Trisha Shetty (Editor)

1990 San Marino Grand Prix

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Date  13 May 1990
Course length  5.040 km (3.132 mi)
1990 San Marino Grand Prix
Official name  X Gran Premio di San Marino
Location  Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Course  Permanent racing facility
Distance  61 laps, 307.440 km (191.033 mi)

The 1990 San Marino Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 13 May 1990 at Imola. It was the third round of the 1990 Formula One season. It was the tenth San Marino Grand Prix and it was the eleventh time Imola hosted a Formula One Grand Prix. The race was held over 61 laps of the five kilometre circuit for a race distance of 307 kilometres.


The race was won by Italian driver Riccardo Patrese driving a Williams FW13B. It was Patrese's third Grand Prix victory, his first since 1983 and his first for Williams. Patrese took a five-second victory over Austrian driver Gerhard Berger driving a McLaren MP4/5B. Third was Italian driver Alessandro Nannini driving a Benetton B190.

Pre race

In the run-up to the first European round of the world championship there were a few changes to the grid. Brabham fired accident-prone Swiss driver Gregor Foitek and replaced him with David Brabham, son of team founder Jack. Foitek moved over to the troubled Onyx team to replace Stefan Johansson, who was unhappy at the way the team was being run. David's brother Gary Brabham had come to his senses and quit the hopeless Life team, and he was replaced by Italian veteran Bruno Giacomelli who had not raced since 1983; he would predictably fail to pre-qualify. Meanwhile, Emanuele Pirro returned to the Dallara team, having been out of action with hepatitis. The Tyrrell 019– designed by Harvey Postlethwaite– was the first in F1 to sport a "high-nose" design with downward-extending supports for the front wing.

Practice and qualifying

Gabriele Tarquini did not set a pre-qualifying time when his car lost fuel pressure on his first lap. His teammate Yannick Dalmas withdrew due to a wrist injury suffered the previous week during test. Bruno Giacomelli set the record for the slowest lap time in Formula One history in pre-qualifying. Giacomelli set a lap time of 7:16, an average of just over 22 mph in a Life L190 stuck in 3rd gear. In practice Alessandro Nannini had a rather large accident in his brand new Benetton, but it was nothing compared to the mammoth shunt Pierluigi Martini had, the Italian would miss the rest of the weekend with a cracked heel. Qualifying saw the first three rows being a team by team affair with Ayrton Senna on pole, being joined by team-mate Gerhard Berger on the front row. The second row was all Williams with Riccardo Patrese leading Thierry Boutsen. Row three was formed by the Ferraris; Nigel Mansell ahead of Alain Prost. The top ten was completed by Jean Alesi, Nelson Piquet, Nannini, and Derek Warwick.


Emanuele Pirro started from the back of the grid due to his car not starting for the formation lap. The start of the race was eventful with Senna and Berger getting away well. Behind them there was mayhem with Mansell making a mistake causing Ivan Capelli to spin and crash, and Satoru Nakajima colliding with him. At Tosa Martin Donnelly spun, narrowly avoiding hitting anyone. Meanwhile, Boutsen got past Berger but was unable to close on Senna. The order remained the same until lap 3 when Senna pulled off with a broken wheel rim, a rare McLaren mechanical problem. This allowed Boutsen to take the lead, but with Berger hot on his heels. Further back Alesi collided with Piquet while passing him, Piquet spun but continued. Boutsen led until his engine blew up on lap 17, which left Berger ahead of a charging Patrese, who was under serious pressure from Mansell, who passed him going into Tosa, much to the delight of the Italian fans. Mansell continued to charge, despite being hit by Andrea de Cesaris while trying to lap him and challenged Berger for the lead. On the run up to Villeneuve, Mansell tried to go around the outside, but Berger closed the door, causing Mansell to spin dramatically. The Englishman avoided hitting anything and ended up pointing in the right direction, he continued in second place. However, dirt and debris had entered Mansell's engine, causing it to overheat and blow-up a few laps later. Mansell's demise left Berger ahead of Patrese, who went through into the lead on lap 51. Nannini and Prost battled over third place, with Nannini winning out. Patrese duly won his first race in seven years, leading home Berger, Nannini, Prost, Piquet, and Alesi. As of 2014, Patrese's record of 98 races between victories still stands.

Championship standings after the race

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

    1990 San Marino Grand Prix Wikipedia

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