Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

1991 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Date  24 March 1991
Course length  4.325 km (2.687 mi)
1991 Brazilian Grand Prix
Location  Autódromo José Carlos Pace São Paulo, Brazil
Course  Permanent racing facility
Distance  71 laps, 307.075 km (190.807 mi)
Weather  Cloudy. Ambient temperature: 29.4°C (85°F). Humidity: 95%. Wind speed: 33.7 km/h (21 mph).

The 1991 Brazilian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Interlagos on 24 March 1991.


Race summary

Ayrton Senna made a perfect start to lead from Nigel Mansell, Riccardo Patrese, Jean Alesi, Gerhard Berger and Alain Prost, building up a lead of some 3 seconds by lap 8. However Mansell was closing and by lap 20 the gap was down to 0.7s. On lap 17 Prost pitted for new tires, keen to avoid being stuck behind Nelson Piquet's Benetton. Mansell pitted on lap 26, but the stop was terrible - lasting over 14 seconds. This returned him to the race in 4th place behind Patrese and Alesi. After Senna and Patrese had made their stops, Mansell was some 7 seconds behind the lead McLaren. There seemed no doubt that Senna would be caught but the chance never arose as on lap 50 Mansell had to stop for a new set of tires after a puncture caused by debris on the track. Unknown to observers, Senna's gearbox was failing, having lost fourth gear and by lap 60 the lead was halved and Mansell had set fastest lap. Yet ironically it was Mansell's gearbox that gave way first, causing him to retire on lap 61. With just a couple of laps left, Senna had also lost fifth and third gears. Having to maintain sixth gear in slow and medium corners meant that several times he nearly stalled. Patrese was catching him rapidly, but with gearbox problems of his own he was unable to pass. As the weather deteriorated Senna began gesturing to stewards to stop the race, an act he repeated in Adelaide later in the season.

Senna won by a mere 2.9 seconds from Patrese. When he crossed the finish line, he started to scream in celebration of achieving his dream of winning at home. The tremendous struggle of trying to keep the car under control, caused him to have muscle cramps and fever. After stopping his car, Senna was almost unable to move on his own. He had to be lifted bodily from the car due to exhaustion and driven to the podium in the medical car. Despite a small fire on the grid and a sticking throttle, Berger claimed the final podium place from Prost, Piquet and Alesi.

Championship standings after the race

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

    1991 Brazilian Grand Prix Wikipedia

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