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1985 German Grand Prix

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August 4, 1985

Course length
4.54 km (2.82 mi)

1985 German Grand Prix

Official name
XLII Großer Preis von Deutschland

Nürburgring, Nürburg, West Germany

Permanent racing facility

67 laps, 304.18 km (188.94 mi)

The 1985 German Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Nürburgring on August 4, 1985. It was the ninth round of the 1985 FIA Formula One World Championship.


This was the first German Grand Prix that was held on the new GP-Strecke section of the track that replaced the old Südschleife section that had not been used since 1970. It was also the first time in nine years the German GP was held at Nürburgring; previously the German GP was held on the dangerous and very long Nordschleife section of the track up until 1976, and at that race Niki Lauda had a near-fatal accident in his Ferrari that forced the Formula One circus to move to the safer, shorter and faster Hockenheimring. The GP-Strecke would not host another Grand Prix until it hosted the 1995 European Grand Prix, and would not host the German Grand Prix again until 2009.

Michele Alboreto won the race, his fifth and last F1 victory. This event was the first occasion on which an onboard camera was used in a race; one was attached to François Hesnault's Renault. That car was not eligible for championship points, and this race marked the last time, as of the 2016 season, that an F1 team entered three cars for a race.

As it was the German Grand Prix (and that the team still only had 1 new car built) Tyrrell team boss Ken Tyrrell gave his German driver Stefan Bellof use of the Renault powered Tyrrell 014 for the weekend instead of the car's usual driver Martin Brundle who was given Bellof's Cosworth powered 012 to drive. To get around a FISA rule that a team and driver can not run more than 2 engines in the one chassis during a season (with the 012 running the Cosworth and 014 the Renault), Tyrrell simply switched the drivers from one car to the other but not their car numbers meaning Bellof drove in car #3 and Brundle in car #4. Bellof qualified the turbo powered car 19th while Brundle was 26th and last with the Cosworth V8, some 10.2 seconds of Fabi's pole time and 6.4 seconds slower than his teammate in his usual car, something Brundle was reported to be not happy with.

It would be Manfred Winkelhock's last ever Formula One Grand Prix. The German was killed after he crashed his Porsche 962C sportscar at the 1000 km of Mosport in Canada just a week after the German Grand Prix.


A surprise pole position went to Teo Fabi, the first of his career, and the only pole for Toleman Motorsport. This was a time he set during Friday's qualifying session; during Saturday it rained and none of the drivers could improve on their times.

Lap Leaders

Keke Rosberg 33 (1-15, 27-44), Ayrton Senna 11 (16-26), Michele Alboreto 23 (45-67)

Championship standings after the race

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

    1985 German Grand Prix Wikipedia

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