French GP 1985
JULY 7, 1985
French GP, 1985
The entry was slightly different from the Detroit GP a fortnight earlier with Zakspeed back in action and Tyrrell having produced its first Renault-engined 014 chassis for Martin Brundle. Stefan Bellof was left in the old Cosworth-engined 012. There was also a new B-specification Renault RE60 for Patrick Tambay. Pole position went to Detroit winner Keke Rosberg in the Williams-Honda FW10 with Ayrton Senna's Lotus-Renault second ahead of Michele Alboreto (Ferrari), Alain Prost's McLaren-TAG, and Nelson Piquet (Brabham-BMW), which was the fastest of the Pirelli cars. The top 10 was completed by Niki Lauda (McLaren-TAG), Elio de Angelis (Lotus-Renault), Gerhard Berger (Arrows-BMW) and the two Renaults of Patrick Tambay and Derek Warwick. Nigel Mansell had a huge accident on Saturday when a tire blew at Signes. Mansell received a bang on the head from a catchfencing pole. He took no further part in the weekend. In the light of the crash Roberg's pole position was an extraordinary achievement.
On race day it was very hot and the Pirelli runners felt that this would be an advantage. At the start Rosberg went into the lead with Senna chasing and Piquet third. The French hopes of success were short-lived as both Ligiers went out in the first four laps and then fourth-placed Alboreto stopped with an engine failure. It was clear early on that Piquet was very competitive and on the seventh lap he moved ahead of Senna. The Brazilian retired soon afterwards with a gearbox problem. Piquet now closed on Rosberg, who was struggling for grip and on the 11th lap the Brabham-BMW went ahead. At the same time the two McLarens of Lauda and Prost got ahead of de Angelis and so Lauda was third and Prost fourth. That order was unchanged until lap 30 when Lauda went out with gearbox trouble and so Prost was third. Eight laps later he caught and passed the struggling Rosberg who the decided to pit for new tires. He dropped to fourth but was soon ahead of de Angelis again and on the last lap he overtook Prost as well. Johansson finished fourth, passing de Angelis on the last lap, while the final point went to Tambay.
|3||2||Alain Prost||McLaren-TAG Porsche||53||1h31m55.551s||4|
|5||11||Elio de Angelis||Lotus-Renault||53||1h32m39.956s||7|
|10||23||Eddie Cheever||Alfa Romeo||52||17|
|11||22||Riccardo Patrese||Alfa Romeo||52||16|
|14r||19||Teo Fabi||Toleman-Hart||49||Fuel Pressure||18|
|15||24||Piercarlo Ghinzani||Osella-Alfa Romeo||49||23|
|r||1||Niki Lauda||McLaren-TAG Porsche||30||Gearbox||6|
|r||10||Philippe Alliot||RAM-Hart||8||Fuel Pressure||22|
|r||25||Andrea de Cesaris||Ligier-Renault||4||Drive Shaft||12|