Grand Prix Gold: San Marino GP 1986

Grand Prix Gold: San Marino GP 1986

With just 195-litres of fuel to play with, Imola was always a race of attrition in the mid-'80s. And having been caught out by the fuel economy rules the year before, Alain Prost was not about to let the same thing happen again in 1986...

It was always going to be a tactical race, a matter of balancing 190 miles against 195 litres, that much we knew. Ideally, the winner's engine would die, starved of fuel, immediately after taking the flag. That would mean that he and his computer had done their job to perfection, sliced the San Marino Grand Prix as fine as possible.

Alain Prost is getting there. Last year he ran out of fuel a few hundred yards after the finish (but was disqualified at the post-race weight check). This year his McLaren began to run out a few hundred yards before the flag, but judicious flicking of the steering wheel fed the engine the lees in the tank, and they were enough to get the world champion to the line.

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