European GP 1985

OCTOBER 6, 1985

European GP, 1985

With Niki Lauda out of action with a wrist problem, McLaren took on John Watson for the European GP weekend. Tyrrell had expanded to two cars again with Ivan Capelli joining Martin Brundle but otherwise the field was unchanged from the Belgian GP three weeks earlier, except that the Williams-Hondas had been reworked in B-specification.

Pole position went to Ayrton Senna in his Lotus-Renault with Nelson Piquet (Brabham-BMW) second ahead of the Williams's: Nigel Mansell beating Keke Rosberg. Fifth was an impressive Philippe Streiff (Ligier-Renault) with Alain Prost (McLaren-TAG) looking to tie up the World Championship from sixth on the grid. This looked like being easier because the Ferrari of Michele Alboreto was off the pace and qualified only 15th. The top 10 was completed by Marc Surer (Brabham-BMW), Derek Warwick (Renault), Elio de Angelis (Lotus-Renault) and Jacques Laffite (Ligier-Renault).

At the start Rosberg had a problem and was slow away. This meant that Prost had to go onto the grass and while Rosberg's engine suddenly took off Prost found himself down in 14th. His World Championship rival Alboreto made a good start to run ninth. At the front Senna led Rosberg, Piquet and Mansell with de Angelis fifth and Surer sixth. Warwick disappeared early and on lap seven there was a big moment at Surtees when Rosberg challenged Senna for the lead and spun. Piquet hit the spinning Williams. The Brabham was out and while Rosberg rejoined with a puncture Mansell moved to second and began to challenge Senna. He was helped considerably by Rosberg who rejoined just ahead of Senna (but a lap down) and blocked the Lotus, allowing Mansell to catch up. On the ninth lap Mansell went ahead. Four laps later Alboreto went out with a turbo failure. Prost, who had charged back to sixth place by the ninth lap, needed to finish only fifth to clinch the World Championship. Prost was soon pushed back to seventh by Laffite but he hoped that attrition would play into his hands. Laffite's charge took him past Johansson and de Angelis and into fourth place behind Mansell, Senna and Surer and that order was not changed until lap 35 when Surer overtook Senna for second. A lap later Ayrton was fourth behind Laffite. Jacques had to stop for new tires on lap 51 and he dropped to eighth but began to charge again until his engine blew seven laps later.

Surer's second place looked to be secure but then his turbo blew on lap 63 and so Senna regained second ahead of Rosberg while Prost was fourth having dealt with de Angelis and been aided when Johansson retired with an electrical problem. Fifth went to de Angelis with Thierry Boutsen sixth in his Arrows-BMW.

Mansell had finally won his first Grand Prix - and Prost was France's first World Champion.

Nigel Mansell Williams-Honda  75 1h32m58.109s  
12 Ayrton Senna Lotus-Renault  75 1h33m19.505s  
Keke Rosberg Williams-Honda  75 1h33m56.642s  
Alain Prost McLaren-TAG Porsche  75 1h34m04.230s  
11 Elio de Angelis Lotus-Renault  74  
18 Thierry Boutsen Arrows-BMW  73  12 
John Watson McLaren-TAG Porsche  73  21 
25 Philippe Streiff Ligier-Renault  73  
22 Riccardo Patrese Alfa Romeo  73  11 
10 17 Gerhard Berger Arrows-BMW  73  19 
11 23 Eddie Cheever Alfa Romeo  73  18 
12 15 Patrick Tambay Renault  72  17 
Marc Surer Brabham-BMW  62 Turbo/fire 
28 Stefan Johansson Ferrari  59 Alternator 13 
26 Jacques Laffite Ligier-Renault  58 Engine 10 
30 Christian Danner Zakspeed  55 Turbo 25 
Ivan Capelli Tyrrell-Cosworth  44 Accident 24 
Martin Brundle Tyrrell-Cosworth  40 Water Pipe 16 
19 Teo Fabi Toleman-Hart  33 Engine 20 
Philippe Alliot RAM-Hart  31 Engine Overheating 23 
20 Piercarlo Ghinzani Toleman-Hart  16 Engine 14 
33 Alan Jones Lola-Hart  13 Radiator/engine Overheating 22 
27 Michele Alboreto Ferrari  13 Turbo/fire 15 
Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW  Accident 
16 Derek Warwick Renault  Fuel Injection 
29 Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Cosworth  Accident 26 
nq 24 Huub Rothengotter Osella-Alfa Romeo    27