson Piquet to sweep through into second. Piquet also briefly entertained a lunge on Prost into turn one, although the Frenchman was able to swat that aside and pull clear over the rest of the opening lap.
Senna subsequently took Piquet on the run to the Peraltada on the opening tour, effectively ending the race there and then. Indeed, the two McLarens were soon out of sight, with Senna simply unable to catch teammate Prost who had pulled over two seconds clear on the first lap alone.
Piquet's hopes of finishing on the podium were dashed by a charging Berger, who even managed to catch Senna mid-race only to be incorrectly warned that he was low on fuel. Piquet subsequently retired to hand fourth to Michele Alboreto, while the two Arrows-Megatrons scrapped with the Benetton-Ford Cosworths over the remaining points.
A low thrills race would come to an end after an hour and a half, with Prost cruising across the line seven seconds clear of Senna, extending his Championship lead. Berger was the only other man on the lead lap in third ahead of Alboreto, while Derek Warwick and Eddie Cheever defeated Thierry Boutsen and Nannini to claim fifth and sixth.
Victory for the second time in three races in Monte Carlo had left Alain Prost with a healthy ten point lead in the Championship, meaning the Frenchman could already afford to miss an entire weekend. Gerhard Berger, meanwhile, had moved up into second ahead of Ayrton Senna, while Nelson Piquet had retained fourth on the Mediterranean shores. The top five was then completed by Michele Alboreto, with eleven drivers in total on the board prior to the trip across the Atlantic.
In the Constructors' Championship, meanwhile, Ferrari had managed to chip into McLaren-Honda's lead last time out, although the Anglo-Japanese squad's advantage was still colossal. Indeed, McLaren-Honda were thirteen points ahead of the Scuderia at the end of the Monte Carlo weekend, with another significant gap back to third placed Lotus-Honda. Elsewhere, Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth and Williams-Judd had got onto the board, meaning seven teams had scored in the opening three rounds.
The full entry list for the 1988 Mexican Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 1988 Mexican Grand Prix are outlined below:
|8||19||Alessandro Nannini||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:20.740||1:21.403||+3.272s|
|11||20||Thierry Boutsen||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:22.164||1:22.029||+4.561s|
|12||22||Andrea de Cesaris||Rial-Ford Cosworth||1:22.864||1:22.245||+4.777s|
|13||30||Philippe Alliot||Lola-Ford Cosworth||1:22.348||1:22.557||+4.880s|
|19||14||Philippe Streiff||AGS-Ford Cosworth||1:23.191||1:23.750||+5.723s|
|21||31||Gabriele Tarquini||Coloni-Ford Cosworth||1:24.662||1:23.603||+6.135s|
|22||29||Yannick Dalmas||Lola-Ford Cosworth||1:24.279||1:23.606||+6.138s|
|23||36||Alex Caffi||Dallara-Ford Cosworth||1:25.564||1:23.716||+6.248s|
|25||24||Luis Pérez-Sala||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:23.911||1:23.857||+6.564s|
|26||32||Oscar Larrauri||EuroBrun-Ford Cosworth||1:23.405||1:24.032||+6.564s|
|DNQ||3||Jonathan Palmer||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:24.390||1:24.849||+6.922s|
|DNQ||4||Julian Bailey||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:25.525||1:25.231||+7.763s|
|DNQ||23||Adrián Campos||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:26.696||1:26.058||+8.590s|
|EXC*||33||Stefano Modena||EuroBrun-Ford Cosworth||Excluded|
- 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.
- * Modena was excluded from the results of the weekend for using an illegal rear-wing.
|Andrea de Cesaris||______________|
- * Alliot started the race from the back of the grid.
The full results for the 1988 Mexican Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- Minardi made their 50th Grand Prix start as a constructor.
- Satoru Nakajima and Adrián Campos entered their twentieth Grand Prix.
- Debut race for Bernd Schneider.
- Ayrton Senna recorded his twentieth pole position.
- 31st victory for Alain Prost.
- McLaren secured their 59th win as a constructor.
- Engine partners Honda secured their 31st win.
- Prost recorded the 30th fastest lap for a Honda engine.
Another impressive victory for Alain Prost allowed the Frenchman to extend his Championship lead once again, leaving Mexico with 33 points to his name. Gerhard Berger remained his closest challenger, being the only other driver to score points in all four races in 1988, although the Austrian was already fifteen points behind. Ayrton Senna, meanwhile, had moved closer to Berger in third, although he was eighteen off of his Championship leading teammate.
In the Constructors' Championship it had been a very productive afternoon for McLaren-Honda, with a one-two finish putting them onto 48 points after four races. That left them some 21 points ahead of second placed Ferrari, with those two the only two teams in double figures with a quarter of the season gone. Best of the rest were Lotus-Honda in third, although they were level on points with Arrows-Megatron.
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 '4. Mexico 1988', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1988/mexique.aspx, (Accessed 09/04/2019)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 'Mexican GP, 1988', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2015), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr456.html, (Accessed 09/04/2019)
- ↑ 'Mexico 1988: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1988/mexique/engages.aspx, (Accessed 09/04/2019)
- ↑ 'Mexican Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1988/races/530/mexico/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 09/04/2019)
- ↑ 'Mexican Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 2', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1988/races/530/mexico/qualifying-2.html, (Accessed 09/04/2019)
- ↑ 'Mexico 1988: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1988/mexique/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 09/04/2019)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 'Mexico 1988: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1988/mexique/classement.aspx, (Accessed 09/04/2019)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 '1988 Mexican GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2015), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1988&gp=Mexican%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 09/04/2019)
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