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1990 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Date  September 23, 1990
Course length  4.360 km (2.725 mi)
1990 Portuguese Grand Prix
Official name  XIX Grande Premio de Portugal
Location  Autódromo do Estoril in Estoril, Portugal
Course  Permanent racing facility
Distance  61 laps, 265.96 km (166.225 mi)

The 1990 Portuguese Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 23 September 1990 at Autódromo do Estoril. It was the thirteenth round of the 1990 Formula One season. The race was the 19th Portuguese Grand Prix and the seventh to be held at Estoril. It was held over 61 laps, of a scheduled 71 laps, of the four kilometre circuit for a race distance of 266 kilometres. The race was declared early after an accident involving Italian driver Alex Caffi in an Arrows A11B and Japanese driver Aguri Suzuki in a Lola LC90.


British driver Nigel Mansell took his only victory of the season in his Ferrari 641, and his last for Scuderia Ferrari. He finished over two seconds ahead of Brazilian driver and series points leader Ayrton Senna driving a McLaren MP4/5B. Mansell's team mate French driver Alain Prost kept his fading championship hopes alive with a third-placed finish. The gap though was now 18 points. A win for Senna at any of the three remaining races would secure his second world championship.

Race report

Tyrrell Racing's Satoru Nakajima qualified 20th but withdrew due to influenza after crashing in the Sunday morning warm-up session. The grid was adjusted accordingly, although only 25 drivers started as no non-qualifier was reinstated.

At the start with both Ferraris on the front row (Nigel Mansell on pole, Alain Prost second), Mansell got too much wheelspin at start that he slid across the track towards Prost, who had to avoid being shunted into the pitwall. All of this allowed the McLarens of Ayrton Senna and Gerhard Berger to slip past Mansell and Prost to make it a McLaren 1–2 with Senna leading into the first corner. After all the mid race tyre stops, it was Senna, leading from Mansell, Berger and Prost. A few laps later Mansell had caught Senna and passed him into turn one (Senna letting him through, compared to the year before, when they collided).

On lap 52, race leader Nigel Mansell was attempting to lap the Ligier JS33B of Philippe Alliot when the Frenchman stuck to the racing line by driving inches in front of Mansell into the inside of "Curva 2" corner. However, the right rear wheel of his car hit the left front of Mansell's Ferrari and Alliot was sent spinning into the Armco barrier. Mansell came out unscathed from this incident.

Ferrari announced that Jean Alesi would partner Alain Prost for 1991. Alesi was reported to have already signed a contract with Williams, but changed his mind when Ferrari showed an interest, feeling that this would give him more chance of winning a championship. For this race Life Racing Engines abandoned use of their own in house W12 engine in favour of Judd V8 engines. The engine cover of the Life F190 then failed to fit properly as a result.

Lap leaders

  • Lap Leaders: Ayrton Senna 46 laps (1–28, 32–49); Gerhard Berger 3 laps (29–31); Nigel Mansell 11 laps (50–61)
  • Championship standings after the race

  • Bold text indicates who still has a theoretical chance of becoming World Champion.
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
  • References

    1990 Portuguese Grand Prix Wikipedia

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