Portuguese Grand Prix – 1987


Ayrton Senna did not make this public, but he was disgusted with his Lotus. It had a good engine, however, the team no longer invested in the car. It was losing it’s competitive edge and the proof of this regression was the fifth placing on the starting grid in Estoril.

Gerhard Berger was ecstatic, with his first pole position of his career, achieved with the help of his Ferrari in full force. Senna congratulated him personally.

When the green light was lit for the start of the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Brazilian driver set out for the best spot, but with a mediocre performance from his car, he finished in seventh, two laps behind the winner, Alain Prost (McLaren).

Irritated at the events of the entire weekend, he half smiled when he was asked if he had signed a contract with McLaren for 1988. He replied vaguely:

“You are wishing me a Merry Christmas in September.”

Race Summary

  • 1 G. Berger
  • 2 N. Mansell
  • 3 A. Prost
  • 4 N. Piquet
  • 5 Ayrton Senna
  • 6 M. Alboreto
  • 7 R. Patrese
  • 8 S. Johansson
  • 9 T. Boutsen
  • 10 T. Fabi
  • 11 E. Cheever
  • 12 D. Warwick
  • 13 A. de Cesaris
  • 14 A. Nannini
  • 15 S. Nakajima
  • 16 C. Danner
  • 17 M. Brundle
  • 18 R. Arnoux
  • 19 P. Alliot
  • 20 A. Campos
  • 21 P. Streiff
  • 22 I. Capelli
  • 23 P. Ghinzani
  • 24 J. Palmer
  • 25 A.Caffi
  • 26 F. Forini
Fastest lapG. Berger - 1´19´´282
Podium 1º A. Prost 2º A. Berg 3º N. Piquet

Senna in race

Starting position5
Final position7
Best lap1’20’’217
Points added to the Championship-
Championship position after the race2
What did he say after the race
“You are wishing me a Merry Christmas in September.” (on a possible move to McLaren)