British GP 1985

JULY 21, 1985

British GP, 1985

The big rumor at the British GP was that Renault was planning to close its factory team at the end of the 1985 season. The Silverstone entry was the same as it had been at the French GP a fortnight earlier, where Nelson Piquet had given Brabham-BMW (and Pirelli) a much-needed victory. Piquet was very competitive again at Silverstone and set the second fastest time in qualifying for the British GP although Keke Rosberg had everyone talking with the first 160mph lap of the track. Alain Prost (McLaren-TAG) was third fastest ahead of Ayrton Senna (Lotus-Renault) and Nigel Mansell (Williams-Honda). The top 10 was completed by World Championship leader Michele Alboreto (Ferrari), Andrea de Cesaris (Ligier-Renault), Elio de Angelis (Lotus-Renault), Teo Fabi (Toleman-Hart) and Niki Lauda (McLaren-TAG).

At the start Senna made a great start and took the lead from Rosberg, Mansell, Prost and de Cesaris. Piquet was only sixth. There was an accident at the first corner when Patrick Tambay (Renault) got sideways and was hit by Stefan Johansson's Ferrari. The crash also resulted in a collision between Piercarlo Ghinzani (Osella) and Philippe Alliot (RAM). In the early laps it was de Cesaris who was showing best, passing Prost and then Mansell. The Williams soon fell behind Prost as well and on the ninth lap Prost retook third place. Soon afterwards de Angelis retired from sixth place with electrical trouble and on lap 17 Mansell dropped off the pace with clutch trouble. He would retire soon afterwards. Four laps later Rosberg's race ended with a turbo failure.

All this left Senna ahead but with Prost closing while Lauda had moved to third ahead of de Cesaris and Piquet but the Brabham was under attack from Alboreto and would soon lose the position. Things remained stable until de Cesaris disappeared with clutch failure on lap 42. By then Senna and Prost were running nose-to-tail, fighting it out for the lead. The battle continued until 12 laps from the finish when Senna's engine began to behave oddly. The battle went on while Lauda went out with an electronic problem, allowing Alboreto to move to third. On lap 58, however, Prost went into the lead. Senna fought back and retook the lead but Prost responded and moved ahead again. And then Senna dropped away and retired, having run out of fuel. The chequered flag was shown a lap early with Prost winning, Alboreto second and Jacques Laffite third, having overtaken Piquet with a few laps to go. After the flag Laffite ran out of fuel which annoyed Piquet who would have had an extra point if the flag had been shown at the right point. Derek Warwick (Renault) ended up fifth with the final point going to Marc Surer (Brabham) sixth.

Alain Prost McLaren-TAG Porsche  65 1h18m10.436s  
27 Michele Alboreto Ferrari  64  
26 Jacques Laffite Ligier-Renault  64  16 
Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW  64  
16 Derek Warwick Renault  64  12 
Marc Surer Brabham-BMW  63  15 
Martin Brundle Tyrrell-Cosworth  63  20 
17 Gerhard Berger Arrows-BMW  63  17 
22 Riccardo Patrese Alfa Romeo  62  14 
10r 12 Ayrton Senna Lotus-Renault  60 Fuel Injection 
11 Stefan Bellof Tyrrell-Cosworth  59  26 
Niki Lauda McLaren-TAG Porsche  57 Electrics 10 
18 Thierry Boutsen Arrows-BMW  57 Spin 19 
25 Andrea de Cesaris Ligier-Renault  41 Clutch 
29 Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Cosworth  38 Transmission 23 
nc 11 Elio de Angelis Lotus-Renault  37  
Manfred Winkelhock RAM-Hart  28 Turbo 18 
Keke Rosberg Williams-Honda  21 Exhaust 
Nigel Mansell Williams-Honda  17 Clutch 
23 Eddie Cheever Alfa Romeo  17 Turbo 22 
30 Jonathan Palmer Zakspeed  Camshaft Drive Pinion 24 
19 Teo Fabi Toleman-Hart  Crown Wheel & Pinion 
28 Stefan Johansson Ferrari  Accident/intercooler 11 
15 Patrick Tambay Renault  Accident 13 
10 Philippe Alliot RAM-Hart  Accident 21 
24 Piercarlo Ghinzani Osella-Alfa Romeo  Accident 25