Thierry Boutsen wins the last race of the 1989 Formula One season: the Australian Grand Prix at Adelaide, driving the Williams FW13. Most drivers, including Mr. Bousten, felt that the race should have been postponed due to the heavy rain. At the end, only eight of the 24 starting drivers were left driving for this reason.
On this day in 2002, chaos ensued at the first corner of the Australian Grand Prix. The Williams of Ralf Schumacher locked up and ran into the rear of Rubens Barrichello’s Ferrari. This crash caused 8 cars, including Ralf’s and Rubens’ cars to retire. This race also saw a small, Australian rookie by the name of Mark Webber get his first points, and Minardi’s only points of that year on his debut, and in front of his home crowd.
On this day, October 26th, in 1986, the Australian Grand Prix held the title-deciding race of that season where one of three drivers could have clinched the title. The three were Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet, and Alain Prost. Mansell had a substantial lead points, but will still vulnerable to losing the championship if he finished out of the points, or retired. Chances were small for Prost and Piquet, but still there. The gap in points proved to be substantial for Mansell’s championship hopes were quickly dashed as on lap 63, his left rear tire exploded in a shower of sparks, forcing him to retire and prompt Piquet to pit out of precautionary measures. All either Prost or Piquet had to do to clinch the championship was for 1 to finish ahead of the other, and after Piquet’s stop, he was 15 seconds behind Prost. This gap closed to 4.2 seconds, but the race ended and the championship was Prost’s.