The 1990 season was one of the closest in years as the lead swayed between Ayrton Senna and reigning World Champion Alain Prost - now driving for Ferrari.
Senna opened his account for McLaren Honda in a thrilling season opener at the street circuit Phoenix, Arizona. Wet qualifying threw the expected grid into disorder and put Senna in fifth place, the fight back to the lead set the scene for the season.
The cavalcade moved to Brazil where Prost drove a typically calculating race to take nine points. Monaco and Canada: advantage Senna.
All season the pendulum swung back and forth as each of the great teams found small advantages for their star drivers.
As the teams headed to the Far East with everything still to play for, the Japanese Grand Prix became the most important, and most controversial, of the season.