Any race in Italy always brings out the people’s love for Ferrari –especially when there’s a local driver in the team, as was the case of Michele Alboreto in 1989. But few believed the team could do well that year. The previous Grand Prix – which opened the season – had taken place in Brazil, where McLaren won practically from start to finish.
Ayrton Senna had the pole position, but was unable to fight for the win with Alain Prost due to a problem with his gearbox before the start of the race, which forced him to use the spare car. The Brazilian had a brilliant race at Jacarepaguá, after starting from the pit-lane, but received a black flag from the race directors, who ruled the use of a spare car illegal.
The teammates would face off again at Imola and, once again, McLaren had no other team in its way. During the qualifying sessions, Senna scored the pole position with a time of 1min27s148, 0s771 quicker than Alain Prost. But the real story was the gap between them and Nelson Piquet, who took third place on the starting grid: 3s352 – a huge difference in F1. The headline on Sunday’s Gazzeta dello Sport read: “Senna, a pole position missile”.
SAN MARINO GP
A. de Cesaris
position in championship following the race
championship points accumulated
Until last year, I had to demand a lot from my car in order to race well, but now I have the equipment which allows me to control the race.