European GP 1984

European GP, 1984

There was a gap of a month between the Italian and European GPs and much was happening with the new Zakspeed F1 car unveiled. Michelin announced that it would be withdrawing from F1 at the end of the year and McLaren announced a deal with Goodyear and Brabham with Pirelli but Renault, Ligier and Toleman were without tires for the 1985 season. BMW decided that it would not be supplying ATS with engines in 1985 and team boss Gunther Schmid then fired Manfred Winkelhock leaving Gerhard Berger to be the team's driver in the final races of the year. Carl Haas also announced plans for a big new F1 team in 1986.

The return of Formula 1 to the Nurburgring was not greeted with much joy as many of the drivers found it to be not very challenging. The entry was slightly different than normal with Spirit having taken on Mauro Baldi again, Ayrton Senna back in the Toleman alongside Stefan Johansson. Tyrrell was missing as the team had been barred from competing in the World Championship.

Qualifying resulted in the familiar result of Nelson Piquet (Brabham-BMW) ahead of Alain Prost (McLaren-TAG). Then came Patrick Tambay's Renault, Keke Rosberg's Williams-Honda and the Ferraris of Michele Alboreto and Rene Arnoux. Seventh on the grid was Derek Warwick (Renault) with Nigel Mansell (Lotus-Renault), Riccardo Patrese (Alfa Romeo) and Teo Fabi's Brabham-BMW completing the top 10.

At the start Prost and Tambay got ahead of Piquet but in the first corner Senna collided with Rosberg and Berger ran into Marc Surer's Arrows-BMW. Fabi and Piercarlo Ghinzani also collided and so six cars were effectively out, although Fabi was illegally bump-started.

Prost led Tambay and Piquet with Warwick fourth and the two Ferraris, Alboreto ahead of Arnoux. Lauda soon began his customary charge through the field and overtook Arnoux on the fifth lap. The order then remained unchanged until lap 43 when Tambay dropped back with electrical trouble. Warwick too ran into engine trouble and soon dropped behind Alboreto and Lauda. He eventually retired with a turbo failure.

Piquet ran out of fuel on the last lap and so lost second place to Alboreto while Lauda finished fourth ahead of Arnoux and Patrese.

As the F1 trucks headed to Portugal Lauda was ahead in the World Championship by four and a half points.

Alain Prost McLaren-TAG Porsche  67 1h35m13.284s  
27 Michele Alboreto Ferrari  67 1h35m37.195s  
Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW  67 1h35m38.206s  
Niki Lauda McLaren-TAG Porsche  67 1h35m56.370s  15 
28 Rene Arnoux Ferrari  67 1h36m14.714s  
22 Riccardo Patrese Alfa Romeo  66  
26 Andrea de Cesaris Ligier-Renault  65  17 
21 Mauro Baldi Spirit-Hart  65  24 
9r 18 Thierry Boutsen Arrows-Cosworth  64 Electrics/ignition 11 
10 25 Francois Hesnault Ligier-Renault  64  19 
11r 16 Derek Warwick Renault  61 Valve/engine Overheating 
12r 30 Jo Gartner Osella-Alfa Romeo  60 Fuel Injection 22 
Teo Fabi Brabham-BMW  57 Gearbox 10 
12 Nigel Mansell Lotus-Renault  51 Engine 
15 Patrick Tambay Renault  47 Fuel Injection 
23 Eddie Cheever Alfa Romeo  37 Fuel Pump 13 
Philippe Alliot RAM-Hart  37 Turbo 25 
10 Jonathan Palmer RAM-Hart  35 Turbo 21 
Jacques Laffite Williams-Honda  27 Engine 14 
11 Elio de Angelis Lotus-Renault  25 Turbo 23 
20 Stefan Johansson Toleman-Hart  17 Engine Overheating 26 
Keke Rosberg Williams-Honda  Accident 
31 Gerhard Berger ATS-BMW  Accident 18 
17 Marc Surer Arrows-Cosworth  Accident 16 
24 Piercarlo Ghinzani Osella-Alfa Romeo  Accident 20 
19 Ayrton Senna Toleman-Hart  Accident 12