It’s Sunday, September 24, 1989 and the Formula 1 circus is about to be let loose for 71 laps around a hot and sunny Estoril for the Portuguese Grand Prix, the 13th round of the 1989 World Championship.
Alain Prost leads the championship by 20 points after victory for McLaren in Italy, where the Frenchman celebrated by dropping the trophy off the podium to the Tifosi below. He would be joining Ferrari for 1990, remember.
All 1h45m of the race is captured through the eyes of Gerhard Berger, who would be swapping with Prost the following season. Today, though, the Austrian would be busy taking his first and only win of the season in the 3.5-litre V12 Ferrari 640.
Ride on board with Berger as he heads off on the warm-up lap behind Ayrton Senna’s pole-sitting McLaren-Honda MP4-5 and then jumps the Brazilian world champion at the start to lead.
We can’t embed the video on GRR, but to watch click on the video box below:
Berger ploughs a lonely furrow for 23 laps ahead of Senna, Ferrari team-mate Nigel Mansell and Prost, but keep an eye out for an audacious move for the lead by Mansell at around the 35m mark. The Brit catches Berger out as they come up to traffic and disappears up the road for 16 laps. When Mansell pits from the lead, Italian Pierluigi Martini makes history for Minardi by leading a lap – the only time it would happen in the minnow squad’s history.
Mansell is later black-flagged for reversing in the pitlane after overshooting his pitbox but would later collide with Senna at the first corner. Senna’s retirement would hand Prost, who’d finish second behind Berger, an even bigger championship lead.
Completing the podium is Stefan Johansson in the Onyx-Cosworth, the Swede comfortably ahead of Alessandro Nannini’s Benetton.
It’s Berger’s day and the onboard camera’s still rolling as he takes the chequered flag – some 32s ahead of Prost and with fastest lap in the bag – completes his slow-down lap, heads into parc fermé, removes the steering wheel and climbs out – a perfect afternoon’s work at an end.
It’s a visual and aural (crank the volume up!) masterpiece and a fascinating insight into a Grand Prix racer at work. We guarantee you’ll be exhilarated and exhausted at the end of the race!