The 1987 British GP was marked by Ayrton Senna’s first podium finish at the Silverstone circuit in F1. The Brazilian had already stepped on the British GP podium in 1984, but the race had taken place at Brands Hatch.
In 1987, Senna secured the third place on the starting grid with his yellow Lotus, but had little hope of beating the Williams driven by Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet, which had been faster throughout the whole weekend and fought for the lead up until the final laps.
Ayrton’s race was marked by the thrilling duel with Alain Prost, especially during the first few laps. The McLaren driver had started in fourth, and jumped to first place right after the start, but was quickly overtaken by the Williams and by Senna before the first lap was over. In the fifth lap, Prost was able to return the favor. The Frenchman held on to his advantage over Senna until his pit-stop, when he ran into trouble. Ayrton regained the third place and his spot at the podium wasn’t threatened until the end of the race.
In the Mansell-Piquet duel, the Britton had a heroic day, after overtaking his teammate in spectacular fashion (he pretended he would take the outside line and then went inside) on lap 63, with just two remaining in the race. When he was trying to pass, both drivers almost crashed, which would have given the victory to Senna.
After the checkered flag, Mansell stepped out of his car and kissed the pavement at the place where he had just overtaken Piquet, to the delight of his British fans.
With that result, Senna remained the leader of the 1987 season, with 31 points, Whil Mansell and Piquet both had 30.