The XIX Grande Prémio de Portugal, otherwise known as the 1990 Portuguese Grand Prix, was the thirteenth race of the 1990 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Autódromo do Estoril in Estoril, Portugal, on the 23 September 1990. The race would see Nigel Mansell register his first victory of the season, in a race that was stopped prematurely after a huge accident between Alex Caffi and Aguri Suzuki.
Qualifying would see Ferrari cause something of a shock, securing a front-row lockout with Mansell on pole ahead of teammate Alain Prost. that left the two McLaren-Hondas of Ayrton Senna and Gerhard Berger on the second row, while Riccardo Patrese shared the third with Nelson Piquet.
The race would be heralded by a late withdrawal for Satoru Nakajima, who crashed heavily during the warm-up having come down with flu overnight. That left 25 cars on the grid for the start, which saw Mansell make a mess of his getaway, slithering across the circuit after jumping on the throttle too heavily.
Indeed, Mansell's launch was such a mess that he also carved up teammate Prost, meaning the two McLarens of Senna and Berger could surge ahead to claim the lead. Piquet was set to follow them through but was ultimately blocked by Mansell as the Ferrari slithered back across the circuit, leaving Prost down in fifth behind the Brazilian.
The order remained fairly stable at the head of the field, with Prost stalking Piquet as the top three pulled clear ahead. Indeed, it was only after lap thirteen that the Frenchman finally made a move stick, before quickly dropping the Brazilian to latch on to teammate Mansell.
Mansell was not having a particularly good afternoon, with another throttle related slide allowing Prost to slip ahead of the Brit on lap 26. However, the Brit's race was to be vastly improved after the stops, with Mansell emerging in second behind Senna, with pair pulling clear of the now third placed Berger.
With 20 laps to go Mansell was in position to attack Senna for the lead, and duly sent his Ferrari diving inside the McLaren to claim the top spot in the field. However, moments after securing the lead Mansell received a major scare, clipping Philippe Alliot at high speed as the Frenchman drifted across the Ferrari's nose.
That collision would send Alliot shooting into the barriers, while Mansell briefly eased his pace to check if his car was damaged. Somewhat miraculously his Ferrari was unscathed, allowing him to pull clear of a rather quiet Senna, who steadily drifted back towards a charging Prost, who had barged past Berger despite losing sixth gear.
The top four would close up in the closing stages of the race, although there was to be no four-way scrap for the lead. Indeed, the race was ultimately stopped with ten laps to go after Suzuki and Caffi crash heavily at Curva 2, leaving bits of Arrows and Lola scattered across the circuit.
The race result was officially declared at the end of lap 61, leaving Mansell as the victor ahead of Senna and Prost. Berger was classified in fourth ahead of the two Benetton-Ford Cosworths, with Senna moving eighteen points clear at the top of the Championship with three races to go.
Ayrton Senna had moved sixteen points clear at the head of the Championship after his sixth win of the season in Italy, but was only two race scores away from having to take dropped points. Alain Prost, meanwhile, would have to win two races out of the remaining four just to get level with the Brazilian, although he had three races to go before he began dropping points. Gerhard Berger was next, and out of the title fight with 37 points, while Thierry Boutsen and Nelson Piquet completed the top five.
McLaren-Honda left Ferrari's home race with a handsome lead in the Constructors Championship, having moved 37 points clear of the Scuderia. Indeed, McLaren would win the Championship in Portugal if they outscored Ferrari by eight points, with Ferrari having to win every race remaining in the season just to challenge. Elsewhere, Williams-Renault had solidified their hold on third over Benetton-Ford Cosworth, while Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth completed the top five.
The full entry list for the 1990 Portuguese Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full pre-qualifying results for the 1990 Portuguese Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||14||Olivier Grouillard||Osella-Ford Cosworth||1:19.384||—|
|2||18||Yannick Dalmas||AGS-Ford Cosworth||1:19.885||+0.501s|
|3||31||Bertrand Gachot||Coloni-Ford Cosworth||1:20.000||+0.616s|
|4||17||Gabriele Tarquini||AGS-Ford Cosworth||1:20.942||+1.558s|
The full qualifying results for the 1990 Portuguese Grand Prix are outlined below:
|6||20||Nelson Piquet||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:15.542||1:14.728||+1.171s|
|8||4||Jean Alesi||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:16.092||1:15.112||+1.555s|
|9||19||Alessandro Nannini||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:16.123||1:15.411||+1.854s|
|12||16||Ivan Capelli||Leyton House-Judd||1:18.242||1:16.284||+2.727s|
|13||21||Emanuele Pirro||Dallara-Ford Cosworth||1:17.653||1:16.290||+2.733s|
|14||15||Maurício Gugelmin||Leyton House-Judd||1:17.569||1:16.296||+2.739s|
|16||23||Pierluigi Martini||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:17.045||1:16.795||+3.238s|
|17||10||Alex Caffi||Arrows-Ford Cosworth||1:18.725||1:16.946||+3.389s|
|18||22||Andrea de Cesaris||Dallara-Ford Cosworth||1:17.252||1:17.066||+3.509s|
|19||9||Michele Alboreto||Arrows-Ford Cosworth||1:18.630||1:17.081||+3.524s|
|20*||3||Satoru Nakajima||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:17.097||—||+3.540s|
|21||26||Philippe Alliot||Ligier-Ford Cosworth||1:17.330||1:17.120||+3.563s|
|23||25||Nicola Larini||Ligier-Ford Cosworth||1:18.958||1:17.269||+3.712s|
|25||18||Yannick Dalmas||AGS-Ford Cosworth||1:18.581||1:17.621||+4.064s|
|DNQ||14||Olivier Grouillard||Osella-Ford Cosworth||1:18.512||1:17.775||+4.218s|
|DNQ||24||Paolo Barilla||AGS-Ford Cosworth||1:18.669||1:18.280||+4.723s|
|DNQ||17||Gabriele Tarquini||AGS-Ford Cosworth||1:20.226||1:18.815||+5.258s|
|DNQ||31||Bertrand Gachot||Coloni-Ford Cosworth||1:20.662||1:20.516||+6.959s|
- 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.
- * Nakajima was unable to start the race after falling ill on race morning.
|______________||Andrea de Cesaris|
The full results for the 1990 Portuguese Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Caffi and Suzuki were still classified despite retiring as they had completed 90% of the race distance.
- † Nakajima was unable to start the race due to illness.
- 250th entry for an Osella chassis.
- Nigel Mansell registered the 110th pole position for a Ferrari chassis and engine.
- Sixteenth victory for Mansell.
- Ferrari secured their 102nd win as both a constructor and engine supplier.
- EuroBrun set a new record for most failures to pre-qualify for a constructor - 39.
Ayrton Senna moved eighteen points clear of second placed Alain Prost at the head of the Championship hunt with three races to go, meaning he could win his second World Championship next time out in Spain. Indeed, if the Brazilian out-scored the Frenchman by a point in Jerez he would claim the crown, with Prost realistically needing to win to stand any chance of challenging at the end of the season. Those two were now mathematically the only drivers in the fight, with Gerhard Berger, Thierry Boutsen and Nelson Piquet completing the top five.
In the Constructors Championship it had remained advantage McLaren-Honda, although their lead at the head of the field had been cut. Indeed, Ferrari had done just enough to keep their title challenge alive for another weekend, although if the Scuderia failed to out-score the Anglo-Japanese alliance by more than three points in Spain then the title battle would be over. Elsewhere, Benetton-Ford Cosworth had closed right onto the back of third placed Williams-Renault, while Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth rounded out the top five.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- '13. Portugal 1990', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1990/portugal.aspx, (Accessed 06/07/2019)
- 'Portuguese GP, 1990', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2015), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr497.html, (Accessed 06/07/2019)
- 'Portugal 1990: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1990/portugal/engages.aspx, (Accessed 06/07/2019)
- '1990 Portuguese GP: Pre-Qualifying'. chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), http://www.chicanef1.com/race.pl?year=1990&gp=Portuguese%20GP&r=1&type=preq, (Accessed 06/07/04/2019)
- 'Portuguese Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1990/races/76/portugal/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 06/07/2019)
- 'Portuguese Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 2', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1990/races/76/portugal/qualifying-2.html, (Accessed 06/07/2019)
- 'Portugal 1990: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1990/portugal/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 06/07/2019)
- 'Portugal 1990: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1990/portugal/classement.aspx, (Accessed 06/07/2019)
- '1990 Portuguese GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2015), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1990&gp=Portuguese%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 06/07/2019)
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