The governing body flip-flopped and blew the whistle on forced induction in Formula 1 on the grounds of speed – and safety and cost and relevance. To be capped by a mandatory pop-off valve for two seasons, turbo engines would be banned as from 1989.
The drivers – not that they were consulted – didn’t have time for such power politics. And they didn’t – dared not – blink.
Alain Prost had been struggling since his Monaco masterclass and ‘conceded’ the title to Williams after Brands Hatch in July.
But to which of its drivers?
Nelson Piquet had let things slip, admitted as much, and promptly stole Nigel Mansell’s thunder – and tyres during a sudden unscheduled pitstop – with a consummate victory at Hockenheim.
He won again at Hungary – the first Grand Prix in the Eastern Bloc – where he kept a beneficial differential tweak to himself. Mansell was third, lapped and disgruntled. And second-placed Ayrton Senna – that ‘Sao Paulo taxi driver’ – was twice put in his place with a firm pass and shake of the fist.