Grand Prix Classic


Round 9 - German Grand Prix
Nurburgring, 2-4 August, 1985
Team-by-Team Review


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

Prost qualifies 3rd despite brake problems; Lauda 12th after mistiming his runs in dry Friday session. Prost down to 5th at the start, stuck behind Alboreto and de Angelis. Retirements make the fight between Prost and Alboreto that for the lead, but with fading brakes Prost spins lap 58, and finishes 2nd. Lauda drives usual solid race to reach 6th by lap 29, but forced to pit for new tyres to solve vibration. Once more charges through the field, passing Mansell on the past lap to take 5th place - first finish since Imola, and first time in 1985 both McLarens have scored.



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

Bellof gets his first go in the turbo car for his home race, and qualifies 19th. Brundle, in Cosworth car, starts 26th. Bellof rises to 12th by mid-distance but is obliged to stop for tyres. Nevertheless, finishes 8th, one lap down after passing Johansson on the last lap. Brundle runs last for the whole race despite some fine driving, coming home 10th, four laps behind.



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

Rosberg qualifies 4th, with Mansell disappointed 10th. Rosberg then up to 2nd by first corner and past Senna into the lead halfway round first lap. Passed by the Brazilian on lap 15, but retakes the lead when the Lotus retires. With brake problems, drops to 3rd then stops for new tyres. Resumes 5th, but brake problems remain, and retires six laps from the end. Mansell up to 4th by lap 42, and takes over 3rd when Rosberg pits. However, then struck by boost problems and falls to 6th by the flag.



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

Very disappointing home race for BMW. Piquet qualifies respectable 6th, with improving Surer 11th. After a poor start, Surer retires from 16th on lap 9 with an engine failure. Piquet out of 8th on lap 24 with a turbocharger breakage, ending a run of three consecutive points finishes, and is reportedly looking for a change of scenery in 1986.



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

Another demoralising weekend for team who just can't sort workable car out. After another practice troubled with mechanical failures, Winkelhock starts home race 22nd, a place behind Alliot. Winkelhock makes a good start to hold 18th, but Alliot spins down to last on lap 2. Neither last long - Winkelhock out with engine failure, Alliot with falling oil pressure, both on lap 9 and both parking on the same grass run-off.



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

Senna only gets one flying lap in the dry and qualifies 5th - his worst grid position of the season so far. After mechanical problems on Friday, de Angelis lines up 5th. Senna makes another superb start to lead for the first half lap before being passed by Rosberg. Retakes the lead lap 16 and once more seems set for victory, only for a CV joint to break just before half distance. Also starting well, de Angelis up to 5th and pressing Alboreto for much of the race, unable to get past. Retires having still not passed the Ferrari on lap 46 when engine fails, all but ending his championship chances.



Renault RE60-Renault
14. Francois Hesnault (Fr)
Renault RE60B-Renault
15. Patrick Tambay (Fr)
16. Derek Warwick (GB)

With RE60Bs on hand for both drivers, Hesnault entered in RE60 to test latest onboard camera. Team's bad season gets worse, however - Tambay qualifies 16th, Warwick 20th and Hesnault 23rd. Hesnault dices with the backmarkers before his clutch breaks on lap 9. Tambay advances to 12th before spinning on lap 11, then does the job properly on lap 21, hitting a barrier and retiring. Warwick only survives to lap 26, when he loses 14th place with electrical failure. Another humiliating day for factory team, now only 3rd best team with their own engine.



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

Encouraging weekend at last for Jackie Oliver's team. Mediocre qualifying sees Boutsen 15th and Berger 17th, but both race smoothly, quickly and reliably to reap rewards in the race - Boutsen coming home 4th for team's first points in six races, Berger a best-yet 7th place, one lap down.



Toleman TG185-Hart
19. Teo Fabi (It)

Huge encouragement for popular Witney-based team as Teo Fabi makes superb fastest time on Friday. Crashes on Saturday, but wet weather guarantees first-ever pole for driver and team. Sadly fluffs race start and drops to 8th place. With Pirelli tyres not working as well as in qualifying, struggles to recover, but moves up to 6th before clutch fails on lap 30. Despite the lack of a result, team delighted with progress made in only six races.



Alfa Romeo 184TB-Alfa Romeo
22. Riccardo Patrese (It)
23. Eddie Cheever (USA)

Euroracing takes radical step of dumping 1985 chassis, instead running modified 1984 cars in desperate attempt to retain factory backing into 1986. Works for Patrese, who starts 9th, but not for Cheever, who is only 18th. Patrese holds 9th laps 1-6 until gearbox begins misbehaving, failing entirely on lap 9. Cheever out of 10th on lap 46 with his third turbo failure of the weekend.



Osella FA1G-Alfa Romeo
24. Huub Rothengatter (Hol)

Rothengatter replaces Ghinzani, bringing much needed finance which should allow the team to complete the season. On first visit to new Nurburgring, qualifies 24th. Runs ahead of Brundle and behind Martini before gearbox breaks up on lap 33.



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

Laffite out-qualifies de Cesaris, 13th to 14th on the grid, and then inadvertently barges him into retirement at the first corner. However, after that uses his experience to preserve Pirelli race tyres and advance through the field, taking 3rd place after a hard-fought battle with Mansell and finishing there for his second successive rostrum appearance - actually making it to the podium on this occasion to boot.



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

Johansson gives best qualifying performance yet to start 2nd, six places ahead of Alboreto. However, gets off the line badly and receives puncture from Alboreto's front wing, limping around to the pits and losing nearly a lap. Alboreto makes amends by reaching 3rd and holding off de Angelis and Prost; takes over the lead when Senna and Rosberg retire to score 5th career victory and extend championship lead to 5 points. Johansson drives superbly, reaching 7th by lap 46, but then spins with fading brakes and drops to 9th by the chequered flag.



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

Another shocking weekend for Martini. He suffers an engine failure in one car and crashes the other on Friday morning, missing only dry timed session. Qualifies 27th and last in wet on Saturday (7th fastest out of 20 runners in the session). Runs ahead of Rothengatter and Brundle in the race, but hopes of a first finish are dashed when engine fails on lap 63 when 10th - however, he completes enough laps to be classified 11th.



Zakspeed 841-Zakspeed
30. Jonathan Palmer (GB)

Team centre of local media attention, but Palmer only qualifies 24th on the grid. Battles with Hesnault early on before an alternator belt fails, and ends his race after only seven laps. Neat operation seems to be stagnating.