Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

1989 Belgian Grand Prix

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Date  27 August 1989
Course length  6.940 km (4.3123 mi)
1989 Belgian Grand Prix

Official name  XLVII Grand Prix de Belgique
Location  Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps Spa, Belgium
Course  Permanent racing facility
Distance  44 laps, 305.360 km (189.741 mi)

The 1989 Belgian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Spa-Francorchamps on 27 August 1989. It was the eleventh race of the 1989 Formula One season.



Ayrton Senna took his eighth pole position of the season by nearly six-tenths of a second from McLaren team-mate Alain Prost, with almost a further second back to Gerhard Berger in the Ferrari in third. The two Williams were fourth and fifth with Thierry Boutsen, in his home race, ahead of Riccardo Patrese, followed by Nigel Mansell in the second Ferrari. Alessandro Nannini was seventh in the Benetton, over two seconds behind Mansell, and the top ten was completed by Stefano Modena in the Brabham, MaurĂ­cio Gugelmin in the March and Derek Warwick in the Arrows.

The major talking point, however, was the failure of both Nelson Piquet and Satoru Nakajima to qualify, the first time in the Lotus team's history that neither of its cars had qualified.

All the times were determined in the second qualifying session, after the first had taken place in wet conditions.


The race was delayed for some time due to the wet conditions. At the start, Senna led the way from Prost and Berger. Mansell managed to pass both Williams on the grass on the run to La Source hairpin to claim fourth position by the first corner. Early on, Berger pressured Prost but was unable find a way through. Senna comfortably led from start to finish in conditions similar to those in which he won his first Belgian Grand Prix in 1985. Behind him, Berger made his tenth consecutive retirement of the season, leaving Prost to fend off a charging Mansell who, in his efforts to pass the McLaren, made a number of unorthodox moves at the exit of La Source in an attempt to gain a better run at the McLaren through Eau Rouge and on to the long uphill straight. Senna eased up in the last few laps to allow Prost and Mansell to finish within two seconds of him. Boutsen finished fourth in his 100th race. Johnny Herbert, in his first race for Tyrrell (replacing Jean Alesi who was busy competing in the F3000 championship), said during the BBC commentary that in order to see the car in front it was necessary to press the helmet visor against the lens of the rear-facing visibility light from the car in front.

Championship standings after the race

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
  • References

    1989 Belgian Grand Prix Wikipedia