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United States  1990 United States Grand Prix
Race details
Race 1 of 16 in the 1990 Formula One season
Phoenix Grand Prix Route - 1989, 1990.svg
Date March 11, 1990
Official name XXVII Iceberg United States Grand Prix
Location Phoenix street circuit
Phoenix, Arizona
Course Temporary Street Course
3.800 km (2.361 mi)
Distance 72 laps, 273.60 km (169.992 mi)
Weather Cloudy, cool
Pole position
Driver Austria Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda
Time 1:28.664
Fastest lap
Driver Austria Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda
Time 1:31.050 on lap 34
Podium
First Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda
Second France Jean Alesi Tyrrell-Ford
Third Belgium Thierry Boutsen Williams-Renault

The 1990 United States Grand Prix was a Formula One race held on March 11, 1990 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Contents

Summary

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Qualifying

Unexpected rain on Saturday threw qualifying for a loop, so the grid was something of a lottery, composed entirely of times from Friday's session. Pirelli's soft qualifying tires caught Goodyear off guard, and the Italian manufacturer put five of its teams in the top ten positions, including Jean Alesi, who was fourth in a Tyrrell. Team manager Ken Tyrrell had surprised the paddock by signing with Pirelli two days before the race, after 18 years with Goodyear. Gerhard Berger's pole-winning McLaren was the only car in the first two rows sporting Goodyears. Pierluigi Martini put Minardi on the front row for the only time in the team's history, less than seven-hundredths off Berger's pole time. In addition, Andrea de Cesaris (Scuderia Italia), Olivier Grouillard (Osella) and Roberto Moreno (EuroBrun) all scored what proved to be their team's best grid position of the year.

Race

Race day was cool with a chance of rain (that never materialized). The start was even more important than usual, because of the haphazardness of the grid positions. Berger quickly pulled ahead of Martini and moved over in front of him, but Alesi, whose F1 career had begun in his home country of France the previous summer, made an even quicker start, passed them both and outbraked Berger into the first corner. He immediately began pulling away, and led by 2.4 seconds after one lap.

Senna got by de Cesaris for third, and closed on Berger, who was giving up a half second a lap to Alesi. The Brazilian got by his teammate when, on lap 9, Berger hit a bump under braking, backed into the tire wall and damaged his rear wing. He pitted for a new wing, and recorded the fastest lap of the race, but eventually retired with a clutch problem.

When Berger spun, Senna was 8.2 seconds behind Alesi. Not knowing whether the Tyrrell's Pirelli tires would last, Senna was reluctant to push too hard early on. The Italian rubber had proven its durability when, after 30 laps, Alesi remained in the lead.

Patiently waiting for an opportunity, Senna slipped inside Alesi on lap 34, but he was shocked when the Tyrrell held the outside line on the exit and took the inside on the next turn! At the same point, one lap later, Senna pounced again, this time making sure he had the proper line through the short straight to the next turn to hold his new position.

After several attempts to regain the lead, Alesi decided to conserve his tires, and let Senna go. Meanwhile, Nelson Piquet had progressed from sixth on the grid to third by lap 17. Brake trouble caused him to flatspot his tires, however, and on lap 28 he pitted for new ones. This allowed Thierry Boutsen's Williams through, and though he battled a problem with his engine intermittently cutting out, he maintained third place to the flag. Piquet had to settle for fourth in his first drive for Benetton.

Prost had fallen back to ninth at the start when he couldn't select third gear, and, while he advanced to fourth place by lap 17, his gearbox troubles proved terminal on lap 21. In the other Ferrari, Nigel Mansell's departure on lap 49, while running fifth, was more spectacular. On the straight at 160 mph, his clutch disintegrated and pierced the oil tank. The engine seized and erupted in a huge fireball, sliding all over the track. Mansell somehow controlled the spin and was able to stop safely.

Senna built his lead over Alesi to 28.5 seconds, but backed off slightly when his engine began sounding less than healthy. Stefano Modena and Satoru Nakajima, in a Brabham and the second Tyrrell, respectively, finished the scoring in fifth and sixth places.

The first two finishers were full of praise for one another after the race. Senna said he knew Alesi had the ingredients to be World Champion, and Alesi gushed, "He is my hero and has been for many years." Other winners in the race were Ken Tyrrell, with two cars in the points; and Pirelli, with three points finishers. About the only down note was the tiny crowd of 15,000 that witnessed such a great show.

Classification

Pre Qualifying

Pos No Driver Constructor Time
1 33 Brazil Roberto Moreno Euro Brun-Judd 1:32.292
2 29 France Éric Bernard Larrousse-Lamborghini 1:32.711
3 14 France Olivier Grouillard Osella-Ford 1:33.181
4 30 Japan Aguri Suzuki Larrousse-Lamborghini 1:33.331
5 17 Italy Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Ford 1:35.420
6 18 France Yannick Dalmas AGS-Ford 1:35.481
7 34 Italy Claudio Langes Euro Brun-Judd 1:37.399
8 39 Australia Gary Brabham Life 2:07.147
9 31 Belgium Bertrand Gachot Coloni-Subaru 5:15.010

Qualifying

Pos No Driver Constructor Q1 Q2
1 28 Austria Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda 1:28.664 1:53.486
2 23 Italy Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ford 1:28.731 2:33.083
3 22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Dallara-Ford 1:29.019 1:57.435
4 4 France Jean Alesi Tyrrell-Ford 1:29.408 1:54.738
5 27 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 1:29.431 1:52.015
6 20 Brazil Nelson Piquet Benetton-Ford 1:29.862 1:55.449
7 1 France Alain Prost Ferrari 1:29.910 1:56.661
8 14 France Olivier Grouillard Osella-Ford 1:29.947 No Time
9 5 Belgium Thierry Boutsen Williams-Renault 1:30.059 1:52.771
10 8 Italy Stefano Modena Brabham-Judd 1:30.127 No Time
11 3 Japan Satoru Nakajima Tyrrell-Ford 1:30.130 No Time
12 6 Italy Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault 1:30.213 1:53.530
13 25 Italy Nicola Larini Ligier-Ford 1:30.424 No Time
14 24 Italy Paolo Barilla Minardi-Ford 1:31.194 No Time
15 29 France Éric Bernard Larrousse-Lamborghini 1:31.226 No Time
16 33 Brazil Roberto Moreno Euro Brun-Judd 1:31.247 1:51.538
17 2 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Ferrari 1:31.363 1:52.405
18 30 Japan Aguri Suzuki Larrousse-Lamborghini 1:31.414 No Time
19 12 United Kingdom Martin Donnelly Lotus-Lamborghini 1:31.650 1:49.942
20 26 France Philippe Alliot Ligier-Ford 1:31.664 No Time
21 10 Germany Bernd Schneider Arrows-Ford 1:31.892 No Time
22 9 Italy Michele Alboreto Arrows-Ford 1:31.948 1:54.499
23 19 Italy Alessandro Nannini Benetton-Ford 1:31.984 No Time
24 7 Switzerland Gregor Foitek Brabham-Judd 1:32.398 No Time
25 11 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Lotus-Lamborghini 1:32.400 2:05.974
26 15 Brazil Maurício Gugelmin Leyton House-Judd 1:32.904 No Time
27 16 Italy Ivan Capelli Leyton House-Judd 1:33.044 No Time
28 35 Sweden Stefan Johansson Onyx-Ford 1:33.468 No Time
29 21 Italy Gianni Morbidelli Dallara-Ford 1:34.292 No Time
30 36 Finland Jyrki Järvilehto Onyx-Ford No Time No Time

Race

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 27 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 72 1:52:32.829 5 9
2 4 France Jean Alesi Tyrrell-Ford 72 +8.685 4 6
3 5 Belgium Thierry Boutsen Williams-Renault 72 +54.080 9 4
4 20 Brazil Nelson Piquet Benetton-Ford 72 +1:08.358 6 3
5 8 Italy Stefano Modena Brabham-Judd 72 +1:09.503 10 2
6 3 Japan Satoru Nakajima Tyrrell-Ford 71 +1 Lap 11 1
7 23 Italy Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ford 71 +1 Lap 2
8 29 France Éric Bernard Larrousse-Lamborghini 71 +1 Lap 15
9 6 Italy Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault 71 +1 Lap 12
10 9 Italy Michele Alboreto Arrows-Ford 70 +2 Laps 21
11 19 Italy Alessandro Nannini Benetton-Ford 70 +2 Laps 22
12 10 Germany Bernd Schneider Arrows-Ford 70 +2 Laps 20
13 33 Brazil Roberto Moreno Euro Brun-Judd 67 +5 Laps 16
14 15 Brazil Maurício Gugelmin Leyton House-Judd 66 +6 Laps 25
Ret 24 Italy Paolo Barilla Minardi-Ford 54 Physical 14
Ret 30 Japan Aguri Suzuki Larrousse-Lamborghini 53 Brakes 18
Ret 2 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Ferrari 49 Clutch 17
Ret 28 Austria Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda 44 Clutch 1
Ret 7 Switzerland Gregor Foitek Brabham-Judd 39 Accident 23
Ret 14 France Olivier Grouillard Osella-Ford 39 Collision 8
Ret 22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Dallara-Ford 25 Engine 3
Ret 1 France Alain Prost Ferrari 21 Oil Leak 7
Ret 16 Italy Ivan Capelli Leyton House-Judd 20 Electrical 26
Ret 11 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Lotus-Lamborghini 6 Gearbox 24
Ret 25 Italy Nicola Larini Ligier-Ford 4 Throttle 13
Ret 12 United Kingdom Martin Donnelly Lotus-Lamborghini 0 Gearbox 19
DSQ 26 France Philippe Alliot Ligier-Ford
DNQ 35 Sweden Stefan Johansson Onyx-Ford
DNQ 21 Italy Gianni Morbidelli Dallara-Ford
DNQ 36 Finland Jyrki Järvilehto Onyx-Ford
DNPQ 17 Italy Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Ford
DNPQ 18 France Yannick Dalmas AGS-Ford
DNPQ 34 Italy Claudio Langes Euro Brun-Judd
DNPQ 39 Australia Gary Brabham Life
DNPQ 31 Belgium Bertrand Gachot Coloni-Subaru
Previous race:
1989 Australian Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1990 season
Next race:
1990 Brazilian Grand Prix
Previous race:
1989 United States Grand Prix
United States Grand Prix Next race:
1991 United States Grand Prix

Notes

  • It was the 21st win of Ayrton Senna's career and the first of six on the season. The Brazilian would go on to win his second World Championship,
  • Lap Leaders: Jean Alesi, 34 laps (1-34); Senna, 38 laps (35-72)
  • Martin Donnelly did not take the dummy grid due to gearbox failure. (Some sources consider this a DNS.)
  • Philippe Alliot was disqualified when a mechanic worked on the car outside of the pit area during Friday's practice.
  • First Grand Prix start: Gregor Foitek
  • First podium: Jean Alesi

References

  • Rob Walker (June, 1990). "2nd United States Grand Prix at Phoenix: Senna's Surprise". Road & Track, 92-96.

External links

Coordinates: 33°26′52.5″N 112°4′28.5″W / 33.447917°N 112.074583°W / 33.447917; -112.074583


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