1987 Japanese Grand Prix


1987 Japanese Grand Prix

Results from the 1987 Japanese Grand Prix held at Suzuka on November 1, 1987.

Race

The 1987 Japanese Grand Prix was the first race to be held in Japan since James Hunt won in his McLaren at Fuji, in 1977. This time, the Grand Prix circus utilised the fantastic Honda owned Suzuka circuit. The scene was set for a tense championship deciding race between bitter Williams Honda team mates, Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell. Mansell, however, suffered a huge crash during practice which put him out of action for both the Japanese race and the subsequent Australian Grand Prix. As a consequence, Piquet won his third world championship before the race even began.

Qualifying once again demonstrated the return to form of Ferrari, as Gerhard Berger obtained his second pole position of the season, with the Ferrari F1/87 being perfectly suited to the Suzuka circuit.

At the start Berger immediately imposed his authority by building a cushion. Alain Prost, in his McLaren, perhaps the only driver capable of challenging Berger for the victory, suffered a puncture on the first lap and, therefore, was out of contention. Prost, however, drove a superb race to climb up through the field finishing just outside of the points with the consolation of having the fastest lap. Thierry Boutsen's Benetton ran second early on but could not live with the pace set by Berger, ultimately fading to fifth. Piquet spent much of the race behind Senna's Lotus but was unable to find a way past his countryman. The new world champion eventually retired in the pits with oil pouring from the rear of his Williams. At one stage Stefan Johansson in the McLaren closed on Berger, but the Austrian driver responded and eventually romped to a seemingly effortless victory, the first Ferrari's victory since the 1985 German Grand Prix. Ayrton Senna dramatically passed Johansson on the last lap to take second place. Michele Alboreto, in the second Ferrari, got away very slowly at the green lights leaving him towards the rear of the field. However, the Italian drove an aggressive race to climb his way back up the order to finish an excellent fourth despite suffering from a dragging undertray causing a huge amount of sparks. Boutsen and local driver Satoru Nakajima rounded out the points.

Classification

Notes

*Pole position: Gerhard Berger - 1:40.042cite book| last = Hamilton | first = Maurice | title = AUTOCOURSE 1987-88 | publisher = Hazleton Publishing | year = 1987 | pages = p215 | isbn = 0-905138-47-3]
*Fastest lap: Alain Prost - 1:43.844 on lap 35
*Nigel Mansell's chance of winning the driver's championship was gone after he crashed during practice. He was injured and forced to sit out for this race and the next race.
*Numbers in brackets refer to positions of normally-aspirated entrants competing for the Jim Clark Trophy.

References

* "Unless otherwise indicated, all race results are taken from cite web | title = The Official Formula 1 website | url = http://www.formula1.com/results/season/1987/293/ | accessdate = 2007-07-08

F1 race report
Name_of_race = Japanese Grand Prix
Year_of_race = 1987
Previous_race_in_season = 1987 Mexican Grand Prix
Next_race_in_season = 1987 Australian Grand Prix
Previous_year's_race = 1977 Japanese Grand Prix
Next_year's_race = 1988 Japanese Grand Prix
Previous_promotional_trophy_winner = 1986 Mexican Grand Prix
Next_promotional_trophy_winner = 1988 British Grand Prix


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