The 1985 Austrian Grand Prix, otherwise known as the XXIII Holiday Großer Preis von Österreich, was the tenth round of the 1985 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Österreichring in Spielberg, Austria, on the 18 August 1985. The race, which was the first to be held since the death of Manfred Winkelhock, would see Alain Prost move to the top of the Championship with his fourth win of the season.
Winkelhock, who had spent the majority of 1985 racing for RAM-Hart , would be killed during a sportscar race at Mosport Park in Canada. The West German racer had been leading the race at the time, and had only just got into the Porsche 962C he was sharing with fellow F1 racer Marc Surer. He would be replaced at RAM by British racer Kenny Acheson, who was returning to F1 for the first time since the 1983 South African Grand Prix.
Into the Austrian Grand Prix itself and Prost would dominate qualifying to claim pole, beating Nigel Mansell by half a second. Home hero Niki Lauda, who announced that he would be retiring from F1 for good at the end of the season, claimed a season best of third, while Keke Rosberg put the second Williams-Honda into fourth.
Lauda would make an excellent start to grab the lead at the start of the race, although the home fans barely had time to celebrate before the race was red flag. The cause was Teo Fabi, who stalled on the grid and was duly collected by Michele Alboreto, Elio de Angelis and Gerhard Berger, with their quartet of cars left blocking the circuit.
The order was reset for the restart as it had been in qualifying, with those four all able to take the restart in their spare cars. Prost also jumped into his spare and subsequently eased into the lead at the second attempted start, with Rosberg squeezing ahead of Lauda to grab second.
Unfortunately for Rosberg his hopes of challenging Prost for the lead would evaporate very early on, his engine failing at the start of lap four. The two McLarens were hence left on their own at the head of the field, with Nelson Piquet leading the chase in third.
The two McLarens quickly disappeared out of sight, with Prost ultimately able to pit for fresh tyres and rejoin mid-race without falling behind Piquet. The Brazilian himself, meanwhile, would only make it to half distance before his turbo failed, leaving Ayrton Senna in third.
Elsewhere, Andrea de Cesaris had a spectacular accident in his Ligier-Renault, which saw the blue car complete a series of barrel-rolls, although the Italian miraculously escaped unharmed. Yet, while he had physically escaped harm it appeared that his future in F1 had not, for Guy Ligier fired the de Cesaris the moment he got back to the paddock.
Out front, meanwhile, Lauda looked set to claim an impressive victory in front of his home fans, only for a turbo failure on lap 40 to leave him on the sidelines. Prost swept through to claim victory, half a minute clear of Senna in second and Alboreto in third.
The result of the race meant that Prost moved to the head of the Championship hunt, level on 50 points with Alboreto but ahead on count-back. Those two were now 22 ahead of third placed Elio de Angelis with seven races remaining, suggesting that they were in a private duel for the Championship.
Into the Championship and victory in Germany had ensured that Championship leader Michele Alboreto had increased his advantage over Alain Prost, with a five point gap separating the two protagonists. Elio de Angelis, meanwhile, had become an increasingly distant third, having failed to score again at the Nürburgring, with fifteen points between him and Prost. Keke Rosberg had also lost ground in fourth, while Stefan Johansson had remained in the top five.
In the Constructors' Championship it was still Ferrari who led the charge arriving in Austria, with the Scuderia again having managed to extend their advantage. Indeed, McLaren-TAG Porsche had slipped nineteen points behind the Italian firm, with Lotus-Renault also having lost ground in third. Williams-Honda, meanwhile, inched closer to their British compatriots, now eleven behind the Norfolk squad, while Renault remained in the top five.
The full entry list for the 1985 Austrian Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 1985 Austrian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||2||Alain Prost||McLaren-TAG Porsche||1:25.490||—||—|
|3||1||Niki Lauda||McLaren-TAG Porsche||1:26.250||1:26.727||+0.760s|
|7||11||Elio de Angelis||Lotus-Renault||1:26.799||—||+1.309s|
|10||22||Riccardo Patrese||Alfa Romeo||1:29.485||1:27.851||+2.361s|
|18||25||Andrea de Cesaris||Ligier-Renault||1:28.666||—||+3.176s|
|20||23||Eddie Cheever||Alfa Romeo||1:29.031||1:29.608||+3.541s|
|24||24||Huub Rothengatter||Osella-Alfa Romeo||1:35.329||1:58.090||+9.839s|
|26||29||Pierluigi Martini||Minardi-Motori Moderni||10:36.417||1:36.765||+11.275s|
|DNQ||4||Martin Brundle||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:39.247||1:37.317||+11.827s|
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car to set their best time in that session.
- Bold indicates a driver's best/qualifying time.
|Elio de Angelis||8|
|______________||Andrea de Cesaris|
The full results for the 1985 Austrian Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Bellof and Tambay were still classified despite retiring as they had completed 90% of the race distance.
- † Ghinzani was unable to start after an issue ahead of the race.
- Tenth Grand Prix entry for Minardi as a constructor.
- 25th entries for Ayrton Senna and Stefan Johansson.
- Shell claimed their 100th pole position as a lubricant supplier.
- Alain Prost claimed his twentieth victory.
- McLaren secured their 46th victory as a constructor.
Alain Prost's fourth victory of the season was enough to see the Frenchman finally return to the top of the Championship, although there was almost no difference between himself and the man in second. Indeed, the Frenchman was level on 50 points with former leader Michele Alboreto, and only considered to be ahead courtesy of his four wins to the Italian's two. In contrast, there was a significant gap back to third placed Elio de Angelis, with the Italian falling 22 points off the leaders.
In the Constructors' Championship it had been a rather neutral day at the head of the hunt, with Ferrari still holding a healthy lead. Indeed, McLaren-TAG Porsche had only chipped a point out of the Italian squad's advantage in spite of Prost's victory, leaving them seventeen off of the Scuderia. Lotus-Renault, meanwhile, were set to spend the rest of the season as dark horses for the Championship, as they slipped twelve points behind the second placed Anglo-German effort.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 'Austrian GP, 1985', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2015), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr414.html, (Accessed 25/03/2019)
- ↑ 'Austria 1985: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1985/autriche/engages.aspx, (Accessed 25/03/2019)
- ↑ '23. Grosser Preis Von Oesterreich 1985 - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1985/races/491/austria/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 25/03/2019)
- ↑ '23. Grosser Preis Von Oesterreich 1985 - QUALIFYING 2', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1985/races/491/austria/qualifying-2.html, (Accessed 25/03/2019)
- ↑ 'Austria 1985: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1985/autriche/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 25/03/2019)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 'Austria 1985: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1985/autriche/classement.aspx, (Accessed 25/03/2019)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 '1985 Austrian GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2015), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1985&gp=Austrian%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 25/03/2019)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 '9. Austria 1985', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1985/autriche.aspx, (Accessed 25/03/2019)
|V T E||Austrian Grand Prix|
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