Ayrton Senna has won the third and final F1 drivers’ championship on this day in 1991 after beating Nigel Mansell in Williams in Suzuka, who was his only opponent in the fight for the title.

The 1991 Japanese Grand Prix was the 15th of 16 races of the championship and fight for the drivers’ championship was still open. It was the fifth consecutive year that the championship was decided on the famous Suzuka circuit.

After controversial championship deciding races in 1989. and 1990. when Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost collided, this time it was Senna versus Mansell at the same track.

In Japan was also elected the new president of the FISA (today’s FIA) Max Mosley who replaced Jean-Marie Balestre.

Nigel Mansell prvenstvo 1991. završio je u pijesku prvoga zavoja, kao i Senna i Prost 1990., doduše u posve drugim okolnostima
Nigel Mansell retired from the 1991 Japanese GP after just 10 laps

Mansell in his Williams FW14 with Renault’s 3.5-liter V1o engine should win to stay in the hunt for the title in the final race of the season in Australia.

Senna in his McLaren MP4/6 with Honda’s 3.5-liter V12 engine should finish ahead of Mansell to secured the third title.

McLaren secured the front row with Gerhard Berger qualified on the pole and Ayrton Senna in second place, 0.198 behind the Austrian. The third was Mansell (+0.222 s) and the fourth was Alain Prost (+1.970 s).

At the start of the race Berger retained the lead, but Senna blocked Mansell as British driver did to him a month ago in Portugal. Andrea de Cesaris spun in his Jordan and Wendlinger, Pirro and Lehto not managed to escape and they all retired.

Berger has built a lead and Mansell continued to press Senna until lap 10 when he made a mistake in the first corner, spun and retired stuck in a sand trap.

After Mansell retired, Senna and Berger brought home 1-2 for McLaren. Berger initially let his team mate through, but Senna slows down in the final lap and allows Berger to win the first race for McLaren, sixth in his F1 career (from total of ten).

Senna’s start from the second on the grid was his 75th start from the front row, Berger secured his 25th podiumand and Karl Wendlinger drove his first F1 race for Leyton House Racing.

STARTING GRID

1 2 Gerhard Berger McLaren/Honda 1:34.700
2 1 Ayrton Senna McLaren/Honda 1:34.898 0.198
3 5 Nigel Mansell Williams/Renault 1:34.922 0.222
4 27 Alain Prost Ferrari 1:36.670 1.970
5 6 Riccardo Patrese Williams/Renault 1:36.882 2.182
6 28 Jean Alesi Ferrari 1:37.140 2.440
7 23 P.Martini Minardi/Ferrari 1:38.154 3.454
8 24 G.Morbidelli Minardi/Ferrari 1:38.248 3.548
9 19 M.Schumacher Benetton/Ford 1:38.363 3.663
10 20 Nelson Piquet Benetton/Ford 1:38.614 3.914
11 33 A.de Cesaris Jordan/Ford 1:38.842 4.142
12 22 J J Lehto Dallara/Judd 1:38.911 4.211
13 32 A.Zanardi Jordan/Ford 1:38.923 4.223
14 4 Stefano Modena Tyrrell/Honda 1:38.926 4.226
15 3 Satoru Nakajima Tyrrell/Honda 1:39.118 4.418
16 21 Emanuele Pirro Dallara/Judd 1:39.238 4.538
17 25 Thierry Boutsen Ligier/Lamborghini 1:39.499 4.799
18 15 M.Gugelmin Leyton House/Ilmor 1:39.518 4.818
19 7 Martin Brundle Brabham/Yamaha 1:39.697 4.997
20 26 Érik Comas Ligier/Lamborghini 1:39.820 5.120
21 11 Mika Häkkinen Lotus/Judd 1:40.024 5.324
22 16 Karl Wendlinger Leyton House/Ilmor 1:40.092 5.392
23 12 Johnny Herbert Lotus/Judd 1:40.170 5.470
24 14 G.Tarquini Fondmetal/Ford 1:40.184 5.484
25 30 Aguri Suzuki Lola/Ford 1:40.255 5.555
26 10 Alex Caffi Footwork/Ford 1:40.402 5.702
Not qualified
27 9 Michele Alboreto Footwork/Ford 1:40.844 6.144
28 34 Nicola Larini Lambo/Lamborghini 1:42.493 7.793
29 35 E.van de Poele Lambo/Lamborghini 1:42.724 8.024
30 29 Éric Bernard Lola/Ford
Not pre-qualified
31 8 Mark Blundell Brabham/Yamaha 1:44.004 9.304
32 31 Naoki Hattori Coloni/Ford 2:00.035 25.335

RACE RESULTS

1 2 Gerhard Berger McLaren/Honda 53 1:32:10.695
2 1 Ayrton Senna McLaren/Honda 53 1:32:11.039 0.344
3 6 Riccardo Patrese Williams/Renault 53 1:33:07.426 56.731
4 27 Alain Prost Ferrari 53 1:33:31.456 1:20.761
5 7 Martin Brundle Brabham/Yamaha 52 1:32:31.328 1 Lap
6 4 Stefano Modena Tyrrell/Honda 52 1:32:40.012 1 Lap
7 20 Nelson Piquet Benetton/Ford 52 1:33:12.946 1 Lap
8 15 M.Gugelmin Leyton House/Ilmor 52 1:33:21.857 1 Lap
9 25 Thierry Boutsen Ligier/Lamborghini 52 1:33:52.660 1 Lap
10 10 Alex Caffi Footwork/Ford 51 1:32:26.214 2 Laps
11 14 G.Tarquini Fondmetal/Ford 50 1:32:27.808 3 Laps
(11) 26 Érik Comas Ligier/Lamborghini 41 1:14:27.713 Alternator
(5) 23 P.Martini Minardi/Ferrari 39 1:09:41.729 Electrical
(6) 19 M.Schumacher Benetton/Ford 34 1:00:56.810 Engine
(11) 12 Johnny Herbert Lotus/Judd 31 56:16.612 Engine
(11) 3 Satoru Nakajima Tyrrell/Honda 30 54:29.154 Spun off
(17) 30 Aguri Suzuki Lola/Ford 26 52:16.388 Engine
(17) 24 G.Morbidelli Minardi/Ferrari 15 27:54.403 Wheel
(3) 5 Nigel Mansell Williams/Renault 9 15:59.421 Spun off
(9) 32 A.Zanardi Jordan/Ford 7 12:46.157 Gearbox
(18) 11 Mika Häkkinen Lotus/Judd 4 7:36.572 Engine
(9) 33 A.de Cesaris Jordan/Ford 1 1:57.393 Collision
(10) 22 J J Lehto Dallara/Judd 1 1:58.100 Collision
(12) 21 Emanuele Pirro Dallara/Judd 1 1:58.757 Collision
(18) 16 Karl Wendlinger Leyton House/Ilmor 1 2:02.942 Collision
28 Jean Alesi Ferrari 0 Engine

Fastest lap: Ayrton Senna – 1:41.532 (lap 39)

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER 15/16 RACES

1 Ayrton Senna 91   10 10 10 10 4 4 3 10 10 6 6 2 6
2 Nigel Mansell 69   6 1 6 10 10 10 6 10 10
3 Riccardo Patrese 52   6 4 10 2 6 4 2 10 4 4
4 Gerhard Berger 41   4 6 6 3 3 6 3 10
5 Alain Prost 34   6 3 2 6 4 4 6 3
6 Nelson Piquet 25   4 2 10 2 4 1 2
7 Jean Alesi 21   1 4 3 4 2 4 3
8 Stefano Modena 10   3 6 1
9 Andrea de Cesaris 9   3 3 1 2
10 Roberto Moreno 8   3 2 3
11 Pierluigi Martini 6   3 3
12 J J Lehto 4   4
13 Bertrand Gachot 4   2 1 1
13 Michael Schumacher 4   2 1 1
15 Satoru Nakajima 2   2
15 Mika Häkkinen 2   2
15 Martin Brundle 2   2
18 Aguri Suzuki 1   1
18 Julian Bailey 1   1
18 Emanuele Pirro 1   1
18 Éric Bernard 1   1
18 Ivan Capelli 1   1
18 Mark Blundell 1   1

CONSTRUCTORS’ CHAMPIONSHIP

1 McLaren/Honda 132   10 14 16 10 4 4 9 3 13 16 9 6 2 16
2 Williams/Renault 121   6 6 5 16 12 10 16 10 2 10 10 14 4
3 Ferrari 55   6 4 6 9 4 4 2 4 4 9 3
4 Benetton/Ford 37   4 2 3 10 2 2 7 3 3 1
5 Jordan/Ford 13   5 3 1 1 3
6 Tyrrell/Honda 12   5 6 1
7 Minardi/Ferrari 6   3 3
8 Dallara/Judd 5   4 1
9 Lotus/Judd 3   3
9 Brabham/Yamaha 3   1 2
11 Lola/Ford 2   1 1
12 Leyton House/Ilmor 1   1
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