The 1986 Brazilian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Jacarepaguá on March 23, 1986. It was the opening round of the 1986 Formula One season. It was the 15th Brazilian Grand Prix and the seventh to be held at Jacarepaguá in Rio de Janeiro. The race was held over 61 laps of the five kilometre circuit for a race distance of 307 kilometres.
The race was won by Brazilian racer Nelson Piquet driving a Williams FW11. It was Piquet's second victory at his home race having won it previously three years earlier. He would have been the Brazilian with the most wins at his home race (with 3 wins) had his 1982 victory not been disqualified, and would have been the first Brazilian to win his home race three times. It was his 14th Grand Prix victory and the first for his new team, Williams. Piquet won by 34 seconds over countryman Ayrton Senna driving a Lotus 98T. A minute behind Piquet was French driver Jacques Laffite driving a Ligier JS27.
The new season had seen many driver changes, the most significant was Piquet's arrival at Williams after seven years at Brabham, while Keke Rosberg joined McLaren and Elio de Angelis joined Brabham in the other major moves. Senna used his influence at Lotus to ensure they hired a driver that would not interfere with his campaign which left Derek Warwick out of a seat, although that would prove to be temporary. Williams was missing their team principal, Frank Williams who had had a car accident in pre-season testing that left him a quadraplegic.
Senna led from pole position but was soon under threat from the Williams pair. Nigel Mansell spun off track on the opening lap after contact with Senna, but Piquet was in the lead by lap three. As pitstops began it started to look as though Alain Prost (McLaren MP4/2C) might pull a surprise by only pitting once and snatching the win away from the Brazilians but that came to an end along with Prost's TAG-Porsche engine just past half-distance.
There was no threat to the Brazilian pair after that with Piquet retaking the lead from Senna after the latter's final tyre stop. Behind Laffite was his Ligier team mate René Arnoux. Fifth place was taken by the Tyrrell 014 of Martin Brundle, his first points finish since his debut season two years previously. Gerhard Berger finish sixth in his Benetton B186 on the debut for the new team which had taken over the Toleman team during the off-season. Philippe Streiff in the second Tyrrell, Elio de Angelis (Brabham BT55), Johnny Dumfries (Lotus 98T) and Teo Fabi (Benetton B186) were the only other finishers in a day of high attrition where Mansell had been the only non-mechanical retirement.
Ayrton Senna 4 (1-2, 19, 41), Nelson Piquet 50 (3-18, 27-40, 42-61), Alain Prost 7 (20-26)Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.