Gianni Morbidelli had been called in to replace Alain Prost at Ferrari for the season finale after Prost’s public criticism of the car and team.
Come race day, the heavens opened over the Adelaide street circuit. The race went ahead as planned with Ayrton Senna leading them away. Senna had wrapped up the championship at the previous race in Japan, but he and teammate Gerhard Berger elected to run the race in the wet conditions to try and win the constructor's title for McLaren.
Senna leads Mansell
Senna led Nigel Mansell and then Gerhard Berger for most of the race. Mansell couldn’t get by as there were yellow flags on the back straight after Michael Schumacher, Jean Alesi and Nicola Larini had all gone off.
Schumacher had been performing strongly in just his sixth race at the age of 22. However, he was one of several drivers to crash out. A downpour around Lap 15 led to Nigel Mansell spinning out from second. Mauricio Gugelmin also crashed on the pits in his Leyton House car, slightly injuring two marshals.
The red flag was flown on Lap 16 and the race was not restarted. Half points were awarded from the running order at Lap 14, with Senna ahead of Mansell and Berger. The race had been scheduled for 81 laps.
Only Senna and Berger were on the podium as Mansell was being treated for injuries. Mansell’s crash meant McLaren wrapped up the constructor’s title.