South African GP 1985

South African GP, 1985

A fortnight after Nigel Mansell's victory at Brands Hatch, the Formula 1 circus moved to South Africa for the penultimate race of the season. Alain Prost was already World Champion and because of the political problems with South Africa several teams decided not to take part, notably Renault and Ligier. RAM had run out of money and Zakspeed was never planning to go to Kyalami and so the entry was reduced to 21 cars. Philippe Streiff had switched from Ligier to Tyrrell but otherwise the field was unchanged apart from the fact that Niki Lauda was back in action having missed two races because of a wrist injury.

Qualifying resulted in pole position for Mansell with Nelson Piquet (Brabham-BMW) second, Keke Rosberg third in the second Williams-Honda and Ayrton Senna fourth in his Lotus-Renault. Marc Surer (Brabham-BMW) was fifth and then came Elio de Angelis (Lotus-Renault), Teo Fabi (Toleman-Hart), Niki Lauda and his McLaren team mate Prost. The top 10 was completed by Thierry Boutsen's Arrows-BMW.

On race morning the Beatrice team withdrew Alan Jones because he was unwell and so there were only 20 starters and that became 18 at the start when the two Alfa Romeos of Riccardo Patrese and Eddie Cheever collided at Riccardo was punted by Piercarlo Ghinzani's Toleman. Mansell took the lead but Rosberg missed a gearchange and was beaten to the first corner by Piquet, Surer, de Angelis and Senna. By the end of the lap Surer was back in seventh behind Rosberg and Lauda. Marc would retire with engine failure on the third lap.

Piquet also disappeared early with an engine failure and Rosberg made quick work of the Lotuses and so was soon running second behind Mansell while Senna and de Angelis diced for third. Rosberg took the lead on the eighth lap but soon afterwards went off on oil dropped by Ghinzani's exploding Hart engine. He managed to keep going but was back in fifth place with Mansell in the lead again. At the same time Senna's engine blew and Michele Alboreto's Ferrari failed him again and so Prost and Lauda were second and third having both got past de Angelis. After nine laps the field was down to 11 cars. That became 10 on lap 17 when Streiff spun out. On the same lap Rosberg repassed de Angelis for fourth place. All the major runners pitted for new tires and during the pit stops Lauda suffered a turbo failure and so Rosberg was back to third and so it remained until the finish, despite Keke stopping a second time for tires later in the race. Late in the race de Angelis disappeared with engine failure and so fourth place went to Johansson with Gerhard Berger (Arrows-BMW) fifth and Boutsen sixth.

Nigel Mansell Williams-Honda  75 1h28m22.866s  
Keke Rosberg Williams-Honda  75 1h28m30.438s  
Alain Prost McLaren-TAG Porsche  74  
28 Stefan Johansson Ferrari  74  16 
17 Gerhard Berger Arrows-BMW  74  11 
18 Thierry Boutsen Arrows-BMW  74  10 
Martin Brundle Tyrrell-Cosworth  73  17 
11 Elio de Angelis Lotus-Renault  52 Engine 
29 Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Cosworth  45 Radiator 19 
Niki Lauda McLaren-TAG Porsche  37 Turbo 
Philippe Streiff Tyrrell-Cosworth  16 Accident 18 
12 Ayrton Senna Lotus-Renault  Engine 
27 Michele Alboreto Ferrari  Turbo 15 
Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW  Engine 
20 Piercarlo Ghinzani Toleman-Hart  Engine 13 
19 Teo Fabi Toleman-Hart  Engine 
Marc Surer Brabham-BMW  Engine 
24 Huub Rothengotter Osella-Alfa Romeo  Electrics 20 
23 Eddie Cheever Alfa Romeo  Accident 14 
22 Riccardo Patrese Alfa Romeo  Accident 12 
ns 33 Alan Jones Lola-Hart   Driver Ill 21