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Drivers briefing Suzuka 1990: Did Piquet deliberately try to enrage Senna?


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#1 Henri Greuter

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 11:08

Several threads open on both Senna and Piquet, two drivers who share more then only their nationality, number of titles, teams they drove for....

On YouTube you can find movies about the drivers briefing at Suzuka 1990.

Now most of us know and will agree that at Suzuka 1990, Senna was screwed by Balestre when Senna's request to swith the pole position side that was initially granted was overturned by Balestre. No doubt about that, Senna was screwed.
Most of us will also know that especially since his Williams days, Nelson Piquet was not withholding from nasty tactics to unsettle and/or upset team mates and rivals by doing things he, with his sence of humor, found funny to do. We also know that there was little if any positive feelings towards another between Senna and Piquet
Having watched the movie of that that drivers meeting at Suzuka, I began to wonder....

Knowing the things I mentioned, how big do you is the chance that Piquet deliberately asked about cutting off the chicane and when being disqualified, knowing very well that this was what officially got Senna disqualified a year ago and something he still was enraged about. Do more of you think that Piquet asked about it intentionally, knowing full well that this, in addition to the screw job by Balestre the day before that it probably would enrage Senna to the utmost? And perhaps would cause him to do stupid things but hey, he had the fun of seting up Senna and have a laugh?

I can't help feeling that Piquet did it on purpose, to have some fun himself but also in order to upset Senna even more then he was already.

Henri



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#2 David Shaw

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 11:18

When I initially saw the footage of the driver's briefing, I thought he was having a dig at Senna. Having seen the film, I was left with the impression that he brought it up at the driver's briefing to actually point out the absurdity of the ruling the year before, and that Senna mis-interpreted his intention.

#3 thiscocks

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 11:37

dont think it was his intention- it looked like a genuine question he wanted to ask.

A different point, but I dont beleive senna was 'screwed' with regards to the pole position side. It had been on the same side since F1 started there.

#4 Tim Murray

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 11:58

... but was moved the following year.

#5 ensign14

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 12:07

I thought it was a wind-up with the other drivers happily joining in...after all, the issue must have arisen at other circuits (Monza for instance), why not raise it then?

#6 thiscocks

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 12:09

...thanks to sennas whinging

#7 Henri Greuter

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 12:51

dont think it was his intention- it looked like a genuine question he wanted to ask.

A different point, but I dont beleive senna was 'screwed' with regards to the pole position side. It had been on the same side since F1 started there.



thiscocks,

For me Senna had a point since he had asked about relocating the pole, and other drivers had agreed with the requenst, including Prost. It was then granted by the officials and from that moment on, in my book, it should have been done and Senna had every right to be felt screwed by Balestre when he overturned the decision. That was a lousy deal by Balestre.
Had the request been denied from the very beginning, then it was an entirely different manner. But Balestre screwed Senna on this one, no doubt about it.

Henri

#8 cheapracer

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 12:55

Now most of us know and will agree that at Suzuka 1990, Senna was screwed by Balestre when Senna's request to swith the pole position side that was initially granted was overturned by Balestre. No doubt about that, Senna was screwed.


Speak for yourself thanks.

Before qualifying Senna went around asking the officials if pole could be swapped to the other side and as I live in Asia, culturally I understand why the officials would agree superficially to an individual but Senna should have gotten it in writing. He didn't but should of had a drivers meeting because as an individual driver he has no right at all to make such a demand.

The pole position location was not a secret before qualifying and it certainly wasn't changed on him to the dirty side after qualifying so status quo, he wasn't screwed at all and it goes down for me as nothing but a typical Senna childish rant thinking that he was superior, right again and should be listened to by all just because he spoke.

As for NP, he was very serious in his question and clear in his reasoning, a driver's vote was taken immediately and the escape road was approved by majority - Senna childishly walked out in disgust because of the year before's happenings and nothing to do with Piquet who as a driver had every right to raise the point and you seem to be seeing something or would like to see something that's clearly not there.


#9 cheapracer

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 13:02

For me Senna had a point since he had asked about relocating the pole, and other drivers had agreed with the requenst, including Prost.


Name them, show us the news report or video .....

Most race drivers/riders briefings I have been to, if there's something that is requested to be changed that was already in place (and not a safety item) then a vote is taken and if one person disagrees then it will not be changed.

Senna was not the Messiah, he was just a naughty boy.


#10 Michael Ferner

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 15:27

And all the huffing and puffing aside, has anybody noticed how Senna actually made a brillant start from his pole position, dirty side or not. It's just that Prost made an even better one...

#11 byrkus

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 09:22

Speaking of Suzuka 1989, Senna should've been disqualified anyway, IMHO. After his contact with Prost, his engine stopped, and was again started after he got pushed by some marshalls. Which is a blatant case of a 'push start', which is an automatic DSQ in just about any racing series.

But the FIA chose to DSQ him on case of 'shorting the racing track'...? Quite unusual, to say the least.


#12 thiscocks

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 10:11

Speaking of Suzuka 1989, Senna should've been disqualified anyway, IMHO. After his contact with Prost, his engine stopped, and was again started after he got pushed by some marshalls. Which is a blatant case of a 'push start', which is an automatic DSQ in just about any racing series.

But the FIA chose to DSQ him on case of 'shorting the racing track'...? Quite unusual, to say the least.


Thats what I wondered also. 'No push starts' was in the F1 rules then wasn't it?

#13 ensign14

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 11:13

Thats what I wondered also. 'No push starts' was in the F1 rules then wasn't it?

Thought it was "no push starts unless you're in a dangerous position" (cf. Patrese winning at Monaco 1982). Which was stupid in itself, it meant if you lost it in a dangerous area you lost out less than losing it where it was safe.

#14 byrkus

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 12:16

But in retrospect I believe that Patrese himself thought he would get disqualified - if he got stranded in that corner with engine shut off, he wouldn't finish the race anyway! But when he drove that lap, he drove past Pironi (who ran out of gas) and Daly (who reimaned stationary after running out of... well, everything :) ) He then finished that final lap in first place, and was himself astonished to actually recieve the prize for a race winner!

But OTOH, those final laps at Monaco 82 were chaotic well beyond any reasonable limit. He was the only one who finished lap 76, while all the others were at least a lap or two down! And, if they would DSQ him - who would then win? Pironi, who only finished 75 laps? Ditto Daly and de Cesaris? Or would it be Mansell, who was still running, but was three whole laps down...?? :) :drunk:

I personally believe that that case of Patrese's win at Monaco was more the case of 'Force Majeure', than the deliberate push start.


Sorry to get OT here.;)

Edited by byrkus, 24 August 2011 - 12:16.


#15 thiscocks

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 12:25

still o/t, but did patrese recieve a push start? I assumed he restarted it on the hill. Never seen footage of marshals pushing him. Anyway I guess that would have been 'a dangerous position'. Not so sure about how dangerous sennas position was at suzuka '89?

#16 D-Type

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 12:49

Can someone please clarify who was allowed to do what at that time?

(1) Was a driver allowed to make a request to the organisers? Or did it have to be his entrant? Or the drivers acting together either in a drivers' meeting or through the GPDA (if it was in existence at that time).

(2) Did the organisers make decisions about disqualifications or was it the FIA/FISA/CSI?

(3) Was the "no push starts" rule an FIA generic rule or wa it up to the organisers to include it in their race regulations?

(4) The interpretation that if a car "just happened to start" while being pushed to safety was fairly general, but had it ever been tested in an appeal, either at national level or to the FIA?

(5) Was a driver allowed to appeal against a decision or did it have to be his entrant?

(6) In club racing there is a hierarchy of appeals: to the organising club, escalate to an appeal to the national club or sanctioning body, ultimately appeal to the FIA/FISA/CSI. Was there a similar hierarchy in GP racing at that time: first appeal to the organisers (which in the case of a GP is almost synonymous with the national club, with the option of appealing to the FIA/FISA/CSI

(7) In the case of decisions that should be made in the name of the FIA, where did Balestre fit in? Was he effectively chairing the relevant committe or could he make rulings in his own right.

Regardless of whether he was empowered to make a decision, M. Balestre could always give the organising club his advice (which would probably be the same as an FIA committee on appeal)


My feeling is:

(A) In 1989 it was the race organisers who disqualified Senna. Because their marshalls had push started him the organisers felt they couldn't disqualify him on those grounds as it would mean admitting they were wrong (or if you prefer "losing face"). So they disqualified him for the alternative reason of taking a short cut. It was the entrant, McLaren or Ron Dennis who made the appeal against the decision. Then Balestre (or was it the FIA?) then supported (or rubber-stamped) the organisers' decision.

(B) The question of which side is the "fast side" and the pole winner wanting pole to be on the outside has arisen on several occasions, for examle in one of his autobiographies Mike Hawthorn mentions it. On some occasions the race organisers have responded to representations and in others they have stood firm. But traditionally this was the race organisers' decision not the FIA's.

© In 1990 the organisers chose not to change the grid around but apparently did make the change the following year. And whether it was Senna or his entrant who asked for the change, whether it went through formal channels or was made by Senna to a senior race official in his car as shown in the film, is irrelevant - the organisers made their decision and Senna didn't like it.

#17 ensign14

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 13:04

But OTOH, those final laps at Monaco 82 were chaotic well beyond any reasonable limit. He was the only one who finished lap 76, while all the others were at least a lap or two down! And, if they would DSQ him - who would then win? Pironi, who only finished 75 laps? Ditto Daly and de Cesaris? Or would it be Mansell, who was still running, but was three whole laps down...?? :) :drunk:

The race would have finished when the chequer flew. So I think the winner would have been Pironi, because Mansell and de Angelis would not have completed the race distance in a quicker time than Pironi.


still o/t, but did patrese recieve a push start? I assumed he restarted it on the hill. Never seen footage of marshals pushing him. Anyway I guess that would have been 'a dangerous position'. Not so sure about how dangerous sennas position was at suzuka '89?

Patrese said he basically got a bump start. Senna's position was surely dangerous, he was half on the track.

#18 Tim Murray

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 13:48

The race would have finished when the chequer flew. So I think the winner would have been Pironi, because Mansell and de Angelis would not have completed the race distance in a quicker time than Pironi.

But Pironi never completed the race distance.

#19 lustigson

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 07:43

Since seeing the Senna documentary, I wondered about Senna's outrage regarding the 1990 Suzuka pole position spot, since the pole spot had been on the right side of the track since 1987.

However, there's also a short scene in the film where Senna talks to Roland Bruynseraede, then the race director, about moving the spot. I'm under the impression, as surely was Senna, Bruynseraede confirms "they'll take care of it" — or something along those lines; I don't recall the exact quote — and then they don't.

Presumably, that's where Senna's anger came from, in part.

Ironically, when the Suzuka pole spot was indeed moved for 1991, Berger was fastest in qualifying.

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#20 ellrosso

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 08:15

No marshalls involved with Patrese, he had enough momentum to bump start (just....). What a finish!

#21 James Page

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 10:36

Since seeing the Senna documentary, I wondered about Senna's outrage regarding the 1990 Suzuka pole position spot, since the pole spot had been on the right side of the track since 1987.

However, there's also a short scene in the film where Senna talks to Roland Bruynseraede, then the race director, about moving the spot. I'm under the impression, as surely was Senna, Bruynseraede confirms "they'll take care of it" — or something along those lines; I don't recall the exact quote — and then they don't.

Presumably, that's where Senna's anger came from, in part.

Ironically, when the Suzuka pole spot was indeed moved for 1991, Berger was fastest in qualifying.


That scene comes from Hockenheim, though, not Suzuka - one of many slightly misleading elements of the film.

OT, I thought that Piquet was asking for a clarification, rather than trying to annoy Senna.


#22 lustigson

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 11:15

That scene comes from Hockenheim, though, not Suzuka - one of many slightly misleading elements of the film.

Is it? That makes the whole pole saga quite a bit more uncomprehensable to me. :confused:



#23 Maldwyn

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 12:50

still o/t, but did patrese recieve a push start? I assumed he restarted it on the hill. Never seen footage of marshals pushing him.

This is the only photo I've ever seen of the immediate aftermath of Riccardo's spin. Clearly the car needed to be pushed away from that position. It just so happened it was moved to a position facing downhill! Riccardo simply let out the clutch, re-fired the engine (he said this was quite easy to do with a Cosworth) and off he went angry with himself that he had lost the chance of his first win.

He had no idea he had won until he was directed along the start finish straight to the podium ceremonies. Incidentally he remained mystified as to why he had spun until a Derek Daly interview years later when Derek explained that was where he'd left his gearbox oil!

(Apologies for going further o/t)

Edited by Maldwyn, 13 July 2012 - 12:52.


#24 arttidesco

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 17:48

I always thought drivers had more important things to do than wind each other up at drivers meetings, like winding up the officials for a start, as for Senna getting screwed, I'm sure he is not the first driver who would have quite happily written his own rule book given half the chance. :lol:

Edited by arttidesco, 13 July 2012 - 17:49.


#25 nordschleife

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 18:15

If anyone other than Piquet had made the inquiry I'd have thought it a clarification. But it's impossible to disregard Piquet's devilish sense of humour, masterful use of the windup, and the opportunity to destabilize a key rival, Senna. Any of these by themselves would convince me that they are his motivation. Taken together, I have no doubt that clarification was the furthest thing from Piquet's mind.
I miss that crowd, they were mega.


#26 Ray Bell

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 19:05

As mentioned, this issue has been raised at other places...

At Surfers Paradise in 1970 for the Tasman Cup race, Frank Matich boldly parked his pole-winning McLaren almost on the central grid position after the warm-up lap. Almost, Niel Allen had to move a little to the left and squeeze towards McRae.

The race simply started like that. But in 1971, having again taken pole, Matich plonked his car right in the middle of the front row and sat there expecting to get away with it again. Frank Gardner was miffed and challenged it all, but in the midst of Frank's disagreement the scrutineers trundled over to see what the fuss was about. In the meantime, the TV people were concerned that the race needed to get under way to fit into their time slot.

As Matich sat resolutely on the 'clean' road in the centre of the grid, the scrutineers pointed out that Gardner had refitted the oversize front wings he'd been told to remove the day before. Gardner's argument against Matich was therefore defused and he fitted the smaller wings and started the race from the 'dirty' spot on the inside of the grid.

We have photos of both starts in our new book.

Edited by Ray Bell, 13 July 2012 - 19:06.


#27 sonar

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 20:53

I don't think (on this occation), Nelson was trying to enrage Senna.
We all know he loved to do it, but you have to admit: if someone is easily wound up (like Senna was) it's really tempting to do so... :lol:

#28 LittleChris

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 21:09

Is it? That makes the whole pole saga quite a bit more uncomprehensable to me. :confused:


Definitely Hockenheim, those grandstands in the background are immediately recognisable. Saw the film for the first time over the weekend and at the time wondered why they used footage from a completely different race to try to justify Senna's claims at Suzuka. As I watched I felt that, although the footage was pretty good, whoever wrote the screenplay or whatever it's called really didn't have much of a clue.


#29 CSquared

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 23:59

Definitely Hockenheim, those grandstands in the background are immediately recognisable. Saw the film for the first time over the weekend and at the time wondered why they used footage from a completely different race to try to justify Senna's claims at Suzuka. As I watched I felt that, although the footage was pretty good, whoever wrote the screenplay or whatever it's called really didn't have much of a clue.

They had enough of a clue to deliberately fuzz the name of the race on the side of the official's car. Another bit of evidence that the movie isn't to be taken too seriously as a documentary.

#30 kayemod

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 07:26

They had enough of a clue to deliberately fuzz the name of the race on the side of the official's car. Another bit of evidence that the movie isn't to be taken too seriously as a documentary.


I think Alain Prost would agree with you on that point.


#31 Ralliart

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 16:38

As mentioned, this issue has been raised at other places...

At Surfers Paradise in 1970 for the Tasman Cup race, Frank Matich boldly parked his pole-winning McLaren almost on the central grid position after the warm-up lap. Almost, Niel Allen had to move a little to the left and squeeze towards McRae.

The race simply started like that. But in 1971, having again taken pole, Matich plonked his car right in the middle of the front row and sat there expecting to get away with it again. Frank Gardner was miffed and challenged it all, but in the midst of Frank's disagreement the scrutineers trundled over to see what the fuss was about. In the meantime, the TV people were concerned that the race needed to get under way to fit into their time slot.

As Matich sat resolutely on the 'clean' road in the centre of the grid, the scrutineers pointed out that Gardner had refitted the oversize front wings he'd been told to remove the day before. Gardner's argument against Matich was therefore defused and he fitted the smaller wings and started the race from the 'dirty' spot on the inside of the grid.

We have photos of both starts in our new book.

Jack Brabham was helped by the marshals or not? - at Monaco '70 and awarded second place

#32 MoebiusPT

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 11:52

To me, quite honestly, looked like Piquet was rather trying to enrage Balestre & Company (aka FIA).

His tone, his facial expression. Drivers like him would have liked to have the race being decided on the track rather than in a court. Although he was a fierce rival of Senna, I do believe that at that particular moment in time, Piquet was having a more supportive attitude towards his fellow countryman.

Can't really say that the attitude remained the same after the 1990 Suzuka GP start....