Grand Prix Classic


Round 2 - Portuguese Grand Prix
Estoril, 19-21 April, 1985
Team-by-Team Review


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

Prost qualifies strong 2nd, with Lauda 7th. Prost down to 3rd at the start and spends 30 laps in de Angelis' spray before aquaplaning out of the race. Lauda up to 5th by lap 3, but drops back with down-on-power engine, a broken piston finally putting him out of 7th on lap 50. No points, and the first race not won by a McLaren since 1984 Dallas Grand Prix.



Tyrrell 012-Cosworth
3. Martin Brundle (GB)
4. Stefan Bellof (Ger)

Bellof returns and qualifies 21st, one place ahead of Brundle. The German then makes up seven places on the first lap, but damages nose trying to pass Winkelhock on lap 5. Brundle charges up to 10th by lap 18, with recovering Bellof behind, but the Englishman retires with a broken gear selector. Bellof presses on despite massive hole in nosecone and bent front wing, passing Cheever and Lauda to finish twice-lapped 6th for his first 'official' world championship point.



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

Fast package still plagued by reliability and power delivery issues. Mansell qualifies 9th after troubled practice, then spins on the parade lap. Starting from the pitlane, makes his way through the field to finish 5th for first Williams points, spinning after crossing the line. Rosberg qualifies 3rd but stalls on the grid. Clipped by Palmer and stops to have resultant damaged tyre replaced. Advances to 14th by lap 16, only to spin and bounce off a barrier.



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

Another troubled practice sees Piquet 10th (despite setting fastest speed - 192.291mph - through the speed trap) and Hesnault a wretched 19th. Hesnault only lasts three laps before retiring with waterlogged electrics. Piquet runs 9th until lap 5 before dropping back, unable to push on Pirelli tyres. Makes numerous stops to try and solve the problem before giving up after completing 28 laps.



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

Another promising practice sees Winkelhock fine 15th, with Alliot 20th. However, both hamstrung by poor Pirelli wet tyres. Alliot holds 16th laps 1-3 before skating off. Winkelhock 13th laps 1-4 until spinning and collecting Bellof. Continues only to spin again and be hit by Johansson. Pits on four occasions for repairs and new tyres, determined to get some testing done despite unsuitable tyres, and is still circulating at the finish, albeit 17 laps behind and unclassified.



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

Senna takes first-ever pole position in style, fastest in both official practice sessions, with de Angelis 4th after being unable to get a clear lap. Senna then leads confidently from start to finish to record his maiden victory in style, the team's first since the 1982 Austrian Grand Prix, and first ever with Renault power. After a good start, de Angelis holds 2nd for the first 42 laps, holding off Prost for much of it. However, loses concentration and allows Alboreto past, before sliding off. With resulting damage is also caught and passed by Tambay, but finishes 4th.



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

Revised aerodynamics (including Lotus-style front deflectors) help car's alarming handling characteristics somewhat, and Warwick starts 6th, with Tambay 12th. Warwick passed by Lauda on lap 3 then Tambay on lap 13. Both battle with Lauda, Tambay winning out and pulling away. Eventually catches and passes de Angelis also to finish lapped 3rd after a strong drive. Warwick spins and clips a barrier on lap 22 and drops to 12th. Recovers well to finish 7th, two laps behind.



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

Boutsen starts 16th, one place ahead of Berger, both suffering engine problems in practice. Berger briefly reaches 10th before spinning and stalling on lap 13. Boutsen up to 11th by lap 22, but engine begins misfiring due to water leaking into electrics, causing retirement on lap 29 after a pitstop fails to remedy problem.



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

Baldi qualifies 24th amid rumours the team is on the point of bankruptcy. After a good start reaches 17th in early laps, only to be overcome by totally inadequate Pirelli wet weather tyres. Stops twice for tyres and spins three times, the final time bouncing off a barrier and retiring after completing 19 laps.



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

Rivalry between drivers once again boils over when the pair clash in practice, with Mansell an innocent victim. Patrese starts 13th, with Cheever 14th. Patrese up to 11th early on, but hits Johansson after overoptimistic move, spins into gravel trap and cannot restart. Cheever takes start from pitlane after spinning on formation lap. Charges hard to reach 7th by lap 31; passed by Bellof when a misfire sets in, and out on lap 37 when problem intensifies.



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

Ghinzani starts last with Friday time after Saturday session laps are disallowed due to too-high rear wing. Makes up nine places on first lap, but slides back with uncompetitive Pirelli tyres. Stops twice for fresh rubber and perseveres to be sole classified Pirelli finisher - albeit 9th and last, six laps behind Senna. New FA1G expected at Imola.



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

Heavy JS25 (now bearing Candy sponsorship) seems to work better than Brabham BT54 on Pirelli qualifiers, and de Cesaris starts 8th, with Laffite 18th after clutch problems on Saturday. After running 7th for first few laps, de Cesaris unable to get anything from Pirelli wets, slipping to 9th before spinning. Laffite lasts 15 laps before storming into the pits from 15th, declaring the whole exercise pointless due to the car's evil handling. Team then opts to call de Cesaris in to preserve car.



Ferrari 156/85-Ferrari
27. Michele Alboreto (It)
28. Stefan Johansson (Swe)

Johansson replaces the sacked Arnoux, and qualifies 11th after gearbox trouble in both sessions, with Alboreto 5th. Alboreto to 4th at start, 3rd after Prost crashes and then passes de Angelis to take 2nd, the only driver not lapped by Senna, and move into the lead of the championship. Johansson hit by Patrese when 9th and drops to 17th. Charges back to 10th but breaks front wing on span Winkelhock. Long stop for replacement, but continues to finish 8th.



Minardi M185-Cosworth
29. Pierluigi Martini (It)

Martini qualifies 25th, with aluminium housing for DFV engine still causing weight and handling penalties (Motori Moderni turbocharged V6 expected for Imola). Then spins on assembly lap and starts from pitlane. Unbalanced car, inexperienced driver and Pirelli wets are a bad combination; Martini spins several times and makes four stops before spinning into a barrier and retiring after recording just 12 laps.



Zakspeed 841-Zakspeed
30. Jonathan Palmer (GB)

Team impresses with organisation at first-ever race, complete with backing from West cigarette company. Master switch problems on Saturday limit him to 23rd on the grid, but impresses with 9th fastest in Sunday morning warm-up - team insists time was set in race trim. Hopes of a good result in race are dashed when Palmer brushes stalled Rosberg on grid, damaging suspension. Pit stop fails to fix problem, and he sadly retires after three laps.