Like a fish in water

22. Feb 2021 
by Ziv Knoll

Belgian Thierry Boutsen (Williams-Renault) won a controversial and rain-sodden 1989 Australian Formula One Grand Prix held at Adelaide in which world champion Alain Prost (McLaren) voluntarily retired to protest the decision to start the race.

Indeed, rain was pouring before the start. When the cars came onto the track and formed up on the starting grid, several drivers led by Prost and Piquet pleaded with officials to delay the start. The officials refused.

Alain Prost was livid: “I decided to pull off the track (after one lap) because we had decided with the drivers not to start the race at that moment because it was too dangerous, and everybody agreed (besides Senna who remained strapped in his car), because the track was undriveable.”

Boutsen, driving a Williams-Renault FW13, drove flawlessly and won his second wet Grand Prix, after his victory in Canada earlier in the season, in similar difficult conditions. The Belgian, obviously at ease in the rain crossed the line a massive 28.69 sec ahead of Alessandro Nannini (Benetton) and team mate Patrese a further nine seconds behind.

Picture below: Senna leads Prost at the first corner of the rain-sodden 1989 Australian Grand Prix. The Brazilian will crash into Brundle on lap 14 and Prost will voluntarily retire after lap 1.

Source: DR

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