Grand Prix Classic

Round 13 - Belgian Grand Prix
Spa-Francorchamps, 13-15 September, 1985
Team-by-Team Review

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

Lauda injures wrist in Friday morning practice and is forced to withdraw. Team's attempts to replace him with John Watson vetoed by other constructors. Prost takes pole; drops to 2nd at the start, then passed by Mansell. With Alboreto retiring, drives carefully to finish in the points, and even in relaxed state still takes effortless 3rd place, and fastest lap. Now 16 points clear in drivers' table; McLaren extend lead over Ferrari to six points in constructors' standings.

Tyrrell 014-Renault
4. Martin Brundle (GB)

Team still only running one car (second expected for European Grand Prix) for Brundle, who qualifies 21st. Reaches 8th as others stop for tyres, but finds the car's handling appalling after his own change. Spins two times and stops for another set of tyres, but presses on to finish 13th, five laps down.

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

By their recent lofty standards, neither driver qualifies well - Mansell 7th, Rosberg 10th. Mansell up to 3rd at the start, then passes Prost to 2nd. After stop for slicks leads for a few hundred yards before being passed by Senna. Unable to keep with the Lotus, but survives running wide twice to finish career-best 2nd. Rosberg runs wide avoiding spinning Piquet at the start, and is first to stop for slicks from 6th on lap 4. Decision pays off - 3rd by lap 11. Brake problems mean he is unable to pass Mansell, and a corrective stop drops him to 4th. Finishes there for first points since French Grand Prix.

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

Piquet qualifies well in 3rd, but spins at second corner, dropping to 16th. Stops for slicks on lap 5 and steadily moves through the field, taking 5th from Warwick four laps from the end. Surer starts 12th but struggles on Pirelli wets before stop. Then troubled by BMW pick-up problems causing car to slide. Sets second-fastest lap of the race, but only lapped 8th at the flag.

RAM 03-Hart
9. Philippe Alliot (Fr)

Shortage of Hart engines sees team slim down to a single entry for Alliot. He qualifies 20th and drives well in wet early stages, rising to 8th place, only to push too hard as soon as he leaves the pits after changing to slicks and hit the barrier - much to the fury of John Macdonald. Future of team very much in doubt.

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

On first visit to Spa, Senna qualifies 2nd. Takes the lead from Prost off the line, and - apart from very briefly being passed by Mansell in the pits - isn't headed for the rest of the race, taking second Grand Prix victory in dominant fashion. Brabham-bound de Angelis starts 9th. Runs 7th after tyre stop before turbocharger fails on lap 18.

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

Renaults occupy row 7, Tambay ahead of Warwick. Tambay progresses to 6th, but retires when gearbox fails on lap 26. Warwick has best race for some time, taking over 6th from Tambay and passing ailing Boutsen for 5th, only to be passed in turn by Piquet. Nevertheless, takes 6th for first point since British Grand Prix.

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

Smooth surface suits nervous A8, and with BMW power and local knowledge Boutsen qualifies 6th, with Berger strong 8th despite missing Saturday afternoon session with engine problems. Boutsen drives superbly, not out of the top six all race until gearbox begins to fail in later stages, dropping him from 5th to 7th to a classified 10th. Berger also races strongly and is rewarded with a lapped 7th place.

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

Fabi qualifies respectable 11th in spare car, with Ghinzani 16th. Ghinzani makes solid start to reach 12th, but crashes out on lap 7 when leaving the pits on slick tyres. Fabi out of 11th on lap 24 after throttle linkage breaks up.

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

As usual, endless technical problems infringe practice for both drivers, leaving Patrese 15th on the grid and Cheever 19th. In his element on greasy track, Cheever advances to 7th only for gearbox to fail on lap 26. Patrese out five laps later with engine failure when in despondent 12th position.

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

Rothengatter struggles at Spa, qualifying 23rd. Race plagued by gearbox problems, obliging him to grind almost to a halt on several occasions, and he winds up six laps behind and is not classified.

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

Understeer plagues both cars during practice, leaving Laffite 17th on the grid and Streiff 18th. Laffite drives usual steady race to reach 8th in the closing stages, only to slide off into the barrier three laps from the end. Streiff drives sensible race to finish in lapped 9th place, happy to finish again in second race for Ligier.

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

Post-Italian Grand Prix testing at Monza seems to improve car, and Alboreto qualifies promising 4th, one place ahead of Johansson. Race is a disaster, however - Alboreto slips down to 10th on second lap before clutch breaks on lap 4. Johansson out of 4th on lap 7 with broken transmission, neither making it far enough to change to slicks. Alboreto's title chances now all but finished.

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

Martini's lack of experience exacerbated at challenging Spa - he qualifies 24th and last, 11 seconds from pole. Perseveres in the race to finish 12th, ahead of much-delayed Brundle but five laps down on leader.

Zakspeed 841-Zakspeed
30. Christian Danner (Ger)

Formula 3000 leader Christian Danner stands in for injured Palmer. First Grand Prix at Spa is a tall order, and he qualifies 23rd. Passes Rothengatter, but out of 18th on lap 17 with broken gearbox.