Almost as soon as the 1989 San Marino Grand Prix had ended, a crack appeared in McLaren's red-and-white armoury. Alain Prost collected his trophy and walked out, brushing aside the official press conference (which would later attract a $5,000 fine) without pausing to speak to the French media.
In the absence of any comment from the team, journalists were left to draw their own conclusions from what they had seen on the racetrack. Ayrton Senna had taken the lead from the start and pulled out 2.7 seconds on Prost in the first three laps. At the start of lap four, Gerhard Berger had smashed into the same wall Senna would hit fatally at Tamburello corner five years later, the Ferrari quickly engulfed in flames.
Such an unexpected sight - and the initial thought that the driver was trapped in the cockpit - prompted the red flag. Berger survived with nothing more than light burns to his hands. The same could not be said for a smouldering relationship that was about to burst into metaphorical flames.