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1988 Hungarian Grand Prix

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1988 Hungarian Grand Prix

  1988 Hungarian Grand Prix
Race details
Race 10 of 16 in the 1988 Formula One season
Date August 7 1988
Official name IV Pop 84 Magyar Nagydíj
Location Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 4.014 km (2.494 mi)
Distance 76 laps, 305.064 km (189.558 mi)
Weather Sunny and hot
Pole position
Driver McLaren-Honda
Time 1:27.635
Fastest lap
Driver Alain Prost McLaren-Honda
Time 1:30.639 on lap 51
Podium
First McLaren-Honda
Second McLaren-Honda
Third Benetton-Ford

The 1988 Hungarian Grand Prix was a Formula One race held on August 7, 1988 at the Hungaroring, Budapest. It was the tenth race of the 1988 season.

Qualifying

Qualifying at the tight, twisty, slippery and rarely used Hungaroring threw up a few surprises at this, the one venue on the calendar that it was generally felt gave the atmo their best chance of victory against the turbos. All drivers bettered their Friday time in Saturdays qualifying session which saw McLaren's Ayrton Senna grab his 8th pole position of the season and 24th of his career which at the time made him third on the all-time list after Jim Clark and Juan Manuel Fangio. There were five cars between Senna and World Championship leader, team mate Alain Prost and all were 'atmos' headed by Nigel Mansell in his Williams-Judd for his first front row start since the opening round in Brazil. In Hungary Mansell was driving against doctor's orders as he was recovering from chicken pox, which he caught from his son.

Following the McLaren and Williams on the grid were Thierry Boutsen (Benetton-Ford), Ivan Capelli (March-Judd), Alessandro Nannini (Benetton) and Riccardo Patrese (Williams) before Prost in the 2nd McLaren. World Champion Nelson Piquet was 13th in the Lotus while the Ferrari's of Gerhard Berger and Michele Alboreto were in 9th and 15th respectively, suffering from no grip, poor handling and bad throttle response from the Ferrari V6. It was a far cry from the 1987 race when Berger had qualified his Ferrari on the front row of the grid.

Race summary

Nigel Mansell made a good start and almost took the lead but Senna held onto his position, and thanks to the superior power of his Honda engine he pulled away slightly down the main straight to head the field into turn 1, vital at this track where passing is almost as hard as it is at Monaco. Patrese also made an excellent start climbing from 6th to 3rd while Prost was slow away and was only 9th at the end of the first lap (Prost wasn't given much of a chance of winning after qualifying, but served notice by again being fastest in the Sunday morning warm-up session). Capelli made a great start and in fact almost overtook Mansell into the first turn before his engine suddenly went sour and he was in after just 2 laps to have a serious misfire investigated. He was sent back out but one of the favorites for the race was out after just 5 laps. On lap 12, Mansell lost downforce running close behind the McLaren and spun down to 4th place, leaving Senna to fend off the attacks of the other Williams, that of Patrese. The Italian later dropped back with engine problems, while similar problems were afflicting Alessandro Nannini's Benetton.

On lap 32, Prost had climbed to 3rd place behind Senna and Thierry Boutsen. On lap 37, Mansell pitted to replace tyres, which were ragged and causing vibrations to the car. Prost passed Boutsen on lap 47 and set out chasing down Senna. Two laps later, while Senna prepared to lap Yannick Dalmas' Lola and Gabriele Tarquini's Coloni, Prost passed all three of them in a breathtaking move down the main straight. However he was too quick going into the first turn and ran wide enabling Senna to regain the lead. Prost set the fastest lap of the race but was forced to drop back with vibrations caused by a loose wheel bearing. On lap 58 Mansell retired still feeling the effects of chickenpox. He later admitted that racing in Hungary was a mistake as he was then forced to miss the next two races. Boutsen closed on Prost, but the Frenchman pressed on and pushed Senna. Just half a second covered the two McLarens as they passed the line. Boutsen the third spot on the podium, unable to challenge further due to a broken

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