Grand Prix Classic

Round 16 - Portuguese Grand Prix
Estoril, 19-21 October, 1984
Team-by-Team Review

Brabham BT53B-BMW
1. Nelson Piquet (Brz)
2. Manfred Winkelhock (Ger)

Teo Fabi returns to Italy on Thursday night due to death of his father. Winkelhock recruited to take over second car. Piquet takes 9th pole position of the season, with Winkelhock 19th after missing Friday sessions. Piquet down to 3rd at the start, and then spins down to last on lap 1. Stops to replace dirty tyres and charges back through the field to take 6th from Tambay on lap 63. Winkelhock advances to finish 10th, two laps down, despite unfamiliarity with car and circuit. Piquet finishes 5th in championship, and team take 4th.

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

Both cars suffer engine failures on Friday (Laffite spinning on Rosberg's oil). Laffite then qualifies 15th, but Rosberg loses nearly all of Saturday's timed session with engine failure. Facing non-qualification, produces amazing lap in spare two minutes from the end of the session to start 4th. Then makes superb start to lead first 8 laps. Passed by Prost and then Mansell, Senna and Lauda - fighting every inch of the way - until lap 40 retirement with blown engine. Laffite drops to 19th at the start. Works back up to 15th by lap 14. However, then troubled by lifting bodywork. Stops twice for repairs, eventually returning without engine cover. Presses on to 14th to at least finish final race after two disappointing seasons with team. Williams finish 6th in constructors' standings.

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

Team promises complete equality for drivers' respective title bids, providing spare cars for both drivers. Prost starts 2nd, with Lauda 11th after engine problems in only dry session. Prost then takes the lead off the line, and leads unchallenged for rest of the race. Lauda makes nail-biting progress past Johansson, Alboreto, Rosberg and Senna, before taking 2nd when Mansell retires, securing 3rd title by half a point. Team finishes with record-breaking 143.5 points (more than next three teams combined) and 12 wins out of 16 races.

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

Neither driver happy in qualifying - Palmer 26th fastest, Alliot 27th and last. The latter is allowed to start thanks to stewards, but only lasts two laps before stopping with engine trouble. Palmer only manages 17 laps more before gearbox fails, ending difficult year for RAM team - still yet to score a world championship point in any of its' guises. Some good news for the team is that the talented Gustav Brunner joins them from Alfa Romeo, and immediately begins work on 1985 contender.

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

Mansell confirmed by Williams for 1985, and is presented with a trophy by his mechanics before qualifying 6th, one place behind de Angelis. Then drives superb race - up to 3rd at the start; passes Rosberg and runs strong 2nd, only for broken calliper to cause loss of break fluid after 52 laps (handing title to Lauda as a side-effect). Ends five-year association with Lotus on sad note. After making wrong tyre choice, de Angelis fades at the start. However, drives usual sensible sympathetic race to come home full-distance 5th and secure third in the championship. Team places 3rd overall, a massive improvement after difficult recent years.

14. Gerhard Berger (Aut)

Berger stops Friday session after crashing, and qualifies 23rd in the spare. Drives respectable race to come home 13th, two laps down. Another disappointing season ends for disorganised team, amid growing rumours they won't be back in 1985.

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

Team enters a third car for long-serving test driver Philippe Streiff, who collides with de Angelis in practice before qualifying 13th. Tambay starts 7th, and Warwick 9th. None feature strongly in the race - Warwick spins down from 6th on lap 12. Stops for fresh tyres. Spins again on lap 27 contesting 14th with Piquet, and drops back down to 22nd. Out of 13th on lap 51. Streiff down to 19th at the start; spins down from 18th to 22nd on lap 22, and retires on lap 48 with broken driveshaft. Tambay unable to keep with leading bunch, but reaches 6th by lap 52. However, lets Piquet past after poor pit signals, and finishes furious 7th. Team finishes distant 5th in constructors' standings after failing to score a single win for the first time since 1978 season.

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

Both drivers struggle to make qualifying tyres last a whole lap, leaving Surer 16th and Boutsen 18th. Run 13th (Boutsen) and 14th (Surer) until Surer's electrics fail after 8 laps. Boutsen then out of 12th on lap 25 with a broken driveshaft, but at least collects two points from Tyrrell expulsion to help team to 9th overall after difficult year with BMW-powered A7.

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

Senna qualifies superb 3rd, with Johansson an excellent 10th despite a misfire on full boost. Senna then stays in top 4 for whole race to finish in third place on his last drive for team before joining Lotus in 1985. Johansson runs ahead of Lauda in 6th until losing his front aerofoil when the McLaren forces by. Loses two laps having replacement fitted, but charges, setting 3rd fastest lap on his way to 11th place. Team finishes 7th in constructors' standings.

Spirit 101-Hart
21. Mauro Baldi (It)

Baldi qualifies 25th and battles with the Osellas. Suffers a puncture to rear tyre a lap and a half from the finish, but presses on to finish 15th. Team fails to score again, but can be pleased to have finished season despite shoestring budget.

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

Patrese qualifies 12th, with Cheever 14th. Cheever runs 10th until long stop to fix misfire on lap 27. Loses five laps, which at least means he doesn't run out of fuel on the way to 17th place. Patrese shadows him early on, and then continues to finish lapped 8th - his third consecutive finish. Team finishes disappointing 8th in constructors' standings, despite large financial outlay.

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

Ghinzani qualifies 22nd, Gartner 24th. Ghinzani's Alfa engine expires spectacularly on lap 61 when 17th. Gartner cranks up the boost and goes for it, but out of 14th when he predictably runs out of fuel five laps from home. Despite double retirement, team finishes 11th in standings after its' most competitive season to date.

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

After trying JS23B and finding it no improvement, de Cesaris starts 20th, with Hesnault (dropped for 1985 in favour of returning Laffite) 21st. Hesnault out of 14th with electrical trouble; de Cesaris continues to finish lapped 11th. Thanks to his promotion to 6th at Imola, team at least sneaks ahead of Osella in standings after another disastrous year.

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

Alboreto qualifies 8th, with Arnoux down in 17th. Alboreto runs well in leading group, battling with Johansson and Senna. Spins trying to pass Senna, and is forced to settle for 4th. Arnoux's poor form continues, and he plods around to finish 9th. Team distant second in constructors' standings with a lot of work to do.