Grand Prix Classic


Round 15 - South African Grand Prix
Kyalami, 17-19 October, 1985
Team-by-Team Review


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

Lauda returns, and qualifies 8th, one place ahead of Prost. Both advance steadily in the race to reach 2nd (Prost) and 3rd (Lauda) by lap 10 and press Mansell for the lead before making their tyre stops - Lauda's is poor, Prost's is even worse. Nevertheless Lauda rejoins 2nd, only to retire on lap 46 with a broken turbocharger. Prost catches Mansell once again, but an electrical fault causes his engine to cut out. Eventually finishes in 4th, classified a lap down after crawling over the line.



Tyrrell 014-Renault
3. Philippe Streiff (Fr)
4. Martin Brundle (GB)

Streiff, on loan from absent Ligier, takes over second car - his 3rd team in four attempts. He qualifies 18th, one place behind a disappointed Brundle. Brundle drives good race, reaching 6th by lap 27. Stops twice for tyres, long second stop dropping him behind the Arrows cars where he finishes 7th. Streiff slides out at Crowthorne on lap 17 when 10th out of 11 runners.



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

Williams-Honda very much cream of the field at present. Mansell takes first Williams pole, with Rosberg 3rd. Mansell then makes great start to leap into the lead; Rosberg gets off the line badly and drops to 6th briefly. Fights through the field to take 2nd by lap 5 and then briefly leads on lap 8, only to spin down to 6th on Ghinzani's oil. Mansell fends off two challenges from Prost to take second successive win. Rosberg recovers to 4th before stopping twice for tyres, but takes 2nd from Prost five laps from the end to give Williams first 1-2 since 1981 Brazilian Grand Prix.



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

Brabham and Pirelli have high hopes as Kyalami was one of their main pre-season testing venues. Promise seems to be fulfilled, with Piquet 2nd and Surer 5th in practice. Surer briefly up to 3rd, but with misbehaving engine slides back before retiring on lap 4; Piquet out two laps later from 3rd - both caused by BMW valve breakages. Hugely disappointing weekend for team, who have reportedly made huge offer to Niki Lauda for 1986.



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

With Renault engine unable to match speed of Honda or BMW, Senna qualifies 4th, with de Angelis 6th. Run 3rd/4th early on, initially de Angelis ahead until Senna passes him in hair-raising move at Crowthorne. However, Senna soon disappears with engine problems. After losing out to the McLarens de Angelis pits for fresh tyres from 4th. After dropping to 6th, moves back up to 4th before engine failure ends his race on lap 53.



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

After qualifying 10th (Boutsen) and 11th (Berger) both drivers have boost turned down aiming for finishes. Both succeed and are rewarded by careful drives - Berger narrowly fails to take 4th from Johansson, finishing 5th for his first World Championship points, while Boutsen takes 6th place despite having to make two tyre stops.



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

Both drivers impress in free practice, but various problems with engines limit Fabi to 7th on the grid, with Ghinzani 13th. Neither lasts long in the race, both getting poor starts. Fabi drops to 12th and retires from the same position on lap 4. Ghinzani survives first corner barging match with Alfa Romeos, drops to 18th and out of 15th and last on lap 5 with spectacular engine failure which covers first corner in oil.



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

Awful season manages to get even worse. While for once no turbochargers fail in practice, other problems limit 1983 winner Patrese to 12th and Cheever to 14th. Both then eliminated at the first corner after territorial dispute with Ghinzani, further damaging frosty relations between the two drivers.



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

Rothengatter qualifies 20th and last, seven and a half seconds away from pole. Then retires after completing only a single lap when an electrical fault cuts all power to engine - team now without a classified finish since Austrian Grand Prix.



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

Once again team in terrible shape, unable to compete with other front runners in speed stakes. Alboreto qualifies 15th, with Johansson 16th. Alboreto quickly advances to 7th only to retire on lap 9 with turbocharger failure. Johansson up to 6th by lap 14, but thereafter is obliged to run carefully due to excess fuel consumption. Nevertheless finishes 4th to score team's first points since Italian Grand Prix.



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

After usual struggle, Martini qualifies 19th out of 20. Spins early on without damage and manages to get going again, but is still running last when water radiator fails and causes engine to blow on lap 46.



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

Jones struggles with flu and fever, qualifying 18th - ironically, the car itself is running much better. On medical advice from Sid Watkins, Jones then pulls out of the meeting on Sunday morning, meaning no start for the Beatrice Lola.