Grand Prix Gold: Belgian GP 1986

Grand Prix Gold: Belgian GP 1986

In what was the first grand prix since the tragic death of Elio de Angelis, victory went to his former team-mate Nigel Mansell as the Williams driver put himself into title contention with a controlled drive against the fuel gauge

FISA's fuel restriction rules could have ruined the Belgian Grand Prix, but didn't quite. Nigel Mansell just made it to the line for his first victory of the season, and Ayrton Senna was similarly hard-pressed to collect another six points for his title quest. Another two or three miles and we might have had a Ferrari one-two! As it was, Stefan Johansson and Michele Alboreto were third and fourth.

A multiple shunt at the first corner effectively ruled out Alain Prost, who came back majestically to claim a point, and Gerhard Berger, the sensation of qualifying. For a while it seemed that Nelson Piquet was going to walk this one, but his engine let go. After that it was a matter of coping with understeer, tyre wear and fuel consumption and of working judiciously with the boost switch, as usual. At Spa, Mansell, Williams and Honda had the best compromise, even surviving a spin on the way.

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