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1989 Australian Grand Prix
1989 Australian Grand Prix
1-DVD (140 Minutes)
This is the complete race as broadcast on LIVE TV.
The 1989 F1 World Championship had already been settled in Suzuka, Japan when Alain Prost collided
with Ayrton Senna. When that accident occurred, Prost knew he had the championship wrapped up as
Senna could not amass enough points at the final race in Adelaide, Australia to overtake his points lead.
But with both cars sitting side-by-side on the track, Senna managed to re-fire his McLaren and rejoin
the race. With Prost watching from the sidelines, Senna had one of the greatest drives in F1 history,
overcoming a 5-second deficit with just a few laps to go to win the race. But Senna was later disqualified
by the FIA, and saw his championship hopes fade. Senna accused FIA President Jean-Marie Balestre of
manipulating the World Championship to favor Prost, and Ayrton initially decided to boycott the final race
of the year in Australia, but changed his mind. He had a contract to uphold, a race to win, and wanted to
beat his McLaren teammate Alain Prost one more time before the Frenchman moved to Ferrari in 1990.
Ayrton Senna would qualify on pole ahead of Alain Prost, followed by the rarely seen Pierluigi Martini
(Minardi), then Sandro Nannini (Benetton), Thierry Boutsen (Williams) and his teammate Riccardo Patrese
(Williams), and seventh on the grid was the Ferrari of Nigel Mansell.
It had been cool and dry in qualifying, but on race day it was pouring rain. There were discussions as to
whether the race should be started at all, and conditions were so bad that Alain Prost, the newly crowned
World Champion, stated that if the race did start, he would only run one lap, then park his McLaren.
At the start, Senna bolted out in front heading into turn 1, and with no water spray to hinder his vision,
he pulled out to a sizeable lead over teammate Alain Prost. True to his word, Prost pulled into the pits
after the first lap, angrily jumped out of his car, and stormed into the garage, only to be surrounded by
TV cameras. He stated once again how conditions were atrocious, and that they should never have started
the race. While Prost is being interviewed, a horn sounds in the background and the race is stopped.
Senna stops at the beginning of the straight, the other cars park behind him.
On the restart, Senna once again breaks away from the pack. But this would be an incident-packed race,
with rooster tails and white spray obscuring every drivers vision, many of the best F1 drivers would run
into the backs of other cars because of the poor visibility. Senna was well in the lead when he plowed
into the rear of Martin Brundle, eliminating both drivers from the race, and Nelson Piquet (Lotus) ran
into the back of Piercarlo Ghinzani’s Osella. There were other incidents all over the track, from spins to
collisions. With Senna out, Thierry Boutsen (Williams) would inherit the lead, drive a masterful race, and
take the win. Alessandro Nannini (2nd) and Riccardo Patrese (3rd) rounded out the podium.
This is the complete race as shown on live TV, however, there are about 5 laps missing (laps 54-58). The
quality of the video is degraded after this point, but this is still an exciting race to watch. Commentary by
Murray Walker, Jackie Stewart, James Hunt, and even Barry Sheene does a little pit reporting.