Following the unlikely accident with Nigel Mansell in Portugal, Ayrton Senna wanted to go back to winning in Spain, to close the 24-point gap that separated him from Prost. The only way was to win the three remaining races and earn the 27 points still in contention. He was going to give it his all.
There was no better place for that than the track where Ayrton had already made history, Jerez de la Frontera. In 1986, Senna beat Mansell for just 14 thousands of a second. In 1989, Senna made it all look easy. He had already won the pole position in front of Gerhard Berger, Alain Prost and Mansell, with the best time in both days of qualifying sessions. It was Ayrton’s 40th pole position in Formula One, more than a full second ahead of his main rival in the fight for the title, Alain Prost.
During the race, he kept the lead from start to finish – the whole 72 laps – setting the fastest lap as well. Jerez was all about the start. The grid positions were maintained on the podium. Senna was the winner, with Berger in second and Prost in third, which seemed very likely due to the amount of tight turns and the fact that overtaking was extremely difficult. But Senna never cared for what was “likely” and made that clear by finishing the race 27 seconds ahead of Berger and 53 seconds ahead of Prost. It was Senna’s 20th victory in F1 and his sixth in the 1989 season.
“Someone gave me this victory. Someone stronger than all of us.”, said Senna.
A. de Cesaris
position in championship following the race
championship points accumulated
Easy? It was hard enough just to get up here! (on his victory and a joke about the staircase leading to the press room on the Spanish circuit).