1985 European Grand Prix
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.
|1||12||23x15px Ayrton Senna||Lotus-Renault||1:08.020||1:07.169||—|
|2||7||23x15px Nelson Piquet||Brabham-BMW||1:09.204||1:07.482||+0.313|
|3||5||23x15px Nigel Mansell||Williams-Honda||1:10.537||1:08.059||+0.890|
|4||6||23x15px Keke Rosberg||Williams-Honda||1:09.277||1:08.197||+1.028|
|5||25||23x15px Philippe Streiff||Ligier-Renault||1:10.396||1:09.080||+1.911|
|6||2||23x15px Alain Prost||McLaren-TAG||1:10.345||1:09.429||+2.260|
|7||8||23x16px Marc Surer||Brabham-BMW||1:09.762||1:09.913||+2.593|
|8||16||23x15px Derek Warwick||Renault||1:11.014||1:09.904||+2.735|
|9||11||23x15px Elio de Angelis||Lotus-Renault||1:11.530||1:10.014||+2.845|
|10||26||23x15px Jacques Laffite||Ligier-Renault||1:11.312||1:10.081||+2.912|
|11||22||23x15px Riccardo Patrese||Alfa Romeo||1:10.963||1:10.251||+3.082|
|12||18||23x15px Thierry Boutsen||Arrows-BMW||1:10.918||1:10.323||+3.154|
|13||28||23x15px Stefan Johansson||Ferrari||1:11.309||1:10.517||+3.348|
|14||20||23x15px Piercarlo Ghinzani||Toleman-Hart||1:13.517||1:10.570||+3.401|
|15||27||23x15px Michele Alboreto||Ferrari||1:10.877||1:10.659||+3.490|
|16||3||23x15px Martin Brundle||Tyrrell-Renault||1:11.296||1:10.731||+3.562|
|17||15||23x15px Patrick Tambay||Renault||1:13.048||1:10.934||+3.765|
|18||23||23x15px Eddie Cheever||Alfa Romeo||1:12.766||1:11.500||+4.331|
|19||17||23x15px Gerhard Berger||Arrows-BMW||1:11.608||1:11.638||+4.439|
|20||19||23x15px Teo Fabi||Toleman-Hart||1:13.024||1:12.090||+4.921|
|21||1||23x15px John Watson||McLaren-TAG||1:12.496||1:12.516||+5.327|
|22||33||23x15px Alan Jones||Lola-Hart||1:14.050||1:13.084||+5.915|
|23||9||23x15px Philippe Alliot||RAM-Hart||1:14.355||1:13.537||+6.368|
|24||4||23x15px Ivan Capelli||Tyrrell-Renault||1:16.879||1:13.721||+6.552|
|25||30||23x15px Christian Danner||Zakspeed||1:15.947||1:15.054||+7.885|
|26||29||23x15px Pierluigi Martini||Minardi-Motori Moderni||1:16.642||1:15.127||+9.473|
|DNQ||24||23x15px Huub Rothengatter||Osella-Alfa Romeo||1:16.994||1:18.022||+9.825|
- Pole position: Ayrton Senna - 1:07.169
- Fastest lap: Jacques Laffite - 1:11.526 on lap 55
- First Win: Nigel Mansell
- First Race: Ivan Capelli
- Last Race: John Watson
- Alain Prost's 4th place took him the Driver's Championship with two races left.
- Having been brought in to replace the injured Niki Lauda, John Watson raced at this event with the number 1 usually reserved for the reigning world champion. This is the only occasion that a non-champion has used the number since Ronnie Peterson during the 1973 season.
Standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
- Hamilton, Maurice (ed.) (1985). AUTOCOURSE 1985-86. Hazleton Publishing. p. 256. ISBN 0-905138-38-4.
- Hamilton, Maurice (ed.) (1985). AUTOCOURSE 1985-86. Hazleton Publishing. p. 257. ISBN 0-905138-38-4.
- Williamson, Martin. "ESPN F1//Drivers/John Watson". ESPN.co.uk. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
Unless otherwise indicated, all race results are taken from "The Official Formula 1 website". Retrieved 2007-06-17.
1985 Belgian Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1985 South African Grand Prix
1984 European Grand Prix
|European Grand Prix||Next race:|
1993 European Grand Prix