The 1985 Belgian Grand Prix, otherwise known as the XLIII Grote Prijs van België, was the thirteenth round of the 1985 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on the 15 September 1985. The race, which had originally been scheduled for the 2 June, would see Ayrton Senna claim his second career victory and the first of five at Spa.
Qualifying would see Alain Prost, Championship leader, grab pole for McLaren-TAG Porsche, with future nemesis Senna lining up in second. Nelson Piquet was next ahead of Prost's main title rival Michele Alboreto, while defending Champion Niki Lauda would suffer a heavy accident on Friday and subsequently withdrew from the race with a sprained wrist.
After two days of warm, dry weather race day would dawn with heavy rain pelting the shortened Spa circuit, although as start time approached the rain drifted away. Regardless, all 24 starters would opt for full wet tyres for the start of the race, with everyone expecting to have to switch to slicks towards the end of the race.
The start of the race would be all about two fast starting Brazilians, with Senna slithering into the lead, while Piquet leapt into second. However, whereas Senna would sprint out of La Source without issue in his Lotus-Renault, Piquet would send himself into a spin, forcing the rest of the field to take avoiding action. Prost hence moved back into second, although the delay for everyone else had left Senna with a huge lead.
The early stages would see Prost carve into Senna's lead, leaving Nigel Mansell to defend third from Alboreto, Stefan Johansson, Thierry Boutsen, teammate Keke Rosberg, Elio de Angelis and Gerhard Berger. Piquet, meanwhile, would battle his way back up the field from the back of the pack, and duly moved into the top ten when Alboreto's race was ended by a clutch failure.
Surprisingly the Spa circuit would dry far quicker than anyone had thought, prompting Rosberg to stop on lap four for slicks. After two slow laps the Finn was soon lighting up the timing screens, prompting the rest of the field to slither into the pits over the following five laps.
The resulting shuffle from the stops would leave Rosberg up in third, with himself and Mansell jumping Prost during the switch to slicks. Senna, meanwhile, continued to hold a handsome advantage at the head of the field, having briefly lost the lead to teammate Elio de Angelis before the Italian's stop.
Light rain would return to Spa shortly before half-distance, although it never fell hard enough to force the drivers into making a switch back to wets. Senna was hence able to simply drive away from Mansell in second, and ultimately won the race at a canter, thirty seconds clear of the Brit.
Elsewhere, a brake problem for Rosberg would see the Finn slip behind Prost, promoting the Frenchman onto the podium. That, combined with Alboreto's early retirement, would grow Prost's lead out to sixteen points, with just 27 left to fight for.
Alain Prost had extended his grip on the 1985 World Championship with victory in Monza, opening out a twelve point lead over second placed Michele Alboreto. Indeed, the Italian's inability to score on home soil may have proved fatal to his title ambitions, although with four races to go, and 36 points to fight for, Alboreto was still a major contender for the crown. In contrast, Elio de Angelis was now mathematically out of the fight, with the Italian only able to score 31 points before dropped scores were applied to his tally.
In the Constructors Championship it had been a bad day for the tifosi on home soil, for Ferrari had lost the lead in the title hunt for the first time since the Monaco Grand Prix. Indeed, it was rivals McLaren-TAG Porsche who had left Italy at the head of the field, opening out a two point gap over the Italian team in their duel for the title. Indeed, third placed Lotus-Renault were running out of time to mount a title challenge, having slipped 23 points behind.
The full entry list for the 1985 Belgian Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 1985 Belgian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||2||Alain Prost||McLaren-TAG Porsche||1:56.563||1:55.306||—|
|9||11||Elio de Angelis||Lotus-Renault||1:58.852||1:57.322||+2.016s|
|15||22||Riccardo Patrese||Alfa Romeo||1:59.703||1:58.414||+3.108s|
|19||23||Eddie Cheever||Alfa Romeo||2:00.861||1:59.370||+4.064s|
|23||24||Huub Rothengatter||Osella-Alfa Romeo||2:06.083||2:05.776||+10.470s|
|24||29||Pierluigi Martini||Minardi-Motori Moderni||2:06.007||2:06.606||+10.701s|
|25*||1||Niki Lauda||McLaren-TAG Porsche||—|
- 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.
- * Lauda was unable to start the race after sustaining a wrist injury.
- † Acheson's entry was withdrawn after RAM ran out of engines.
|10||Elio de Angelis|
- * Danner was to start from the pit lane after an issue at the start.
- † Lauda was unable to start the race due to his wrist injury.
The full results for the 1985 Belgian Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Boutsen and Laffite were still classified despite retiring as they had completed 90% of the race distance.
- † Rothengatter was unable to be classified as he had failed to complete 90% of the race distance.
- 200th Grand Prix entry for a Hart engine.
- Debut race for Christian Danner.
- Second victory for Ayrton Senna.
- Lotus earned their 75th victory as a constructor.
- Nigel Mansell claimed the tenth podium for a Honda engine.
Third place in Belgium ensured that Alain Prost extended his Championship lead over Michele Alboreto, with the pair ending the weekend some sixteen points apart. Indeed, with just 27 points left to fight for Prost could realistically win the title in Brands Hatch, provided he scored two more points than Alboreto. Elsewhere, Ayrton Senna was up into third after his second victory of the season, with Elio de Angelis slipping away in fourth.
The Constructors Championship was still being led by McLaren-TAG Porsche after the battle of Belgium, although their lead was still a fairly insecure six points. Indeed, Ferrari had only dropped a couple of points further behind the Anglo-German effort after the race in Belgium, and hence remained a major contender for the title. Furthermore, Lotus-Renault had closed the gap in third, moving to within twenty points of the leaders.
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 1.19 'Belgian GP, 1985', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr417.html, (Accessed 26/03/2019)
- ↑ 'Belgium 1985: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1985/belgique/engages.aspx, (Accessed 26/03/2019)
- ↑ 'Grand Prix de Belgique 1985 - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1985/races/494/belgium/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 26/03/2019)
- ↑ 'Grand Prix de Belgique 1985 - QUALIFYING 2', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1985/races/494/belgium/qualifying-2.html, (Accessed 26/03/2019)
- ↑ 'Belgium 1985: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1985/belgique/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 26/03/2019)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 'Belgium 1985: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1985/belgique/classement.aspx, (Accessed 26/03/2019)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 '1985 Belgian GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1985&gp=Belgian%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 26/03/2019)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 '13. Belgium 1985', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1985/belgique.aspx, (Accessed 26/03/2019)
|V T E||Belgian Grand Prix|
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