Ayrton Senna arrived at Spa-Francorchamps, in Belgium, in a comfortable position in the championship. He had 61 points, twelve more than Nigel Mansell, who was in second place. The problem wasn’t in the standings, but in his car’s performance in the last few races. The Britton had had three triumphs in a row (France, England and Germany), putting Ayrton’s dominance in jeopardy, even though the Brazilian had won the season’s first four races (USA, Brazil, San Marino and Monaco).
“Things were looking good for us, but now everything is up in the air. I think Williams fares better in high-speed circuits, like Monza and Spa, where the next race is taking place. McLaren can even things out in average speed circuits, like Portugal and Spain’s new one, in Barcelona, but we’ll have to count on luck to avoid off-track issues and keep fighting for the title. What matters is that we are working hard to make our car competitive in high-speed circuits”, said Ayrton Senna to reporters before the qualifying sessions.
To break a dry spell, there’s nothing better than starting the weekend with a pole position, and that was what Senna was after. On Friday, Ayrton made it clear that he was gunning for the best position on the starting grid. He did 1min49s100 on the first qualifying session, 1s566 quicker than Mansell. The Brazilian’s lap was already one-second faster than his own pole position run the year before. But he wanted more
A. de Cesaris
position in championship following the race
championship points accumulated
An unforgettable triumph on a highly demanding, but exciting course.