Rainy day at Spa

29. Jan 2024 
by Ziv Knoll

The 1989 Belgian Grand Prix was held on 27 August 1989, which didn’t prevent bad weather, as often in the Ardennes, and was the eleventh race of the Formula One season. Ayrton Senna took his eighth pole position of the season, by nearly six-tenth of a second from McLaren teammate Alain Prost, with almost a further second back to Gerhard Berger in the first Ferrari in third.

The two Williams-Renault were fourth and fifth with Thierry Boutsen, in his home race, ahead of Riccardo Patrese, followed by Nigel Mansell in the second Ferrari. The major talking point was the failure of both Nelson Piquet and Satoru Nakajima to qualify, the first time in the Lotus history that neither of its cars had qualified.

The race was delayed for some time due to the wet conditions. At the start, picture-above at La Source hairpin, Senna led the way from Prost and Berger. Mansell and Boutsen followed in the spray. Senna dominated, led from start to finish and eased up in the last few laps, allowing Prost and Mansell to finish within two seconds of him. Thierry Boutsen finished a fine fourth in his 100th Grand Prix.

Picture below: Ayrton Senna (McLaren MP4-5 Honda) leads the pack at Eau Rouge, in the rain, at the 1989 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. Spa in the rain is always a huge challenge and Senna excelled in such conditions.

Source: Rainer W Schlegelmilch

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