The 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix, otherwise officially known as the 5° Grande Prémio de Portugal, was the second round of the 1985 FIA Formula One World Championship staged at the Autódromo do Estoril, Portugal, on the 21 April 1985. The race would go down in history as the first victory for Ayrton Senna, as the Brazilian showed his mastery of wet conditions at the wheel of his recently acquired Lotus-Renault.
Indeed, the Brazilian was in fine form throughout the weekend, claiming his maiden pole position during qualifying ahead of Championship leader Alain Prost. Keke Rosberg was next ahead of Senna's teammate Elio de Angelis, while defending Champion Niki Lauda, who had won the 1984 crown in Portugal just seven months earlier, lined up in seventh.
Heavy rain arrived at the circuit overnight on Saturday, and continued to soak the circuit ahead of the race. Indeed, there would be several accidents during the warm-up and later reconnaissance laps, with Nigel Mansell and Eddie Cheever having to start from the pitlane in their spare cars after heavy crashes.
Regardless, the race would start on time in spite of the miserable conditions, with Senna slithering into the lead ahead of teammate de Angelis. Behind, Rosberg caused several minor heart-attacks when he stalled on the grid, and was duly collected by the new Zakspeed of Jonathan Palmer which left both cars crippled.
The two Loti would establish a small lead over the rest during the early stages, with the early pace dictated by tyres. Indeed, those using Pirelli manufactured wets would struggle in the early stages, meaning they quickly dropped to the bottom half of the field.
As the race wore on Senna would pull clear at de Angelis at an increasingly rapid rate, leaving the Italian to try and fend off the pack behind. His day was made considerably easier when Prost spun out of the race just before half-distance, although Michele Alboreto and Patrick Tambay would eventually find their way past.
Yet, there would be no catching the sublime Senna out front, with the Brazilian finishing a full minute ahead of Alboreto when the chequered flag fluttered. The Italian himself was the only other man on the lead lap, with Tambay, de Angelis, a charging Mansell and Stefan Bellof, in a naturally aspirated Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth, completing the points.
The race ultimately ran to the two hour time limit rather than the race distance due to the conditions, ending two laps shy of the scheduled distance. Regardless, the race was also notable for being Senna's first ever Grand Chelem, the first points finish for Bellof and the debut for Zakspeed as a constructor.
For the second season in succession it was Alain Prost who had opened his F1 campaign with victory, having left Brazil with a three point lead. Michele Alboreto was his closest challenger, with Elio de Angelis, René Arnoux, Patrick Tambay and Jacques Laffite the only other scorers after the first race of the season.
It was a more interesting picture in the Constructors' Championship arriving in Portugal, with McLaren-TAG Porsche and Ferrari level on nine points. In reality the Anglo-German effort was ahead courtesy of Prost's victory in Brazil, although the Italian's squad's double score suggested that they would be a threat for the full season. Three other teams had also registered points at the opening round, namely Lotus-Renault, Renault and Ligier-Renault.
The full entry list for the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix are outlined below:
|2||2||Alain Prost||McLaren-TAG Porsche||1:23.887||1:21.420||+0.413s|
|4||11||Elio de Angelis||Lotus-Renault||1:23.306||1:22.159||+1.152s|
|5||27||Elio de Angelis||Ferrari||1:22.831||1:22.577||+1.570s|
|7||1||Niki Lauda||McLaren-TAG Porsche||1:23.670||1:23.288||+2.281s|
|8||25||Andrea de Cesaris||Ligier-Renault||1:24.723||1:23.302||+2.295s|
|13||22||Riccardo Patrese||Alfa Romeo||1:24.519||1:24.230||+3.223s|
|14||23||Eddie Cheever||Alfa Romeo||1:24.880||1:24.563||+3.556s|
|21||4||Stefan Bellof||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:27.284||1:27.474||+6.277s|
|22||3||Martin Brundle||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:28.694||1:27.602||+6.595s|
|25||29||Pierluigi Martini||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:31.205||1:28.596||+7.589s|
|26||24||Piercarlo Ghinzani||Osella-Alfa Romeo||1:30.855||—||+9.848s|
- 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.
- * Both Toleman entries were withdrawn due to a lack of tyre supply.
|Elio de Angelis||______________|
|Andrea de Cesaris||______________|
- * Mansell, Cheever and Martini all started from the pit lane after accidents on the way to the grid.
The full results for the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Winkelhock could not be classified as he failed to complete 90% of the race distance.
- Debut race for Zakspeed as a constructor and engine supplier.
- This was also the 250th entry for a car using #30 as its race number.
- Ayrton Senna secured his first pole position.
- First victory for Senna.
- It was also the Brazilian's first Grand Chelem.
- Lotus claimed their 73rd victory as a constructor.
- Patrick Tambay secured his tenth podium finish.
- This was also the 40th for a Renault chassis.
- Senna claimed the twentieth fastest lap recorded using a Renault engine.
After two seconds in the opening two races it was Michele Alboreto who emerged at the head of the Championship at the end of the visit to Portugal, the Italian establishing a three point lead. Race winners Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna were next, having taken a win apiece, but with the Frenchman positioned ahead despite being level on nine points. Fourth, meanwhile, would be occupied by Elio de Angelis, with nine drivers on the score board.
In the Constructors' Championship it was Lotus-Renault who emerged at the head of the field, the Ethel team ending the weekend on sixteen points. Ferrari were their closest challengers in second, a point behind, while McLaren-TAG Porsche were still in single figures in third. Elsewhere, Renault were in fourth ahead of Williams-Honda, while Ligier-Renault and Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth had a point apiece.
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 'Portuguese GP, 1985', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2015), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr406.html, (Accessed 22/03/2019)
- ↑ 'Brazil 1985: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1985/bresil/engages.aspx, (Accessed 22/03/2019)
- ↑ 'Portugal Grand Prix 1985 - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1985/races/483/portugal/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 22/03/2019)
- ↑ 'Portuguese Grand Prix 1985 - QUALIFYING 2', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1985/races/483/portugal/qualifying-2.html, (Accessed 22/03/2019)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 'Portugal 1985: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1985/portugal/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 22/03/2019)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 'Portugal 1985: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1985/portugal/classement.aspx, (Accessed 22/03/2019)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 '1985 Portuguese GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2015), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1985&gp=Portuguese%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 22/03/2019)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 '2. Portugal 1985', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1985/portugal.aspx, (Accessed 22/03/2019)
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