The 1989 French Grand Prix, otherwise known as the LXXV Rhône-Poulenc Grand Prix de France, was the seventh round of the 1989 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged on the 9 July 1989 at the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, France. The race would see Alain Prost secure a dominant home victory at the wheel of a McLaren-Honda, having announced that he was leaving the team at the end of the campaign.
Indeed, Prost had grown tired of the political in-fighting within the team between himself and Ayrton Senna, believing that the Brazilian was being given an unfair advantage. Elsewhere, Tyrrell had to replace Marlboro backed Michele Alboreto after obtaining sponsorship from Camel, resulting in young Formula 3000 racer Jean Alesi getting his F1 debut.
Qualifying would see Prost edge out teammate Senna in their ever familiar duel for pole, beating the Brazilian by 0.025s. Nigel Mansell was best of the rest in third ahead of Alessandro Nannini in a new Benetton-Ford Cosworth.
The start of the race would see Senna sprint ahead of Prost, although it was behind them that all of the attention was focused. Indeed, Maurício Gugelmin misjudged his braking point for the first corner and slammed into the back of Mansell and Thierry Boutsen, with the March-Judd duly taking off and shattering against the barriers.
The race was instantly red flagged to clear the debris, with Gugelmin, Mansell and Martin Donnelly, standing in for Derek Warwick, jumped in their spare cars. They were hence forced to take the restart from the pitlane, with Prost easing ahead of Senna as the Brazilian's transmission failed as he tried to pull away.
Prost duly escaped up the road during the early stages, leaving Gerhard Berger to lead the chase from second after a strong start. The Austrian would, however, quickly slip behind both Nannini and Boutsen, before disappearing completely with an oil leak mid-race.
Second place would effectively become a cursed position during the race, with Nannini dropping out with a suspension failure. Boutsen took over the position only to suffer a gearbox failure, leaving Ivan Capelli in second until his engine failed, before Alesi inherited the position only to pit with a tyre issue late on.
Out front, meanwhile, Prost was able to cruise home to a dominant victory, extending his Championship lead to eleven points. Riccardo Patrese was set for second until he was passed by a charging Mansell late on, meaning he finish third behind his former teammate. Alesi ended his debut in fourth ahead of Stefan Johansson, while Olivier Grouillard claimed the final point in sixth.
Background[edit | edit source]
There had been no changes atop the Championship after the Canadian Grand Prix, for neither Alain Prost nor Ayrton Senna had scored. That had allowed Riccardo Patrese in third to close the gap to the two teammates, although the Italian was still nine points off the back of Senna in second. Thierry Boutsen, meanwhile, had leapt into fourth with his maiden victory, while Nigel Mansell slipped to fifth.
McLaren-Honda had had a rare double non-score in Canada, meaning Williams-Renault had managed to close the gap at the head of the field. However, the Anglo-French squad were still 25 points behind the Anglo-Japanese effort after six races, meaning there was little hope of anyone seriously challenging the defending Champions for the title. Elsewhere, Benetton-Ford Cosworth and Ferrari had held station in third and fourth, while Dallara-Ford Cosworth leapt into the top five.
Entry List[edit | edit source]
The full entry list for the 1989 French Grand Prix is outlined below:
Practice Overview[edit | edit source]
Qualifying[edit | edit source]
Pre-Qualifying[edit | edit source]
Pre-Qualifying Results[edit | edit source]
The full pre-qualifying results for the 1989 French Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||37||Bertrand Gachot||Onyx-Ford Cosworth||1:09.617||—|
|2||36||Stefan Johansson||Onyx-Ford Cosworth||1:09.668||+0.051s|
|3||21||Alex Caffi||Dallara-Ford Cosworth||1:09.726||+0.109s|
|DNPQ||17||Nicola Larini||Osella-Ford Cosworth||1:09.989||+0.372s|
|DNPQ||39||Volker Weidler||Rial-Ford Cosworth||1:11.059||+1.442s|
|DNPQ||18||Piercarlo Ghinzani||Osella-Ford Cosworth||1:11.528||+1.911s|
|DNPQ||32||Pierre-Henri Raphanel||Coloni-Ford Cosworth||1:11.953||+2.336s|
|DNPQ||41||Joachim Winkelhock||AGS-Ford Cosworth||1:13.173||+3.556s|
Friday Qualifying[edit | edit source]
Saturday Qualifying[edit | edit source]
Qualifying Results[edit | edit source]
The full qualifying results for the 1989 French Grand Prix are outlined below:
|4||19||Alessandro Nannini||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:09.615||1:08.137||+0.934s|
|9||3||Jonathan Palmer||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:10.238||1:09.026||+1.823s|
|11||37||Bertrand Gachot||Onyx-Ford Cosworth||1:10.564||1:09.122||+1.919s|
|13||36||Stefan Johansson||Onyx-Ford Cosworth||1:10.600||1:09.299||+2.096s|
|14||9||Martin Donnelly||Arrows-Ford Cosworth||1:11.223||1:09.524||+2.321s|
|16||4||Jean Alesi||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:09.668||1:09.909||+2.465s|
|17||26||Olivier Grouillard||Ligier-Ford Cosworth||1:10.410||1:09.717||+2.514s|
|18||25||René Arnoux||Ligier-Ford Cosworth||1:10.725||1:10.077||+2.874s|
|21||40||Gabriele Tarquini||AGS-Ford Cosworth||1:11.136||1:10.216||+3.013s|
|23||23||Pierluigi Martini||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:10.640||1:10.267||+3.064s|
|24||20||Emanuele Pirro||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:11.566||1:10.292||+3.089s|
|25||10||Eddie Cheever||Arrows-Ford Cosworth||1:10.372||—||+3.169s|
|26||21||Alex Caffi||Dallara-Ford Cosworth||1:11.409||1:10.468||+3.265s|
|DNQ||22||Andrea de Cesaris||Dallara-Ford Cosworth||1:12.078||1:10.591||+3.388s|
|DNQ||24||Luis Pérez-Sala||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:11.539||1:11.079||+3.876s|
|DNQ||38||Christian Danner||Rial-Ford Cosworth||1:12.569||1:11.178||+3.975s|
|DNQ||31||Roberto Moreno||Coloni-Ford Cosworth||1:14.746||1:11.372||+4.169s|
|DNPQ||17||Nicola Larini||Osella-Ford Cosworth||1:09.989|
|DNPQ||39||Volker Weidler||Rial-Ford Cosworth||1:11.059|
|DNPQ||18||Piercarlo Ghinzani||Osella-Ford Cosworth||1:11.528|
|DNPQ||32||Pierre-Henri Raphanel||Coloni-Ford Cosworth||1:11.953|
|DNPQ||41||Joachim Winkelhock||AGS-Ford Cosworth||1:13.173|
- 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.
Grid[edit | edit source]
Race[edit | edit source]
Report[edit | edit source]
Results[edit | edit source]
The full results for the 1989 French Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Gachot was still classified despite retiring as he had completed 90% of the race distance.
- † Gugelmin was unable to be classified as he failed to complete 90% of the race distance.
Milestones[edit | edit source]
- 450th Grand Prix to feature an entry for a Ferrari engined car.
- Brabham entered their 350th race as a constructor.
- Debut race for Jean Alesi, Éric Bernard, Martin Donnelly and Emanuele Pirro.
- Philippe Alliot entered his 75th Grand Prix.
- Nicola Larini entered his 25th Grand Prix.
- Tenth entry for Roberto Moreno.
- Twentieth pole position for Alain Prost.
- Prost secured his 37th victory.
- Prost set a new record for most laps led - 1971.
- McLaren claimed their 75th win as a constructor.
- Maiden points finish for Onyx as a constructor.
- Olivier Grouillard and Alesi claimed their first points finishes.
- Maiden fastest lap for Maurício Gugelmin.
- Piercarlo Ghinzani, Aguri Suzuki, Volker Weidler and Joachim Winkelhock set a new record for most failures to pre-qualify - 7.
Standings[edit | edit source]
Alain Prost moved eleven points clear of teammate Ayrton Senna atop the Championship, with the Brazilian having failed to score for a second race in a row. Riccardo Patrese, meanwhile, had inched closer to Senna in third, leaving France five behind Senna, while Nigel Mansell moved to fourth. Thierry Boutsen, meanwhile, had slipped to fifth ahead of Alessandro Nannini, with 23 drivers on the board.
In the Constructors' Championship it was still McLaren-Honda who led the charge, with the Anglo-Japanese squad establishing a 30 point lead. Williams-Renault had remained their closest challengers, sat on 35 points, while Ferrari had gained a little ground in third, 20 behind Williams. Benetton-Ford Cosworth, meanwhile, had slipped down to fourth ahead of Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth, with 14 constructors having registered points.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
References[edit | edit source]
Images and Videos:
- 'French GP, 1989', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2015), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr475.html, (Accessed 19/04/2019)
- 'France 1989: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1989/france/engages.aspx, (Accessed 19/04/2019)
- '1989 French GP: Pre-Qualifying'. chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), http://www.chicanef1.com/race.pl?year=1989&gp=French%20GP&r=1&type=preq, (Accessed 19/04/2019)
- 'French Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1989/races/549/france/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 19/04/2019)
- 'French Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 2', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1989/races/549/france/qualifying-2.html, (Accessed 19/04/2019)
- 'France 1989: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1989/france/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 19/04/2019)
- 'France 1989: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1989/france/classement.aspx, (Accessed 19/04/2019)
- '7. France 1989', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1989/france.aspx, (Accessed 19/04/2019)
- '1989 French GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1989&gp=French%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 19/04/2019)
|V T E||French Grand Prix|
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