1986 - Prost again, but the Williams...
Looking for reducing the speed and better safety conditions, teams were obligated, by the rule published in beginning of 85, to use tanks limited to 195 liters. As response, teams created buttons for controlling: drivers have up to 4 positions to increase or decrease the turbo pressure, another for “boost” surpassing and the last for mixture fuel. But the most important novelty was the telemetry system, by whose teams could get a lot of information about the cars, and of course, about how drivers were handling their equipaments...
1 – BRAZIL
First row dominated by countryman, Senna and Piquet. At the start Mansell jumped to 2nd place, following Senna. In the main straight at braking zone, Mansell paired with Senna, but as none of them lift off, they came to the corner together. Mansell inside, Senna outside...a small brushed wheels between then and Mansell lost control, scaping from the track, hitting the barrires. Good for Piquet, who saw everything very close. Two laps later, Piquet took the front and had just to manage to victory, with two-stops strategy. Senna 2nd, followed by both Ligier (Laffite-Arnoux), Brundle and Berger. Both McLarens out with engines problems. Brazilian party for a imense crowd under a very hot weather!
2 – SPAIN
Both brazilian once more had dominated the practices, with another pole for Senna. In the race, Senna jumped to the front, with Piquet, Mansell, Rosberg and Prost following him. Rosberg and Prost pushed very hard in the beginning, surpassing Mansell and closing to Piquet and Senna. But they would fight with the same problem: with their panel didn´t function well, they had to slow looking to consumption control. So Mansell retook his third place. It seemed that Piquet was controlling his rythim, waiting the best momentum to fight directly with Senna. But his engine stopped. So immediately Mansell assaulted Senna, capturing the lead. But Senna would not let him pull away. Ten laps to go, Senna retook the lead and Mansell decided to make tyres change. He would return in 3rd place, behind Prost, but much faster than the french. He recovered 2nd place and start closing to Senna. In the last two laps Mansell would be very near Senna, nose to tail. But Senna was showing the world one of his incomparable abilities: control his car with tyres in very bad conditions and still going quick...Nigel would made his last attempt at the finish line, crusing 0´014 seconds behind Senna! What a final...
3 – SAN MARINO
Third front row consecutive for the brazilian aces, again Senna on the pole. Piquet took the front at the first lap and clearly demonstrated his desire: win or win. And he would, if Williams team wouldn´t have wasted too much time at the pit. He lost two places, for Prost and Rosberg. But Rosberg had to slow, due to fuel consumption and Piquet could retake at least 2nd place. Prost won with Piquet 2nd.
4 – MONACO
Prost had no opponent all the week-end. His team-mate, Rosberg who finished 2nd, regonized: “He was unstopabble this week-end”. Senna 3rd, Mansell 4th and Piquet 7th.
5 – BELGIUM
First year´s pole for Piquet. As always happened in SPA at the first corner, many cars touched wheels with some damages to Prost, who had to change his front spoilers. Piquet led Senna, increasing his advantage every lap, until had a engine problem. Senna inheritaded the front, but Mansell could pass him and drive to victory. Prost made a great recovery, arriving 6th. Johansson and Alboreto were also in points, 3rd and 4th respectively.
6 – CANADA
Mansell had a great week-end, starting from pole and taking his second win of the season. Rosberg tried to beat him, but had to slow again due to excess of fuel consumption. Prost made a very burocratic race, just driving to the final, accepting the fact that the Williams were quicker. Althought, Piquet had brake problem in the beginning, recovering in the final marking the fastest lap and arriving in 3rd place. Rosberg 4th, Senna 5th and Arnoux 6th.
7 – USA
Senna pole again, led the first lap ahead of Mansell, Arnoux, Piquet, Johansson and Prost. Mansell took the led in the 2nd lap, but both Ligier were very quick, surpassing the british, with Laffite leading and Arnoux in 2nd! Senna, with a slow puncture, came to pit for tyres change. Good battles between Laffite, Piquet, Mansell and Prost, but Senna was in a great recovering. At 38th lap Piquet, on the lead, made his pit-stop. The team once more worked too bad and he lost almost 20 seconds. Back to track Piquet, three laps later in 2nd, marked the fastest lap and...hit the barriers! Senna, more than 30 seconds ahead Prost, decided to change tyres again and won easily. Excelent 2nd place for Laffite, Prost 3rd, Alboreto 4th, Mansell 5th and Patrese 6th.
8 – FRENCH
Mansell had no oponents, except on the practices, when Senna once more were in the pole. But Senna had a accident earlier in the race, and neither Prost nor Piquet could fight with Mansell. Prost, 2nd, with excessive consumption and Piquet, 3rd, with a bad balanced car. Both Ligier were in points again, with Arnoux in 5th and Laffite 6th.
Half of the season: Prost, 39 where group by Mansell, 38 where group by Senna, 36 where group by Piquet, 23.
9 – GREAT-BRITAIN
Piquet made a amazing pole, more than 4/10 of a second ahead Mansell...but at the warm-up he decided to change for T-car, as the principal was with strange balance...At the start, a big accident involved many drivers and the race was interrupted, as Laffite was injured and pressed on his car. One hour late, the race began with Mansell starting with Piquet´s car, as in the first one Mansell had a broke engine at the start. Both, Piquet and Mansell, pulled away from everyone. They were in a separated race, one and half second quicker than the others...At the 23rd lap, after Southbank corner Piquet and Mansell were side by side and Piquet let Mansell pass, but soon he would be regreted. Nigel wouldn´t be so “nice”, blocking the brazilian every time he tried to overtake him...Mansell won with Piquet in 2nd, one lap ahead Prost! One question nobody in Williams could explain: why in the warm-up Piquet had so many problems with his principal car and in the race Mansell could drive it so fast?
10 – GERMANY
Piquet surprised his adversaries with two pit-stops strategy, making a fantastic race. He drove on the limit astonishing his oponents...Senna jumped to first place at the lights, but the pole Rosberg overtook him at second lap. Piquet, driving a lighter car due to his strategy, surpassed Rosberg and pulled away until his first pit at 15th lap. Rosberg and Prost also led until their pit, when Piquet reassumed the comand. Last pit for Piquet at 27th lap, returning in third place, but demolishing his difference to Rosberg. Ten laps later the retook the led and won, with Senna in a strong 2nd, Mansell 3rd, Arnoux 4th, with Rosberg and Prost managing with his fuel consumption, 5th and 6th.
11 – HUNGARY
This race will be forever remebered as one of the most ever disputed one. More than that, the remarkable overtaking that Piquet made over Senna at 57th lap. Both drivers dominated the practices once more, but this time Piquet was the pole. At the start, as usual, Senna got the front with Mansell and Piquet following him. Five laps were necessary to Piquet pass Mansell and start to close to Senna. At lap 12, Piquet also passed Senna in the end of main straight, exactly same way he had done with his team-mate: taking internal side and braking later. He would lead until his pit at lap 35, when Senna got the front again. Then the show began. Senna demonstrating his amazing ability of control his car with used tyres, drove quicker than any other, unless Piquet. Piquet discounted the difference in 15 laps, but at lap 55, when he moved over Senna again in the internal side at the straight, Senna moved also to this side, squeezing Piquet to dirty party of the track. Piquet could pass him, but as he was braking on debris zone, he couldn´t control the car and went wide at the corner, what allowed Senna to retake the lead. Althought, Piquet would learn his lesson quickly. Two laps later, again at the straight, he moved to internal side forcing Senna to repeat his previous manouvre, but this time he jumped to outside braking later than Senna, sliding his car completly sideways, cruising Senna´s front! Amazing manouvre...and he nevertheless gave a “goodbye” with his hand to Senna! Otherwise the battle was not finished yet. Senna would never give up and push as hard as he could to be near Piquet, marking his fastest lap at 72, but in vain. Piquet recorded the track record in the next lap and won!
12 – AUSTRIA
Both Benetton surprised taking the front row, with Fabi marking the pole. At the race, they could led for 20 laps, but Prost took the lead and won easily with one lap ahead of second place. Piquet, Mansell and Senna did not finished. Alboreto, Johansson, Jones, Tambay and Danner were in the points.
13 – ITALY
Second consecutive pole for Fabi, but had a very bad start and drop down to 17th at the end of first lap...Mansell and Piquet dominated the race, with Alboreto following them close until spun and went to the pit. Both Williams made their pit, with Mansell gainning a extra advantage: 8 seconds for Mansell and 17 for Piquet! Althought Piquet would show his class, demolishing Mansell advantage, driving very quick, but managing his tyres to final attack. He could overtake his team-mate and won his fourth race of the year. Johansson made 3rd place for tiffosi happiness and Jones could again arrive in points with 6th place. Prost was disqualified and Senna had a broken clutch at the start.
14 – PORTUGAL
Amazing pole for Senna, but Mansell took the lead and won easily. Senna and Piquet fighted during almost all the race, with Ayrton taking advantage of his higher speed at the main straight. Piquet tried to overtake Senna, but this time he would not success. Worst than that, he had brake problem and spun at Hoffman corner, dropping to 4th place. Mansell 1st, Senna 2nd, Prost 3rd and Piquet 4th. The 4 drivers were fighting for championship, but at the final lap, Senna would slow down with no gas...Prost inherited 2nd place with Piquet in 3rd. Senna could be 4th, but his agressivity knocked him out of the championship battle...
15 – MEXICO
Again the brazilian double dominated the practices, Senna on the pole. Piquet decided to sustain his chances to take the championship, made a strong start, cruising the straight side by side with Senna, until get the front at the first corner. Mansell dropped to 18th place at the start, with Prost as usual was very conservative. Piquet would be in front with Senna close until his first pit. But the Williams team made a wrong choice for tyres and Piquet had to chance tyres three times and Mansell twice! Benetton, Berger and Pirelli could have their first victory. Prost 2nd, Senna 3rd, Piquet 4th and Mansell 5th. For the last and decisive race of the year: Mansell, 70 points where group by Piquet and Prost, 63.
16 – AUSTRALIA
Goodyear had informed, after their shame at Mexico city, that they had new tyres at Adelaide and no driver would have to change it during the race, but...
Mansell made the pole, but Senna jumped to the front. At the back straight, Piquet attacked Senna and took the lead. Rosberg, making his last race, pushed very hard and attacked Piquet at 5th lap, who immediately let him pass. With Rosberg in the lead and Prost behind him, Mansell would be the champion, so there was unnecessary fight with the finn, so Piquet let him go away. But the destiny reserved the championship to Prost...destiny? Why Prost decided to change tyres? The team officialy communicate that he had a puncuture, but nobody saw...The fact was that Prost changed his tyres, dropping to fourth place, far behind Rosberg, Piquet and Mansell. Then at 62nd lap Rosberg had his rear left tyre detonated. Piquet was 1st, with Mansell 2nd and Prost 3rd...for Nigel it was just finish the race, but in the next lap, he also had a explosion on his rear left tyre and hit the barriers! So, Piquet was in the lead with 19 laps to go, with Prost 5 seconds behind him...them Williams team decided to call him to the pit to change his tyres. He came with 18 laps to the end and returned to track 22 seconds behind Prost. Piquet made a amazing recovering, marking the new track record at the last lap, but arriving 4 seconds after the new champion Prost... who also became the second most winner of the history, only one behind J.Stewart´s record: 27.
* Frank Williams had a road car accident in the beggining of the year, that would put him in a wheel chair for life.
* Elio de Angelis died in an accident at Paul Ricard, testing his Brabham-BMW BT55.
* After his accident at the start at Brands Hatch, Laffite had to abandon the races, due compound fractures. At that race he would even G.Hill´s mark of 176 races, but the destiny...
* Brabham-BMW BT55 designed by Gordon Murray would determine the future of his projects. The car was lower and longer than others, with his engine assembled inclined. Also had a special gearbox design by Weissman. But they never got the exact development, neither for engine work nor for suspension. But the experience will be used later by Murray when he designed the famous and unbeatable McLaren 1988.
* For the second consecutive time in a row Mansell abandoned Brazil GP by his own precipitation at first lap...
* Dereck Warwick signed with Brabham, driving from USA GP.
* At Germany Keke Rosberg officialy communicated his intention to abandon races. He related eight reasons to do that. Piquet, one day after, using the same reasons that Rosberg related, communicated why he would continue to drive in F1...
* Also in Germany Lotus and Honda announced their agreement, starting in 87 and Ferrari signed with G.Berger.
* At Hungary, Piquet experimented a new differencial regulation on his car. As he felt the car was much quicker, he decided to use it in the race, but simulated that the result was not good, just to avoid Mansell to get his set-up...
* Drivers: A.Caffi, A. Nannini, A.Berg.