Grand Prix Classic

Round 15 - European Grand Prix
Nürburgring, 5-7 October, 1984
Team-by-Team Review

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

For 8th time in 1984, Piquet qualifies fastest. Fabi starts 10th after a late engine change disrupts only dry session. With engines detuned for reliability, Piquet down to 3rd at first corner, while Fabi collides with Ghinzani. Piquet 3rd behind Tambay until the Renault slows. Seems set for 2nd, only to run out of fuel and drop to 3rd on last lap behind Alboreto - nevertheless up to 4th in the championship. Fabi loses a lap getting started again after first corner spin, and presses on to reach 10th until gearbox fails on lap 58. Team announces three-year deal with Pirelli for next season in response to Michelin's withdrawal.

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

Despite engine blowing yards from the line, Rosberg qualifies 4th. Laffite loses much of the only dry session due to boost problems, and starts 14th after sitting out wet Saturday. Rosberg gets off the line badly and hits Senna at the first corner, ending his race then and there. Laffite also loses time at the first corner, running over the grass and dropping to 19th. Out of a lapped 12th on lap 27 when he pulls into the pits with a sick engine.

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

Prost qualifies strong 2nd, but Lauda down in 15th after using the spare car. Prost's car rebuilt on Sunday after morning collision with parked tow truck. He passes Piquet and fends off Tambay at the first corner, and simply drives off into the distance to record 6th win of 1984 with usual lack of outwardly visible effort. Lauda moves up six places on the first lap, then passes Cheever and Patrese. Catches and passes Arnoux, but can make no impression on Alboreto. Spins in traffic but keeps engine running and continues, finishing full-distance 4th.

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

Palmer caught out by weather conditions and uses best tyres on damp track to start 21st. Alliot 25th after turbo failure on Friday. Palmer finishes first lap in 15th, but slips back as others recover, and soon has only Alliot behind him. Neither lasts the course, both suffering turbocharger failures - Palmer on lap 35, Alliot on lap 37.

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

After impressing in testing at the circuit ahead of the race, team's confidence shattered when de Angelis is kept back in 23rd after suffering two turbo failures in Friday session. Mansell starts 8th. Fortunes reversed at the start - de Angelis picks through accidents to come round 11th, but Mansell comes to a halt avoiding Senna/Rosberg collision and drops to second last. After reaching strong 7th, de Angelis' race ends on lap 25 with a third blown turbo of the weekend. Mansell doggedly charges back through the field to reach 6th by lap 48, only for Renault engine to expire at the end of lap 52, oiling the rear wheels and spinning him off. Team now 11 points behind Ferrari in constructors' standings.

31. Gerhard Berger (Aut)

Another eventful weekend. Winkelhock is belatedly fired after walking out at Monza, and arrives with an injunction to secure wages owed. This sorted, sole driver Berger qualifies well in 18th despite crashing one car and spinning twice in the spare. However, collects Surer in first corner chaos and retires. Team's future placed in doubt after BMW announces that it will not be supplying team with engines for 1985.

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

Despite spinning on Saturday morning and sitting out afternoon session, Tambay qualifies well in 3rd, with Warwick 7th. Tambay just fails to take lead from Prost at the first corner, but holds strong second until lap 40 fuel feed problem causes misfire, slowing then stopping unfortunate driver. Warwick holds 4th from Alboreto for much of the race until exhaust splits, again slowing the car until the strained engine breaks altogether. Team now abject 5th in constructors' standings.

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

Boutsen qualifies 11th, Surer 16th. Surer then knocked out at first corner by sliding Berger. Boutsen holds 11th until lap 13 stop to replace vibrating tyres. Battles with de Cesaris for 7th despite clutch breaking as he leaves the pits, but stops when electronic ignition system fails two laps from the end, and is only classified 10th.

Toleman TG184-Hart
19. Ayrton Senna (Brz)
20. Stefan Johansson (Swe)

Senna returns amid tense atmosphere, and qualifies 12th after electronic problems prevent him running with latest Hart development engine. Johansson loses most of only dry session with misfire, and starts 26th. Senna collides with Rosberg at the first corner, and goes no further. Johansson negotiates accidents to move up to 14th on the first lap. Out of 13th on lap 18 when engine temperatures soar and cause retirement.

Spirit 101-Hart
21. Mauro Baldi (It)

Lack of funds see Baldi return to the team for the first time since Monaco Grand Prix. Plans to run spare car for Rothengatter thwarted by lack of funds. Baldi qualifies 24th, and then runs strong, sensible race to equal team's best result with 8th place.

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

Team fits spare car with high-revving qualifying engine, to be used by Patrese on Friday and Cheever on Saturday. However, turbo blows on Friday before Patrese can set a single flying lap, and he qualifies 9th, with Cheever 13th, both using their race cars. Both run well together in 8th/9th until Cheever's car loses fuel pressure on lap 38. Patrese nevertheless continues, again running reduced boost to conserve fuel, and is rewarded with 6th place, one lap down.

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

Team latest to reveal John Barnard-inspired rear end aerodynamics. Ghinzani qualifies well in 20th, with Gartner 22nd after spending most of dry session without 4th gear. Ghinzani knocked off by Fabi at first corner, spins and cannot restart. Gartner briefly up to 16th laps 1-3, but has to settle for running ahead of the RAMs despite ferocious attempts to fight off Baldi. Out of 12th and last on lap 61 when malfunctioning fuel pump starves engine.

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

JS23B once again fails to appear, so de Cesaris qualifies 17th with Hesnault 19th. Both avoid first corner accidents and run reliable races in uncompetitive car, with de Cesaris coming home lapped 7th and Hesnault 10th, despite the latter suffering brake problems and then running out of fuel just after he crosses the line. Rumours abound that Jacques Laffite will be rejoining the team in 1985.

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

Updated 126C4M2 cars used all weekend, allowing Alboreto to qualify 5th and Arnoux 6th. Alboreto spends much of the race bottled up behind Warwick's Renault in 5th, but once past rapidly gains on Piquet. Takes 2nd on the last lap, despite running out of fuel and coasting over the line. Arnoux once again unimpressive and seemingly demotivated, but survives to finish full-distance almost-unnoticed 5th place.