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. 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.
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. Regardless, Rosberg would share the front row with quali-star Ayrton Senna of Lotus-Renault, while Championship leader Michele Alboreto claimed third.
Race day proved to be very hot, resulting in a lot of talk about which tyre supplier, Pirelli or Goodyear, would have the advantage. 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.
The early stages would see the race quickly settle into a steady rhythm, aided by several early retirements. 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.
Piquet, meanwhile, seemed to have an advantage on his Pirelli tyres, and duly eased ahead of Senna with ease on lap seven. 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.
With that the battle for victory was done, with Piquet able to escape after one aborted lunge by Rosberg into the first corner. 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.
Lauda's race was to come to an just after half distance, with a gearbox failure releasing teammate Prost to attack Rosberg for second. 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.
Rosberg rejoined down in fifth behind de Angelis and Stefan Johansson, and would spend the rest of the race chasing after Prost. 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. The rest of the points would go to Johansson, de Angelis and Patrick Tambay.
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:
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:
|4||2||Alain Prost||McLaren-TAG Porsche||1:33.547||1:33.335||+0.873s|
|6||1||Niki Lauda||McLaren-TAG Porsche||1:33.860||1:34.166||+1.398s|
|7||11||Elio de Angelis||Lotus-Renault||1:34.022||1:34.227||+1.560s|
|13||25||Andrea de Cesaris||Ligier-Renault||1:37.335||1:35.571||+3.109s|
|17||22||Riccardo Patrese||Alfa Romeo||1:36.729||1:38.745||+4.267s|
|18||23||Eddie Cheever||Alfa Romeo||1:36.931||1:38.489||+4.469s|
|24||24||Piercarlo Ghinzani||Osella-Alfa Romeo||1:42.136||1:42.968||+9.674s|
|25||29||Pierluigi Martini||Minardi-Motori Moderni||1:47.523||1:44.350||+11.888s|
|26||4||Stefan Bellof||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:44.404||1:45.478||+11.942s|
- 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.
Grid[edit | edit source]
|______________||Andrea de Cesaris|
Race[edit | edit source]
Report[edit | edit source]
Results[edit | edit source]
The full results for the 1985 French Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Fabi was still classified despite retiring as he had completed 90% of the race distance.
Milestones[edit | edit source]
- 100th entry for Patrick Tambay.
- Jonathan Palmer entered his twentieth Grand Prix.
- Thirteenth victory for Nelson Piquet.
- Brabham secured their 35th and final victory.
- 30th podium finish for Alain Prost.
- First fastest lap to be recorded by Keke Rosberg.
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.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
References[edit | edit source]
Images and Videos:
- 'French GP, 1985', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr393.html, (Accessed 25/03/2019)
- 'France 1985: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1985/france/engages.aspx, (Accessed 25/03/2019)
- '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)
- '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)
- 'France 1985: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1985/france/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 25/03/2019)
- 'France 1985: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1985/france/classement.aspx, (Accessed 25/03/2019)
- '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)
- '7. France 1985', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1985/france.aspx, (Accessed 25/03/2019)
|V T E||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)
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Dijon-Prenois (1974, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1984)
Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours (1991–2008)
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