Grand Prix Classic

Round 1 - Brazilian Grand Prix
Jacarepagua, 5-7 April, 1985
Team-by-Team Review

McLaren MP4/2B-TAG
1. Niki Lauda (Aut)
2. Alain Prost (Fr)

For second year in succession team arrives in Rio with nearly brand-new car (brief shakedown at wet Brands Hatch). Both drivers concentrate on race set-up, and qualify 6th (Prost) and 9th (Lauda), but fastest and third fastest respectively in warm-up. Prost makes superb start to run 3rd; to 2nd when Rosberg retires, then takes the lead from Alboreto on lap 19. Stays there for the rest of the race, including superb tyre stop, to score second successive Rio victory. Lauda up to 6th early on; passes both Lotus cars and is in strong 3rd gaining on Alboreto until a problem with Bosch electronic fuel system causes retirement. Other teams demoralised by another strong showing.

Tyrrell 012-Cosworth
3. Martin Brundle (GB)
4. Stefan Johansson (Swe)

Bellof suspended by team over internal wrangle; Johansson fills in and qualifies 23rd, two places behind Brundle (in his first race since Dallas Grand Prix accident). Both drive superbly in under-powered but nimble DFY-engined car, and are rewarded with 7th (Johansson) and 8th (Brundle, after gaining 8 places on the first lap), two laps down.

Williams FW10-Honda
5. Nigel Mansell (GB)
6. Keke Rosberg (Fin)

Both drivers happy with new FW10 chassis. Honda problems continue, though Rosberg sets superb 2nd fastest practice time in spare FW09 and Mansell starts 5th. Both make good starts, but Mansell turns in on Alboreto and rejoins last. Retires after 8 laps when damaged exhaust causes problems. Rosberg leads confidently for first ten laps until turbocharger blows, but team encouraged by speed of new design.

Brabham BT54-BMW
7. Nelson Piquet (Brz)
8. Francois Hesnault (Fr)

With most of the team's gigantic test mileage on race rubber, Piquet starts 8th on less than satisfactory Pirelli qualifiers, with Hesnault down in 17th. Piquet runs 7th laps 1-2 before retiring with transmission failure. Hesnault advances to 13th by lap 7, but is swiped by Eddie Cheever and retires with a damaged nosecone.

RAM 03-Hart
9. Manfred Winkelhock (Ger)
10. Philippe Alliot (Fr)

Encouraging start for hard-trying team. Both drivers love new Gustav Brunner-designed 03, and Winkelhock qualifies well in 16th, with Alliot a decent 20th. Winkelhock forced to stop early on to have faulty fuel feed seen to, but continues to finish 13th and last. Alliot moves up well, holding 5th for laps 28-30, but drops back after tyre stop to finish 9th, two laps behind. A big improvement over 1984.

Lotus 97T-Renault
11. Elio de Angelis (It)
12. Ayrton Senna (Brz)

Senna centre of attention for whole weekend. New 97T very impressive, with aerodynamic fairings on front suspension and winglets on rear of sidepods; de Angelis takes provisional pole on Friday with Senna 2nd. However, both encounter traffic on Saturday and drop to 3rd and 4th on the final grid. Both lose out to Prost at start, and run 4th (Senna) and 5th (de Angelis) in close company. Both move up a place when Rosberg retires, though de Angelis drops to 6th after slow routine stop. Senna retains 3rd but drops out when faulty contact breaker causes engine to cut out. Instead, de Angelis inherits the position, one lap behind.

Renault RE60-Renault
15. Patrick Tambay (Fr)
16. Derek Warwick (GB)

New RE60 has dreadful handling and recurring brake problems, causing both drivers to spin in practice. Warwick qualifies 10th, one place ahead of Tambay. Warwick off the line badly but recovers to 13th, only to pit for a change of spark plugs to cure a misfire. After a further stop for tyres, finishes 10th, four laps down. Tambay advances to 6th by lap 32, and briefly holds 4th laps 49-50. Unable to fend off Arnoux, but takes 5th, two laps down as some consolation for team.

Arrows A8-BMW
17. Gerhard Berger (Aut)
18. Thierry Boutsen (Bel)

Boutsen qualifies solid 12th despite turbo failure on fastest lap, while Berger - still sore from his road accident - starts 19th, after resorting to the spare in Saturday. A fire in his race car in the warm-up forces the Austrian into the spare again for the start. Reaches 9th before lap 28 tyre stop; resumes 14th. Out of 10th ten laps from home with deranged suspension. Boutsen unable to get away from the grid due to falling fuel pressure, but charges hard to reach 8th by lap 28, before stopping for tyres. Slowed by recurring fuel pressure problem afterwards, , but finishes 11th, four laps down.

Spirit 101D-Hart
21. Mauro Baldi (It)

Heavily modified car qualifies 24th after a misfire on Saturday prevents Baldi from recording a time in the second session. Out of 24th and last on lap 8 when misfire returns, causing turbocharger to fail.

Alfa Romeo 185T-Alfa Romeo
22. Riccardo Patrese (It)
23. Eddie Cheever (USA)

New 185T looks great, but handles poorly. Patrese qualifies 14th, with Cheever 18th after a fuel pump failure on his race car forces him into the spare 184T. Patrese up to 9th at the start, and running well in 8th on lap 20 when hit by Laffite. Rear tyre punctured, heads to pits, but damage to underside causes retirement. Cheever stops soon afterwards from 13th for fresh tyres. Holds 6th laps 39-41 before engine develops a misfire, then blows altogether.

Osella FA1F-Alfa Romeo
24. Piercarlo Ghinzani (It)

FA1F, having done no testing since end of 1984 season, qualifies 22nd after turbo problems force Ghinzani to spend much of Saturday in spare car. Into 20th at the start, despite being hit on the head by Berger's discarded water bottle. Runs near the tail of the field to finish 12th, four laps adrift, but team happy just to get mileage on chassis.

Ligier JS25-Renault
25. Andrea de Cesaris (It)
26. Jacques Laffite (Fr)

Despite new JS25 being second-heaviest car in the field, Ligier have a promising weekend. Despite being forced into spare on Saturday, de Cesaris qualifies 13th, two places ahead of returning Laffite. The Italian then runs battling with Arnoux until coming off worse when they collide contesting 4th place on lap 26. Laffite up to 8th before contact with Patrese. Stops for fresh tyres and recovers well to finish 6th, two laps down.

Ferrari 156/85-Ferrari
27. Michele Alboreto (It)
28. Rene Arnoux (Fr)

Neat new 156 very fast in a straight line, and Alboreto takes pole position. Arnoux 7th after switching to the spare. Alboreto runs 2nd to Rosberg until lap 10, then fends off Prost until missing a gear on lap 19 and dropping to 2nd. Finishes there, the only other unlapped runner. Arnoux runs 6th laps 1-6; passed by Lauda, and then gets a puncture in fracas with de Cesaris. Despite having to complete nearly a lap on three wheels, recovers well to finish in 4th place. A good start to the season for Ferrari.

Minardi M185-Cosworth
29. Pierluigi Martini (It)

Team's first ever Grand Prix is somewhat fraught. Cosworth DFV which team are using until Carlo Chitti's Motori Moderni V6 is ready blows on Saturday morning, and with no spare team fails to change it in time for afternoon session. Martini starts 25th and last for Grand Prix debut, over 16s off pole. Then struggles near the back, lapped by leaders on lap 11, until engine again fails on lap 42.