Grand Prix Classic

Round 12 - Austrian Grand Prix
Osterreichring, 17-19 August, 1984
Team-by-Team Review

Brabham BT53B-BMW
1. Nelson Piquet (Brz)
2. Teo Fabi (It)

Once again high-boost engine leads to good qualification - another pole for Piquet, and 7th for Fabi. Fabi stalls at the start, but Piquet leads, holding off Prost until the McLaren spins on lap 28. With rear tyres off, is unable to fend off Lauda beyond lap 39. Finishes 2nd. Fabi races well after push start, reaching 10th by lap 18. Laps consistently as others retire to finish full-distance 4th.

Tyrrell 012-Cosworth
3. Stefan Johansson (Swe)
4. Stefan Bellof (Ger)

With massive straight-line speed disadvantage, neither driver qualifies. Johansson 26th overnight until Rothengatter records a lap, while Bellof is slowest of all - and subsequently disqualified when car is found to be 3kg underweight, much to the embarrassment of team as they continue to contest disqualification from series.

Williams FW09B-Honda
5. Jacques Laffite (Fr)
6. Keke Rosberg (Fin)

Rosberg qualifies 9th with fluctuating boost pressure, with Laffite 11th after being unable to improve on Saturday with fuel system problems. Rosberg holds 8th until pitting on lap 9 with serious understeer. Change of tyres and increased wing fail to help, and he withdraws. Problem later traced to deformed front wheel rim. Laffite makes a poor start, but advances to 9th before engine fails on lap 12. A miserable weekend in a miserable season for Williams.

McLaren MP4/2-TAG
7. Alain Prost (Fr)
8. Niki Lauda (Aut)

TAG confirms team will still have exclusive use of Porsche-built V6 in 1985. Prost qualifies 2nd despite engine problem with race car; Lauda 4th, with oversteer. Prost leads away at first start, but is unable to repeat it at second. Runs close second to Piquet laps 1-28 before spinning off on de Angelis' oil. Lauda down to 6th at the start, but soon passes de Angelis and Warwick. Then catches and passes Tambay, and rapidly catches leading pair. To 2nd when Prost retires, and past Piquet to take the lead on lap 39. Despite losing 4th gear comfortably takes first-ever Austrian Grand Prix victory and moves 4.5 points ahead of Prost in title race.

RAM 02-Hart
9. Philippe Alliot (Fr)
10. Jonathan Palmer (GB)

Palmer qualifies 24th despite gear selector problems, with Alliot 25th. Both drive reliably and - for a change - unobtrusively at the tail of the field. Palmer finishes 9th, two laps down, and Alliot 11th, three laps down, to at least end the team's unfortunate run of crashes and retirements with first double-finish of the season.

Lotus 95T-Renault
11. Elio de Angelis (It)
12. Nigel Mansell (GB)

Still with faint title hopes, de Angelis qualifies 3rd, with Mansell 8th. Neither features strongly in the race, de Angelis down to 5th at the start, then passed by Lauda. Fights back to 4th laps 11-28, only for engine to fail and end slim hopes of staying in championship picture. Mansell down to 9th at the start. Races 6th by lap 16, but retires on lap 32 when 5th with engine failure.

14. Manfred Winkelhock (Ger)
31. Gerhard Berger (Aut)

To widespread disbelief, disorganised team further complicates matters by entering second car for Austrian newcomer Gerhard Berger. Winkelhock suffers usual parade of minor mechanical problems and takes 14th on the grid, with Berger 20th after not running on Saturday (Winkelhock using only car). Gearbox then fails in Winkelhock's car in Sunday warm-up, and unable to be fixed in time for race. Berger survives early contact with Gartner at second start, and keeps ahead of both RAMs to reach 11th by lap 36. However, then forced to pit when fuel light comes on. Sent on his way, but suffers gearbox trouble. Classified 12th.

Renault RE50-Renault
15. Patrick Tambay (Fr)
16. Derek Warwick (GB)

Tambay starts 5th, one place ahead of Warwick. Both make good starts, but badly compromise races with soft Michelins and are forced to make early stops. Tambay in from 6th on lap 10, Warwick from 5th on lap 15. Warwick only lasts three more laps before water injection system locks up. Tambay fights back past Senna to run 3rd laps 32-42, only for engine to fail.

Arrows A7-BMW
17. Marc Surer (Swz)
18. Thierry Boutsen (Bel)

After a crash, Boutsen qualifies 17th in spare, with Surer 19th with understeer. Boutsen runs in midfield, Surer gets off the line badly and has to fight back. Run in tandem for the second half of the race, driving smoothly and reliably to finish 5th (Boutsen) and 6th (Surer), separated by a matter of tenths of a second. Team delighted to score first points with BMW turbo power, moving into all-important top 10 constructors.

Toleman TG184-Hart
19. Ayrton Senna (Brz)

Senna had two chassis at his disposal - one handles well but down on power, other has good engine but poor handling. Nevertheless, qualifies 10th. Up to 4th at first start, and almost as good at the second, to 7th. Passes de Angelis for three laps but repassed. Up to 3rd when Prost retires, but unable to hold off Tambay. Sadly out of 4th on lap 35 with rising oil pressure.

Spirit 101-Hart
21. Huub Rothengatter (Hol)

Conrod failure prevents Rothengatter from recording a time on Friday. Impoverished team loans an engine from RAM on Saturday, allowing him to start 26th. Struggles away on first start and then spins off. Recovers for second start, only to find after getting underway that the exhaust system was damaged in the excursion. Several long pitstops limit Rothengatter to just 23 race laps, but still circulating at the finish.

Alfa Romeo 184T-Alfa Romeo
22. Riccardo Patrese (It)
23. Eddie Cheever (USA)

Patrese qualifies 13th, with Cheever - having signed up for 1985 - 16th, both suffering usual parade of mechanical problems in unreliable car. Cheever reaches 9th before engine fails after only 16 laps. Patrese has best race for a while, reaching 6th by lap 36, then 5th when Tambay retires. However, forgets to turn down turbocharger boost and runs out of fuel three laps from the end, dropping to 10th place.

Osella FA1F-Alfa Romeo
24. Piercarlo Ghinzani (It)
30. Jo Gartner (Aut)

Like parent team, Osella suffer a string of problems culminating in both drivers sharing a car on Saturday. Gartner starts 22nd, Ghinzani 23rd. Gartner has short but energetic race, hitting Berger and Ghinzani before reaching 18th on first lap. However, suffers another Alfa Romeo breakage after only six laps. Ghinzani already out two laps previously with a gearbox failure.

Ligier JS23-Renault
25. Francois Hesnault (Fr)
26. Andrea de Cesaris (It)

After blowing two Renault engines, de Cesaris starts 16th, five places ahead of understeering Hesnault. After only 15 laps, de Cesaris out of 17th with faulty fuel injection. Hesnault keeps going despite continued handling problems to finish 8th.

Ferrari 126C4-Ferrari
27. Michele Alboreto (It)
28. Rene Arnoux (Fr)

Both drivers struggle with a lack of grip, Alboreto qualifying 12th and Arnoux 15th. Neither runs much better in the race, but Alboreto laps consistently and reliably to come home unlapped 3rd place. Arnoux even more anonymous on his way to an unimpressive 7th, with a change of tyres unable to help him past the Arrows drivers.