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1991 FIA Formula 1 Season

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1991 FIA Formula 1 Season
Photo Credit: Pascal Rondeau.
Champion Constructor: McLaren Honda (GB,7,7)
Putative Constructor: McLaren Honda (GB)
Champion Driver: Ayrton Senna (BR,3,2)
Putative Driver: Ayrton Senna (BR)
Putative Constructor Entry Specification: Model MP4-6, 3.49-liter, twelve-cylinder vee, aluminum engine, DOHC, fuel injection, six-speed, ventilated carbon ceramic disc brakes, carbon fibre/aluminum honeycomb monocoque, double wishbone independent suspension, 725 horsepower (Steve Nichols, Neil Oatley, Gordon Murray, Nobuhiko Kawamoto).

The FIA in 1991 adopts a new points scoring system that accounts for all results for a given driver rather than the prior policy of only including the best eleven results across a given season. The sanctioning body also imposes a ten second stop-and-go penalty for in-race driving infractions. McLaren fends off a determined challenge from the impressive Williams FW14 over the final season races to claim its fourth consecutive Formula 1 constructors' title. McLaren driver Ayrton Senna (seven victories) seals his second consecutive and third overall drivers' crown over Williams pilot Nigel Mansell (five victories) with his second place finish at Suzuka in October. Future F1 champion Mika Häkkinen makes his debut at Phoenix in March. The Republic of South Africa formally abolishes its ninety-year racial separation policy of apartheid in June. F1 makes its inaugural visit to Magny Cours in July. The new Porsche V12 project ends in disaster as the Japanese Footwork team abandons the power unit after Mexico City in July. Future F1 champion Michael Schumacher makes his debut with Jordan at Spa in August, impressing all with his qualifying performance before suffering a retirement on Lap 1. Michael Schumacher raises brows across the F1 community after walking out on his Jordan contract one race after his debut and signing with Benetton just before the next event at Monza. FISA elects March co-founder Max Mosely as its new supremo to replace controversial president Jean-Marie Balestre in September. F1 makes its inaugural visit to Catalunya in September. Torrential rains at the season finale at Adelaide in November prompts race officials to red flag the event after only fourteen laps. New Racing Makes: British Jordan.

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 Honda178     Senna A131
Williams Renault159     Mansell95
Scuderia Ferrari67     Patrese70
Benetton Ford44     Berger57
Tyrrell Honda14     Prost42
Jordan Ford13     Piquet N32

Noteworthy 1991 Races

1991 XLIX Grand Prix de Monaco Monte Carlo1991 1991 XLIX Grand Prix de Monaco At Monaco for the Grand Prix (259.5 kilometers) in May, the race comes to a British McLaren MP4-6 Honda under Ayrton Senna (BR) in 1:53:02.3 (average 85.62 mph), under nineteen seconds ahead of a Williams entry. Senna leads wire-to-wire across the entire distance and becomes the only driver in the modern F1 era to open the season with four consecutive victories. Senna prevails in the principality for the third consecutive season and fourth overall time, while McLaren takes its seventh overall triumph. Photo Credit: LAT Photographic Archive.
1991 Grand Prix of Canada Montréal, Quebec1991 1991 Grand Prix of Canada At Gilles Villeneuve for the Canadian Grand Prix (305.5 kilometers) in June, an Italian Benetton B191 Ford under Nelson Piquet (BR) takes race honors in 1:38:51.5 (average 115.28 mph), under thirty-two seconds ahead of a Tyrrell entry. Piquet moves out front after Nigel Mansell in his Williams, after waving to the crowd in triumph while nursing a comfortable lead, stalls his engine on the final circuit only a hundred yards from the wire, allowing a stunned Piquet to pass for the surprising win. Photo Credit: Attribution Unascertained.
1991 XVII Japanese Grand Prix Suzuka City, Japan1991 1991 XVII Japanese Grand Prix At Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix (311 kilometers) in October, a British McLaren MP4-6 Honda under Gerhard Berger (AT) takes the flag in 1:32:10.7 (average 125.70 mph), under a second (.344) ahead of a companion entry driven by teammate Ayrton Senna. Berger, his entry faltering in the closing laps, moves out front after race leader and new driving champion Senna permits his teammate by prior agreement to pass him on the final circuit. Senna ruins his own postrace podium celebration by blasting ousted FISA supremo Jean-Marie Balestre. Photo Credit: LAT Photographic Archive.
1991 Australian Grand Prix Adelaide, South Australia1991 1991 Australian Grand Prix At Adelaide for the Australian Grand Prix (306.5 kilometers) for the season finale in November, a British McLaren MP4-6 Honda under Ayrton Senna (BR) notches a victory in 0:24:34.9 (average 80.26 mph), under two seconds ahead of a Williams driven by Nigel Mansell under a red flag condition. Torrential rains, injuries to crew members struck by Mauricio Gugelmin on a wet service lane, and a desperate plea by race leader Senna to wave off the contest amidst the deluge prompts race officials to red flag the event at Lap 14. Photo Credit: LAT Photographic Archive.