The 1990 San Marino Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 13 May 1990 at Imola. It was the third round of the 1990 Formula One season. It was the tenth San Marino Grand Prix and it was the eleventh time Imola hosted a Formula One Grand Prix. The race was held over 61 laps of the five kilometre circuit for a race distance of 307 kilometres.
The race was won by Italian driver Riccardo Patrese driving a Williams FW13B. It was Patrese's third Grand Prix victory, his first since 1983 and his first for Williams. Patrese took a five-second victory over Austrian driver Gerhard Berger driving a McLaren MP4/5B. Third was Italian driver Alessandro Nannini driving a Benetton B190.
There was an unusually long two month break between the Brazilian and San Marino events in the world championship. As such, this extensive early season break would give the team's time to adjust to the new safety regulations that would be made mandatory at Imola.
The new regulations would see reinforced chassis, less constrictive cockpits, higher roll-over bars, red lights and a mandatory detachable steering wheel. FISA President, Jean-Marie Balestre, had demanded a safety overhaul for 1990 after the career ending crash of Philippe Streiff and Gerhard Berger's fiery accident at the previous edition of the San Marino Grand Prix.
Philippe Streiff would in fact be attending his first grand prix at San Marino since his accident at Jacerapagua which had left him a paraplegic. He would join the TF1 television broadcast as a pundit for the race and posed with fellow Formula One paraplegics, Frank Williams and Clay Regazzoni.
Ayrton Senna remained the championship leader, however the increasing competitiveness of the Ferrari's had meant that the McLaren superiority was well and truely being questioned in 1990. Alain Prost, having taken victory was expected to take victory by the Tifosi on their home turf at San Marino. Although Nigel Mansell endorsed the new car, Prost, however was cautious, believing the mandatory changes to the car for the new regulations may hamper their team's performance.
The break in between Brazil and San Marino had seen extensive testing from the Formula One teams as they rapidly worked to adjust to the new regulations that would be enforced at Imola. Some of the teams took the time to release their new 1990 challengers at Imola to match the change in regulations.
Most prominently was Benetton with their B190 designed by Rory Byrne for Nelson Piquet and Alessandro Nannini. Team Principal, Flavio Briatore, demanded his drivers to take at least one victory before the conclusion of the season.
The full entry list for the 1990 San Marino Grand Prix is outlined below:
Standings after raceEdit
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