There was an awful lot going on at Suzuka, 1990. The infamous Senna/Prost incident at turn one will forever live in the memory, but the race was remarkable for several more reasons, as this sensational footage shows.
We’re on board with Nigel Mansell who qualified third. He makes a slightly scruffy start and is overtaken by Gerhard Berger just before we see Senna settle the championship by taking himself and Prost out going in to turn one. You can almost feel Mansell’s pulse quicken as he realises that all-of-a-sudden it’s looking like him or Berger for the win. However, over the first lap the Austrian pushes hard and opens up an intimidating lead over Our Nige.
Going in to the first corner of lap two Berger is still in sight but slides off ahead of us (apparently falling foul of dust thrown on to the track following the Senna/Prost off) leaving the Ferrari in the lead! The clip then cuts to 25 laps in and Mansell’s pit stop. Everything seems to go well, but shortly after being dropped off the jacks the Ferrari 641’s engine can be heard screaming away (and they really did scream) as it tries vainly to find a gear. What we now know happened was that a driveshaft had failed …
There the clip ends, with our favourite Brummie F1 driver slamming his hands down on the Ferrari’s steering wheel at the end of the pit lane. This, incredibly, left Nelson Piquet and Roberto Moreno running first and second. The Brazilian pair held on to take a first-ever one-two finish for Benetton – just days after Moreno had been drafted in to take over from Alessandro Nannini who’d suffered terrible arm injuries in a helicopter accident.
For all the drama in the short clip, it’s the opportunity to ride with Mansell and hear that gorgeous Ferrari 641 as he hustles it around Suzuka in pursuit of Berger that really makes it for me. In case you missed it, we shared a scintillating lap of Jerez from the same angle, but with Prost at the controls of his 641, just in case you get hooked on the screaming wail of the Ferrari V12 … which is likely.