Senna '91: Ayrton's unhappy triumph at Imola

The Brazilian achieved his third consecutive success and established himself at the head of the tournament, although he did not hide his annoyance at the performance of his McLaren.

Tfollowing the excursion through the American continent, which included the Grand Prizes of United States y Brazil F1 He came to Europe to continue his 1991 season and compete in two races before crossing the Atlantic Ocean again. The first stop was the circuit of Imola, scene of Grand Prix of San Marino. The brazilian Ayrton Senna (McLaren) reached this compromise intoned by his perfect start to the year that translated into an eleven-point difference in the championship over archrival, the French. Alain Prost (Ferrari).

The five weeks that separated the second and third dates of the championship were well used by all teams, mainly Williams y Ferrari who worked on their cars to try to keep up with the Woking team.

1991 San Marino GP 2
Start of the San Marino GP. Patrese started better and outplayed Senna.

While in the middle and in the bottom of the maximum peloton there were also some novelties. While Jordan joined as a sponsor Fujifilm, AGS was saved from lowering the blinds thanks to the appearance of Gabriele rafanelli, who bought the shares from Cyril Bourlon by Rouvre and took over the team. Next to him came Patrizio cantu, who became the sports director; and the pilot Fabrizio Barbazza, which replaced Stefan johansson.

That recess of little more than a month also served so that other structures had enough time to enlist their new models such as the Benetton B191-Ford, the Footwork FA12-Porsche, Brabham BT60Y-Yamaha, who had the hand of the Argentine Sergio rinland; and the rough Fondmetal F1-Ford.

There was a lot of expectation about what could happen in this competition, mostly because the weather forecast indicated the presence of rain.

As it had happened in Interlagos, Senna won the pole to the Italian Ricardo Patrese (Williams). Although this time by a slim margin. In the Brazilian GP the difference between the two had been 383/1000; while in Imola the gap narrowed to only 80/1000. Prost, eager to make up ground, placed third 318/1000 behind the poleman.

Ayrton Senna Imola 1991
With his third consecutive win, Senna established himself at the head of the championship.

The rain that had already spoiled Saturday's timed run (Friday's records were taken into account) appeared on Sunday with 10 minutes remaining to the start. The downpour was tremendous to the point that several teams asked Bernie Ecclestone, head of the category, delay the game. However, the Englishman was adamant about his decision to start on time so as not to harm TV.

With that measure the emotions arrived in the middle of the previous lap with the tops of Prost and Gerhard berger (McLaren), who can get back on track and take his place on the grid (5th). Different was the luck of the Gaul, who got stuck and left without even leaving to the surprise of Piero Fusaro, president of the Italian company; and a good part of the 100.000 viewers.

In the game, Patrese surprised Senna and snatched first place. The Brazilian did not give up at any time and began his pursuit without slowing down. During the first laps the Italian's Williams was firmly ahead, but as the laps progressed his engine Renault began to lose performance.

Finally, the leader had to enter the pits on the tenth lap to try to solve the fault and that made it easier for Senna, who became a new leader. The Brazilian went straight to victory seconded by his teammate Berger, the other driver who completed the total of laps. Finnish finished third JJ Lehto (BMS Scuderia Italia), who had started from 16th position.

Despite achieving his 29th victory and stand firm in the tournament with the perfect score, Senna was not happy at all because during the race his car suffered some mechanical problems and even complained about the lack of power from Honda's V12. But he was not the only one with a long face on the podium: Berger did not hide his disgust at the orders he received from McLaren, who asked him not to beat his teammate ... Even second place in the championship did not serve to compensate for the Austrian's fury.

Alain Prost
Alain Prost got confused with his Ferrari in the middle of the previous lap.

But the internal of the English team had no point of comparison with that of Ferrari, where there were reproaches against Prost for having made a beginner's error in the previous lap, although he maintained his position of blaming the transmission of his vehicle ... Italian media quickly caught on. Il Corriere della Sera, for example, called it "Former teacher."

The 1991 edition of the San Marino GP quickly went down in history and the guns were pointed towards the Monaco Grand Prix...


1 1 Ayrton Senna MCLAREN HONDA 61 1:35:14.750 10
2 2 Gerhard Berger MCLAREN HONDA 61 +1.675s 6
3 22 Jyrki-Jarvi lehto DALLARA JUDD 60 +1 lap 4
4 23 Pierluigi Martini MINARDI FERRARI 59 +2 laps 3
5 11 Mika Hakkinen LOTUS JUDD 58 +3 laps 2
6 12 Julian Bailey LOTUS JUDD 58 +3 laps 1
7 25 Thierry Boutsen LIGIER LAMBORGHINI 58 +3 laps 0
8 8 Mark Blundell BRABHAM YAMAHA 58 +3 laps 0
9 35 Eric van de Poele LAMBO LAMBORGHINI 57 DNF 0
10 26 Erik Comas LIGIER LAMBORGHINI 57 +4 laps 0
11 7 Martin Brundle BRABHAM YAMAHA 57 +4 laps 0
12 15 Mauricio Gugelmin LEYTON HOUSE ILMOR 55 DNF 0
13 19 Roberto Moreno BENETTON FORD 54 DNF 0
NC 4 Stephen Modena TYRRELL HONDA 41 DNF 0
NC 33 Andrea by Cesaris JORDAN FORD 37 DNF 0
NC 32 Bertrand Gachot JORDAN FORD 37 DNF 0
NC 29 Eric Bernard LOLA FORD 17 DNF 0
NC 6 Riccardo Patrese WILLIAMS RENAULT 17 DNF 0
NC 3 Satoru Nakajima TYRRELL HONDA 15 DNF 0
NC 24 Gianni Morbidely MINARDI FERRARI 10 DNF 0
NC 28 Jean Alesi FERRARI 2 DNF 0
NC 30 Aguri Suzuki LOLA FORD 2 DNF 0
NC 20 Nelson Piquet BENETTON FORD 1 DNF 0

AVERAGE: 193,671 km / h. LAP RECORD: Berger, on 55th, in 1m26s531 / 1000 at 209,682 km / h. PILOT CHAMPIONSHIP: 1) Senna, 30 points; 2) Berger, 10; 3) Prost, 9; 4) Patrese and Piquet, 6; 6) Lehto, 4; 7) Martini and Modena, 3; 9) Nakajima and Hakkinen, 2; 11) Bailey, Suzuki and Alesi, 1. BUILDERS CUP: 1) McLaren-Honda, 40 points; 2) Ferrari, 10; 3) Benetton-Ford Cosworth and Williams-Renault, 6; 5) Tyrrell-Honda, 5; 6) Dallara-Judd, 4; 7) Minardi-Ferrari and Lotus-Judd, 3; 9) Lola-Ford Cosworth, 1.


Diego durruty

Journalist with 30 years of experience. Worked in magazines STROKE, The graphic, Coequipier y Only TC, on the Internet sites SportsYa!, y and on the radios Rock pop y He covered the Dakar rally for the German agency dpa. He currently drives Two Daring Guys, a car magazine that is broadcast on Tuesdays from 18 to 19 by; is editor of motorsport in Red Bull Argentina, columnist on the show WorldSport (AM Splendid) and in Surf & Rock FM.  He is also a teacher in SPORTS. Now you can read it on his blog:

A comment

  1. That was Senna's best year, winning the championship with a car inferior to the Williamses, especially from mid-championship onwards. The 2 previous championships were not so bright, in the 88 McLaren he was far superior to the rest and in the 90 Suzuka's treacherous maneuver must have made him lose all the points, like Schumacher in the 97.
    That race that of Prost was more than painful, the same as the rest of the year both yours and Ferrari.

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