Grand Prix Classic


Round 3 - San Marino Grand Prix
Imola, 3-5 May, 1985
Team-by-Team Review


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

Relative lack of straight-line speed sees Prost start 6th and Lauda 8th (after engine trouble on Saturday). Prost up to 4th at the start; past de Angelis to 3rd on lap 12, then 2nd when Alboreto retires. Unable to get past Senna and drops back to 3rd conserving fuel. Takes the lead when Senna and Johansson retire and crosses the line first, only to be disqualified when car is found to be 2kg underweight. Lauda runs well to reach strong 3rd by lap 24, but spins with malfunctioning gearbox. Problem worsens and he drops to 7th, but then makes up places as others retire, eventually being classified 4th for first points of 1985.



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

Team expects to struggle on Imola power circuit, and does - Bellof qualifies 24th, with Brundle 25th after massive practice crash. Both start well to hold 18th/19th at the end of the first lap, but Bellof is forced to pit with a sick engine. Nothing can be done, so after another slow lap he retires. Brundle keeps at it and finishes 9th, four laps behind, despite a pitstop for a puncture. Much-needed turbo-powered 014 nearing completion in England.



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

Another fine qualifying performance sees Rosberg 2nd on the grid, with Mansell 7th. Rosberg down to 5th at the start, and then slowed by brake problems. Disintegrating throttle linkage eventually causes retirement from 7th on lap 24. Mansell spends much of the race battling with Boutsen and Cheever, but eases off to ensure finish and is rewarded with eventual 5th place.



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

Some encouragement for Brabham and Pirelli at last. Piquet qualifies in 9th and runs well, holding 6th laps 7-11. Pits for fresh tyres on lap 12 and falls to 13th, but recovers to 5th by lap 52. However, retires out of fuel two laps from the end and is only classified 8th. Hesnault, whose days with the team are rumoured to be numbered, only qualifies 20th. Poor start drops him to 24th, and is out of 20th on lap 5 with blown BMW.



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

Disappointing practice after recent good form sees Alliot 21st and Winkelhock only 23rd after engine problems for both. Trouble with the Hart turbo ends both drivers' races too - Alliot out of 15th on lap 24, Winkelhock from 12th three laps later.



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

Superb practice sees Senna take second successive pole, with de Angelis 3rd. Then run 1-2 for first ten laps until de Angelis encounters brake trouble and slips to 4th. Senna holds off sustained pressure from Alboreto and then Prost and seems set for a second win, only for the car to run out of fuel three laps from the end. After being passed by Johansson, de Angelis crosses the line 2nd when the Ferrari and Senna both stop, and is then handed his second Grand Prix win when Prost is disqualified, taking the lead of the drivers' championship.



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

Poor practice sees Tambay start 11th and Warwick 14th. Warwick has a frustrating time, spinning early on, then having to pit to correct a loose wire on the latest Renault EF15 development engine. He finishes 10th and last, four laps behind. Tambay is 9th out of 12 runners on lap 48, but benefits from retirements and disqualifications ahead, passes ailing Lauda and is eventually classified 3rd. Having scored in each round so far, he now sits 3rd in drivers' standings, but team is under no illusion as to the amount of work still needed.



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

Excellent practice sees Boutsen start 5th and Berger 10th. However, neither gets off the grid well. Berger retires to pits from 13th on lap 4 with faulty engine electrics. Boutsen spends much of the race battling with Mansell and Cheever. Eventually wins out and also passes Lauda. Runs out of fuel on final corner and pushes car over the line, just beating Tambay to 3rd place, Arrows' first podium finish since 1981 United States West Grand Prix. Even better news comes when Prost is disqualified, and Boutsen equals team's best-ever result when elevated to 2nd place.



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

With new chassis (original damaged at Estoril is present as a spare after hurried rebuild) in new blue/red colour scheme, Baldi qualifies dead last, slower than both Tyrrells and nine and a half seconds away from pole. Runs last for first few laps before pitting and then retiring with electrical problems.



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

Cheever qualifies 12th and Patrese 18th, both suffering as new Bosch electronic fuel injection system causes problems. Cheever then runs well in the race, fighting with Mansell and Boutsen just outside the top six, only to retire from 10th on lap 51 when the engine fails. Patrese also out with engine trouble after just four laps from 12th place. Title sponsor Benetton reportedly very unhappy with team's ongoing poor performance.



Osella FA1G-Alfa Romeo
24. Piercarlo Ghinzani (It)

New FA1G present at Imola, but suffers fuel feed problems and Ghinzani uses old FA1F all weekend. He qualifies 22nd and is up to 16th by lap 11 before pitting with gearbox trouble. Problem can't be fixed, but he continues in order to gain mileage. Still running at the finish, but 14 laps adrift after a further repair stop, and is not classified in final results.



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

Once more de Cesaris is the faster qualifier, starting 13th to Laffite's 16th. After holding 11th for first seven laps, de Cesaris pits on lap 11 for fresh tyres. Rejoins and almost immediately spins off pushing too hard on cold tyres. Laffite moves up to 13th by lap 22, but then retires with a spectacular turbo fire.



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

Alboreto qualifies well in 4th, with Johansson 15th after numerous problems. Alboreto to 3rd at the start, then passes de Angelis to 2nd on lap 10. Presses Senna hard until forced to pit with a misfire. Returns to set fastest lap, but drops out when misfire returns. Johansson drives superb race - into the points by lap 19, and makes up a lot of time late in the race, passing Lauda, de Angelis and Prost before taking the lead from Senna when the Lotus stops. However, drops out with empty tank half a lap later, and has to settle for being classified 6th.



Minardi M185-Motori Moderni
29. Pierluigi Martini (It)

New Motori Moderni engine impresses with smooth running in practice, and with improved balance and better straight-line speed Martini qualifies well in 19th. However, a broken turbo wastegate ends his race when 17th out of 19 runners on lap 15.



Zakspeed 841-Zakspeed
30. Jonathan Palmer (GB)

Despite not recording a time on Friday afternoon due to a broken throttle cable, Palmer qualifies an excellent 17th. However, a misfire strikes on the parade lap, forcing him to pull into the pits. Nothing can be done, and he misses the start.