Mexican Grand Prix – 1990

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The clash in Mexico looked to be between the McLaren drivers. Ayrton Senna and Gerhard Berger battled fiercely for the pole position. Everything pointed to the first row being dominated by McLaren.

In the last minute of the qualifying session on Saturday however, Riccardo Patrese (Williams) placed himself between the two with a second best placing.

In the race, Ayrton Senna started from the front and opened an advantage over the rest of the competitors. Until the 60th lap, he was not threatened and looked like he would drive his McLaren to another victory; this time one of the easiest.

But then his car began to lose speed. The Brazilian was passed by Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, Gerhard Berger and Alessandro Nannini all at once. Shortly afterwards, the problem with his McLaren was obvious and Ayrton Senna pulled over signaling the end of his race.

What had happened after all?

“It is disappointing when you let cars pass without being able to fight back”

“I felt my car getting heavier in the backend. The problem increased and I lost the advantage. It is disappointing when you let cars pass without being able to fight back. Mansell was the first to pass and then Prost and Berger, and when Alessandro Nannini passed me the right rear tire was already shredded. It is this kind of race where I leave the car and keep my helmet on for a long time so that no one can see my face.”

“It is this kind of race where I leave the car and keep my helmet on for a long time so that no one can see my face.”

Race Summary

  • 1 G. Berger
  • 2 R. Patrese
  • 3 Ayrton Senna
  • 4 N. Mansell
  • 5 T. Boutsen
  • 6 J. Alesi
  • 7 P. Martini
  • 8 N. Piquet
  • 9 S. Nakajima
  • 10 S. Modena
  • 11 D. Warwick
  • 12 M. Donnelly
  • 13 A. Prost
  • 14 A. Nannini
  • 15 A. de Cesaris
  • 16 P. Barilla
  • 17 M. Alboreto
  • 18 E. Pirro
  • 19 A. Suzuki
  • 20 O. Grouillard
  • 21 D. Brabham
  • 22 P. Alliot
  • 23 G. Foitek
  • 24 N. Larini
  • 25 E. Bernard
  • 26 J. Lehto
Turns 69
Time Nublado
Fastest lap A. Prost - 1´17´´958
Podium 1º A. Prost 2º N. Mansell 3º G. Berger
Cars 26
Leaving 6

Senna in race

Starting position 3
Final position Abandonou (63ª volta)
Best lap 1’19’’062
Points added to the Championship -
Championship position after the race 1
What did he say after the race
“This is the kind of race where I get out of the car and keep my helmet on for a long time so that no one can see my face.”