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The 1985 South African Grand Prix, officially known as the XIX Southern Sun Hotels Grand Prix of South Africa, was the fifteenth and penultimate round of the 1985 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Kyalami Circuit in South Africa on the 19 October 1985.[1] The race would be one of the more controversial in F1's history, and would be the last South African Grand Prix to be staged before the end of apartheid.[1]

Indeed, the decision to race in South Africa had been made fairly late by Jean-Marie Balestre and FISA, with numerous countries having placed sanctions on South Africa as a result of the aforementioned apartheid.[2] Indeed, France encouraged their two representatives on the F1 grid, Renault and Ligier to boycott the race, while Brazil tried to encourage their drivers Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna to sit it out as well.[2] Most of the other teams and drivers cited their contracts with FISA and FOCA, as well as the Concorde Agreement, as their reason for taking part.[2]

Ultimately the field would be further reduced by travel costs, leaving 21 drivers to take part across the weekend.[1] Qualifying would see Nigel Mansell sweep to pole ahead of Piquet, while Keke Rosberg and Senna shared the second row.[1] New World Champion Alain Prost, meanwhile, would start from ninth behind teammate and out-going Champion Niki Lauda.[1]

The field would be further reduced on race morning, with Alan Jones withdrawing after feeling unwell overnight.[1] The start saw the field further thinned as Riccardo Patrese and Eddie Cheever bounced their Alfa Romeos off one-another, with Patrese sent skating into the back of Piercarlo Ghinzani.[1]

At the head of the field, meanwhile, Mansell would ace his getaway to claim an early lead, while Rosberg dropped down to sixth after missing a hear.[1] Marc Surer, meanwhile, would make a strong start to run in fifth, but was soon shuffled down the order during the opening tour.[1]

The race soon developed into one of attrition, with Piquet dropping out of second early on after an engine failure.[1] Rosberg, meanwhile, would take advantage of a ferocious fight between the two Lotus-Renaults to grab second, and duly went chasing off after Mansell as Senna and Elio de Angelis squabbled for third.[1]

Indeed, Rosberg would briefly lead the race after catching Mansell, although a spin on an oil slick left by Ghinzani dropped the Finn back down to fifth.[1] Quick fire retirements moments before had seen Senna and Michele Alboreto drop out of the running, leaving Mansell leading from Prost, Lauda, de Angelis and Rosberg, with the field reduced to just ten cars in the space of seventeen laps.[1]

Rosberg would have to wait until the stops to make any progress on the McLarens, having already passed de Angelis, although he would be gifted third when Lauda's turbo failed just before half-distance.[1] The Finn would, however, manage to catch and pass Prost, before again sprinting off after Mansell out front.[1]

Ultimately, however, there would be no further changes for the podium spots, with Mansell able to cruise home eight seconds clear of teammate Rosberg to claim his second victory in two races.[1] Prost, meanwhile, would come home third a lap down, while a late retirement for de Angelis promoted Stefan Johansson into fourth.[1]

A few days after the race FISA president Balestre would announce that F1 would not return to South Africa again until the apartheid was lifted.[2] The series would ultimately remain true to the Frenchman's word, with South Africa having to wait until 1992 to host a Grand Prix again.[2]

BackgroundEdit

Fourth place at the European Grand Prix had proved more than enough for Alain Prost to claim his maiden World Championship, the Frenchman becoming the first man from La République to claim the crown. Indeed, Michele Alboreto would have to settle for second after his retirement at Brands Hatch, with the Italian holding a healthy fifteen point advantage over third placed Ayrton Senna arriving at Kyalami. The Brazilian himself, meanwhile, could secure his first top-three Championship finish in South Africa, if he could outscore teammate Elio de Angelis.

In the Constructors' Championship it was advantage McLaren-TAG Porsche with two rounds to go, with the Anglo-German effort needing to outscore Ferrari by six points in South Africa to take the crown. Indeed, the Italian team were now under serious threat of losing second, with Lotus-Renault making a late bid for the title amid Senna's late form. The Ethel effort would arrive in Kyalami fifteen points behind the leaders, and just six off the back of the Scuderia in second, although McLaren-TAG Porsche were still favourites regardless.

Entry ListEdit

The full entry list for the 1985 South African 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 France Philippe Streiff United Kingdom Tyrrell Racing Organisation Tyrrell 014 Renault EF4B 1.5 V6t G
5 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell United Kingdom Canon Williams Honda Team Williams FW10B Honda RA163E 1.5 V6t G
6 Finland Keke Rosberg United Kingdom Canon Williams Honda Team Williams FW10B 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
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
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
20 Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani 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 Netherlands Huub Rothengatter Italy Osella Squadra Corse Osella FA1G Alfa Romeo 890T 1.5 V8t 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
33 Australia Alan Jones United States Team Haas (USA) Ltd. Lola THL1 Hart 415T 1.5 L4t G
Source:[3]

Practice OverviewEdit

QualifyingEdit

Friday QualifyingEdit

Saturday QualifyingEdit

Qualifying ResultsEdit

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

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time Gap
Q1 Q2
1 5 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell United Kingdom Williams-Honda 1:03.188 1:02.366
2 7 Brazil Nelson Piquet United Kingdom Brabham-BMW 1:03.844 1:02.490 +0.124s
3 6 Finland Keke Rosberg United Kingdom Williams-Honda 1:03.073 1:02.504 +0.138s
4 12 Brazil Ayrton Senna United Kingdom Lotus-Renault 1:04.517 1:02.825 +0.459s
5 8 Switzerland Marc Surer United Kingdom Brabham-BMW 1:05.411 1:04.088 +1.722s
6 11 Italy Elio de Angelis United Kingdom Lotus-Renault 1:04.611 1:04.129 +1.763s
7 19 Italy Teo Fabi United Kingdom Toleman-Hart 1:06.083 1:04.215 +1.849s
8 1 Austria Niki Lauda United Kingdom McLaren-TAG Porsche 1:05.357 1:04.283 +1.917s
9 2 France Alain Prost United Kingdom McLaren-TAG Porsche 1:05.757 1:04.376 +2.010s
10 18 Belgium Thierry Boutsen United Kingdom Arrows-BMW 1:05.079 1:04.518 +2.152s
11 17 Austria Gerhard Berger United Kingdom Arrows-BMW 1:06.546 1:04.780 +2.414s
12 22 Italy Riccardo Patrese Italy Alfa Romeo 1:06.386 1:04.948 +2.582s
13 20 Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani United Kingdom Toleman-Hart 1:07.800 1:05.114 +2.748s
14 23 United States Eddie Cheever Italy Alfa Romeo 1:07.159 1:05.260 +2.894s
15 27 Italy Michele Alboreto Italy Ferrari 1:05.268 1:05.757 +2.902s
16 28 Sweden Stefan Johansson Italy Ferrari 1:05.406 1:05.388 +3.022s
17 3 United Kingdom Martin Brundle United Kingdom Tyrrell-Renault 1:06.709 1:05.649 +3.283s
18* 33 Australia Alan Jones United States Lola-Hart 1:07.144 1:05.731 +3.365s
19 4 France Philippe Streiff United Kingdom Tyrrell-Renault 1:07.935 1:06.205 +3.839s
20 29 Italy Pierluigi Martini Italy Minardi-Motori Moderni 1:10.025 1:08.658 +6.292s
21 24 Netherlands Huub Rothengatter Italy Osella-Alfa Romeo 1:09.904 1:09.873 +7.507s
Source:[4][5][6]
  • 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.
  • * Jones was effectively withdrawn from the race on race morning after feeling unwell.[7]

GridEdit

Pos Pos
Driver Driver
______________
Row 1 1 ______________
Nigel Mansell 2
______________ Nelson Piquet
Row 2 3 ______________
Keke Rosberg 4
______________ Ayrton Senna
Row 3 5 ______________
Marc Surer 6
______________ Elio de Angelis
Row 4 7 ______________
Teo Fabi 8
______________ Niki Lauda
Row 5 9 ______________
Alain Prost 10
______________ Thierry Boutsen
Row 6 11 ______________
Gerhard Berger 12
______________ Riccardo Patrese
Row 7 13 ______________
Piercarlo Ghinzani 14
______________ Eddie Cheever
Row 8 15 ______________
Michele Alboreto 16
______________ Stefan Johansson
Row 9 17 ______________
Martin Brundle 18
______________ Philippe Streiff
Row 10 19 ______________
Pierluigi Martini 20
______________ Huub Rothengatter

RaceEdit

ReportEdit

ResultsEdit

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

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 5 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell United Kingdom Williams-Honda 75 1:28:22.866 1 9
2 6 Finland Keke Rosberg United Kingdom Williams-Honda 75 +7.572s 3 6
3 2 France Alain Prost United Kingdom McLaren-TAG Porsche 74 +1 Lap 9 4
4 28 Sweden Stefan Johansson Italy Ferrari 74 +1 Lap 16 3
5 17 Austria Gerhard Berger United Kingdom Arrows-BMW 74 +1 Lap 11 2
6 18 Belgium Thierry Boutsen United Kingdom Arrows-BMW 74 +1 Lap 10 1
7 3 United Kingdom Martin Brundle United Kingdom Tyrrell-Renault 73 +2 Laps 17
Ret 11 Italy Elio de Angelis United Kingdom Lotus-Renault 52 Engine 6
Ret 29 Italy Pierluigi Martini Italy Minardi-Motori Moderni 45 Radiator 20
Ret 1 Austria Niki Lauda United Kingdom McLaren-TAG Porsche 37 Turbo 8
Ret 4 France Philippe Alliot United Kingdom Tyrrell-Renault 16 Accident 19
Ret 12 Brazil Ayrton Senna United Kingdom Lotus-Renault 8 Engine 4
Ret 27 Italy Michele Alboreto Italy Ferrari 8 Turbo 15
Ret 7 Brazil Nelson Piquet United Kingdom Brabham-BMW 6 Engine 2
Ret 20 Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani United Kingdom Toleman-Hart 4 Engine 13
Ret 19 Italy Teo Fabi United Kingdom Toleman-Hart 3 Engine 7
Ret 8 Switzerland Marc Surer United Kingdom Brabham-BMW 3 Engine 5
Ret 24 Netherlands Huub Rothengatter Italy Osella-Alfa Romeo 1 Electrical 21
Ret 22 Italy Riccardo Patrese Italy Alfa Romeo 0 Collsion 12
Ret 23 United States Eddie Cheever Italy Alfa Romeo 0 Collision 14
DNS 33 Australia Alan Jones United States Lola-Hart
Source:[7]
  • T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.

MilestonesEdit

StandingsEdit

With Alain Prost already declared as Champion, and Michele Alboreto set to finish second, the interest in the Championship heading into the final round would be on the battle for third. Indeed, four drivers could mathematically take the final end-of-season podium spot, although Ayrton Senna was in the best position on 38 points. Five points separated him from teammate Elio de Angelis, while Nigel Mansell and Keke Rosberg were two further back, level on 31.

In the Constructors' Championship, however, it was still all to play for, although with a ten point lead it looked to be McLaren-TAG Porsche's title to lose. Indeed, the Anglo-German squad would need to score five points in Australia to retain their crown, with Ferrari the only team that could deny them. Yet, the Italian team would require a double podium in Oceania just to draw level with their rivals, with a one-two the only realistic chance for them to claim the crown.

World Championship for Drivers
Pos. Driver Pts. +/-
1 France Alain Prost 73
2 Italy Michele Alboreto 53
3 Brazil Ayrton Senna 38
4 Italy Elio de Angelis 33
5 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell 31 ▲1
6 Finland Keke Rosberg 31 ▼1
7 Sweden Stefan Johansson 24 ▲1
8 Brazil Nelson Piquet 21 ▼1
9 Austria Niki Lauda 14
10 Belgium Thierry Boutsen 11 ▲1
11 France Patrick Tambay 11 ▼1
12 France Jacques Laffite 10
13 Switzerland Marc Surer 5
14 United Kingdom Derek Warwick 5
15 West Germany Stefan Bellof 4
16 Italy Andrea de Cesaris 3
17 France René Arnoux 3
18 Austria Gerhard Berger 2 ▲1
World Championship for Manufacturers
Pos. Team Pts. +/-
1 United Kingdom McLaren-TAG Porsche 90
2 Italy Ferrari 80
3 United Kingdom Lotus-Renault 71
4 United Kingdom Williams-Honda 62
5 United Kingdom Brabham-BMW 26
6 France Renault 16
7 United Kingdom Arrows-BMW 13 ▲1
8 France Ligier-Renault 13 ▼1
9 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 4

Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.

ReferencesEdit

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 'South African GP, 1985', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2015), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr419.html, (Accessed 26/03/2019)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 '15. South Africa 1985', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1985/afrique-du-sud.aspx, (Accessed 26/03/2019)
  3. 'South Africa 1985: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1985/afrique-du-sud/engages.aspx, (Accessed 26/03/2019)
  4. 'Southern Sun Hotels Grand Prix 1985 - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1985/races/496/south-africa/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 26/03/2019)
  5. 'Southern Sun Hotels Grand Prix 1985 - QUALIFYING 2', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1985/races/496/south-africa/qualifying-2.html, (Accessed 26/03/2019)
  6. 'South Africa 1985: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1985/afrique-du-sud/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 26/03/2019)
  7. 7.0 7.1 'South Africa 1985: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1985/afrique-du-sud/classement.aspx, (Accessed 26/03/2019)
  8. 8.0 8.1 '1985 South African GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2015), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1985&gp=South%20African%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 26/03/2019)
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 South Africa South Africa South African Grand Prix
Circuits Prince George Circuit (1934–1963), Kyalami Circuit (1965-1993)
Rsa 1066372-k5
Championship Races 1963 • 1964 • 1965 • 1967 • 1968 • 1969 • 1970 • 1971 • 1972 • 1973 • 1974 • 1975 • 1976 • 1977 • 1978 • 1979 • 1980 • 1982 • 1983 • 1984 • 1985 • 1986–1991 • 1992 • 1993
Non-championship races 1934 • 1936 • 1937 • 1938 • 1939 • 1960 • 1960 • 1961 • 1966 • 1981
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