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1988 FIA Formula 1 Season

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1988 FIA Formula 1 Season
Photo Credit: Norio Koike.
Champion Constructor: McLaren Honda (GB,4,4)
Putative Constructor: McLaren Honda (GB)
Champion Driver: Ayrton Senna (BR,1,0)
Putative Driver: Alain Prost (FR,2,4)
Putative Constructor Entry Specification: Model MP4-4, 1.49-liter, six-cylinder vee, aluminum alloy engine, DOHC, fuel injection, dual turbocharged, six-speed, carbon ceramic disc brakes, carbon fibre/aluminum honeycomb monocoque, double wishbone independent suspension, 905 horsepower (Steve Nichols, Gordon Murray).

The FIA in 1988 reduces the permissible boost for turbocharged power units to 2.5 bar for all entries, as well as limits the fuel consumption limit for turbo entries to 150 liters for each contest. The Formula 1 grid stands helpless against the new McLaren Honda platform in the final season of turbo power as the British constructor destroys its competition with 15 of 16 victories in 1988. The arcane scoring system rewards McLaren driver Ayrton Senna and his eight victories with his maiden drivers' title, yet the normalized computation grants teammate Alain Prost his fourth putative crown. Senna captures the championship at Suzuka in October after first stalling on the starting grid before rallying through the field to pass teammate and title contender Prost on Lap 28 of 51 for victory. Ayrton Senna wins four consecutive races between mid-July through late August. The early seeding of the reputed Ayrton Senna-Alain Prost rivalry takes root after an aggressive chop move by Senna over his teammate for the lead at the first corner at Estoril in September. Departures: Enzo Ferrari, 90, b. Modena, Kingdom of Italy 1898, d. Maranello, Italy, August. New Racing Makes: German Rial.

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.

McLaren Honda264     Prost142
Scuderia Ferrari78     Senna A (SC)137
Benetton Ford46     Berger51
Lotus Honda26     Boutsen32
March Judd25     Alboreto28
Williams Judd24     Piquet25
Arrows Megatron24     

Noteworthy 1988 Races

1988 XLVI Grand Prix de Monaco Monte Carlo1988 1988 XLVI Grand Prix de Monaco At Monaco for the Grand Prix (259.5 kilometers) in May, the race comes to a British McLaren MP4-4 Honda under Alain Prost (FR) in 1:57:17.1 (average 82.52 mph), under twenty-one seconds ahead of a Ferrari entry. Prost moves out front after race leader Ayrton Senna in his McLaren, maintaining a large lead, scrapes hard against the wall at Portier just before the Tunnel with only twelve laps remaining. Prost and constructor McLaren take the event for the fourth consecutive season. Photo Credit: LAT Photographic Archive.
1988 LIX Gran Premio d'Italia Monza, Italy1988 1988 LIX Gran Premio d'Italia At Monza for the Italian Grand Prix (296 kilometers) in September, an Italian Scuderia Ferrari F187/88C under Gerhard Berger (AT) takes race honors in 1:17:39.7 (average 142.00 mph), under a second (.502) ahead of a companion Ferrari driven by Michele Alboreto. The Ferrari fortunes turn for the good after Alain Prost in his McLaren loses drive on Lap 34, yet the drama ensues when race leader Ayrton Senna in his own McLaren attempts a pass of backmarker Jean-Louis Schlesser in his Williams at Rettifilo with only two laps remaining. Senna closes the door after his inside pass, yet Schlesser smashes into his rear suspension and Senna can only watch as the Ferraris sweep by and claim a precious victory for their late founder Enzo, who passed away a month prior, on his home soil. Photo Credit: LAT Photographic Archive.