23. FW12C 1989

S4322 FW12C No.5 Winner Canadian GP 1989 -Thierry Boutsen

The first GP victory is something special for every Formula 1 driver. Misty eyes are seen at each premiere. In the case of Thierry Boutsen it was not only because of the feeling to finally reach the first place, but Thierry Boutsen got his first GP-win under heavy rain. It was a lucky coincidence. 66 of 69 laps were passed as the leader car of Ayrton Senna suddenly stopped. It was an engine breakdown that finished the race for the Rain God 12 rounds before the end. The way was opened up for Boutsen. When he discovered the McLaren of the Brasilian at the side of the track, Boutsen didn’t know his position. The race was very chaotic because of a lot of pit stops and the again and again starting heavy rain. “When you are in the middle of a lot of cars and leave car after car behind you, you are that occupied that you don’t really realize your actual position.” Just when he was shown the “P1” on the grid board, Boutsen got to know about his position. After the race he was telling: “I was petrified and I knew that nothing should happen to me anymore. I was very carefully driving until the finish line.” On the podium the Belgian was celebrating with team mate Riccardo Patrese and surprise man Andrea de Cesaris. The return flight which was planned for the evening was cancelled preventively. “I knew that we will have a bigger party.” Boutsen’s victory was surprising, but not undeserved. The good friend of Senna was already 5 times on the podium with Benetton during the previous season. That’s why Williams decided for him in the season 1989. Also his second victory Boutsen was gaining under similar conditions. At the season final in Adelaide it was raining even heavier than in Montreal. And the race was finished after 70 of 81 laps due to the two-hours-regulation. For Boutsen who is living in Monaco and is selling airplanes and helicopters today, the season 1989 was the best season of his formula 1 career. In 1990 he could achieve a 3rd victory. The pleasant and calm contemporary couldn’t reach to more. The Williams FW12C was already replaced by the successor model FW13 before the end of the season. The FW12C was the first naturally aspirated 3.5 L after the turbochargers were banned. Chief designer of the FW12 was the Argentinian Enrique Scalabroni.

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