Senna '91: When the streets of Phoenix surrendered to Ayrton's feet

30 years ago the Brazilian began the campaign that would allow him to win his last title in Formula 1. From today, we will remember each of the races of that event.

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El 1991 championship of the F1 started in the street of Phoenix with its tortuous drawing of 3.721 meters. A total of 35 pilots They showed up to dispute the United States Grand Prix, although only 26 of them had the chance to start. That March all the attention was monopolized Ayrton Senna, who came out to defend the "1" achieved months before after the clash with his archrival Alain Prost at Japan GP.

The champion reached this commitment with very few kilometers on him McLaren MP4 / 6. Although he acknowledged that the chassis lacked a bit, he was satisfied with the performance of the new Honda V12 engine which replaced the V10 used until the previous year. "Competition is likely to be tough with Ferrari"said the Brazilian in the preview.

Ayrton Senna Phoenix 1991 2Although after the 1990 defeat at the Scuderia there was a thirst for revenge, the atmosphere was not quite right. Partly because of Prost's demands, which had a bad idea to bring in the engineers; and also due to certain differences between those responsible for the team. As always in Maranello, nothing is easy ...

In the qualifying tests Senna and Prost replicated the battle they had had in the previous contest. The McLaren took pole position with 1m21s434 / 1000 at 164,496 km / h. The Ferrari came second at 1s121.

The second row was taken over by the pilots of the Williams, the Italian Riccardo Patrese and English Nigel Mansell. And further back they accommodated the Brazilian Nelson Piquet (Benetton) and the French Jean Alesi (Ferrari).

Like any street track, Phoenix did not offer too many passing places and that was well used by Senna, who won from end to end. Prost was the longest behind the champion, although the guard position was also passed to Patrese, Piquet and Alesi, who took the lap record.

Senna's supremacy was such that he beat Prost by more than 16 seconds after having taken half a minute out of it. The podium was completed by Piquet, who arrived very close to the Frenchman. Only four of the 26 drivers who started made it to the end and completed the 81 laps agreed.

Senna was exhilarated by the win, mostly because his car had performed well despite scant previous testing. “It's great if the car is capable of winning after just one weekend of work, but you don't have to take chances. We must guarantee success, not predict it and be convinced of it. It is a competitive car and we must focus on its development ", analyzed.

"Senna was too strong and her car was better than mine", Prost was sincere, who clarified that the characteristics of his car were not adapted to those of the American circuit.

After this magnificent start, Senna concentrated on the second date, none other than the Brazilian Grand Prix March 24. Could this time win in front of your audience?


pos. No. PILOT car VTAS. TIME / DIF. PTS
1 1 Ayrton Senna MCLAREN HONDA 81 2:00:47.828 10
2 27 Alain Cheers FERRARI 81 +16.322s 6
3 20 Nelson Piquet BENETTON FORD 81 +17.376s 4
4 4 Stephen Modena TYRRELL HONDA 81 +25.409s 3
5 3 Satoru Nakajima TYRRELL HONDA 80 +1 round 2
6 30 Aguri Suzuki LOLA FORD 79 +2 laps. 1
7 34 Nicola Larini LAMBO LAMBORGHINI 78 +3 laps. 0
8 17 Gabriele Tarquini AGS FORD 77 +4 laps. 0
9 23 Pierluigi Martini MINARDI FERRARI 75 DNF 0
10 32 Bertrand Gachot JORDAN FORD 75 DNF 0
11 7 Martin Brundle BRABHAM YAMAHA 73 +8 laps. 0
12 28 Jean Alesi FERRARI 72 DNF 0
NC 11 Mika Hakkinen LOTUS JUDD 59 DNF 0
NC 6 Riccardo patrese WILLIAMS RENAULT 49 DNF 0
NC 19 Roberto Moreno BENETTON FORD 49 DNF 0
NC 9 Michele Alboreto FOOTWORK PORSCHE 41 DNF 0
NC 25 Thierry Boutsen LIGIER LAMBORGHINI 40 DNF 0
NC 2 Gerhard Berger MCLAREN HONDA 36 DNF 0
NC 5 Nigel Mansell WILLIAMS RENAULT 35 DNF 0
NC 15 Mauricio Gugelmin LEYTON HOUSE ILMOR 34 DNF 0
NC 8 Mark Blundell BRABHAM YAMAHA 32 DNF 0
NC 21 Emanuele Pirro DALLARA JUDD 16 DNF 0
NC 24 Gianni Morbidely MINARDI FERRARI 15 DNF 0
NC 22 Jyrki Jarvilehto DALLARA JUDD 12 DNF 0
NC 29 Eric Bernard LOLA FORD 4 DNF 0

AVERAGE: 149,706 km / h. LAP RECORD: Alesi, on 49th, in 1: 26.758 / 1000 at 154,402 km / h. PILOT CHAMPIONSHIP: 1) Senna, 10 points; 2) Prost, 6; 3) Piquet, 4; 4) Modena, 3; 5) Nakajima, 2; 6) Suzuki, 1. BUILDERS CUP: 1) McLaren, 10 points; 2) Ferrari, 6; 3) Tyrrell, 5; 4) Benetton, 4; 5) Lola, 1.

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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:

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