Portuguese GP 1985
APRIL 21, 1985
Portuguese GP, 1985
The big news in the days after the Brazilian Grand Prix was that Rene Arnoux had been fired by Ferrari as a result of problems with his physical condition. The team hired Stefan Johansson to replace him. Toleman was still without tires. Tyrrell reached agreement with Stefan Bellof and so he was back and Zakspeed joined the field with one car for Jonathan Palmer.
Qualifying resulted in pole position for Ayrton Senna's Lotus-Renault with Alain Prost (McLaren-TAG) alongside. Then came Keke Rosberg's Williams-Honda and the second Lotus-Renault of Elio de Angelis. Michele Alboreto was fifth with Derek Warwick sixth in his Renault, while the top 10 was completed by Niki Lauda (McLaren-TAG), Andrea de Cesaris (Ligier-Renault), Nigel Mansell (Williams-Honda) and Nelson Piquet (Brabham-BMW).
On race day it was pouring with rain by the time it came for the race. Several drivers went off during the reconnaissance laps, notably Mansell and Eddie Cheever (Alfa Romeo). They had to start from the pitlane in spares.
Senna took the lead with de Angelis getting a good start to move to second. Rosberg stalled but everyone avoided the Williams except Palmer who just clipped the rear of the car with the new Zakspeed. Palmer hobbled around to retire. Rosberg finally managed to get going but he spun on the first lap.
At the front Senna led de Angelis, Prost, Alboreto, Warwick, Lauda and de Cesaris. The Pirelli wet tires were not good and so the Pirelli runners (notably Piquet) faded quickly. The order remained unchanged at the front as Senna drove away from his rivals in majestic fashion. Prost disappeared with a big spin on lap 30 and so Alboreto moved to third and Tambay to fourth. Mansell was fifth and Bellof (with mangled front wings) sixth. On lap 43 Alboreto overtook de Angelis for second and in the closing laps the Lotus also dropped behind Tambay, ending the day fourth ahead of Mansell and Bellof.
It was not a great race but it was Senna's first victory and an assured one.
|4||11||Elio de Angelis||Lotus-Renault||66||4|
|9||24||Piercarlo Ghinzani||Osella-Alfa Romeo||61||26|
|r||1||Niki Lauda||McLaren-TAG Porsche||49||Piston||7|
|r||23||Eddie Cheever||Alfa Romeo||36||Misfire||14|
|r||2||Alain Prost||McLaren-TAG Porsche||30||Spin||2|
|r||25||Andrea de Cesaris||Ligier-Renault||29||Tires/handling||8|
|r||3||Martin Brundle||Tyrrell-Cosworth||20||Gear Linkage||22|
|r||22||Riccardo Patrese||Alfa Romeo||4||Spin||13|
|r||30||Jonathan Palmer||Zakspeed||2||Accident/front Suspension||23|