The 1990 Spanish Grand Prix, otherwise known as the XXXI Gran Premio Tio Pepe de España, was the fourteenth round of the 1990 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Circuito de Jerez in Jerez, Spain, on the 30 September 1990. The race, which was the fifth to be held at the Jerez circuit, would see Alain Prost sweep to victory ahead of Nigel Mansell to keep his title hopes alive.
Qualifying was dominated by a huge accident for Martin Donnelly, with the Brit left with two badly broken legs after his Lotus-Lamborghini shattered itself against the barriers. Indeed, Donnelly himself ended up still strapped to his seat in the middle of the circuit, having been thrown from his car when it smashed into the barriers at turn fourteen.
That accident rather overshadowed the performance of pole sitter Ayrton Senna, with the Brazilian securing his fiftieth career pole. The two Ferraris of Prost and Mansell were best of the rest, almost half a second shy of the McLaren-Honda, while Jean Alesi got his Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth ahead of Gerhard Berger in the second "McHonda".
Senna subsequently aced his start to grab an early lead, with Prost leading the chase ahead of Mansell. Behind, Berger tried an ambitious move on Alesi and Riccardo Patrese into the first corner having lost out to the latter off the line, resulting in Alesi spinning off the circuit after a brief clash of wheels.
The top three eased clear during the early stages of the race, leaving Berger, on harder tyres, to fend from the two Williams-Renaults and the two Benetton-Ford Cosworths. Indeed, the five car queue would prove to be a major source of entertainment in the opening laps, with Patrese in particular trying desperately to find a way past the McLaren.
It was a similar story at the head of the field, with Prost weaving around behind Senna in hopes of sending a lunge for the lead. Unfortunately for him the Jerez circuit was historically difficult to overtake on, resulting in the Frenchman reluctantly waiting for the pit-window to try and leap ahead of the Brazilian instead.
The stops came and went in the space of six laps, with Prost initially rejoining behind teammate Mansell, but crucially ahead of Senna. The two Ferraris subsequently swapped places, before Prost inherited the lead on lap 29 when a non-stopping Nelson Piquet fell off the circuit while leading.
Senna, meanwhile, would barge his way past Mansell, knowing his only chance of beating Prost relied on him getting past Mansell quickly. However, the Brazilian's pace would fade dramatically after the midway point, with a split radiator ultimately causing Senna to retire on lap 54, moments before Berger took himself out while fighting with Thierry Boutsen for fourth.
With that the race was over, with Prost cruising home to claim victory and keep his title hopes alive, leaving Spain just nine points behind Senna. Mansell, meanwhile, would finish a lonely second ahead of Alessandro Nannini, while Boutsen, Patrese and Aguri Suzuki secured the remaining points.
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.
The full entry list for the 1990 Spanish Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full pre-qualifying results for the 1990 Spanish Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||18||Yannick Dalmas||AGS-Ford Cosworth||1:22.470||—|
|2||17||Gabriele Tarquini||AGS-Ford Cosworth||1:22.592||+ 0.122s|
|3||14||Olivier Grouillard||Osella-Ford Cosworth||1:22.708||+ 0.238s|
|4||31||Bertrand Gachot||Coloni-Ford Cosworth||1:24.603||+ 2.133s|
|DNPQ||33||Roberto Moreno||EuroBrun-Judd||1:24.621||+ 2.151s|
|DNPQ||34||Claudio Langes||EuroBrun-Judd||1:25.736||+ 3.266s|
|DNPQ||39||Bruno Giacomelli||Life-Judd||1:42.699||+ 20.229s|
The full qualifying results for the 1990 Spanish Grand Prix are outlined below:
|4||4||Jean Alesi||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:19.923||1:19.604||+1.217s|
|8||20||Nelson Piquet||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:21.111||1:19.700||+1.313s|
|9||19||Alessandro Nannini||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:21.383||1:20.367||+1.980s|
|11||23||Pierluigi Martini||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:22.255||1:21.060||+2.673s|
|12||15||Maurício Gugelmin||Leyton House-Judd||1:23.019||1:21.167||+2.780s|
|13||26||Philippe Alliot||Ligier-Ford Cosworth||1:23.783||1:21.170||+2.783s|
|14||3||Satoru Nakajima||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:22.690||1:21.215||+2.818s|
|16||21||Emanuele Pirro||Dallara-Ford Cosworth||1:23.485||1:21.277||+2.880s|
|17||22||Andrea de Cesaris||Dallara-Ford Cosworth||1:22.953||1:21.467||+3.070s|
|19||16||Ivan Capelli||Leyton House-Judd||1:23.866||1:21.910||+3.523s|
|20||25||Nicola Larini||Ligier-Ford Cosworth||1:23.290||1:21.996||+3.609s|
|21||14||Olivier Grouillard||Osella-Ford Cosworth||1:24.784||1:22.288||+3.901s|
|22||17||Gabriele Tarquini||AGS-Ford Cosworth||1:23.260||1:22.466||+4.079s|
|24||18||Yannick Dalmas||AGS-Ford Cosworth||1:23.249||1:22.716||+4.329s|
|26||9||Michele Alboreto||Arrows-Ford Cosworth||1:24.043||1:23.161||+4.774s|
|DNQ||24||Paolo Barilla||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:25.093||1:23.274||+4.887s|
|DNQ||10||Bernd Schneider||Arrows-Ford Cosworth||1:24.675||1:23.924||+5.537s|
|DNQ||31||Bertrand Gachot||Coloni-Ford Cosworth||1:26.593||1:25.114||+6.727s|
- 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.
- * Donnelly was unable to start the race due to his injuries.
|Andrea de Cesaris||18|
The full results for the 1990 Spanish Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- Fifth Grand Prix to be staged at the Circuito de Jerez.
- Alessandro Nannini started his 76th and final Grand Prix.
- Fifteenth and final entry for Martin Donnelly.
- Final entries for Life and EuroBrun as constructors.
- Ayrton Senna recorded his 50th pole position.
- Alain Prost claimed his 44th victory.
- Ferrari claimed their 103rd win as both an engine supplier and constructor.
- Ninth and final podium for Nannini.
Alain Prost had kept his title hopes alive as a result of his victory in Spain, moving just nine points behind Ayrton Senna with two races to go. However, Senna would win the Championship at the following race in Japan if he finished ahead of Prost, while the Frenchman himself would effectively lose two points if he finished fourth or higher as a result of the dropped score rule. There were various other title permutations at the penultimate race, although Prost would likely have to win the race just to prevent Senna claiming the crown.
It was a similar story in the Constructors Championship, with Ferrari scoring enough points as a result of their one-two to keep their title ambitions alive. However, the Italian squad would still have to outscore Championship leaders McLaren-Honda by at least three points in Suzuka to keep the fight alive heading into Australia. McLaren-Honda, in contrast, were determined to claim the crown on Honda's home soil, knowing they would likely win the crown if they did not have another double dnf in the final two rounds.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- 'Spanish GP, 1989', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2015), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr498.html, (Accessed 22/04/2019)
- 'Spain 1990: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1990/espagne/engages.aspx, (Accessed 09/07/2019)
- '1990 Spanish GP: Pre-Qualifying'. chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), http://www.chicanef1.com/race.pl?year=1990&gp=Spanish%20GP&r=1&type=preq, (Accessed 09/07/2019)
- 'Tio Pepe Spanish Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1990/races/77/spain/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 09/07/2019)
- 'Tio Pepe Spanish Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 2', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1990/races/77/spain/qualifying-2.html, (Accessed 09/07/2019)
- 'Spain 1990: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1990/espagne/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 09/07/2019)
- 'Spain 1990: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1990/espagne/classement.aspx, (Accessed 09/07/2019)
- '14. Spain 1990', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1990/espagne.aspx, (Accessed 09/07/2019)
- '1990 Spanish GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2015), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1990&gp=Spanish%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 21/04/2019)
|V T E||Spanish Grand Prix|
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