Rahul Sharma (Editor)

1990 German Grand Prix

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Date  29 July 1990
Course length  6.802 km (4.2265 mi)
1990 German Grand Prix
Official name  Grosser Mobil 1 Preis von Deutschland
Location  Hockenheimring near Heidelberg, West Germany
Course  Permanent racing facility
Distance  45 laps, 306.090 km (190.195 mi)

The 1990 German Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Hockenheimring on 29 July 1990. It was the ninth round of the 1990 Formula One season. The race was the 52nd German Grand Prix and the 14th to be held at the Hockenheimring. It was the 39th and last Formula One Grand Prix to be held in West Germany prior to its re-unification with East Germany. The race was held over 45 laps of the seven kilometre circuit for a race distance of 306 kilometres.


The race was won by 1988 World Champion, Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna driving a McLaren MP4/5B. He took a six-second victory over Italian driver Alessandro Nannini driving a Benetton B190 who was just two seconds in front of Senna's Austrian teammate Gerhard Berger.

Senna's win put him back into the championship points lead, four ahead of Ferrari driver Alain Prost.


After three straight wins by Alain Prost, McLaren-Honda showed that they were back on top in qualifying. Pole man Senna and second placed Berger (only 0.2 seconds slower) were the only drivers to lap in the 1:40's and they did this during the first qualifying session. The Ferraris of Prost and Nigel Mansell were over 1.5 seconds slower (with the Englishman complaining of a down on power engine compared to his team mate), and the Williams-Renaults of Riccardo Patrese and Thierry Boutsen occupying the 3rd row. So confident were McLaren that their times would not be beaten that both Senna and Berger spent the entire second qualifying session working on their race set up without actually setting anything like a qualifying time, their fastest times over 6 seconds slower than the previous day.

Rounding out the top 10 were Nelson Piquet (Benetton-Ford), Jean Alesi (Tyrrell-Ford), Alessandro Nannini (Benetton-Ford) who had a fiery crash during Friday qualifying at the Bremsschikane 2 after riding a curb and hitting the barrier hard enough to throw the car into the air and back onto the track causing the session to be stopped. Nannini survived the crash with little more than bruised pride. The 10th fastest qualifier was Ivan Capelli in the Leyton House-Judd. Such was the spread in times that Capelli was some 4.151 seconds slower than Senna.

Race report

The circuit's fast nature resulted in several engine failures, although the four big teams of the era took all six points-paying positions.

Before the race, the Coloni team ended their involvement with the uncompetitive Subaru engine. Bertrand Gachot's modified Coloni C3C arrived at the circuit with a customer Cosworth V8 and would remain so until season's end. Unlike Gachot, both Onyx Grand Prix team mates JJ Lehto and Gregor Foitek both got their renamed Monteverdi ORE-2's into the race, the last time either car would qualify for a race prior to the team's dissolution in August.

Philippe Alliot was disqualified because marshals helped his Ligier JS33B rejoin the race after being blocked by the spinning Dallara 190 of Emanuele Pirro. Fastest lap of the race was set by Thierry Boutsen in his Williams, his first such achievement.

Championship standings after the race

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

    1990 German Grand Prix Wikipedia