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1986 FIA Formula 1 Season

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1986 FIA Formula 1 Season
Photo Credit: LAT Photographic Archive.
Champion Constructor: Williams Honda (GB,3,3)
Putative Constructor: Williams Honda (GB)
Champion Driver: Alain Prost (FR,2,3)
Putative Driver: Alain Prost (FR)
Putative Constructor Entry Specification: Model FW11, 1.49-liter, six-cylinder vee, aluminum engine, DOHC, fuel injection, dual turbocharged, six-speed, ventilated carbon ceramic disc brakes, carbon fibre composite monocoque, double wishbone independent suspension, 1205 (qt) horsepower (Patrick Head, Frank Dernie).

The FIA in 1986 mandates the exclusive use of blown power units, yet the sanctioning body later in July follows up with its intention to return to naturally aspirated engines for the 1989 season. The FIA also again tightens the fuel consumption requirements for the pending campaign. Williams and its FW11 entry easily snares the Formula 1constructors' crown for the first time since the 1981 season. In arguably the most competitive drivers' championship in the modern era to date, a four-way battle between Nigel Mansell (Williams, five victories), Alain Prost (McLaren, four victories), Ayrton Senna (Lotus), and Nelson Piquet (Williams) all culminates in the season finale at Adelaide in October where Prost prevails for his second consecutive title after race and points leader Mansell suffers a rear tire explosion eighteen laps from the finish. Constructor Frank Williams suffers critical injuries that leave him a tetraplegic after an automobile accident in France in March. F1 makes its inaugural visit to Jerez in April. Arrows driver Marc Surer suffers career ending injuries in a shunt during the Hessen Rally in Germany in April. Ligier driver Jacques Laffite suffers career ending injuries in a calamitous Lap 1 shut at Brands Hatch in July. Nigel Mansell becomes the first Briton to win a host Grand Prix since Jimmy Clark in 1964 at Brands Hatch in July. F1 makes its inaugural visit to the Hungaroring near Budapest, Hungary in August. Departures: Elio de Angelis, 28, b. Rome, Italy 1958, d. testing, Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France, May. New Racing Makes: Italian Benetton.

HeM applies the Putative Model to all racing seasons for two primary purposes: First, to effectively normalize all racing seasons for empirical comparison across the decades, and second, to step clear of series organizers which score season championships primarily out of commercial interest or to attract manufacturer participation. The Putative Model simply scores all seasons in the same fashion as a standard track and field meeting, with the only purpose of tracking what takes place at the finishing stripe If the Putative Champion differs from the nominal Series Champion, please note the (SC) notation below.

Williams Honda183     Prost98
McLaren TAG Porsche121     Mansell95
Lotus Renault74     Piquet92
Scuderia Ferrari43     Senna79
Ligier Renault32     Berger32
Benetton BMW23     Johansson S27

Noteworthy 1986 Races

1986 Gran Premio de España Jerez, Spain1986 1986 Gran Premio de España At Jerez for the Spanish Grand Prix (303.5 kilometers) in April, the race comes to a British Lotus 98T Renault under Ayrton Senna (BR) in 1:48:47.7 (average 104.07 mph), under a second (.014) ahead of a Williams driven by Nigel Mansell. Mansell, charging forward on fresh rubber after receiving late service with only nine laps remaining, finally chases down race leader Senna on the final circuit before pulling even on the final corner, yet Senna edges out the Briton by a nose to capture the narrow victory with the closest finishing margin in modern F1 history. Photo Credit: Sutton Images.
1986 XLIV Grand Prix de Monaco Monte Carlo1986 1986 XLIV Grand Prix de Monaco At Monaco for the Grand Prix (259.5 kilometers) in May, a British McLaren MP4-2C TAG Porsche under Alain Prost (FR) takes race honors in 1:55:41.1 (average 83.66 mph), under twenty-six seconds ahead of a companion McLaren entry. Prost moves out front on Lap 47 of 78 with a swift service over the field and motors off to snare his third consecutive victory in the principality. Brabham driver Elio de Angelis loses his life days later after crashing during a test session at the Paul Ricard circuit, and the delay in transporting the injured De Angelis to intensive care prompts harsh criticism by many observers of F1 safety practices. Photo Credit: LAT Photographic Archive.
1986 Australian Grand Prix Adelaide, South Australia1986 1986 Australian Grand Prix At Adelaide for the Australian Grand Prix (310 kilometers) for the season finale in October, a British McLaren MP4-2C TAG Porsche under Alain Prost (FR) takes the flag in 1:54:20.4 (average 101.07 mph), under five seconds ahead of a Williams driven by Nelson Piquet. Prost seals his second consecutive F1 drivers' title after race and points leader Nigel Mansell in his Williams drops a left rear tire on Lap 65 of 82, leaving Prost to pick up the leavings and sprint to a thrilling ending to the 1986 campaign. Photo Credit: LAT Photographic Archive.