Grand Prix Classic


Round 8 - British Grand Prix
Silverstone, 19-21 July, 1985
Team-by-Team Review


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

Once again car at home at fast circuit, with Prost qualifying 3rd and Lauda 10th. Lauda makes awful start and drops to 20th, but fights back magnificently, reaching 3rd by lap 23. However, retires for seventh time in eight races on lap 58 with electronic failure. Prost also slow away - down to 5th at start, then passed by de Cesaris. However, fights back up to 2nd and closes on Senna. Stalks the Lotus until it hits problems five laps from the end, giving Prost third win of the season - now only two points behind Alboreto in championship; McLaren up to 2nd in constructors' standings.



Tyrrell 014-Renault
3. Martin Brundle (GB)
Tyrrell 012-Cosworth
4. Stefan Bellof (Ger)

Brundle qualifies disappointed 20th after a spin at Woodcote. Fails to get away in time on formation lap and forced to start last, but then drives a determined race to finish 7th, two laps down - and would have scored points if the race had ran its' full distance. Bellof once again has little chance in DFY car, with 30mph speed disadvantage. Qualifies last, and in fastest race of the year unable to do more than lap consistently on the way to 11th and last, six laps behind Prost.



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

Rosberg takes second consecutive pole with astonishing 160mph flying lap, with Mansell (fit after French Grand Prix accident) a solid 5th. Rosberg passed by Senna at the start. Holds 2nd laps 1-16, gradually falling away from the Lotus. With tyres going off, is passed by Prost, and retires from 3rd place on lap 22 with a broken exhaust. Mansell up to 3rd for first four laps, but loses out to de Cesaris and Prost before retiring in the pits on lap 19 with a malfunctioning clutch. No points, but team really starting to look like front-runners.



Brabham BT54-BMW
7. Nelson Piquet (Brz)
8. Marc Surer (Swz)

Much-improved Pirelli qualifiers see Piquet start 2nd, with Surer 15th after rear wheel bearing failures on both days of practice. Both find race rubber less satisfactory in cool conditions. Team instructs both to aim for finishes, and both drivers oblige, benefiting from others' problems to finish 4th (Piquet, one lap down) and 6th (Surer, two laps down, for his first point for the team). Team instigates protest to move them up to 3rd and 5th respectively at Laffite & Warwick's expense, citing premature ending of the race, but turned down on grounds of 'human error'.



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

Both drivers suffer all manner of mechanical problems, and line up 18th (Winkelhock) and 21st (Alliot). Alliot then crashes into Ghinzani at the first corner avoiding loose wheel from Tambay's car. Winkelhock out of 14th on lap 29 with a broken turbo. Early season promise of RAM now seems like a distant memory.



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

Senna off the front row for the first time since Brazilian Grand Prix; 4th on the grid, with de Angelis 8th after setup problems. Senna makes incredible start to take the lead at the first corner, then fends off Rosberg and then Prost. Seems set for second victory until five laps from the end, when fuel runs dry (faulty engine parts later found to have been feeding driver wrong information). His sixth successive race without points. After reaching 6th early on, de Angelis' engine dies. After a long pitstop, engine inexplicably fires up again and he returns after half an hour delay - finishes, but too far behind to be classified. His first time outside the points since 19984 European Grand Prix drops him to 3rd in title standings, 11 points behind Alboreto.



Renault RE60B-Renault
15. Patrick Tambay (Fr)
16. Derek Warwick (GB)

Two RE60Bs now on hand, but little help - frustrated Warwick qualifies 12th, with Tambay 13th. Tambay then spins at first corner, collecting Johansson and causing Ghinzani/Alliot collision. Warwick manages to keep car going as others retire to inherit 5th place, two laps down, coasting over the line in disgust with no fuel left.



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

Both drivers struggle with handling problems, and wind up unusually poor 17th (Berger) and 19th (Boutsen) on the grid. Boutsen spins out of 11th on lap 58, while Berger runs steadily to finish 8th, two laps down.



Toleman TG185-Hart
19. Teo Fabi (It)

Fabi qualifies fine 9th, having been 6th on Friday only to miss dry part of Saturday session. Still 9th on lap 4 when a crownwheel and pinion break, ending race early. Team reportedly negotiating with Pirelli to enter a second car shortly, though John Watson has left the team to pursue other opportunities.



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

Usual turbocharger failures leave Patrese 14th and Cheever 22nd on the grid. Cheever makes superb start to finish first lap in 13th, but out of 12th on lap 18 when another turbo burns out. Patrese runs 11th early on, but with misfire opts to turn down boost and aim for the finish. Does so for second successive race, but on 9th, three laps behind.



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

Disastrous meeting for team, currently in dire financial trouble. Ghinzani qualifies 25th, and is then inadvertently taken out by Alliot at first corner. Enzo Osella reportedly being forced to find a pay driver to replace Ghinzani.



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

Hugely encouraging meeting for team. Ligier find their chassis works well with Pirellis - de Cesaris qualifies fine 7th, with Laffite usual modest 16th. Both have excellent races too. After good start, de Cesaris moves up to 3rd by lap 5. Passed by Prost four laps later, but holding a solid 4th when clutch breaks on lap 42. Laffite makes sure the team don't go home empty handed, making up places to finish superb 3rd - despite running out of fuel on what should have been the last lap.



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

Team seems to be losing their way. Revised suspension seen in France is abandoned and larger rear wing to solve understeer cost cars dearly on the straights. Alboreto qualifies 6th, over a second from pole, with Johansson 11th. Luckless Johansson then hits spinning Tambay at first corner, puncturing oil tank and causing engine to seize on way to pits. Alboreto never in contention, but attrition moves him through to 2nd place - championship lead now down to three points with Prost looking ominous, however.



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

Martini qualifies 23rd after abandoning car at Copse and walking off with steering wheel, causing Saturday morning practice to be temporarily halted. Then crashes into de Angelis in Sunday warm-up. Behaves himself better in the race before stopping with transmission failure when 12th out of 14 cars on lap 42 - team still searching for first finish.



Zakspeed 841-Zakspeed
30. Jonathan Palmer (GB)

Various niggles limit Palmer to 24th on the grid at his home race. Then makes superb start to reach 16th before the end of the first lap, encouragingly dicing with Laffite, only for a piston to break on lap 7.