Austrian GP 1985

Austrian GP, 1985

On the weekend between the German and Austrian GPs, Manfred Winkelhock was killed driving a Porsche in a sportscar race at Mosport Park. The RAM team decided to run Kenny Acheson in his place. Toleman had expanded to two cars with Piercarlo Ghinzani as expected joining Teo Fabi. The field was otherwise unchanged. In the paddock there was lots of gossip as Niki Lauda announced that he would be retiring at the end of the season. Keke Rosberg had signed to replace him at McLaren while Nelson Piquet announced that he was leaving Brabham to take Rosberg's place at Williams. Elio de Angelis was moving from Team Lotus to take the empty Brabham seat. Renault was rumored to be withdrawing and Patrick Tambay was expected to go to the new Beatrice team while Derek Warwick was negotiating to join Ayrton Senna at Team Lotus.

In qualifying Alain Prost was on pole in his McLaren-TAG with Nigel Mansell alongside in his Williams-Honda. Then came Lauda and Rosberg with Piquet fifth, Teo Fabi sixth and de Angelis seventh. The top 10 was completed by Tambay, Alboreto and Riccardo Patrese (Alfa Romeo).

Lauda snatched the lead but before the end of the lap there were red flags. Mansell had been slow away and Fabi had not moved at all and there was chaos behind with Alboreto, de Angelis, Gerhard Berger (Arrows-BMW) and Fabi all involved. Once this was sorted out the race restarted. Prost (in his spare) took the lead from Rosberg but on the fourth lap Keke's Williams went out with an engine failure and so Lauda made it a McLaren 1-2 with Piquet third, de Angelis fourth and Mansell (who had made a poor start) fifth. Behind Mansell was Tambay but he was soon overtaken by Fabi although both of them were later overhauled by Senna.

On lap 14 there was a dramatic accident when Andrea de Cesaris went off in his Ligier-Renault at high-speed, the car being launched into a dramatic series of rolls, ending up on its wheels. De Cesaris, a man used to big accidents, emerged unhurt. When he got back to the paddock, however, Guy Ligier fired him.

On lap 18 Mansell overtook de Angelis for fourth and he was followed past the Italian by Senna. Prost pitted at mid-distance and dropped behind Lauda. The race looked to be in Lauda's pocket until his turbo failed on lap 40 and so Prost went back into the lead. Piquet had gone with an exhaust problem and Mansell had suffered an engine failure and so second place went to Senna with Alboreto third, Stefan Johansson (Ferrari) fourth, de Angelis fifth and Marc Surer (Brabham-BMW) sixth.

Alain Prost McLaren-TAG Porsche  52 1h20m12.583s  
12 Ayrton Senna Lotus-Renault  52 1h20m42.585s  14 
27 Michele Alboreto Ferrari  52 1h20m46.939s  
28 Stefan Johansson Ferrari  52 1h20m51.656s  12 
11 Elio de Angelis Lotus-Renault  52 1h21m34.675s  
Marc Surer Brabham-BMW  51  11 
7r Stefan Bellof Tyrrell-Cosworth  49 Out Of Fuel 22 
18 Thierry Boutsen Arrows-BMW  49  16 
24 Huub Rothengotter Osella-Alfa Romeo  48  24 
10r 15 Patrick Tambay Renault  46 Engine 
26 Jacques Laffite Ligier-Renault  43 Accident 15 
29 Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Cosworth  40 Suspension 26 
Niki Lauda McLaren-TAG Porsche  39 Turbo 
17 Gerhard Berger Arrows-BMW  33 Turbo 17 
19 Teo Fabi Toleman-Hart  31 Electrics 
16 Derek Warwick Renault  29 Engine 13 
10 Kenny Acheson RAM-Hart  28 Engine 23 
Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW  26 Turbo 
Nigel Mansell Williams-Honda  25 Engine 
22 Riccardo Patrese Alfa Romeo  25 Turbo 10 
30 Jonathan Palmer Zakspeed  17 Engine 25 
Philippe Alliot RAM-Hart  16 Turbo 21 
25 Andrea de Cesaris Ligier-Renault  13 Accident 18 
23 Eddie Cheever Alfa Romeo  Turbo 20 
Keke Rosberg Williams-Honda  Engine 
20 Piercarlo Ghinzani Toleman-Hart  Engine 19 
nq Martin Brundle Tyrrell-Cosworth    27