Girish Mahajan

1985 European Grand Prix

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Date  October 6, 1985
Course length  4.206 km (2.61 mi)
1985 European Grand Prix
Official name  XXXVII Shell Oils Grand Prix of Europe
Location  Brands Hatch, Kent, United Kingdom
Course  Permanent Racing Facility
Distance  75 laps, 315.5 km (195.8 mi)

The 1985 European Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Brands Hatch on October 6, 1985. It was the fourteenth round of the 1985 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Ayrton Senna got pole position for the 6th time in the season, averaging 140.106 mph (225.479 km/h), the first time anyone had lapped the circuit faster than 140 mph. Second was Nelson Piquet, followed by the Williams-Hondas of Nigel Mansell and Keke Rosberg.

McLaren's defending World Champion Niki Lauda was still unfit to race due to the wrist injury he suffered in Belgium and was replaced by former driver John Watson in what would be his last start in Formula One. Watson qualified 21st and in his first F1 race since the 1983 season ending South African Grand Prix finished 7th, only 2 laps down and less than a second behind 6th placed Thierry Boutsen. Tyrrell were back to a two car team for the race with Italian rookie Ivan Capelli replacing the late Stefan Bellof for his first start in Formula One.

After a very poor start that dropped him to 14th, Alain Prost climbed 8 places in 10 laps, went down the field again to 9th, and climbed another 5 places, breaking the lap record 3 times in the process. He eventually went up to 4th place and in the process, clinched his first World Drivers' Championship, and Nigel Mansell took his first race win. Keke Rosberg took 3rd despite losing a full lap after a collision with Nelson Piquet caused by Ayrton Senna, who finished 2nd. Marc Surer was in second position for Brabham until a late, and dramatic turbo failure.

Michele Alboreto saw his World Championship dream go up in flames on lap 13. After stopping to replace a flat-spotted tyre on lap 11, his Ferrari blew its turbo halfway through lap 13. Alboreto, frustrated that Ferrari's late season reliability had cost him the World Championship (he led the points table until Round 11 at Zandvoort) drove his Ferrari 156/85 back to the pits with the rear of the car on fire. He (dangerously) drove the on-fire car into the pits and straight to his Ferrari pit. Many observers saw this as Alboreto's way of showing that the Ferrari's unreliability had cost him the World Championship, which Prost won by finishing 4th.

Senna's pole position is often cited as one of his greatest moments.

Championship standings after the race

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
  • References

    1985 European Grand Prix Wikipedia


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