Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
On 1st November 1987, Gerhard Berger won the Japanese Grand Prix. Formula 1 had returned to the Land of the Rising Sun after a ten year break to the new venue of Suzuka circuit, owned by Honda. So for Ferrari, it was a particularly satisfying moment, one of few that season, to beat the Japanese marque on its home track. It’s true that by then, the title was a two horse race between the Honda-powered Williams drivers, which was then resolved right from free practice, when Mansell had an accident and had to pull out, thus handing the crown to Piquet. But for the Prancing Horse, Berger’s win ended a drought that had lasted for 37 Grands Prix, as well as putting back on track, at least partially, a season that had been marked by reliability problems.
That weekend, the F1-87 proved unbeatable. The Austrian took pole, over six tenths ahead of Prost in the McLaren, while Alboreto was fourth, although he had to start from the back because of a problem at the start of the formation lap. In the race, Berger took off in the lead and dominated the field all the way to the flag, while his team-mate produced a great climb up the order which took him all the way back to where he had qualified.