Grand Prix Classic




Round 5 - Canadian Grand Prix
Montreal, 14-16 June, 1985

The fifth round of the World Championship was to have been the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa on 2 June, but the resurfaced circuit had broken up after a day's practice, and with repairs useless the meeting had been reluctantly abandoned and rescheduled for later in the season.

Instead, the next stop would be the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit in Montreal, with the leading lights well-balanced - Prost's McLaren had won twice, been disqualified once and retired once; Alboreto's Ferrari had led two races and finished second twice, while at Lotus Senna had led three races and won once, while de Angelis had scored in all four rounds and been awarded victory at Imola.


Entry Notes

As announced at the start of the season, Zakspeed skipped the race - having always planned to only contest the European rounds in their debut season. Jonathan Palmer was already committed to run at the Le Mans 24 Hours in John Lloyd's Canon Porsche 956, anyway.

The Belgian Grand Prix would have seen a change in the Brabham team, as Francois Hesnault had left the Brabham team by mutual consent after a huge testing accident the week after his failure to qualify for the Monaco Grand Prix. In his place came Marc Surer, who had left Formula 1 at the end of 1984 to join the Kremer Porsche World Endurance Championship team and partnered Manfred Winkelhock to victory at the Monza 1000kms. However, the popular Swiss found the offer of a drive from Brabham too good to pass up, and signed for the rest of 1985. After the chaos at Belgium, he would be hoping to make his first start for the team in Canada.

[Full Entry]


Qualifying

For the fourth time in 1985, it was a Lotus that took pole position. However, on this occasion de Angelis was the fastest, nearly three-tenths of a second faster than his team-mate. Behind them came the Ferraris - Alboreto might have taken pole but for an oil leak in Saturday's timed session, while 4th place showed what Johansson could do in an untroubled car.

Prost took his customary slot on the third row, as usual opting to spend most of practice working on race setup rather than battling for pole position. Alongside him was Warwick, showing some improvement for the beleaguered Renault team. Seventh was Boutsen, continuing his fine qualifying form in the Arrows, with Rosberg, Piquet and Tambay filling the rest of the top ten.

Mansell was back in 16th after numerous mechanical problems, a place ahead of Lauda (who aborted one of his fast laps when he came across a beaver at the hairpin), while a flu-stricken Surer would start his Brabham debut from a disappointing 20th. With only 25 entrants there were no non-qualifiers, though Martini again looked out of his depth, recording a best time three seconds slower than 24th fastest Brundle, and over ten seconds off pole position.

[Full Grid & Practice Times]


Race

The race was cool but clear, and fuel consumption was the main topic of conversation - only Imola really matched Montreal in this respect, and that race had seen two leaders drop out in the closing stages, and the first man across the line disqualified. For now, though, the Lotus cars were once again off the grid beautifully, de Angelis successfully beating Senna to the first corner. Warwick leapt up to fourth between Alboreto and Johansson, with Prost and Rosberg next. Piquet, who had won here in 1984 after a wretched start to the season, had no such salvation this time, his Brabham's transmission breaking as he crossed the line.

The Lotus cars pulled away convincingly early on, while Warwick's evil-handling Renault span down to 12th, releasing Johansson and Prost to chase Alboreto, with Tambay now up to 6th. On lap 6, the Lotus 1-2 ended as Senna dived into the pits, losing boost pressure. A broken compressor was the cause, and the Brazilian lost five laps fixing the problem. Joining him in the pitlane was de Cesaris, who had a spin and ended up pointing the wrong way, then tried to spin around the right way only to collect Winkelhock. The furious RAM driver was out on the spot, while the Ligier needed a new nosecone.

Alboreto meanwhile was starting to match de Angelis' speed and began closing on the Lotus, while Tambay had passed Prost and Rosberg disappeared into the pits after a spin, promoting Cheever to the top six. By lap 12, Alboreto was really pushing de Angelis, getting alongside twice on the outside but not quite being able to nail the move, but then blasted past at the opening complex of corners the following lap in assured fashion. Mansell meanwhile had made up nine places since the start, and then got by Cheever's Alfa Romeo, while the hapless Martini was given a sharp lesson in manners by the usually gentlemanly Tambay after failing to get out of the way and being shoved into a spin as a result. The Frenchman's team-mate, however, was out after spinning the wayward Renault into a barrier.

Up front, de Angelis had lost Alboreto in traffic and - with his engine losing response in middle gears - was now being caught by Johansson. Some concern was caused when Alliot smashed the remaining RAM into a barrier on the long straight after losing control on the fast kink, causing a white flag to be waved at the other cars for four laps while the machine was recovered, but thankfully everyone else was able to avoid the debris it left on the track. That was no consolation for Lauda, though, who again retired - this time with his TAG engine overheating when in a gaining 8th place.

Tambay then began to slide back when third gear went missing, while Johansson finally got past de Angelis and set off after his team leader, despite his Ferrari V6 having an intermittent misfire. He would catch Alboreto and shadow him for a few corners, but the Italian cranked up the boost and kept his team-mate off. Rosberg was up to 5th despite his stop for tyres, having passed Mansell and leaving him to deal with the determined Cheever and then blasting past Tambay. Mansell also got past the struggling Renault, free of the attentions of the Alfa Romeo when the Italian car's electronics went haywire and the American was reduced to cruising around.

Despite de Angelis' best efforts, he lost out to Prost and Rosberg before the end. Prost latched onto Johansson three laps from the end, but the Ferrari cars had things well in hand and were able to coolly secure a 1-2 finish (their first win since the 1984 Belgian Grand Prix, and first 1-2 since the 1983 Dutch Grand Prix), putting Alboreto into the championship lead and Johansson onto the rostrum for the first time. Rosberg scored his first points of the season with an excellent unlapped run to 4th, while de Angelis was able to stay ahead of Mansell. Tambay came home a demoralised 7th - he had lost out to Laffite, but the Ligier driver was docked a minute for jumping the start. All in all there were actually 17 finishers, though these included the likes of Senna (who returned to set fastest lap), Surer (struggling on Pirelli tyres) and Cheever (touring around by the end, but at least seeing a chequered flag for the first time in 1985).


Result

Pos.
Driver Car
Laps
Time/Retirement
Grid
1
Michele Alboreto Ferrari
70
1h 46m 01.813s
3
2
Stefan Johansson Ferrari
70
+ 1.957s
4
3
Alain Prost McLaren-TAG
70
+ 4.341s
5
4
Keke Rosberg Williams-Honda
70
+ 27.826s
8
5
Elio de Angelis Lotus-Renault
70
+ 43.349s
1
6
Nigel Mansell Williams-Honda
70
+ 1m 17.878s
16
7
Patrick Tambay Renault
69
+ 1 lap
10
8
Jacques Laffite Ligier-Renault
69
+ 1 lap/Penalised 1m - jump start
19
9
Thierry Boutsen Arrows-BMW
68
+ 2 laps
7
10
Riccardo Patrese Alfa Romeo
68
+ 2 laps
13
11
Stefan Bellof Tyrrell-Cosworth
68
+ 2 laps
23
12
Martin Brundle Tyrrell-Cosworth
68
+ 2 laps
24
13
Gerhard Berger Arrows-BMW
67
+ 3 laps
12
14
Andrea de Cesaris Ligier-Renault
67
+ 3 laps
15
15
Marc Surer Brabham-BMW
67
+ 3 laps
20
16
Ayrton Senna Lotus-Renault
65
+ 5 laps
2
17
Eddie Cheever Alfa Romeo
64
+ 6 laps
11
R
Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Motori Moderni
57
Accident
25
R
Niki Lauda McLaren-TAG
37
Overheating
17
R
Piercarlo Ghinzani Osella-Alfa Romeo
35
Engine
22
R
Philippe Alliot RAM-Hart
28
Accident
21
R
Derek Warwick Renault
15
Accident
6
R
Manfred Winkelhock RAM-Hart
5
Accident/de Cesaris
14
R
Teo Fabi Toleman-Hart
3
Turbo
18
R
Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW
0
Transmission
11

Fastest Lap: Ayrton Senna (Lotus), 1:27.445s

[Team-by-Team report]


Tables

Driver's Championship

Pos.
Driver
Points
1
Michele Alboreto
27
2
Alain Prost
22
=
Elio de Angelis
22
4
Patrick Tambay
10
5
Ayrton Senna
9
6
Stefan Johansson
7
7
Thierry Boutsen
6
8
Nigel Mansell
5
9
Niki Lauda
3
=
Andrea de Cesaris
3
=
Keke Rosberg
3
=
Rene Arnoux
3
13
Derek Warwick
2
=
Jacques Laffite
2
15
Stefan Bellof
1

Constructor's Championship

Pos.
Constructor
Points
1
Ferrari
34
2
Lotus
31
3
McLaren
25
4
Renault
12
5
Williams
8
6
Arrows
6
7
Ligier
5
8
Tyrrell
1