European GP 1985
OCTOBER 6, 1985
European GP, 1985
With Niki Lauda out of action with a wrist problem, McLaren took on John Watson for the European GP weekend. Tyrrell had expanded to two cars again with Ivan Capelli joining Martin Brundle but otherwise the field was unchanged from the Belgian GP three weeks earlier, except that the Williams-Hondas had been reworked in B-specification.
Pole position went to Ayrton Senna in his Lotus-Renault with Nelson Piquet (Brabham-BMW) second ahead of the Williams's: Nigel Mansell beating Keke Rosberg. Fifth was an impressive Philippe Streiff (Ligier-Renault) with Alain Prost (McLaren-TAG) looking to tie up the World Championship from sixth on the grid. This looked like being easier because the Ferrari of Michele Alboreto was off the pace and qualified only 15th. The top 10 was completed by Marc Surer (Brabham-BMW), Derek Warwick (Renault), Elio de Angelis (Lotus-Renault) and Jacques Laffite (Ligier-Renault).
At the start Rosberg had a problem and was slow away. This meant that Prost had to go onto the grass and while Rosberg's engine suddenly took off Prost found himself down in 14th. His World Championship rival Alboreto made a good start to run ninth. At the front Senna led Rosberg, Piquet and Mansell with de Angelis fifth and Surer sixth. Warwick disappeared early and on lap seven there was a big moment at Surtees when Rosberg challenged Senna for the lead and spun. Piquet hit the spinning Williams. The Brabham was out and while Rosberg rejoined with a puncture Mansell moved to second and began to challenge Senna. He was helped considerably by Rosberg who rejoined just ahead of Senna (but a lap down) and blocked the Lotus, allowing Mansell to catch up. On the ninth lap Mansell went ahead. Four laps later Alboreto went out with a turbo failure. Prost, who had charged back to sixth place by the ninth lap, needed to finish only fifth to clinch the World Championship. Prost was soon pushed back to seventh by Laffite but he hoped that attrition would play into his hands. Laffite's charge took him past Johansson and de Angelis and into fourth place behind Mansell, Senna and Surer and that order was not changed until lap 35 when Surer overtook Senna for second. A lap later Ayrton was fourth behind Laffite. Jacques had to stop for new tires on lap 51 and he dropped to eighth but began to charge again until his engine blew seven laps later.
Surer's second place looked to be secure but then his turbo blew on lap 63 and so Senna regained second ahead of Rosberg while Prost was fourth having dealt with de Angelis and been aided when Johansson retired with an electrical problem. Fifth went to de Angelis with Thierry Boutsen sixth in his Arrows-BMW.
Mansell had finally won his first Grand Prix - and Prost was France's first World Champion.
|4||2||Alain Prost||McLaren-TAG Porsche||75||1h34m04.230s||6|
|5||11||Elio de Angelis||Lotus-Renault||74||9|
|7||1||John Watson||McLaren-TAG Porsche||73||21|
|9||22||Riccardo Patrese||Alfa Romeo||73||11|
|11||23||Eddie Cheever||Alfa Romeo||73||18|
|r||3||Martin Brundle||Tyrrell-Cosworth||40||Water Pipe||16|
|r||9||Philippe Alliot||RAM-Hart||31||Engine Overheating||23|
|r||33||Alan Jones||Lola-Hart||13||Radiator/engine Overheating||22|
|r||16||Derek Warwick||Renault||4||Fuel Injection||8|
|nq||24||Huub Rothengotter||Osella-Alfa Romeo||27|