The last victory of a great partnership: Ayrton Senna and Honda crushed the competition in several occasions on racetracks around the world from 1987 to 1992. The 1992 Monza Grand Prix was the Brazilian’s last victory aboard a car with the Japanese engine.
The weekend in Italy had its fair share of drama behind the scenes. Besides the end of the partnership between Honda and the British team, there was a rumor that Mansell was going to stop racing for Williams after the end of the season – of which he was already champion.
People suspected that, since Williams was in negotiations to hire back Allain Prost, who was taking a sabbatical year, Mansell wouldn’t have the Frenchman as a teammate. On Sunday, before the start of the race in Monza, the Britton made a shocking announcement: he was leaving Formula One at the end of the season to start a career in Indy Racing, in the USA.
Off-track deals aside, Senna started the race facing a challenge: he had to use a spare car. His regular one had issues with the new active suspension, which was rival Williams’ greatest advantage in 1992.
The “Lion” started the race at the pole-position. Senna had a hard time keeping his second place due to Jean Alesi’s pressure. Ayrton braked at the last second and held back the Frenchman after the first turn.
Patrese managed to overtake Alesi during the first few laps and started chasing the Brazilian. The Williams’ Renault engine proved itself superior and the Italian overtook Senna at the main-straight braking point.
The fight for first place was on, since the Britton slowed down and let the Italian get closer, ceding the lead 20 laps in. From then on, Mansell stayed right behind his teammate, making it look like he could pass him at any moment, while Senna remained in third, trying to catch up.
The odds of Ayrton Senna winning seemed minimal, but both Williams failed, allowing the three-time champion to beat the weekend’s front-runners. Nigel Masell retired with electrical problems in the 43rd lap. Ricardo Patrese lost power three laps before the finish, slowing down to a crawl. The Brazilian rocketed towards a victory, but not before fighting tooth and nail with Michael Schumacher’s and Martin Brundle’s Benettons.
On the podium, he was both happy and nostalgic. Content with winning the 36th Grand Prix in his career, but saddened with the Honda announcement, to whom he dedicated his triumph. It was Ayrton’s third and final win in the ‘92 season.
Thanks to the points scored by Senna and Berger (in 4th place), McLaren achieved an historic feat: the team passed Ferrari in total F1 points. The Italian team had 1.744,5 points, while McLaren now boasted 1.755,5.
After the race, Senna made an honest assessment of his victory in Monza.
“At the beginning, I tried to chase Mansell, but it was impossible: all he had to do was step on the throttle at the exit of the corners to never be seen again. From then on, my strategy was to race as well as I could and keep attacking even more than usual, because I realized that Mansell wasn’t that far ahead. Then, I started having gearbox issues, especially when downshifting. When Patrese passed me, I was trying to find a different way of driving the car under those conditions”, said the Brazilian driver to journalists at the Italian circuit.
“My only hope was that both Williams stopped. I was already taking it easy on my car when Patrese had problems and victory was within reach. All I really wanted was a place at the podium, but I ended up finishing first. I’d rather win by passing my adversaries, but I was on the track and took the opportunity”, added the driver.
Resumo da Corrida
- 1 N. Mansell
- 2 Ayrton Senna
- 3 J. Alesi
- 4 R. Patrese
- 5 G. Berger
- 6 M. Schumacher
- 7 I. Capelli
- 8 T. Boutsen
- 9 M. Brundle
- 10 B. Gachot
- 11 M. Hakkinen
- 12 G. Morbidelli
- 13 J. Herbert
- 14 J. Lehto
- 15 E. Comas
- 16 M. Alboreto
- 17 K. Wendlinger
- 18 O. Grouillard
- 19 A. Suzuki
- 20 G. Tarquini
- 21 A. de Cesaris
- 22 P. Martini
- 23 U. Katayama24 E. Naspetti
- 24 E. Naspetti
- 25 E. Van de Poele
- 26 M. Gugelmin
|Volta mais rápida||N. Mansell - 1´26´´119|
|Podium||1º Ayrton Senna 2º M. Brundle 3º M. Schumacher|
Senna na corrida
|Posição de largada||2|
|Pontos somados para o Campeonato||10|
|Posição no Campeonato após a prova||3|