1991_Australian_Grand_Prix

1991 Australian Grand Prix

The 1991 Australian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on November 3, 1991 at the Adelaide Street Circuit. It was the 16th and final race of the 1991 Formula One season. Torrential rain resulted in the race being stopped after 16 of the scheduled 81 laps had been completed. Confusion caused the official results to be declared from the end of the 14th lap. As of August 2008, it holds the record for being the shortest Formula One race ever held.

The race was won by Ayrton Senna, with Nigel Mansell in second position. Mansell was unable to take part in the post race podium ceremony, following a crash at the end of the race that left him requiring hospital treatment. Gerhard Berger, Senna's McLaren teammate, finished in third position. Because less than half the scheduled race distance had been completed, only half the normal World Championship points were awarded.

Report

Pre-Race

Ferrari terminated Alain Prost's contract with the team following his public criticism of them. His raceseat was taken by Gianni Morbidelli, the Ferrari test driver. After being dropped by the Jordan team two races earlier, Roberto Moreno returned to Formula One to take Morbidelli’s place at Minardi. Benetton did not renew Nelson Piquet's contract with the team, and Australia would be his last Formula One race. Bertrand Gachot returned to Formula One after completing his jail sentence in Britain, replacing Eric Bernard at Larrousse, who had been injured at the previous race meeting in Japan.

Qualifying

Both practice and qualifying sessions were sunny and dry. In pre-qualifying Gabriele Tarquini failed to pre-qualify as his track time was limited after a left rear suspension failure on the exit of turn 11, which turned his car into the wall. Naoki Hattori ended the season for Coloni with another pre-qualification failure, which they had achieved in every race meeting of the 1991 season. Hattori would not get another chance in Formula 1 after this event. In the main qualifying session, Aguri Suzuki crashed heavily at turn 1 which contributed to his failure to qualify. His new team mate Bertrand Gachot also didn't progress through qualifying. Martin Brundle, having finished in the points in the last race, surprisingly struggled and failed to qualify in his last race for Brabham-Yamaha. Stefano Modena also crashed in qualifying but was unhurt and able to take the race start on Sunday, having already set a time that was sufficient for him to secure th place on the grid. McLaren managed to qualify both their cars on the front row of the grid with Senna in pole position. Nigel Mansell and Riccardo Patrese, in the two Williams-Renault cars, occupied the second row. Benetton occupied the third row with Nelson Piquet out-qualifying Michael Schumacher for the only time in the 1991 season.

Race

In the torrential rain the race started mostly without incident. Riccardo Patrese lost two places at the start and emerged behind Jean Alesi’s Ferrari but there were no accidents in the first few laps. However as the race continued into lap 3 Gerhard Berger, unseen by the television cameras, ran wide which allowed Nigel Mansell to move up to second position, but rejoining in third. Nigel Mansell then proceeded to quickly close the gap to Ayrton Senna in first place. But by lap 5 the incidents began to occur which would affect Nigel Mansell’s ability to pass Ayrton Senna. This was because so many yellow flags were being displayed by the marshals around the extremely wet circuit. On lap six Nigel Mansell moved alongside Senna on the Brabham Straight but quickly saw a wave from a marshal, who was leaning out from the barriers, to warn of wreckage ahead. Nicola Larini’s Modena-Lambo had crashed on the straight and was lying across the track. Mansell had to abandon his line and rejoin the racing line behind Senna, who had also had to avoid Jean Alesi’s stricken Ferrari, which had also crashed yards after Larini on the other side of the road.

Pierluigi Martini’s Minardi car aquaplaned on the Brabham Straight on lap 10, which sent his car straight into the right hand wall and rebounded to the other side of the track before eventually stopping out of the driver’s way. This indicated that the rain was beginning to fall even harder, and more torrential than before.

Riccardo Patrese was struggling with his car because a front wing, from another car, got stuck towards the front of his undertray. This was spotted by James Hunt in the BBC race commentary, although Murray Walker had suggested earlier that it was the undertray that was loose. Nigel Mansell then, as a result of the increasing downpour, spun off on the start of lap 16 on the Wakefield Road straight, before turn 3, having "instantly gone out of control". This was according to Mansell himself. The torrential downpour also made Michele Alboreto spin out of the race on lap 15 as well as Stefano Modena, in his last race for Tyrrell-Honda, although he continued.

Gerhard Berger spun off at the end of lap 16 having just recovered from an earlier spin at the Malthouse Corner moments before. Murray Walker said that the weather was becoming worse and the rain was lashing down on the start/finish line. Just after this happened Ayrton Senna drove onto the start/finish straight and gestured to the race officials, as he went past, to try to get the race stopped. Moments later, with Ayrton Senna on lap 17, the race was finally stopped. By the end of lap 16 the race order actually was Senna in 1st from Piquet, Morbidelli, de Cesaris, Zanardi and Modena. However, the race officials decided to count back to lap 14 despite the 1991 ruling that early race stoppages should have been counted back one lap. This incident was similar to the controversy of the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix, where computers finalising the race concluded the result a lap too early.

There were attempts to restart the race from the officials, who showed their determination to do so by ordering the 10 minute warning board to be displayed to the drivers and teams to indicate a race restart. But after serious protests from Ayrton Senna and Riccardo Patrese who stormed up the race stewards to argue against a restart, the race was finally abandoned for good. Roland Bruynseraede eventually waved the red flag to indicate the stoppage to the spectators, drivers and teams. As a result, Ayrton Senna was declared the race winner from Mansell and Berger.

The podium ceremony only had Ayrton Senna and Gerhard Berger present because Nigel Mansell was sent to hospital after the injuries he sustained in his crash on lap 16. Ayrton Senna in the post race press conference mentioned that “I don’t think that was a race, it was just a matter of staying on the circuit, and there was no point to try to go quick at all. It was impossible! We had a race, a very bad one, here a couple of years ago and then was impossible [in reference to the 1989 Australian Grand Prix] and today was even worse! There was even more water on the back straight”. Nigel Mansell, after being helped from his Williams-Renault commented that “everything was ok other than it was a complete joke, I mean there were debris all over the place”. He also made reference to the fact that “there was a truck down the straight” as well as four cars and, as a result, the race should have had 10 laps to be stopped.

With less than seventy-five percent of the race distance being completed, half the usual world championship points were awarded. Senna and Berger's result was enough for McLaren to win the 1991 World Constructors Championship by 14 points over Williams. This was McLaren's seventh constructors championship, and their fourth and last championship won with engine partners Honda.

Classification

Qualifying classification

Pos No Driver Constructor Lap Gap
1 1 Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 1:14.041
2 2 Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda 1:14.385 +0.344
3 5 Nigel Mansell Williams-Renault 1:14.822 +0.781
4 6 Ricardo Patrese Williams-Renault 1:15.057 +1.016
5 20 Nelson Piquet Benetton-Ford 1:15.291 +1.250
6 19 Michael Schumacher Benetton-Ford 1:15.508 +1.467
7 28 Jean Alesi Ferrari 1:15.545 +1.504
8 27 Gianni Morbidelli Ferrari 1:16.203 +2.162
9 4 Stefano Modena Tyrrell-Honda 1:16.253 +2.212
10 23 Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ferrari 1:16.359 +2.318
11 22 Jyrki Järvilehto Dallara-Judd 1:16.871 +2.830
12 33 Andrea de Cesaris Jordan-Ford 1:17.050 +3.009
13 21 Emanuele Pirro Dallara-Judd 1:17.342 +3.301
14 15 Mauricio Gugelmin Leyton House-Ilmor 1:17.344 +3.303
15 9 Michele Alboreto Footwork-Ford 1:17.355 +3.314
16 32 Alessandro Zanardi Jordan-Ford 1:17.362 +3.321
17 8 Mark Blundell Brabham-Yamaha 1:17.365 +3.324
18 24 Roberto Moreno Minardi-Ferrari 1:17.639 +3.598
19 34 Nicola Larini Lambo-Lamborghini 1:17.936 +3.895
20 25 Thierry Boutsen Ligier-Lamborghini 1:17.969 +3.958
21 12 Johnny Herbert Lotus-Judd 1:18.091 +4.050
22 26 Érik Comas Ligier-Lamborghini 1:18.112 +4.071
23 10 Alex Caffi Footwork-Ford 1:18.157 +4.116
24 3 Satoru Nakajima Tyrrell-Honda 1:18.216 +4.175
25 11 Mika Häkkinen Lotus-Judd 1:18.271 +4.230
26 16 Karl Wendlinger Leyton House-Ilmor 1:18.282 +4.241
DNQ 30 Aguri Suzuki Larrousse-Ford 1:18.393 +4.352
DNQ 7 Martin Brundle Brabham-Yamaha 1:18.855 +4.814
DNQ 35 Eric van de Poele Lambo-Lamborghini 1:19.000 +4.959
DNQ 29 Bertrand Gachot Larrousse-Ford 1:19.274 +5.233
DNPQ 14 Gabriele Tarquini Fondmetal-Ford 1:18.184 +4.143
DNPQ 31 Naoki Hattori Coloni-Ford 1:22.852 +8.811

Race classification

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1 Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 14 24:34.899 1 5
2 5 Nigel Mansell Williams-Renault 14 + 1.259 3 3
3 2 Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda 14 + 5.120 2 2
4 20 Nelson Piquet Benetton-Ford 14 + 30.103 5 1.5
5 6 Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault 14 + 50.537 4 1
6 27 Gianni Morbidelli Ferrari 14 + 51.069 8 0.5
7 21 Emanuele Pirro Dallara-Judd 14 + 52.361 13  
8 33 Andrea de Cesaris Jordan-Ford 14 + 1:00.431 12  
9 32 Alessandro Zanardi Jordan-Ford 14 + 1:15.567 16  
10 4 Stefano Modena Tyrrell-Honda 14 + 1:20.370 9  
11 12 Johnny Herbert Lotus-Judd 14 + 1:22.073 21  
12 22 Jyrki Järvilehto Dallara-Judd 14 + 1:38.519 11  
13 9 Michele Alboreto Footwork-Ford 14 + 1:39.303 15  
14 15 Mauricio Gugelmin Leyton House-Ilmor 13 + 1 Lap 14  
15 10 Alex Caffi Footwork-Ford 13 + 1 Lap 23  
16 24 Roberto Moreno Minardi-Ferrari 13 + 1 Lap 18  
17 8 Mark Blundell Brabham-Yamaha 13 + 1 Lap 17  
18 26 Érik Comas Ligier-Lamborghini 13 + 1 Lap 22  
19 11 Mika Häkkinen Lotus-Judd 13 + 2 Laps 25  
20 16 Karl Wendlinger Leyton House-Ilmor 12 + 2 Laps 26  
Ret 23 Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ferrari 8 Spun Off 10  
Ret 19 Michael Schumacher Benetton-Ford 5 Spun Off 6  
Ret 28 Jean Alesi Ferrari 5 Accident 7  
Ret 34 Nicola Larini Lambo-Lamborghini 5 Spun Off 19  
Ret 25 Thierry Boutsen Ligier-Lamborghini 5 Accident 20  
Ret 3 Satoru Nakajima Tyrrell-Honda 4 Spun Off 24  
DNQ 30 Aguri Suzuki Larrousse-Ford    
DNQ 7 Martin Brundle Brabham-Yamaha    
DNQ 35 Eric van de Poele Lambo-Lamborghini    
DNQ 29 Bertrand Gachot Larrousse-Ford    
DNPQ 14 Gabriele Tarquini Fondmetal-Ford    
DNPQ 31 Naoki Hattori Coloni-Ford    

  • - Race called from running order after 14 laps. Drivers completed 16 laps overall.

Notes

References

Search another word or see 1991_Australian_Grand_Prixon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature