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1991 French Grand Prix

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Date  7 July 1991
Course length  4.250 km (2.651 mi)
Course  Permanent circuit
Driver  Riccardo Patrese
1991 French Grand Prix
Location  Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, Magny-Cours, France
Distance  72 laps, 306.000 km (190.892 mi)

The 1991 French Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Magny-Cours on 7 July 1991. It was the seventh round of the 1991 Formula One season.



The French Grand Prix had moved from its home in Paul Ricard to Magny-Cours to mixed reviews. There were no changes in the driver market, but the Footwork team had decided to abandon the disastrous Porsche V12 engine project and went back to Ford engines while Ferrari introduced a new car, the 643. In qualifying Alain Prost impressed at home, as he often does, and looked good to score Ferrari's first pole position of the season, but in the dying minutes Riccardo Patrese in the Williams-Renault came through to pip the French driver to the pole. Championship leader Ayrton Senna spun on Olivier Grouillard's oil on his final qualifying attempt and had to settle for third alongside Nigel Mansell in the second Williams, with the rest of the top ten starting spots occupied by Gerhard Berger, Jean Alesi, Nelson Piquet, Roberto Moreno, MaurĂ­cio Gugelmin, and the impressive Gianni Morbidelli in a Minardi. At the start Patrese made a disastrous start and dropped to 10th position on lap 1, so Prost led from Mansell, Senna, Berger, and Alesi, while Bertrand Gachot spun off on the first lap in his Jordan. Berger was the first of the big boys to go out when his engine failed on lap 6, his third consecutive DNF due to engine problems. Patrese started another recovery drive by passing both Piquet and Morbidelli in one fell swoop when Morbidelli botched an overtaking attempt, taking himself out of the running. At the front Mansell pressured Prost and on Lap 21 he made his move taking advantage of traffic to out-brake the French star going into the hairpin. Mansell slowly pulled away but problems at his first tyre stop dropped him back behind Prost. Mansell once again closed on Prost and the two battled it out until Mansell finally managed to take advantage of traffic, again, and took the lead on Lap 54 by this time outbraking Prost around the outside at the hairpin. Mansell pulled away and scored his first win of the season, Prost was second followed by Senna, Alesi, Patrese, and de Cesaris.

Championship standings after the race

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

    1991 French Grand Prix Wikipedia

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