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1988 Brazilian Grand Prix
1988 Brazilian Grand Prix
1-DVD (101 Minutes)
This is the complete race as broadcast on LIVE TV.
The winter months had seen a lot of changes in the Formula 1 field with the increasingly restrictive turbo
regulations convincing many teams to switch to normally-aspirated engines a year before turbos were
finally banned. McLaren, Lotus, and Ferrari all stayed with turbo engines. McLaren had hired Ayrton
Senna to join Alain Prost. World Champion Nelson Piquet had left Williams to join the Lotus-Honda team,
while Ferrari retained Gerhard Berger and Michele Alboreto. Benetton continued with the Ford turbo but
replaced Teo Fabi with Sandro Nannini. Arrows resigned Derek Warwick and Eddie Cheever. The
Williams Team used normally aspirated Judd V8 engines, and retained Nigel Mansell while signing
Riccardo Patrese. The new Judd engines were also used by Ligier and the Leyton House March team.
A new team called Rial employed Ferrari designer Gustav Brunner and Andrea de Cesaris.
Qualifying in Brazil resulted in pole position for Ayrton Senna, followed by Nigel Mansell in the Williams,
Alain Prost, Gerhard Berger, Nelson Piquet, Michele Alboreto, Thierry Boutsen, and Riccardo Patrese.
On the warm up lap, Ayrton Senna’s McLaren got jammed in first gear. While sitting on the grid for the
start, Senna began waving his arms in the air, and the race was stopped before it ever started. Senna
went to the garage and came out in his backup car. Because of this change, Senna had to start from pit
lane in last place, much to the chagrin of the enthusiastic Brazilian fans.
In one of the greatest efforts of his career, Senna began to pass car after car, and by mid-race, he had
miraculously moved up to second place, about 30 seconds behind leader Alain Prost. And then, in what was
to be one of many controversial moves by FISA (the president being Jean-Marie Balestre, a huge fan of
fellow Frenchman Alain Prost), Ayrton Senna was inexplicably black-flagged. The rules stated that Senna
would be disqualified for running a back up car, but for some reason, the governing body decided to wait
until halfway through the race to issue this decision. Senna pulled off the track. Meanwhile, Alain Prost
continued to drive an amazing race, keeping Gerhard Berger’s Ferrari far behind. The race would end
with Prost winning, Berger second, and Nelson Piquet third.
This is an early ESPN live broadcast, with Chris Economacki and David Hobbs on commentary. There is a
significant video transmission problem for about 10 minutes very early in this broadcast (this was a
network problem, not a videotape problem), so the time between the first and second starts are not
watchable, but just a few minutes after the actual start of the race, the video issues were solved by
ESPN, and the rest of the race is excellent.