F1 fans’ classic Grand Prix videos: 1990

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Smartphones and video sharing websites have made filming footage at race weekends and letting others see it easier than ever before.

And now fans who filmed videos in the days before YouTube and DailyMotion have begun digitising and uploading their old clips as well.

This new series of articles will showcase some of these classic F1 race videos shot by fans.

We’ll begin with a look at the 1990 season, which includes footage of Ayrton Senna losing victory in Mexico, Gerhard Berger and Nigel Mansell colliding in Hungary – and some of F1’s worst cars.

Alain Prost tests for Ferrari

The big change on the driver market for 1990 saw world champion Alain Prost depart McLaren for Ferrari, taking the coveted number one with him.

Here he is testing the team’s V12-engined car at Fiorano.

Canadian Grand Prix: Pre-qualifying

At the opposite end of the grid was the pre-qualifying brigade, seen here in some rare footage of them in action during the fifth round of the season in Canada. Nine drivers took part in the session bidding for a place in the top four which granted them a chance to participate in the rest of the weekend – the other five were eliminated.

The entries shown in this video are as follows: Bruno Giacomelli, Life L190; Gabriele Tarquini, AGS-Ford JH25; Yannick Dalmas, AGS-Ford JH25; Bertrand Gachot, Coloni-Subari C3B; Olivier Grouillard, Osella FA1M; Roberto Moreno, Eurobrun-Judd ER189B. The two Larrousse-Lamborghinis of Aguri Suzuki and Eric Bernard are also seen very briefly on the track.

Moreno, Grouillard, Suzuki and Bernard all made it into qualifying proper. Tarquini was first to miss out by just 0.011s and Dalmas was half a second slower.

The rest posted times that were truly hopeless. Gachot managed just five laps and his 1’44.185 was 15.9 seconds slower than Moreno. Claudio Langes in the second Eurobrun was another three seconds slower but only did two laps before his car stopped.

And Giacomelli in the infamously dreadful Life was a shocking 21.985 seconds off the pace. Read more about this comically bad Grand Prix entry here:

Mexican Grand Prix: Practice

Most of the regular field can be seen during these videos from practice for the Mexican Grand Prix at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Keep an eye out for the Ferrari of Nigel Mansell on a tow rope two-and-a-half minutes into the second video. Reliability was a persistent problem for Mansell that year, though not in this race.

Mexican Grand Prix: Final laps

The dramatic final ten laps of the race, as seen from the hairpin.

Ayrton Senna led until lap 60 but dropped back into the clutches of Prost as he struggled with his tyres. Prost moved ahead of Senna, who dropped out with a puncture on lap 63 – which you can see at 4:01.

Next the focus switches to their team mates. Mansell headed Gerhard Berger at first but the swapped places twice off-camera, first when Berger muscled his way through at the first corner.

Mansell struck back with an audacious pass around the outside of the fearsomely fast Peraltada. Unfortunately for this spectator, that all happened out of his view. But he did see a joyous Prost pass by at 7:20 – and the crowd seem very appreciative of his efforts.

French Grand Prix: Paddock

Footage of drivers in the paddock in Hungary including Prost, Thierry Boutsen, Alessandro Nannini, Mansell and Saturo Nakajima – one of the favourites of these Japanese fans.

French Grand Prix: Victory lap

The fans train their camera first on Prost, then Nakajima as they head to the grid. They kept a close eye on the Tyrrell driver to begin with but turned their attention to the battle for the lead later in the race.

For many laps Ivan Capelli looked set to cause a major upset as he led in the Adrian Newey-designed Leyton House CG901 (from 5:30). But Capelli’s oil bump broke with three laps to go, and Prost seized an opportunity to pass. Capelli nonetheless claimed an excellent second.

Silverstone testing


This video of testing at Silverstone begins with footage of the other Leyton House belonging to Mauricio Gugelmin. There’s also some close-up footage of Senna and Berger in their McLaren MP4-5Bs, and Mark Blundell testing for Williams. Fast-forward to the end of the video for some track footage.

Hungarian Grand Prix: Mansell and Berger collide

The final video from this season shows frustration getting the better of Berger at the Hungaroring as he tips former team mate Mansell out of the race at the chicane.

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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17 comments on “F1 fans’ classic Grand Prix videos: 1990”

  1. The sound of that V12 in the first video is just beautiful!

    1. I’m sorry but as you can see by my avatar i’m a Ferrari fan too, and i can’t understand why people keep praising the Ferraris V12 sound in comparison with other V12, I love the sound but all V12 f1 cars sound good to me.

      1. Surely it’s because it’s the V12 from a famous team that stuck around long after other teams had moved to V10s?

        1. That sound! So wish we could have that back!

    2. Indeed. A really rich and wonderful sound :) I bet it was amazing hearing it with your ears first hand.

  2. The video showing the final 10 laps of the Mexican GP. Just listen to the crowds cheering for Senna!

  3. The 3rd car in that 2nd series of cars on the pits straight. That had to be the Life! It was visibly much slower than the 2 before it (the Larrouses i think)

    1. Comedy moment that! It probably went fast enough to be a death-trap though. It was a bit of a shock to see a driver who could rest his arms on the sides of the car – just after we’d been discussing driver safety and closed cockpits…

  4. Now I know this is not 1990 but 1994, but I think everyone should see (and hear!) the following clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjT9_Di0BuI&feature=player_embedded . Wow!

    1. Yep, the sound’s the best bit of all – I can’t wait for more of these videos from the years when more of the teams had V10s and V12s, like your 1994 clip.

      It’ll be great if we could recognise the new F1 turbo engines by their sound again. Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing all the various sportscars at Silverstone this weekend.

  5. Steer clear of the last vid if you’re not a Phil Collins fan.

  6. The Canadian pre-quali video is amazing. To be freely walking around the pit lane during a session. To stand on the pit wall without any fencing and to hold the camera so close to the cars passing by must have been some experience, even if the cars weren’t the fastest. Love the AGS that fails even to get beyond the pit lane.
    By modern standards, there’s so much wrong with all this, but for nostalgia alone, this is just as amazing as a wheel to wheel championship decider.

  7. These are marvelous! There’s a great deal of work been done here: super job.

  8. This certainly is an article to bookmark for later viewing! Great idea Keith and many thanks to all the fans who went through the trouble of digitizing and supplying them for our viewing now.

  9. Bring the Mexican GP back! Even though in Austin there will be a lot of Mexican fans, it’s not quite the same as a race right in the middle of Mexico City.

  10. davidnotcoulthard
    24th August 2012, 6:11

    Pre-qualifying, Canada

    “…….Moreno, Grouillard, Suzuka…..”
    I think it was supposed to be…
    “…….Moreno, Grouillard, Suzukai…..”

    1. Done, thanks.

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