Grand Prix Classic

Round 12 - Italian Grand Prix
Monza, 6-8 September, 1985
Team-by-Team Review

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

Both drivers elect to use one set of qualifiers and one set of race tyres during timed practice - a bad move which leaves Prost 5th and Lauda 16th. Prost up to 3rd on first lap, then 2nd when Mansell pits. Takes the lead when future team-mate Rosberg stops for tyres, but soon overhauled by the Williams. Into the lead once again when Rosberg retires, and stays there to record fifth win of the year, now 12 points clear of Alboreto in championship. Lauda swiftly advances to 3rd by lap 17. Stop for replacement nose drops him to 11th on lap 31, and retires three laps later with transmission failure. McLaren now have two-point lead in constructors' standings.

Tyrrell 014-Renault
4. Martin Brundle (GB)

Team stunned by death of Stefan Bellof in Spa sportscar race. Sole entry for Brundle, who qualifies 18th. Runs well to finish 8th, one lap down, despite having to slow in later stages with severe vibration thanks to picking up debris on tyres.

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

Honda power impresses at Monza, Rosberg qualifying 2nd and Mansell 3rd. They then run 1st and 2nd laps 1-3 before Mansell has to make long stop to fix engine electronics, which costs him two laps. Rosberg leads comfortably before tyre stop, dropping to 2nd behind Prost, and then hunts the McLaren down with ease and retakes the lead. However, engine loses water on lap 45, thwarting certain victory. Mansell charges well, matching Rosberg's pace and setting fastest lap, but also suffers engine failure when 10th, lap 48. Once more lots of promise and no result.

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

Sheer grunt of BMW engine suits Monza - Piquet starts 4th, Surer 9th. Piquet runs 5th before early stop for fresh tyres, and then makes up places well to finish 2nd, albeit best part of a minute behind Prost. Surer drives great non-stop race after preserving tyres early on, rising to 4th and narrowly failing to take 3rd from Senna in closing laps to score his best result since 1981 Brazilian Grand Prix.

RAM 03-Hart
9. Philippe Alliot (Fr)
10. Kenny Acheson (GB)

With Hart engine supplies dwindling, both drivers have to run with race boost in qualifying, leaving Acheson 24th and Alliot 26th. Acheson then only lasts two laps in race before clutch breaks. Alliot gets as far as lap 20, when a turbocharger breaks while running 15th. Team now without a finish since the French Grand Prix, and strongly rumoured to be losing Skoal Bandit backing at the end of the season.

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

Senna, in first race at Monza, takes stunning pole, with de Angelis lining up 6th. Senna runs hard compound tyres, intending to run non-stop, and pays for the decision. Down to 3rd on first lap, and unable to hold off Prost, de Angelis or Lauda. Is also passed by flying Piquet later in the race, but helped by attrition and solid defence holds off Surer to finish 3rd. Planning to stop, de Angelis reaches strong 3rd by lap 4. However, backs off after stop alarmed by fuel consumption, and finishes lapped 6th - is later furious to discover plenty of fuel left in car after race.

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

In first race since announcing their withdrawal at the end of the season, Renault have a low-key meeting. Tambay qualifies well in 8th, but struggles in the race, finishing lapped and disheartened in 7th - rumoured to be in talks for second Haas Lola seat in 1986. Warwick, linked with Lotus, starts 12th. Out of same position on lap 10 with broken transmission.

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

BMW power helps Berger to 11th and Boutsen to 14th in qualifying. Berger breaks front wing challenging Fabi in early stages, but retires on lap 14 with engine failure. Boutsen plugs away to finish lapped 9th.

Toleman TG185-Hart
19. Teo Fabi (It)
20. Piercarlo Ghinzani (It)

Team suffers from shortage of Hart engines, with conservative qualifying runs limiting Fabi to 15th and Ghinzani 21st on the grid. Ghinzani stalls on the grid at start, and engine refuses to fire up despite eager aid of marshals. Fabi has tyre punctured in early scrap with Berger. Stops for fresh set of tyres, but still unhappy with handling. Makes long stop for inspection, and then continues to come home 12th - five laps down, but at least giving team first finish of 1985.

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

Revised aerodynamics no use with unreliable car - Patrese manages to qualify 13th, but Cheever stuck back in 17th. After briefly reaching 12th, Patrese makes long early stop. Rejoins, but out of 17th on lap 32 with broken exhaust. Cheever out of 14th on lap 4 when engine fails. Home race passes without any announcement on team's unsure future.

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

Rothengatter qualifies respectable 22nd at team's home race, despite spending much of practice in spare car. Does well to reach 15th by lap 11, but race ends prematurely on lap 27 when Alfa engine fails.

Ligier JS25-Renault
25. Philippe Streiff (Fr)
26. Jacques Laffite (Fr)

Streiff replaces de Cesaris, and qualifies 19th, one place ahead of Laffite. Advances well early on, but inexperience with Pirelli race tyres leaves him struggling to maintain pace. Nevertheless finishes 10th, two laps down. Laffite runs in midfield just ahead of Streiff for much of the race, but out of 9th on lap 41 with engine failure.

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

Dismal home showing despite enormous expectation. Alboreto qualifies 7th and Johansson 10th, unable to match other front runners in qualifying trim. Little better in the race, with Alboreto reaching 6th before tyre stop, and Johansson likewise running 5th after others pit. Attrition seems set to allow Alboreto to salvage 5th, but engine fails five laps from home, leaving his title challenge on the ropes. Johansson inherits the place, despite running out of fuel on the last lap.

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

Home race is another dismal meeting for team. With Motori Moderni V6 unable to accept enough boost to be competitive at Monza, Martini qualifies 23rd. Then retires midway around the opening lap with sheared fuel pump.

Beatrice-Lola THL-1-Hart
33. Alan Jones (Aus)

Debut of well-funded team, owned by US Indycar veteran Carl Haas. Welcome return for 1980 World Champion Alan Jones, but Neil Oatley-designed car is struck by numerous Hart engine problems, and only qualifies 25th. Jones forced to pit on second lap to clear rubbish from sidepods, and retires on lap 7 when overheating engine causes distributor failure. Not the most encouraging start, but 1985 races largely expected to be testing in preparation for new Ford turbo-powered 1986 car.