The 1985 French Grand Prix, otherwise officially known as the 71e Grand Prix de France, was the seventh race of the 1985 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Circuit Paul Ricard on the 7 July 1985.[1] The race would see Nelson Piquet secure his first victory of the season for Brabham-BMW, a triumph which also proved to be Brabham's last in F1.[1]

Qualifying would see Keke Rosberg grab pole position for Williams-Honda, although their weekend was marred by a huge accident for the Finn's teammate Nigel Mansell which left the Brit unable to take part.[1] Regardless, Rosberg would share the front row with quali-star Ayrton Senna of Lotus-Renault, while Championship leader Michele Alboreto claimed third.[1]

Race day proved to be very hot, resulting in a lot of talk about which tyre supplier, Pirelli or Goodyear, would have the advantage.[1] At the start it would appear to be fairly even, for Rosberg was able to sprint ahead of Senna, while Piquet, the first man on Pirellis, leapt from fifth to third.[1]

The early stages would see the race quickly settle into a steady rhythm, aided by several early retirements.[1] Indeed, Alboreto was the first of the front runners to drop out, his Ferrari suffering an engine failure, while the two Ligier-Renaults disappeared within a lap of each other with unrelated issues.[1]

Piquet, meanwhile, seemed to have an advantage on his Pirelli tyres, and duly eased ahead of Senna with ease on lap seven.[1] A few laps later and the double World Champion was glued to the tail of Rosberg's Williams, before a brave lunge inside the Finn at Beausset carried the Brabham-BMW into the lead.[1]

With that the battle for victory was done, with Piquet able to escape after one aborted lunge by Rosberg into the first corner.[1] The Finn was hence left to fend off the increasing attentions of the two McLaren-TAG Porsches of Niki Lauda and Alain Prost, although only after they had found their way past Elio de Angelis.[1]

Lauda's race was to come to an just after half distance, with a gearbox failure releasing teammate Prost to attack Rosberg for second.[1] Ultimately the Frenchman would be left with an easy move on the Finn, who was to pit for fresh tyres once Prost's McLaren swept through.[1]

Rosberg rejoined down in fifth behind de Angelis and Stefan Johansson, and would spend the rest of the race chasing after Prost.[1] Out front, meanwhile, Piquet was able to cruise home to claim his first win of the season, while Rosberg would catch as pass Prost on the final lap to claim second.[1] The rest of the points would go to Johansson, de Angelis and Patrick Tambay.[1]

The results of the race would see Alboreto continue to lead the Championship hunt, although Prost would move within five points of the Italian in second.

Background[edit | edit source]

Michele Alboreto had retained the lead in the Championship after the Detroit Grand Prix, and had even managed to grow his advantage to seven points. Elio de Angelis, meanwhile, had moved into a clear second ahead of Alain Prost, while Stefan Johansson had moved into fourth after his second second place in two races. Keke Rosberg, meanwhile, would leap into the top five after claiming victory in Detroit, while double World Champion Nelson Piquet had finally got onto the board, albeit down in sixteenth.

In the Constructors' Championship it was still Ferrari who led the charge, having ended the Detroit weekend on 47 points. Indeed, the Scuderia had managed to extend their lead over Lotus-Renault with a double podium finish on the city streets, opening a fourteen point gap between themselves and their Norfolk based challengers. Behind, McLaren-TAG Porsche had retained third ahead of Williams-Honda, while Brabham-BMW appeared at the foot of the scorers' list in ninth.

Entry List[edit | edit source]

The full entry list for the 1985 French Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
1 Austria Niki Lauda United Kingdom Marlboro McLaren International McLaren MP4/2B TAG Porsche TTE PO1 1.5 V6t G
2 France Alain Prost United Kingdom Marlboro McLaren International McLaren MP4/2B TAG Porsche TTE PO1 1.5 V6t G
3 United Kingdom Martin Brundle United Kingdom Tyrrell Racing Organisation Tyrrell 014 Renault EF4B 1.5 V6t G
4 Germany Stefan Bellof United Kingdom Tyrrell Racing Organisation Tyrrell 012 Ford Cosworth DFY 3.0 V8 G
5 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell United Kingdom Canon Williams Honda Team Williams FW10 Honda RA163E 1.5 V6t G
6 Finland Keke Rosberg United Kingdom Canon Williams Honda Team Williams FW10 Honda RA163E 1.5 V6t G
7 Brazil Nelson Piquet United Kingdom Motor Racing Developments Ltd. Brabham BT54 BMW M12/13 1.5 L4t P
8 Switzerland Marc Surer United Kingdom Motor Racing Developments Ltd. Brabham BT54 BMW M12/13 1.5 L4t P
9 Germany Manfred Winkelhock United Kingdom Skoal Bandit F1 Team RAM 03 Hart 415T 1.5 L4t P
10 France Philippe Alliot United Kingdom Skoal Bandit F1 Team RAM 03 Hart 415T 1.5 L4t P
11 Italy Elio de Angelis United Kingdom John Player Special Team Lotus Lotus 97T Renault EF4 1.5 V6t G
12 Brazil Ayrton Senna United Kingdom John Player Special Team Lotus Lotus 97T Renault EF4 1.5 V6t G
15 France Patrick Tambay France Equipe Renault Elf Renault RE60B Renault EF15 1.5 V6t G
16 United Kingdom Derek Warwick France Equipe Renault Elf Renault RE60B Renault EF4B 1.5 V6t G
17 Austria Gerhard Berger United Kingdom Barclay Arrows BMW Arrows A8 BMW M12/13 1.5 L4t G
18 Belgium Thierry Boutsen United Kingdom Barclay Arrows BMW Arrows A8 BMW M12/13 1.5 L4t G
19 Italy Teo Fabi United Kingdom Toleman Group Motorsport Toleman TG185 Hart 415T 1.5 L4t P
22 Italy Riccardo Patrese Italy Benetton Team Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo 185T Alfa Romeo 890T 1.5 V8t G
23 United States Eddie Cheever Italy Benetton Team Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo 185T Alfa Romeo 890T 1.5 V8t G
24 Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani Italy Osella Squadra Corse Osella FA1F Alfa Romeo 890T 1.5 V8t P
25 Italy Andrea de Cesaris France Equipe Ligier Gitanes Ligier JS25 Renault EF4B 1.5 V6t P
26 France Jacques Laffite France Equipe Ligier Gitanes Ligier JS25 Renault EF4B 1.5 V6t P
27 Italy Michele Alboreto Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 156/85 Ferrari 031 1.5 V6t G
28 Sweden Stefan Johansson Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 156/85 Ferrari 031 1.5 V6t G
29 Italy Pierluigi Martini Italy Minardi Team SpA Minardi M185 Motori Moderni 615-90 1.5 V6t P
30 United Kingdom Jonathan Palmer Germany West Zakspeed Racing Zakspeed 841 Zakspeed 1500/4 1.5 L4t P
Source:[2]

Practice Overview[edit | edit source]

Qualifying[edit | edit source]

Friday Qualifying[edit | edit source]

Saturday Qualifying[edit | edit source]

Qualifying Results[edit | edit source]

The full qualifying results for the 1985 French Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time Gap
Q1 Q2
1 6 Finland Keke Rosberg United Kingdom Williams-Honda 1:33.484T 1:32.462T
2 12 Brazil Ayrton Senna United Kingdom Lotus-Renault 1:33.484 1:32.462 +0.373s
3 27 Italy Michele Alboreto Italy Ferrari 1:35.421 1:33.267 +0.805s
4 2 France Alain Prost United Kingdom McLaren-TAG Porsche 1:33.547 1:33.335 +0.873s
5 7 Brazil Nelson Piquet United Kingdom Brabham-BMW 1:33.981T 1:33.812T +1.350s
6 1 Austria Niki Lauda United Kingdom McLaren-TAG Porsche 1:33.860 1:34.166 +1.398s
7 11 Italy Elio de Angelis United Kingdom Lotus-Renault 1:34.022 1:34.227 +1.560s
8* 5 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell United Kingdom Williams-Honda 1:34.191 +1.729s
9 17 Austria Gerhard Berger United Kingdom Arrows-BMW 1:34.674 1:37.445T +2.212s
10 15 France Patrick Tambay France Renault 1:34.680 1:36.339T +2.218s
11 16 United Kingdom Derek Warwick France Renault 1:34.976 1:35.190 +2.514s
12 18 Belgium Thierry Boutsen United Kingdom Arrows-BMW 1:36.051 1:35.488 +3.026s
13 25 Italy Andrea de Cesaris France Ligier-Renault 1:37.335 1:35.571 +3.109s
14 8 Switzerland Marc Surer United Kingdom Brabham-BMW 1:35.572 1:35.640 +3.110s
15 26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier-Renault 1:38.173 1:36.133 +3.671s
16 28 Sweden Stefan Johansson Italy Ferrari 1:37.546 1:36.140 +3.678s
17 22 Italy Riccardo Patrese Italy Alfa Romeo 1:36.729 1:38.745 +4.267s
18 23 United States Eddie Cheever Italy Alfa Romeo 1:36.931 1:38.489 +4.469s
19 19 Italy Teo Fabi United Kingdom Toleman-Hart 1:37.142 1:37.657 +4.680s
20 9 West Germany Manfred Winkelhock United Kingdom RAM-Hart 1:37.654 1:45.628 +5.192s
21 3 United Kingdom Martin Brundle United Kingdom Tyrrell-Renault 1:40.486 1:40.015 +7.553s
22 30 United Kingdom Jonathan Palmer West Germany Zakspeed 1:40.647 1:40.289 +7.827s
23 10 France Philippe Alliot United Kingdom RAM-Hart 1:41.647 1:44.221 +9.185s
24 24 Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani Italy Osella-Alfa Romeo 1:42.136 1:42.968 +9.674s
25 29 Italy Pierluigi Martini Italy Minardi-Motori Moderni 1:47.523 1:44.350 +11.888s
26 4 West Germany Stefan Bellof United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:44.404 1:45.478 +11.942s
Source:[3][4][5]
  • 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.
  • * Mansell crashed at Signes and did not take the start of the race due to picking up a concussion.[1]

Grid[edit | edit source]

Pos Pos
Driver Driver
______________
Row 1 1 ______________
Keke Rosberg 2
______________ Ayrton Senna
Row 2 3 ______________
Michele Alboreto 4
______________ Alain Prost
Row 3 5 ______________
Nelson Piquet 6
______________ Niki Lauda
Row 4 7 ______________
Alain Prost 8
______________ Gerhard Berger
Row 5 9 ______________
Patrick Tambay 10
______________ Derek Warwick
Row 6 11 ______________
Thierry Boutsen 12
______________ Andrea de Cesaris
Row 7 13 ______________
Marc Surer 14
______________ Jacques Laffite
Row 8 15 ______________
Stefan Johansson 16
______________ Riccardo Patrese
Row 9 17 ______________
Eddie Cheever 18
______________ Teo Fabi
Row 10 19 ______________
Manfred Winkelhock 20
______________ Martin Brundle
Row 11 21 ______________
Jonathan Palmer 22
______________ Philippe Alliot
Row 12 23 ______________
Piercarlo Ghinzani 24
______________ Pierluigi Martini
Row 13 25 ______________
Stefan Bellof 26
______________

Race[edit | edit source]

Report[edit | edit source]

Results[edit | edit source]

The full results for the 1985 French Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 7 Brazil Nelson Piquet United Kingdom Brabham-BMW 53 1:31:46.266 5 9
2 6 Finland Keke Rosberg United Kingdom Williams-Honda 53 +6.660s 1 6
3 2 France Alain Prost United Kingdom McLaren-TAG Porsche 53 +9.285s 4 4
4 28 Sweden Stefan Johansson Italy Ferrari 53 +53.491s 15 3
5 11 Italy Elio de Angelis United Kingdom Lotus-Renault 53 +53.690s 7 2
6 15 France Patrick Tambay France Renault 53 +1:15.167 9 1
7 16 United Kingdom Derek Warwick France Renault 53 +1:44.212 10
8 8 Switzerland Marc Surer United Kingdom Brabham-BMW 52 +1 lap 13
9 18 Belgium Thierry Boutsen United Kingdom Arrows-BMW 52 +1 lap 11
10 23 United States Eddie Cheever Italy Alfa Romeo 52 +1 lap 17
11 22 Italy Riccardo Patrese Italy Alfa Romeo 52 +1 lap 16
12 9 West Germany Manfred Winkelhock United Kingdom RAM-Hart 50 +3 laps 19
13 4 West Germany Stefan Bellof United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 50 +3 laps 25
14* 19 Italy Teo Fabi United Kingdom Toleman-Hart 49 Out of fuel 18
15 24 Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani Italy Osella-Alfa Romeo 49 +4 laps 23
Ret 3 United Kingdom Martin Brundle United Kingdom Tyrrell-Renault 32 Gearbox 20
Ret 1 Austria Niki Lauda United Kingdom McLaren-TAG Porsche 30 Gearbox 6
Ret 12 Brazil Ayrton Senna United Kingdom Lotus-Renault 26 Accident 2
Ret 17 Austria Gerhard Berger United Kingdom Arrows-BMW 20 Collision 8
Ret 29 Italy Pierluigi Martini Italy Minardi-Motori Moderni 19 Collision 24
Ret 10 France Philippe Alliot United Kingdom RAM-Hart 8 Fuel pressure 22
Ret 30 United Kingdom Jonathan Palmer West Germany Zakspeed 6 Engine 21
Ret 27 Italy Michele Alboreto Italy Ferrari 5 Turbo 3
Ret 25 Italy Andrea de Cesaris France Ligier-Renault 4 Transmission 12
Ret 26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier-Renault 2 Turbo 14
DNS 5 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell United Kingdom Williams-Honda
Source:[6]
  • T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
  • * Fabi was still classified despite retiring as he had completed 90% of the race distance.[6]

Milestones[edit | edit source]

Standings[edit | edit source]

Michele Alboreto had retained the lead in the Championship despite failing to score at all in France, although his advantage had been cut to five points by his two nearest challengers. Indeed, Alain Prost had moved back into second with 26 points, once again overhauling Elio de Angelis courtesy of his two wins to the Italian's one, although both remained serious title contenders regardless. Keke Rosberg, meanwhile, would move into fourth after his podium finish, while victory in France catapulted Nelson Piquet up into seventh.

Likewise, there had been very little movement in the Constructors Championship, with Ferrari eking out their lead to fifteen points. Lotus-Renault remained their closest challengers in second, while McLaren-TAG had closed to within six points of their Norfolk based rivals. Williams-Honda had also made ground in fourth, while Brabham-BMW ended the weekend just outside the top five after Piquet's performance.

World Championship for Drivers
Pos. Driver Pts. +/-
1 Italy Michele Alboreto 31
2 France Alain Prost 26 ▲1
3 Italy Elio de Angelis 26 ▼1
4 Finland Keke Rosberg 18 ▲1
5 Sweden Stefan Johansson 16 ▼1
6 France Patrick Tambay 11
7 Brazil Nelson Piquet 10 ▲9
8 Brazil Ayrton Senna 9 ▼1
9 Belgium Thierry Boutsen 6 ▼1
10 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell 5 ▼1
11 West Germany Stefan Bellof 4 ▼1
12 Austria Niki Lauda 3 ▼1
13 Italy Andrea de Cesaris 3 ▼1
14 France René Arnoux 3 ▼1
15 United Kingdom Derek Warwick 2 ▼1
16 France Jacques Laffite 2 ▼1
World Championship for Manufacturers
Pos. Team Pts. +/-
1 Italy Ferrari 50
2 United Kingdom Lotus-Renault 35
3 United Kingdom McLaren-TAG Porsche 29
4 United Kingdom Williams-Honda 23
5 France Renault 13
6 United Kingdom Brabham-BMW 10 ▲3
7 United Kingdom Arrows-BMW 6 ▼1
8 France Ligier-Renault 5 ▼1
9 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 4 ▼1

Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.

References[edit | edit source]

Images and Videos:

References:

  1. 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 'French GP, 1985', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr393.html, (Accessed 25/03/2019)
  2. 'France 1985: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1985/france/engages.aspx, (Accessed 25/03/2019)
  3. '71e Grand Prix de France de Formule 1 - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1985/races/488/france/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 25/03/2019)
  4. '71e Grand Prix de France de Formule 1 - QUALIFYING 2', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1985/races/488/france/qualifying-2.html, (Accessed 25/03/2019)
  5. 'France 1985: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1985/france/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 25/03/2019)
  6. 6.0 6.1 'France 1985: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1985/france/classement.aspx, (Accessed 25/03/2019)
  7. 7.0 7.1 '1985 French GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1985&gp=French%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 25/03/2019)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 '7. France 1985', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1985/france.aspx, (Accessed 25/03/2019)
V T E 1985 Formula One Season
Teams McLaren • Tyrrell • Williams • Brabham • RAM • Lotus • Renault • Arrows • Toleman • Spirit • Alfa Romeo • Osella • Ligier • Ferrari • Minardi • Zakspeed • Lola
Engines Alfa Romeo • BMW • Ferrari • Ford • Hart • Honda • Motori Moderni • Renault • TAG • Zakspeed
Drivers Lauda • 2 Prost • 3/4 Brundle • 4 Johansson • 3/4 Bellof • 4 Capelli • 4 Streiff • 5 Mansell • 6 Rosberg • 7 Piquet • 8 Hesnault • 8 Surer • 9 Winkelhock • 9/10 Alliot • 10 Acheson • 11 De Angelis • 12 Senna • 14 Hesnault • 15 Tambay • 16 Warwick • 17 Berger • 18 Boutsen • 19 Fabi • 20 Ghinzani • 21 Baldi • 22 Patrese • 23 Cheever • 24 Ghinzani • 24 Rothengatter • 25 De Cesaris • 25 Streiff • 26 Laffite • 27 Alboreto • 28 Arnoux • 28 Johansson • 29 Martini • 30 Palmer • 30 Danner • 33 Jones
Cars McLaren MP4/2B • Ferrari 156/85 • Williams FW10 • Lotus 97T • Brabham BT54 • Ligier JS25 • Renault RE60 • Arrows A8 • Tyrrell 012 • Tyrrell 014 • Osella FA1F • Minardi M185 • Alfa Romeo 184TB • Alfa Romeo 185T • RAM 03 • Zakspeed 841 • Toleman TG185 • Spirit 101D • Lola THL1
Tyres Goodyear • Pirelli
Races Brazil • Portugal • San Marino • Monaco • Canada • Detroit • France • Britain • Germany • Austria • Netherlands • Italy • Belgium • Europe • South Africa • Australia
See also 1984 Formula One Season • 1986 Formula One Season • Category
V T E France French Grand Prix
Circuits Reims (1950–1951, 1953–1954, 1956, 1958–1961, 1963, 1966)
Rouen-Les-Essarts (1952, 1957, 1962, 1964, 1968)
Charade Circuit (1965, 1969–1970, 1972)
Bugatti Circuit (1967)
Circuit Paul Ricard (1971, 1973, 1975–1976, 1978, 1980, 1982–1983, 1985–1990, 2018-present)
Dijon-Prenois (1974, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1984)
Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours (1991–2008)
PR Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 12.15.31 AM.png
Races 195019511952195319541955195619571958195919601961196219631964196519661967196819691970197119721973197419751976197719781979198019811982198319841985198619871988198919901991199219931994199519961997199819992000200120022003200420052006200720082009–2017201820192020
European Championship Races 193119321933–193719381939
Non-Championship Races 1906190719081909–19111912191319141915–192019211922192319241925192619271928192919301931–1932193319341935193619371938–1946194719481949
v·d·e Nominate this page for Featured Article
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.