The 1989 Formula One season was the 40th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 1989 FIA Formula One World Championship, which commenced on March 26, 1989 and ended on November 5 after sixteen races.
Several important changes happened in the winter, like the already announced end of the turbocharged engines, banned at the end of 1988, as they were felt to be making the sport dangerous and expensive.
In response to the above, a number of new teams were expected to enter the series, and there would be 39 drivers now competing for 26 spots on the starting grid. To reduce the number of cars down to 30 in order to render Qualifying itself manageable, a separate 1-hour Pre-Qualifying Session was held at Friday morning during every GP weekend. 13 cars from teams with lowest results from previous 2 half-seasons were forced to pre-qualify, and only 4 fastest cars would advance to Qualifying proper. At the halfway point of the season the group of teams required to pre-qualify during the first half would be revised, based on the results during last 2 half-seasons.
McLaren-Honda, who had dominated the field in 1988, winning all but one race, stuck to their successful driver lineup of Alain Prost and defending World Drivers’ Champion Ayrton Senna.
Ferrari were optimistic of being able to challenge for the title. As well as their first 12-cylinder engine since the 1980 season, Ferrari boasted one of the sleekest and highly advanced designs. John Barnard’s 640 was innovative, with a distinct nose section unlike any other car. The car also featured a semi-automatic electronic gearbox, the first of its kind. Ferrari also completed the signing of British driver Nigel Mansell to partner Gerhard Berger.
Williams replaced the departing Mansell with Belgian Thierry Boutsen alongside Riccardo Patrese. The Judd V8 from 1988 was replaced by Renault V10 units with the hope of the extra power making the team much more competitive than they were in 1988.
Lotus kept their 1988 lineup, with triple champion Nelson Piquet alongside Satoru Nakajima but lost engine supplier Honda. The cars would use the Judd V8 engine instead.
Benetton retained Alessandro Nannini and replaced Thierry Boutsen with British rookie Johnny Herbert who was eventually replaced by McLaren test driver Emanuele Pirro.
The 1989 Formula 1 season was marked by a the dominance of McLaren cars. The British team kept the riders Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost and once again won the constructors’ championship and occupied the top two positions in the world of pilots.
However, the title stayed with Prost this time. Although it achieved only four victories against six of Senna, the French remained regular throughout the championship and won the third world championship with an advantage of sixteen points.
|Grand Prix||Date||Winning Driver||Team||Laps||Time|
|San Marino||23/04/1989||Ayrton Senna||McLaren- Honda||58||1:26’51.245|
|Monaco||07/05/1989||Ayrton Senna||McLaren- Honda||77||1:53’33.251|
|Mexico||28/05/1989||Ayrton Senna||McLaren- Honda||69||1:35’21.431|
|United States||04/06/1989||Alain Prost||McLaren- Honda||75||2:01’33.133|
|France||09/07/1989||Alain Prost||McLaren- Honda||80||1:38’29.411|
|Great Britain||16/07/1989||Alain Prost||McLaren- Honda||64||1:19’22.131|
|Germany||30/07/1989||Ayrton Senna||McLaren- Honda||42||1:21’43.302|
|Belgium||27/08/1989||Ayrton Senna||McLaren- Honda||44||1:40’54.196|
|Italy||10/09/1989||Alain Prost||McLaren- Honda||53||1:19’27.550|
|Spain||01/10/1989||Ayrton Senna||McLaren- Honda||73||1:47’48.264|
1989 Drivers Championship final standings
1989 Constructors Championship final standings