01.9.91F3:- Scotland's David Coulthard convincingly won round 13 of the British Formula 3 Championship at Brands Hatch in a time of 20 mins, 45.09 secs to take a 12 point lead over Rubens Barrichello.
F3000:- Swede Fredrik Ekblom romped to his first ever win in the British F3000 championship in the eighth round at Donington Park. He completed the 39 laps in his Lola T90/50 in 40:18.61, 13.75 seconds ahead of Julian Westwood.
03.9.91 - F1The Brabham Formula One team are to use Judd V10 engines next season. Brabham boss Dennis Nursey agreed the deal earlier this week. Brabham used Judd engines in 1989 and 1990 and the tie-up was expected after the team split with Yamaha last week. Brabham are due to move from their premises in Chessington to Milton Keynes later this year. Martin Brundle will leave the team at team at the end of the year and Damon Hill is hot favourite to take his place.
04.9.91F3000:- Birmingham's Phil Andrews warmed up for the next round of the British F3000 Championship by setting the fastest time in warm-up trials at Brands Hatch.
F.RENAULT:- Championship leader Jason Plato was fastest during testing for the ninth round at Cadwell Park on Sunday.
F1:- Michael Schumacher has signed for Benetton on the eve of this weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Monza. He made his Formula One debut for Jordan in the Belgian GP after Bertrand Gachot was jailed for assaulting a taxi driver in London. Schumacher will complete his World Sportscar Championship commitments with Mercedes at Magny Cours, Mexico and Autopolis. Martin Brundle has been tipped for a switch from Brabham to Benetton to replace Roberto Moreno.
05.9.91 - JOHN WATSON ON THE ITALIAN GRAND PRIXAfter the welcome return of real motor racing at Spa, we can look forward to more of the same in one of the magical homes of F1 - the park of Monza. Once again the main focus of interest will be on two people, with Monza the final key to the '91 World Championship. Winning will not be essential to Ayrton Senna, now leading by 22 points, but you can be certain he will want to win. For Nigel Mansell, another failure to score points would end his title hopes. He needs 10 points to stay in the hunt.
Ayrton Senna will start the race buoyed up by a noticeable improvement in the performance of his McLaren-Honda which was seen during a recent test at Monza. I am assured by team boss Ron Dennis that there will be an even greater performance gain there this weekend. Senna has complained about lack of performance for about the last six GPs and there is no doubt Nigel Mansell has had the quickest car in the race. The gap in performance between the Williams and the McLaren is now barely significant and I believe we are set for a stunning GP at Monza on Sunday.
Mention the name Monza and the Ferrari team automatically springs to mind. But Ferrari in 1991 seem as far from victory on merit as I can ever remember. Both Alain Prost and Jean Alesi will realize the importance and the pressure of being a Ferrari driver at Monza but it is almost inevitable the partisan crowd will be disappointed this time. One driver hoping to celebrate this weekend will be Nelson Piquet, set to start the 200th GP of his career. Only Riccardo Patrese has achieved this mark. I know everyone will wish Piquet a successful and troublefree weekend.
Further down the field we can expect to see German driver Michael Bartels once again substituting for Johnny Herbert in the Lotus-Judd. Unfortunately Lotus, like many other teams, are going to suffer at Monza which is essentially a power circuit. Irish eyes will be looking to the 7Up Jordan-Ford team to give them something to make them smile this weekend. The team faced bitter disappointment at Spa when Andrea de Cesaris retired in the final laps after water loss caused engine failure. A podium finish at Monza would not be out of the question.
Much of the gossip and speculation at Monza is likely to centre on the final destination of the V12 Yamaha engine. Brabham announced last weekend that they would not, after all, have the engine available in 1992. The movements and negotiations of engine manufacturers are becoming as regular as those of the drivers. It is now as important to a Formula One team to have the right engine at the right time as it is to sign the right driver at the right time.
06.9.91 - F1Formula One new boy Michael Schumacher has found himself at the centre of a controversy after being enticed away from 7Up Jordan by the Benetton team. Schumacher made his F1 debut for Jordan at Spa in place of the jailed Bertrand Gachot and tested at Silverstone last week in preparation for Monza. But Schumacher, who drives for Mercedes Benz in the World Sportscar series, was then snapped up by Benetton on what is believed to be a five-year contract. A court in Monza has forced Benetton to compensate sacked Roberto Moreno, who will now drive for Jordan this weekend.
JOHN WATSON COMMENTS:- One of the most shameful events in Formula One history has taken place in Monza before Sunday's Italian GP. The outcome of a great deal of behind the scenes activity is that Michael Schumacher will spend the forseeable future with the Benetton F1 team. He was expected to have driven for the 7Up Jordan team but instead replaces Roberto Moreno, fired by Benetton. Moreno went to court in Monza on Thursday to defend his position in the Benetton team and his case was upheld. As a result he has received financial compensation and becomes a free driver.
The activities surrounding Michael Schumacher have caused a great deal of anxiety among Formula One drivers. Schumacher's F1 future has been decided it seems by Mercedes-Benz motor sport manager Jochen Neerpasch, Benetton and the International Management Group. Rumour has it that Nelson Piquet has spoken out to the Italian Press over the sacking of his teammate Roberto Moreno. This could land the former world champion in serious trouble with the Benetton team.
Nigel Mansell was second fastest behind championship leader Ayrton Senna despite an anxious moment during the first practice session at Monza. He was trying to beat Senna's time when the Ford engine of Aguri Suzuki's Lola blew up in front of him at the chicane, throwing up a screen of dust and smoke. "I had to drive it blind and that was no fun at about 200mph. But I'm very pleased with my car and feel confident we can go faster tomorrow," he said. "I've a feeling we'll have to work hard to maintain our position tomorrow," commented Senna.
FIA WORLD FORMULA ONE CHAMPIONSHIP: Friday practice times: mins secs 1 A Senna Brz McLaren 1:21.114 2 N Mansell GB Williams 1:21.328 3 G Berger Aut McLaren 1:21.360 4 R Patrese It Williams 1:21.619 5 J Alesi Fr Ferrari 1:21.956 6 A Prost Fr Ferrari 1:22.080 7 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1:22.471 8 R Moreno Brz Jordan 1:23.102 9 N Piquet Brz Benetton 1:23.176 10 P Martini It Minardi 1:23.294 11 M Blundell GB Brabham 1:23.473 12 I Capelli It Leyton Hse 1:23.674 13 A de Cesaris It Jordan 1:24.060 14 G Morbidelli It Minardi 1:24.287 15 M Gugelmin Brz Leyton Hse 1:24.391 16 S Modena It Tyrrell 1:24.457 17 S Nakajima Jap Tyrrell 1:24.464 18 E Pirro It Dallara-Fd 1:24.584 19 M Brundle GB Brabham 1:24.713 20 JJ Lehto Fin Dallara-Fd 1:24.733 21 E Comas Fr Ligier 1:25.478 22 N Larini It Lamborg'ni 1:25.717 23 T Boutsen Bel Ligier 1:26.133 24 E Bernard Fr Lola-Ford 1:26.325 25 O Grouillard Fr Fomet-Ford 1:26.416 26 M Alboreto It Footwork 1:26.563 PROVISIONAL NON-QUALIFIERS 27 M Hakkinen Fin Lotus-Judd 1:26.701 28 E vd Poele Bel Lamborghini 1:27.110 29 M Bartels Ger Lotus-Judd 1:27.169 30 A Suzuki Jap Lola-Ford 1:27.257 FIA WORLD FORMULA ONE CHAMPIONSHIP Pre-qualifying times (four go through): 1 M Blundell GB Brabham 1:24.271 2 M Brundle GB Brabham 1:25.117 3 O Grouillard Fr Fomet-Ford 1:25.556 4 M Alboreto It Footwork 1:25.771 NON-QUALIFIERS 5 F Barbazza It AGS Ford 1:27.392 6 G Tarquini It AGS Ford 1:27.401 7 A Caffi It Footwork 1:27.608 8 P Chaves Por Coloni - -- --- 07.9.91 - ITALIAN GRAND PRIXChampionship leader Ayrton Senna will start Sunday's race from the 59th pole of his career despite failing to improve his lap time in final practice. Senna was unable to better his 1 min 21.114 secs recorded on Friday but rival Nigel Mansell had no luck in his bid to oust the Brazilian. His Williams-Renault was hampered by traffic but he confirmed his second place on the grid by shaving 0.081 secs from Friday's time. Gerhard Berger and Riccardo Patrese remain third and fourth on the grid.
Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell are set for another fantastic battle at Monza after setting the best practice times. Senna was under no illusions about the task facing him, commenting: "It is going to be very tough because the Williams cars are very fast." Mansell was happy despite failing to snatch pole. "Our race engines are better, thus I can hope to be faster on Sunday. I'll go after victory, that's the only result which is good to me at the present stage," he said.
FIA WORLD FORMULA ONE CHAMPIONSHIP: Final practice times: mins secs 1 A Senna Brz McLaren 1:21.114 2 N Mansell GB Williams 1:21.247 3 G Berger Aut McLaren 1:21.346 4 R Patrese It Williams 1:21.372 5 A Prost Fr Ferrari 1:21.825 6 J Alesi Fr Ferrari 1:21.890 7 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1:22.471 8 N Piquet Brz Benetton 1:22.726 9 R Moreno Brz Jordan 1:23.102 10 P Martini It Minardi 1:23.294 11 M Blundell GB Brabham 1:23.473 12 I Capelli It Leyton Hse 1:23.674 13 S Modena It Tyrrell 1:23.701 14 A de Cesaris It Jordan 1:23.921 15 S Nakajima Jpn Tyrrell 1:24.265 16 E Pirro It Dallara-Fd 1:24.282 17 G Mor'delli It Minardi 1:24.287 18 M Gugelmin Brz Leyton Hse 1:24.391 19 M Brundle GB Brabham 1:24.643 20 JJ Lehto Fin Dallara-Fd 1:24.725 21 T Boutsen Bel Ligier 1:25.171 22 E Comas Fr Ligier 1:25.420 23 N Larini It Lamborg'ni 1:25.717 24 E Bernard Fr Lola-Ford 1:25.871 25 M Hakkinen Fin Lotus-Judd 1:25.941 26 O Grouillard Fr Fomet-Ford 1:26.416 NON-QUALIFIERS 27 M Alboreto It Footwork 1:26.563 28 M Bartels Ger Lotus-Judd 1:26.829 29 E vd Poele Bel Lamborg'ni 1:27.099 30 A Suzuki Jap Lola-Ford 1:27.257 08.9.91 - F3000Sweden's Frederik Ekblom won his second race in succession to lift himself into joint second place in the British Formula 3000 Championship at Brands Hatch. The late Paul Warwick still heads the table.
F1:- THE ITALIAN GRAND PRIX Italian Grand Prix results:-hrs:mins.secs 1 N Mansell GB Williams 1:17.54.319 (ave.speed of 147.109 mph) 2 A Senna Brz McLaren @ 16.26 secs 3 A Prost Fr Ferrari @ 16.80 secs 4 G Berger Aut McLaren @ 27.76 secs 5 M Schumacher Ger Ben'ton @ 34.46 secs 6 N Piquet Brz Ben'ton @ 45.60 secs 7 A de Cesaris It Jordan @ 51.13 secs 8 I Capelli It Leyton @ 1:15.02 9 G Morbidelli It Minardi 1 lap behind 10 E Pirro It Dallara 1 lap behind OTHERS: 12 M Blundell GB Brabham 1 lap behind 13 M Brundle GB Brabham 1 lap behind FIA WORLD F1 DRIVERS' STANDINGS 1 A Senna Brz McLaren 77 points 2 N Mansell GB Williams 59 3 R Patrese It Williams 34 4 G Berger Aut McLaren 31 5 A Prost Fr Ferrari 25 6 N Piquet Brz Benetton 23 7 J Alesi It Ferrari 14 8 S Modena It Tyrrell 9 = A de Cesaris It Jordan 9 10 R Moreno Brz Benetton 8 11 JJ Lehto Fin Dallara 4 == B Gachot Fr Jordan 4 CONSTRUCTORS CHAMPIONSHIP 1 McLaren 108 points 2 Williams 93 3 Ferrari 39 4 Benetton 33 5 Jordan 13 6 Tyrrell 11Nigel Mansell stormed to his fourth Grand Prix win of the season to reduce Ayrton Senna's F1 championship lead to 18 points in Monza. Mansell took the lead on lap 34 after Williams team-mate Riccardo Patrese had shown the way by first overtaking Senna but then spinning out of the race. Senna immediately changed tyres and slipped down to fifth but a storming finish pushed the world champion up to second place with eight laps remaining. But Mansell was then 16.21 seconds clear and the margin proved too much.
Nigel Mansell explained that it was his intention for Williams team-mate Riccardo Patrese to "burn up" Ayrton Senna when he let the Italian through to second place early in the race. "Riccardo was pushing me hard, so I let him go and duck and dive with Ayrton for a while to wear his tyres down. I woke up when Riccardo spun and went out of the race," Mansell added. "I knew it was between myself and Ayrton then and I managed to squeeze ahead. I knew he would try and come back at the end but I held him off," he said.
Nigel Mansell beat Ayrton Senna into second place in Monza to reduce the F1 championship lead to 18 points but then said he was still the underdog. "My mathematics says his lead is still 18 points and that is quite a lot," Mansell said. "But there are still four races left and I can promise you that the team will be trying as hard as possible and so will I in the coming months. One thing is for sure - we are going to make it as hard as possible for him to keep his crown," Mansell added.
Williams were denied a possible one-two when Riccardo Patrese retired from the race on lap 28 - just two laps after the Italian had the led the race. Nigel Mansell allowed Patrese to move ahead of him into second place on lap 18 and threaten leader Ayrton Senna. The Williams plan seemed to have worked when Patrese overtook Senna and then Mansell pressurised the Brazilian from third place. But Patrese spun on lap 26 due to his gearbox suddenly changing up a gear and the damage to his car forced him to retire two laps later when placed third.
Ayrton Senna's second place in Monza is the first time this year that the Brazilian has failed to win a Grand Prix which he started in pole position. Senna led from the start but it was clear when he was overtaken by Riccardo Patrese early on that Williams held the key to victory in Monza. The world champion went into the pits for a tyre change after losing the lead to Nigel Mansell on lap 34 after Patrese had retired. The gamble could have paid off but Mansell was in no mood to let him in.
Controversial Michael Schumacher won Benetton two points on his debut with a superb fifth place in Monza. The German recently left Jordan Ford to partner Nelson Piquet at Benetton and made the best start possible for his new team. Piquet picked up a point after finishing sixth with a late burst.
Frenchman Alain Prost was unable to give the Italian fans a Ferrari victory despite challenging Ayrton Senna to the line to finish third. Senna's McLaren team-mate Gernhard Berger also collected points in fourth.
09.9.91 - F1Nigel Mansell's bid to wrestle the title from Ayrton Senna has been given another boost after his superb victory in Monza on Sunday. Renault technical chief Bernard Dudot has confirmed that the new high-revving V10 engine will be ready for the Portuguese Grand Prix on September 22. Dudot said: "We will be using the new RS3 'B' engines in Estoril. They should be a help to Mansell and the team's challenge for the championship." Drivers travel to Estoril this week for testing.
10.9.91 - MANX RALLYRussell Brookes starts the penultimate round of the Shell RAC Open Rally Championship in Douglas on Wednesday aiming for a hat-trick of Manx wins. The Worcestershire star, five points ahead going into the sixth round, would become the first man to achieve the feat in the event's 28-year history. Lanark's Colin McRae, breathing down Brookes' neck in second place, will be going all out for a victory that could bring with it the 1991 title. Bertie Fisher, home winner in Ulster, represents the other major threat.
F1:- Reynard have abandoned plans to enter the Formula One World Championship in 1992. Team boss Adrian Reynard said they had failed to obtain an acceptable engine supply contract.
11.9.91 - MANX RALLY Leaderboard after stage 14 of 41: hrs mins secs 1 C McRae Subaru 1:03.15 2 R Brookes Ford 1:04.35 3 J Cullen Ford 1:06.50 4 F Chatriot Subaru 1:06.56 5 M Sundstrom Mazda 1:07.23 6 D Metcalfe Vauxhall 1:07.52 7 F Meagher Ford 1:08.07 8 R Smyth Ford 1:08.58 9 G Leece Ford 1:09.00 10 M Higgins Vauxhall 1:09.11Francois Chatriot is continuing his charge through the field and expects to pass James Cullen in the next pair of stages. Mark Higgins, the Manx 20-year-old is making a name for himself, moving onto the leaderboard after having his cyclinder head renewed. Bertie Fisher, second in last year's rally, is out of this year's event after his clutch broke on the start line of the second stage.
12.9.91 - MANX RALLY Leaderboard after stage 31 of 41: (at end of second day) hrs mins secs 1 C McRae Subaru 2:35.47 2 R Brookes Ford 2:38.20 3 F Chatriot Subaru 2:38.49 4 J Cullen Ford 2:42.20 5 M Sundstrom Mazda 2:45.06 6 D Metcalfe Vauxhall 2:46.22 7 F Meagher Ford 2:47.16 8 R Smyth Ford 2:51.01 9 K McKinstry Ford 2:51.43 10 J Price BMW 2:55.00Russell Brookes, lying in second place, arrived at the start of stage 29 with a smoking engine - but went through it 10 secs faster than leader Colin McRae. Francois Chatriot, in third place, had to battle against brake problems to hold onto third in the Subaru before finally fitting a new master cylinder. James Cullen hit a rock dislodged by spectators and drove with a punctured rear tyre for three miles on stage 23. Richard Smyth had to repair a power steering leak after stage 28 but made the overnight halt in eighth place.
SPORTSCAR:- German Michael Schumacher, the rising star of Formula One, returns to action on Sunday, driving for Mercedes in the sixth round of the world sportscar championship.
TOURING CAR:- John Cleland shaved 1.6 secs off the Donington lap record in a Vauxhall Cavalier in practice for Sunday's 11th round of the Esso British Touring Car championship.
13.9.91 - MANX INTERNATIONAL RALLYColin McRae led a classic Subaru one-two across the finishing line of the Manx International Rally ahead of French champion Francois Chatriot. The result assured McRae of an equal lead in this year's Shell RAC Open Rally Championship. McRae, from Lanark, led for 40 out of the 41 speed tests to take his first victory on the Isle Of Man. Series rival Russell Brookes drove his Ford home in third position to share the championship lead with McRae.
Final result after 41 stages:hrs mins secs 1 C McRae Subaru 3:37.23 2 F Chatriot Subaru 3:39.50 3 R Brookes Ford 3:40.50 4 J Cullen Ford 3:46.36 5 M Sundstrom Mazda 3:49.50 6 D Metcalfe Vauxhall 3:51.32 7 F Meagher Ford 3:54.03 8 R Smyth Ford 3:58.49 9 K McKinstry Ford 4:00.26 10 M Rimmer BMW 4:04.40 DRIVERS after Manx International rally 1 C McRae GB 80 pts = R Brookes GB 80 3 D Maslen GB 38 4 B Fisher GB 35 5 M Sohlberg Fin 26 Group N 1 D Maslen GB 30 2 M Sohlberg Fin 22 3 R Head GB 18 = K McKinstry GB 18 5 R Burns GB 11 WORLD SPORTSCAR DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP Friday practice times at Magny Cours: mins secs 1 Rosberg/Dalmas Peugeot 1:21.821 2 Baldi/Alliot Peugeot 1:22.020 3 Warwick/Brabham Jaguar 1:24.001 4 Schlesser/Mass Mercedes 1:24.246 5 Fabi/Brabham Jaguar 1:24.326 6 Schumacher/W'inger Mercedes 1:24.928 7 Euser/Zwolsman Ford 1:27.788 8 Larrauri/Pareja Judd 1:28.028 9 Reuter/Toivonen Porsche 1:29.605 10 Sala/Dieudonne Mazda 1:30.584 14.9.91 WORLD SPORTSCAR DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP Final qualifying from Magny Cours: mins secs 1 Rosberg/Dalmas Peugeot 1:21.821 2 Baldi/Alliot Peugeot 1:22.020 3 Schumacher/W'inger Mercedes 1:22.784 4 Fabi/Brabham Jaguar 1:23.318 5 Warwick/Brabham Jaguar 1:23.402 6 Schlesser/Mass Mercedes 1:24.246 7 Larrauri/Pareja Judd 1:27.772 8 Euser/Zwolsman Ford 1:27.788 9 Reuter/Toivonen Porsche 1:29.381 10 Sala/Dieudonne Mazda 1:30.424TOURING CAR:- John Cleland, needing to win the race to keep his British Touring Cars title hopes alive, claimed pole position for Sunday's 11th round at Donington, ahead of Tim Sugden and Will Hoy. Cleland, in the Vauxhall Cavalier, had smashed the lap record by 1.6 seconds as he claimed provisional pole.
F3:- Scotland's David Coulthard, leader in the British F3 Championship by 10 points, starts Sunday's 14th round at Donington second on the grid behind Rubens Barrichello.
F1:- French F1 driver Bertrand Gachot failed in a a renewed plea for bail on Friday pending the outcome of his appeal against an 18-month jail term for spraying CS Gas in the face of a London taxi driver.
15.9.91SPORTSCARS:- Peugeot notched an impressive one-two at Magny Cours in the World Sportscar Championship as the two Jaguar cars were plagued with mechanical problems. Finn Keke Rosberg and Yannick Dalmas of France completed the 101 laps 43 secs ahead of team-mates Maurio Baldi of Italy and Frenchman Phillipe Alliot. Both Merecedes cars dropped out early on and Jaguar had to be content with third and fifth place. Teo Fabi's car was delayed by handling difficulties and Derek Warwick was held back by a fire during refuelling.
WORLD SPORTSCAR DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP Result from Magny Cours: hr min sec 1 Rosberg/Dalmas Peugeot 2:31.38 2 Baldi/Alliot Peugeot 2:32.21 3 Fabi/Dave Brabham Jaguar 2 laps 4 Euser/Zwolsman Ford 6 laps 5 Warwick/Don Brabham Jaguar 7 laps 6 Reuter/Toivonen Porsche 8 laps 7 Sala/Dieudonne Mazda 9 laps 8 Rocha/Foitek Porsche 9 laps 9 Brand/Morin Porsche 11 laps 10 Altenbach/Lassig Porsche 11 laps 1991 WORLD SPORTSCARS STANDINGS DRIVERS: 1 T Fabi It 74 2 D Warwick GB 58 3 P Alliot Fr 44 = M Baldi It 44 = M Reuter Ger 44 6 H Toivonen Fin 41 TEAM: 1 Silk Cut Jaguar 87 points 2 Sauber Mercedes 50 3 Peugeot Talbot 49 4 Porsche Kremer 43 5 Mazdaspeed 42 6 Euro Racing 38TOURING CAR:- John Cleland revitalised his title hopes with a dominant Esso Touring Car Championship win at Donington Park. Cleland's Vauxhall snatched the lead at the second corner of the flag and held off the BMW challengers to the flag. With two rounds remaining, Cleland has closed to within 20 points of series leader Will Hoy.
SPORTSCARS:- Britain's Geoff Lees and Sweden's Eje Elgh drove a Toyota 91C-V to victory on Sunday in the All-Japan sports prototype Car Championships.
F3:- David Coulthard had to settle for fourth place in the 14th roond of the British F3 Championship at Donington Park, won by Rubens Barrichello. Coulthard still leads the series 66-63 from Barricello with two races to go.
17.9.91 - F1The Jordan Formula One team have signed a four-year engine deal with Yamaha and will begin testing their brand new Grand Prix car in November. The team have used Ford V8 engines during their successful debut season but boss Eddie Jordan said the new deal deal was "a major step forward."
"The team needs a major engine manufacturer to establish and stabilise its future. In Yamaha we have the perfect partner," he said. The new Jordan 192 has been designed to carry the Yamaha power-units. Roberto Moreno is likely to drive for the Jordan team again in this weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix, a team spokesman has said. Moreno replaced Michael Schumacher in the last race in Italy after the 22 year-old signed for Benetton. A week after Portugal Jordan may debut Italian F3000 driver Allesandro Zanardi in the Spanish Grand Prix.
Ferrari has announced a two-year deal to supply its V12 Formula One engine to Dallara from 1992. Their engines are currently supplied to Minardi. Porsche are having talks aimed at ending their contract with Footwork, so they can return to Formula One racing next year with a more competitive team.
18.9.91 - RALLY NEWSFinland's Timo Salonen, placed third in last month's 1,000 Lakes Rally in Finland, has been disqualified for using illegal petrol.
19.9.91 - F1Reigning world Formula One champion Ayrton Senna will continue to drive for McLaren next season. Senna, currently leading the championship by 18 points from Nigel Mansell, has agreed to re-sign for a fifth successive year. Gerhard Berger, currently fourth in the championship, will also continue with the team. McLaren boss Ron Dennis said: "The negotiations went extremely smoothly. I am delighted at the outcome."
JOHN WATSON ON THE PORTUGUESE GRAND PRIX
Nigel Mansell can still win the 1991 world title but faces a tough task. There are 40 points still available to him and he is only 18 behind but he needs Ayrton Senna to finish no better than third in at least one race. Three seconds and a third for Senna and four wins for Mansell would leave them equal on points. Mansell would then win the crown with his extra victories. Teammate Riccardo Patrese could be the key to Mansell's title hopes by being the meat in the Senna-Mansell sandwich.
The Williams-Renault still has one weak point - its semi-automatic gearbox. This is now about 99 per cent reliable but that one per cent could still lose the Championship for Mansell. With Ayrton Senna making a superb start to the season winning the first four GPs, he looked set for an uncontested third title. But, from Canada onwards, he found himself defending that lead. However the McLaren-Honda have done an incredible job and, coupled with Senna's uncanny ability to assess a situation, he remains favourite to retain his title.
The Williams cars should have the edge over the McLarens on Sunday due to the nature of the Estoril circuit. It is a sinuous track, with a number of quick corners of which one could hold the key to the race. The final right-hander leading to the straight is crucial to lap times and the Williams should excel on this corner. They are capable of getting on to the straight flat-out which will create good overtaking opportunities. Also, being on the front row of the grid will be as important as ever here.
Ferrari are still looking for their first win of the 1991 season and could spring a surprise in Estoril, having won the last two Portuguese Grands Prix. Nigel Mansell was in the winning Ferrari last year but a Ferrari victory this time, while a slight inconvenience to Ayrton Senna, would be a serious blow to the Englishman. Jean Alesi and Alain Prost will be well aware that the last time a Ferrari took the chequered flag was in Spain in 1990. But any sniff of success would be sure to fire up the two drivers.
Michael Schumacher was stunning in his first two GPs and my sympathies are with Nelson Piquet suddenly confronted with this young ace as his teammate. I faced a similar situation with Alain Prost in 1980 and I know it is not easy. Piquet, with all his F1 experience, has considered he has been doing a pretty good job with a car that is not perfect and then along comes Schumacher who gets in and drives the wheels off it! Schumacher is very talented, very fast and not inhibited by experience. Yet he shows tremendous maturity. He is a talent in the Senna-Prost mould.
Jordan, upset by losing talented Michael Schumacher, have consolation in a deal with Yamaha for 1992, Moreno driving for them on Sunday and F3000 ace Alessandro Zanardi set for Spain. Reynard will not be going F1 racing in 1992. Designer Rory Byrne is believed to be already back with Benetton. Leyton-House have laid off 40 employees and the team owner is helping Japanese authorities with an investigation into his business interests. Meanwhile Indy car team owner Roger Penske's name is being linked with the team. No doubt all will soon be revealed...
20.9.91 - AUSTRALIAN RALLYJuha Kankunnen of Finland led the Australian Rally after the first day. Armin Schwarz was second with Didier Auriol third.
F1:- Nigel Mansell, suffering from food poisoning, grabbed third position on the provisional grid for Sunday's Portuguese Grand Prix. But Mansell warned he would need to regain peak fitness to have any chance of victory and further close the gap on Ayrton Senna in the F1 Championship. The Englishman shrugged aside the danger of a damp circuit made worse by heavy drizzle on an overcast day to finish seven-tenths of a second behind Gerhard Berger in 1 min 13.944 secs. Berger clocked 1:13.221 with Senna second fastest in 1:13.752.
FIA WORLD FORMULA ONE CHAMPIONSHIP: Friday practice times: mins secs 1 G Berger Aut McLaren 1:13.221 2 A Senna Brz McLaren 1:13.752 3 N Mansell GB Williams 1:13.944 4 R Patrese It Williams 1:14.041 5 A Prost Fr Ferrari 1:15.018 6 P Martini It Minardi 1:15.394 7 I Capelli It Leyton Hse 1:15.481 8 J Alesi Fr Ferrari 1:15.572 9 A de Cesaris It Jordan 1:15.972 10 S Modena It Tyrrell 1:16.018 11 N Piquet Brz Benetton 1:16.241 12 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1:16.477 13 G Morbidelli It Minardi 1:16.540 14 M Blundell GB Brabham 1:16.567 15 JJ Lehto Fin Dallara 1:16.724 16 E Pirro It Dallara 1:16.725 17 S Nakajima Jap Tyrrell 1:16.926 18 R Moreno Brz Jordan 1:16.956 19 M Gugelmin Brz Leyton H 1:17.214 20 M Brundle GB Brabham 1:17.298 21 A Suzuki Jap Lola-Ford 1:17.434 22 J Herbert GB Lotus-Judd 1:17.713 23 T Boutsen Bel Ligier 1:18.005 24 E Bernard Fr Lola-Ford 1:18.186 25 E Comas Fr Ligier 1:18.192 26 G Tarquini It AGS-Ford 1:18.295 PROVISIONAL NON-QUALIFIERS 27 M Alboreto It Footwork 1:18.389 28 M Hakkinen Fin Lotus-Judd 1:18.947 29 E vd Poele Bel Lamborgh'i 1:20.411 30 N Larini It Footwork 1:21.612 FIA WORLD FORMULA ONE CHAMPIONSHIP Pre-qualifying times (four go through): 1 M Brundle GB Brabham 1:17.739 2 M Blundell GB Brabham 1:17.788 3 G Tarquini It AGS Ford 1:18.020 4 M Alboreto It Footwork 1:18.371 NON-QUALIFIERS 5 F Barbazza It AGS Ford 1:19.292 6 O Grouillard Fr Fomet-Ford 1:19.500 7 A Caffi It Footwork 1:19.521 8 P Chaves Por Coloni 1:23.858Brundle emerged unscathed from a big spin towards the end of the session; his car was undamaged.
21.9.91 WEST CORK RALLY:- West Cork rally winner Bill Connolly leads a capacity entry for the Talbot Hotel Wexford Rally this weekend - the penultimate round of the Demon Tweeks/Motoring News National Tarmac Ch'ship.
ESSO SCOTISH RALLY:- Murray Grierson of Dalbeatie won the penultimate round of the Esso Scottish Rally Championship in Perth. The former Scottish champion, in a Metro Hart, finished half a minute clear of George Gauld, in a Mazda 323.
AUSTRALIAN RALLY - Leaders after second of five days: Accumulated penalties hrs:mins.secs 1 J Kankkunen Fin Lancia Delta 1:09.41 2 D Auriol Fr Lancia Delta 1:09.47 3 K Eriksson Swe Mitsubishi G 1:10.05 4 A Schwarz Ger Toyota Celica 1:10.11 5 M Alen Fin Subaru Legacy 1:10.48 6 I Carlsson Swe Mazda 1:11.14 7 C Sainz Sp Toyota Celica 1:11.16 8 T Salonen Fin Mitsubishi G 1:12.05 9 R Dunkerton Aus Mitsubishi G 1:12.19 10 J Recalde Arg Lancia Delta 1:13.01TOURING CAR:- John Cleland and Will Hoy, the only drivers who can still win the Esso British Touring Car Championship, clash in the 12th round at Thruxton on Sunday.
F3000:- Allan McNish was eighth fastest in the Dams Lola in first practice for the F3000 International Championship at Le Mans. Damon Hill (Barclays Team EJR) was 17th and Paul Stewart (Labatts Paul Stewart) was 21st fastest.
HEAT:- Brian Robinson is looking to complete a hat-trick of wins in the HEAT Champion of Snetterton series on Sunday.
F3000:- Fredrik Ekblom was fastest in Friday practice for Sunday's penultimate round of the British Formula 3000 Championship at Silverstone.
F1:- Riccardo Patrese overshadowed title rivals Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell by snatching pole in the spare Williams for Sunday's Portuguese GP. The Italian veteran went out with just four mins left in qualifying to clock 1 min 13.001 secs after earlier blowing the engine in his own car. Mansell, feeling better after a bout of food poisoning on Friday, had a best lap of 1:13.444 and faces tough task to win from fourth on the grid. Championship leader Senna will be alongside him after clocking 1:13.221.
Riccardo Patrese promised to help team-mate Nigel Mansell as much as possible in Sunday's Portuguese GP after taking pole position in dramatic style. Mansell needs to win to keep his hopes of overhauling Ayrton Senna alive and will have to do it from the second row. "I will help Nigel as much as I can for the championship - but first he has to get past Ayrton and Gerhard," he said. "The way the grid is lining up couldn't be worse for me. I just hope everybody drives like professionals," commented a disappointed Mansell.
FIA WORLD FORMULA ONE CHAMPIONSHIP: Final practice times: mins secs 1 R Patrese It Williams 1:13.001 2 G Berger Aut McLaren 1:13.221 3 A Senna Brz McLaren 1:13.444 4 N Mansell GB Williams 1:13.667 5 A Prost Fr Ferrari 1:14.352 6 J Alesi Fr Ferrari 1:14.852 7 M Gugelmin Brz Leyton Hse 1:15.266 8 P Martini It Minardi 1:15.394 9 I Capelli It Leyton Hse 1:15.481 10 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1:15.578 11 N Piquet Brz Benetton 1:15.666 12 S Modena It Tyrrell 1:15.707 13 G Morbidelli It Minardi 1:15.749 14 A de Cesaris It Jordan 1:15.936 15 M Blundell GB Brabham 1:16.038 16 R Moreno Br Jordan 1:16.080 17 E Pirro It Dallara 1:16.135 18 JJ Lehto Fin Dallara 1:16.532 19 M Brundle GB Brabham 1:16.536 20 T Boutsen Bel Ligier 1:16.757 21 S Nakajima Jap Tyrrell 1:16.926 22 J Herbert GB Lotus-Judd 1:17.015 23 E Comas Fr Ligier 1:17.226 24 M Alboreto It Footwork 1:17.330 25 A Suzuki Jap Lola-Ford 1:17.434 26 M Hakkinen Fin Lotus-Judd 1:17.714 NON-QUALIFIERS 27 E Bernard Fr Lola-Ford 1:17.825 28 G Tarquini It AGS-Ford 1:18.022 29 N Larini It Lamborg'ni 1:18.139 30 E vd Poele Bel Lamborg'ni 1:18.266 22.9.91 - AUSTRALIAN RALLYReigning champion Carlos Sainz pulled out of the gruelling event on the third day after rolling his Toyota Celica three times in four stages. The Spaniard escaped unhurt, but walked away from his damaged car after the third accident and withdrew. France's Didier Auriol grabbed the lead from Lancia team-mate Juha Kankkunen during the day but was only nine secs clear at the overnight halt. Swede Kenneth Eriksson was in touch with them until a spin on stage 19 and now trails Auriol by 51 seconds.
Leaders after third of five days: Accumulated penalties hrs:mins.secs 1 D Auriol Fr Lancia Delta 2:54.48 2 J Kankkunen Fin Lancia Delta 2:54.57 3 K Eriksson Swe Mitsubishi G 2:55.39 4 A Schwarz Ger Toyota Celica 2:57.47 5 M Alen Fin Subaru Legacy 2:59.25 6 T Salonen Fin Mitsubishi G 3:00.06 7 I Carlsson Swe Mazda 323 3:01.28 8 R Dunkerton Aus Mitsubishi G 3:03.08 9 R Millen NZ Mazda 323 3:03.43 10 J Recalde Arg Lancia Delta 3:05.25TOURING CAR:- Steve Soper won the penultimate round of the Esso British Touring Cars Championship at Thruxton. John Cleland finished eighth to close the gap on Will Hoy to 17 points after Hoy retired.
F3000:- Allan McNish was eighth fastest in the Dams Lola in first practice for the F3000 International Championship.
GM LOTUS:- Diego Castro Santos delighted the Portuguese fans with victory in the GM Lotus Euroseries round at Estoril. Michael Johansson finished second to cut third-placed Pedro Lamy's lead in the championship to 16 points.
V.LOTUS:- Eastbourne's Piers Hunnisett won the 14th round of the Formula Vauxhall Lotus Championship at Snetterton but Kelvin Burt's second place means he cannot be caught for the title.
F3000:- Fredrik Ekblom won the penultimate round of the British Formula 3000 Championship at Silverstone, with Jason Elliott second and Richard Dean third.
FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Portuguese Grand Prix, Estoril Final result after 71 laps:hrs:mins:secs 1 R Patrese It Williams 1:35:42.30 2 A Senna Brz McLaren 1:36:03.24 3 J Alesi Fr Ferrari 1:36:35.85 4 P Martini It Minardi 1:36:45.80 5 N Piquet Brz Benetton 1:36:52.33 6 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1:36:58.88 7 M Gugelmin Brz Leyton Hse @ 1 lap 8 A de Cesaris It Jordan @ 1 lap 9 G Morbidelli It Minardi @ 1 lap 10 R Moreno Brz Jordan @ 1 lap 11 E Comas Fr Ligier @ 1 lap 12 M Brundle GB Brabham @ 2 laps CONSTRUCTORS CHAMPIONSHIPS 1 McLaren 114 pts 2 Williams 103 3 Ferrari 46 4 Benetton 36 5 Jordan 13 6 Tyrrell 11 7 Dallara 5 8 Minardi 3 = Lotus 3 FIA WORLD F1 DRIVERS' STANDINGS 1 A Senna Brz McLaren 83 points 2 N Mansell GB Williams 59 3 R Patrese It Williams 44 4 G Berger Aut McLaren 31 5 N Piquet Brz Benetton 25 = A Prost Fr Ferrari 25 7 J Alesi Fr Ferrari 18 8 S Modena It Tyrrell 9 = A De Cesaris It Jordan 9 10 R Moreno Brz Jordan 8 11 JJ Lehto Fin Dallara 4 == B Gachot Fr Jordan 4Riccardo Patrese won the fifth Grand Prix of his long career after Williams team-mate Nigel Mansell suffered the agony of disqualification in Portugal. Mansell took the lead on the 18th lap from Patrese and the pair moved clear of the two McLarens of Gerhard Berger and Ayrton Senna way back in fourth. But a disastrous pit stop by the Williams mechanics left Mansell in trouble way down the field and later out of the race. Ayrton Senna settled for second place after Berger went out on lap 37 and now leads Mansell by 24 points.
Nigel Mansell's Championship bid was cruelly shattered by disqualification after a disastrous pit stop. The Williams star led comfortably as he entered the pits at the end of lap 30 but as he started to leave the pit lane he lost his right rear wheel. The mechanics rushed to his aid and he rejoined in 17th, producing a superb effort to move into 6th place by lap 50. But he was given the black flag for receiving technical assistance outside his pit - a repeat of 1989 when he was also black-flagged out of the race for reversing in the pits.
Britain's Nigel Mansell would not elaborate on his disqualification from the Portuguese Grand Prix. "All I can say is that I feel very upset and very disappointed at what has happened," said Mansell. "As far as I'm concerned I came in and made a perfectly good pit stop and was waved out by the team. There was a problem and that was it. I cannot say any more than that." he added. Mansell fell foul of the FISA rule forbidding teams to work in the pit area for accelerating and slowing down.
Williams team manager Peter Windsor took full responsibility for the bungled tyre-stop that wrecked Nigel Mansell's world title challenge. Windsor said a second nut was used on Mansell's rear tyre after the first one cross-threaded - but the second one was not fully fitted before Mansell exited. Windsor said: "I have to take full blame for it. That is my responsibility" Team director Frank Williams said: "I have no argument about the black flag as we broke the rules. The car left before the wheel change was finished."
Nigel Mansell's pit drama was witnessed at close quarters by the Tyrrell team in a neighbouring pit. Tyrrell team manager Rupert Mainwaring said: "Nigel accelerated away and the rear wheel came off, overtook his car and came bouncing through our pit, bowling over two mechanics." Mansell, whose lead at the time allowed him the luxury of a longer than normal stop, made a tremendous effort to re-establish his position in the race. But by lap 50 officials indicated his disqualification and ended his bid.
Ayrton Senna was able to breathe a huge sigh of relief as closest rival Nigel Mansell suffered the indignity of disqualification for a technical infringement by his team mechanics. "I think I am as close to another title as I could be," said the Brazilian. "I only need seven points and that is if Nigel wins the last three races which he will find difficult. Hopefully by next weekend I will seal it," added Senna. "I don't want to go to Japan with the title undecided."
Italian Riccardo Patrese was delighted to clinch victory in his 221st GP after resigning himself before the start to let Nigel Mansell take the glory. "I was prepared to help Nigel for the championship. I think it is clear what the team instructions were when I let Nigel go ahead after I had established a strong lead," said Patrese. "I don't know what happened to him, I just knew I had to keep Senna behind me," he added. "The car was perfect, very well prepared. I think we deserved to win."
Britain's Johnny Herbert made an ignominious return to racing when his Lotus-Judd went out on the first lap with flames shooting from the rear. Herbert missed the last two Grands Prix because of his Sportscar commitments. Mark Blundell's Brabham-Yamaha only lasted until lap 12 when it developed suspension trouble and spun off. But his teammate Martin Brundle brought some joy for British fans, finishing in 12th place.
23.9.91 - AUSTRALIAN RALLY Leaders after fourth of five days: Accumulated penalties hrs:mins.secs 1 J Kankkunen Fin Lancia Delta 5:02.05 2 K Eriksson Swe Mitsubishi G 5:03.14 3 A Schwarz Ger Toyota Celica 5:06.58 4 M Alen Fin Subaru Legacy 5:09.51 5 T Salonen Fin Mitsubishi G 5:12.08 6 R Millen NZ Mazda 323 5:16.15 7 R Dunkerton Aus Mitsubishi G 5:16.22 8 J Recalde Arg Lancia Delta 5:20.41Finn Juha Kankkunen, twice winner of the event, is heading for a hat-trick of wins at the end of the fourth day. The Lancia Martini driver holds more than a minute lead over Swede Kenneth Eriksson in the Mitsubishi Galant and German Armin Schwartz in a Toyota. Frenchman Didier Auriol started the day in front but suffered a driveshaft problem on stage 25. He eventually retired six stages later with engine failure, leaving Kankkunen with a decisive advantage going into the final leg of the rally.
F1:- Diego Castro Santos, winner of last weekend's GM Lotus Euroseries round in Portugal, is to test drive the Jordan Ford Grand Prix car in mid-November.
24.9.91 - AUSTRALIAN RALLYFinland's Juha Kankkunen won his third successive Australian Rally in Perth to close the gap on champion Carlos Sainz in the 1991 world drivers table. Kankkunen is the only man to win the Australian round of the championship since its inception in 1989. He steered his Lancia over the 594km course, winning 20 of the 39 stages, to finish over a minute ahead of Sweden's Kenneth Eriksson. Germany's Armin Schwartz was third in a Toyota Celica while Finn Markku Alen finished fourth in a Subaru.
Result after five days: Accumulated penalties hrs:mins.secs 1 J Kankkunen Fin Lancia Delta 5:48.48 2 K Eriksson Swe Mitsubishi G 5:50.01 3 A Schwarz Ger Toyota Celica 5:54.42 4 M Alen Fin Subaru Legacy 5:58.15 5 T Salonen Fin Mitsubishi G 6:00.54 6 R Millen NZ Mazda 323 6:04.37 7 R Dunkerton Aus Mitsubishi G 6:05.24 8 J Recalde Arg Lancia Delta 6:09.21 WORLD DRIVERS TABLE:(after 10 rounds) Points 1 C Sainz Toyota 125 2 J Kankkunen Lancia 123 3 D Auriol Lancia 87 4 M Biasion Lancia 54 5 M Eriksson Mitsubishi 51 6 M Alen Subaru 40 7 A Schwarz Toyota 32 8 M Ericsson Toyota 27 9 J Recalde Lancia 23 10 M Jonsson Toyota 21F1:- Gabriele Tarquini replaces Olivier Grouillard at the wheel of a Fondmetal car in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix. Tarquini, 29, leaves the team AGS to join the Italian outfit - who have just one car - in the remaining three Grands Prix of the season. Grouillard, 32, has had a series of disappointing results this season. A spokesman for Fondmental would not say if Tarquini will be riding for the team next season.
25.9.91RALLY NEWS:- Frechman Francois Delecour has signed a two-year contract to drive for the Lancia team. He replaces Massimo Biasion, who drives for Ford next year.
JOHN WATSON ON THE SPANISH GRAND PRIX
The Formula One circus is off to pastures new this weekend - to the purpose-built circuit situated about 40kms outside Barcelona. It will be a 'green' circuit for all the teams, none of whom have been allowed to use it for pre-race testing. Reports back from Spain suggest it is not unlike Magny Cours except that the French GP circuit has a back straight while this one features a pit straight. Work is still in progress, with about a month's work to be done in the next few days but at least the track is finished even if other aspects are incomplete.
The teams will all start out running with a fairly high downforce set-up on the new circuit and make changes later. Track surface will be the biggest unknown factor, making it something of a lottery for the tyre manufacturers. The circuit's most interesting factor is a slight rise and fall plus a couple of tricky off-camber corners. There are a total of 15 corners and overtaking should be possible, if not easy. Two unofficial one-hour sessions will be held on Thursday afternoon. It will be interesting with all 34 cars, even the pre-qualifiers, using the track.
Sunday's race has lost a lot of its excitement following Nigel Mansell's disqualification from the Portuguese Grand Prix last weekend. Mansell's pit stop mishap leaves Ayrton Senna with a 24-point advantage and all hope of a fight to the end for the world title has evaporated. It is pointless to try to lay the blame on any one person for this mistake because pit stops are 100 per cent a team effort. But it was very sad to see Mansell's 1991 Championship bid end this way.
No one could help but admire the absolute commitment and dedication of the McLaren-Honda team and Ayrton Senna who have all but won the world title. They have simply done a better job than any other team, even Williams. Senna knew that, with the change in the scoring system, the 1991 Championship would be won over 16 races and this was his approach. His contribution to his third world crown cannot be overstated. Conversely teammate Gerhard Berger must be wondering why things go so wrong for him while Senna always seems to take at least the runner-up place.
The motorhomes in the paddock at Barcelona may well prove to be just as exciting a place to be as the track. Both McLaren and Williams drivers are committed to their respective teams for 1992 but there remain a number of good opportunities for any driver who can produce the stunning performance. Alain Prost and Jean Alesi are said to be staying with Ferrari but I will not be convinced of this until I see them in the cars at the start of next season. There appears to be an open seat with the Benetton and Jordan teams while on Sunday Zanardi makes his Jordan debut.
Minardi shone in Portugal but now fight for survival after losing the V12 Ferrari engine to the Dallara team. Tyrrell's future seems unclear with the V10 Honda engine apparently going to Footwork. Their best option may be the Ford HB engine package used by Eddie Jordan this year, but at a price. But, back to the track, where I expect real entertainment from Sunday's race on the new Barcelona circuit which could itself produce a few surprises. A driver's week of golf courses and water-skiing could end in even more slippery conditions...
26.9.91 FIA WORLD FORMULA ONE CHAMPIONSHIP: Unofficial practice times - mins secs 1 N Mansell GB Williams 1:22.239 2 A Senna Brz McLaren 1:22.810 3 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1:22.828 4 M Brundle GB Brabham 1:23.528 5 N Piquet Brz Benetton 1:24.131 6 R Patrese It Williams 1:24.382 7 J Alesi Fr Ferrari 1:24.464 8 S Modena It Tyrrell 1:24.865 9 M Hakkinen Fin Lotus 1:24.882 10 A Prost Fr Ferrari 1:25.086 11 G Berger Aut McLaren 1:25.145 12 M Blundell GB Brabham 1:25.254 13 S Nakajima Jpn Tyrrell 1:25.464 14 G Morbidelli It Minardi 1:25.561 15 E Bernard Fr Lola-Ford 1:25.567 16 M Gugelmin Brz Leyton Hse 1:25.684 17 M Alboreto It Footwork 1:26.004 18 A De Cesaris It Jordan 1:26.053 19 A Suzuki Jpn Lola-Ford 1:26.405 20 E Comas Fr Ligier 1:26.446 21 P Martini It Mianrdi 1:26.447 22 A Zanardi It Jordan 1:26.508 23 G Tarquini It Fondmetal 1:26.576 24 T Boutsen Bel Ligier 1:27.333 25 A Caffi It Footwork 1:27.908 26 E Pirro It Dallara 1:27.949 27 JJ Lehto Fin Dallara 1:28.004 28 N Larini It Lamb'ghini 1:28.060 29 I Capelli It Leyton Hse 1:28.984 30 O Grouillard Fr AGS-Ford 1:30.069 31 E Vd Poele Bel Lamb'ghini 1:30.303 32 F Barbazza It AGS-Ford 1:34.545Nigel Mansell showed he has still not given up his world title hopes with the fastest time in the acclimatisation session at the new Catalonia circuit. He clocked 1 min 22.239 secs in the Williams -Renault but Ayrton Senna was only fractionally slower. Britain's Martin Brundle drove superbly to record the fourth best time after clutch problems during the morning. Olivier Grouillard got an unexpected chance in the AGS-Ford after the team failed to register Roberto Colgiago in time to make his debut.
Nigel Mansell put his Portuguese Grand Prix disaster behind him to record the fastest time in unofficial practice at the difficult new Catalonia circuit. "It is very tough on the driver and car, tough but interesting. I think it is very good, but the surface has ripples and is difficult," he said. "It gives you a kind of motion sickness feeling. My ribs ache too, so I know it is a tough place to drive." Mansell must win Sunday's race to have any realistic chance of prolonging his bid for the drivers title.
27.9.91 - SPANISH GRAND PRIXNigel Mansell injured his left ankle on Friday evening during a friendly soccer match with reporters and photographers. Mansell, provisionally on the front row of the grid for Sunday's Grand Prix, required lengthy treatment with ice packs before limping away to his hotel. Afterwards the Williams driver, who scored two goals in the match, said: "It feels quite bad."
"I have twisted my ankle - it's lucky the car is a semi-automatic and I hope everything will feel better on Saturday.
FIA WORLD FORMULA ONE CHAMPIONSHIP: First qualifying: mins secs 1 G Berger Aut McLaren 1:18.751 2 N Mansell GB Williams 1:18.970 3 A Senna Brz McLaren 1:19.474 4 R Patrese It Williams 1:19.643 5 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1:19.733 6 J Alesi Fr Ferrari 1:20.197 7 A Prost Fr Ferrari 1:20.245 8 S Modena It Tyrrell 1:20.788 9 N Piquet Brz Benetton 1:20.853 10 M Blundell GB Brabham 1:21.021 11 E Pirro It Dallara 1:21.250 12 M Gugelmin Brz Leyton Hse 1:21.319 13 M Brundle GB Brabham 1:21.415 14 I Capelli It Leyton Hse 1:21.682 15 G Morbidelli It Minardi 1:21.801 16 A De Cesaris It Jordan 1:21.865 17 JJ Lehto Fin Dallara 1:22.480 18 S Nakajima Jpn Tyrrell 1:22.494 19 P Martini It Minardi 1:22.575 20 A Zanardi It Jordan 1:22.580 21 M Hakkinen Fin Lotus 1:22.646 22 G Tarquini It Fomet 1:22.837 23 E Bernard Fr Lola-Ford 1:22.944 24 M Alboreto It Footwork 1:23.145 25 E Comas Fr Ligier 1:23.359 26 T Boutsen Bel Ligier 1:23.553 PROVISIONAL NON-QUALIFIERS 27 A Suzuki Jpn Lola-Ford 1:24.211 28 N Larini It Lamb'ghini 1:25.330 29 M Bartels Ger Lotus 1:25.640 30 E vd Poele Bel Lamb'ghini 1:27.501 PRE-QUALIFYING TIMES mins secs 1 M Brundle GB Brabham 1:21.504 2 M Blundell GB Brabham 1:21.727 3 M Alboreto It Footwork 1:23.744 4 G Tarquini It Fomet 1:23.994 NON-QUALIFIERS 5 A Caffi It Footwork 1:24.056 6 F Barbazza It AGS-Ford 1:24.744 7 O Grouillard Fr AGS-Ford 1:25.305Pedro Chaves has quit the Coloni-Ford team, claiming he has been paid only a tenth of his $100,000 salary and has had no testing.
28.9.91 - SPANISH GRAND PRIXAustrian Gerhard Berger is on pole for Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix after few drivers improved on their first qualifying times at Catalunya. Nigel Mansell showed no signs of the ankle injury which forced him to limp away from a friendly soccer match on Friday as he retained second place. Ayrton Senna finally had to settle for third fastest after the engine in his McLaren blew, delaying the session. Mansell said: "They stopped the session for one team and one driver. It is a joke and completely wrong."
FIA WORLD FORMULA ONE CHAMPIONSHIP: Final qualifying: mins secs 1 G Berger Aut McLaren 1:18.751 2 N Mansell GB Williams 1:18.970 3 A Senna Brz McLaren 1:19.064 4 R Patrese It Williams 1:19.643 5 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1:19.733 6 A Prost Fr Ferrari 1:19.936 7 J Alesi Fr Ferrari 1:20.197 8 I Capelli It Leyton Hse 1:20.584 9 E Pirro It Dallara 1:20.651 10 N Piquet Brz Benetton 1:20.676 11 M Brundle GB Brabham 1:20.677 12 M Blundell GB Brabham 1:20.724 13 M Gugelmin Brz Leyton Hse 1:20.743 14 S Modena It Tyrrell 1:20.788 15 JJ Lehto Fin Dallara 1:20.967 16 G Morbidelli It Minardi 1:21.801 17 A De Cesaris It Jordan 1:21.865 18 S Nakajima Jpn Tyrrell 1:22.114 19 P Martini It Minardi 1:22.510 20 A Zanardi It Jordan 1:22.580 21 M Hakkinen Fin Lotus 1:22.646 22 G Tarquini It Fomet 1:22.837 23 E Bernard Fr Lola-Ford 1:22.944 24 M Alboreto It Footwork 1:23.145 25 E Comas Fr Ligier 1:23.359 26 T Boutsen Bel Ligier 1:23.553 NON-QUALIFIERS 27 A Suzuki Jpn Lola-Ford 1:24.211 28 N Larini It Lamb'ghini 1:25.330 29 M Bartels Ger Lotus 1:25.392 30 E vd Poele Bel Lamb'ghini 1:27.501 29.9.91 - THE SPANISH GRAND PRIXNigel Mansell kept his championship hopes alive with victory at Barcelona by over 11 seconds from Alain Prost. Current leader, Brazilian Ayrton Senna, could only manage fifth place after a dramatic spin at the end of lap 13. The Briton was edged out by Senna at the start as Gerhard Berger stormed into the lead but he fought back to squeeze by Senna on lap five. The rivals stopped for tyres and a slow change by the Williams team set Mansell back but Senna's spin gave Mansell a chance and he passed Berger on lap 21.
Britain's Nigel Mansell collected 10 points with a superb drive over 65 laps to keep the pressure on Ayrton Senna. Mansell's fifth victory of the season puts the Williams team on top of the constructors' championship with two races left. Senna looked to have the upper hand when he left the pits on lap 10 ahead of Mansell but a spin dropped him into sixth and he suffered handling problems. The Brazilian pulled back to third but Riccardo Patrese and Jean Alesi pegged him back to leave him just two points.
Nigel Mansell declared himself "very happy" after roaring to victory in his Canon Williams-Renault. "It was a quite a fight, there was not much room on a number of occasions," said the Briton. "The track was starting to dry and then it rained, then stopped," said Mansell. "It was a case of being patient, fighting then waiting." The penultimate Grand Prix in Japan in three weeks time will still be hard work. "I hope we can keep reliability, give the McLaren team a good race and try and do the impossible," he said. Championship leader Ayrton Senna struggled on the track at Barcelona as drivers changed tyres as the weather alternated between wet and dry.
"It was tough on us today," said Senna. "I spun because the slicks we fitted to the left-hand wheels were too hard and I was fighting for grip in the wet. After the spin the tyres were blistered and I couldn't go quickly and climb back," he added. "I am 16 points ahead and there are 20 points available. We will just have to wait and see. I am still in the stronger position," said Senna.
Jean Alesi was penalised 10 seconds for swerving at the start of the race but still managed fourth place to keep Ayrton Senna back in fifth. The Frenchman, in a Ferrari, overtook the Brazilian on lap 50 and finished over 39 seconds ahead of him. FISA boss Jean-Marie Balestre warned drivers at the pre-race briefing they would be penalised if tactics at the start were not acceptable, citing last week's start in Portugal. Mansell, Senna and Gerhard Berger clashed during the meeting leaving tempers high for a super-charged race.
GM.LOTUS:- Portugal's Diogo Castro Santos moved into second place in the GM Lotus Euroseries with victory in the 14th round at Barcelona.
F.RENAULT:- Bobby Verdon-Roe won the penultimate round of the Formula Renault Championship at Knockhill to extend his lead at the top of the standings to 33 points over Adrian Cottrell.