Video: 1991 Australian Grand Prix Press Conference
The driver line-up for the 1991 Australian Grand Prix
As we prepare ourselves for the 2014 Australian Grand Prix, let’s take a look back at the short, but eventful closing round of the 1991 Formula One World Championship, this time in Adelaide.
Fresh from securing his third Formula One World Drivers’ Championship at the previous round in Japan, Ayrton Senna put his McLaren on pole in typically sunny Australian weather. He was followed by teammate Gerhard Berger and the Williams of Nigel Mansell.
And then on Sunday morning it started to rain.
Despite the abundance of moisture and complete lack of visibility, the race got off to a delayed, but fairly smooth start and the top three maintained their order. When Berger ran wide, Mansell slipped up to second and started chasing down Senna in the rain – no mean feat. Mansell caught Senna, but by this point passing was difficult because everyone else was busy spinning and aquaplaning and the track was swathed in yellow flags to accompany the torrents of water and stricken cars.
As the weather got worse, the spins became more frequent. Mansell spun and collected a wall, Berger spun twice, Nelson Piquet spun, recovered and by lap 16 was in second place behind Senna. The weather continued its downward spiral as Senna appealed emphatically to the marshals to stop the race, which they did as he started his 17th lap.
They tried to get it going again, but the drivers were having none of it. The decision was made to call the race as it stood on the 14th lap, instead of rolling back one lap as was the 1991 regulation. This put Senna in first followed by Mansell and Berger, securing the constructors’ title for McLaren.
This video of the press conference from the event features some interesting insight from Senna and Berger as they’re interviewed by Jackie Stewart, with Mansell unable to attend because he was busy being patched up after his previous visit to the wall.
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