1985 Australian Grand Prix
|Race 16 of 16 in the 1985 Formula One season|
|Date||3 November 1985|
|Official name||L Mitsubisi Australian Grand Prix|
|Location||Adelaide Street Circuit
Adelaide, South Australia
|Course||Temporary street circuit
3.780 km (2.362 mi)
|Distance||82 laps, 309.960 km (193.684 mi)|
The 1985 Australian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on a street circuit in the city of Adelaide on 3 November 1985. The Australian Grand Prix was the sixteenth and final race of the 1985 Formula One season. It was the 50th running of the AGP and the first to be held on the streets of Adelaide on a layout specifically designed for the debut of the World Championship in Australia. The race was held over 82 laps of the 3.780 km (2.362 mi) circuit for a total race distance of 310 kilometres.
The new circuit was received extremely positively with glowing reviews from those within the paddock despite the circuit's temporary nature as it wound through streets, parkland and across horse racing venue Victoria Park Racecourse immediately adjacent to the Adelaide central business district, with the drivers enjoying a street circuit that was unlike Monaco and Detroit with their endless short straights, narrow roads and hairpin or right angle corners. The Adelaide circuit was wide and fast in places, and included a 900 metre long straight (named the "Brabham Straight" for Australia's three-time World Champion Sir Jack Brabham) where the faster cars reached over 200 mph (322 km/h). The reception for the track, and the professional way in which the event was organised and executed was sufficiently positive to see the promoters awarded the Formula One Promotional Trophy for 1985.
Dual World Champion Nelson Piquet confirmed the drivers' positive view on the circuit when he said early in race week "After Dallas and Las Vagas, we all expected another bad street circuit", while his Brabham team boss and head of the Formula One Constructors Association Bernie Ecclestone told the assembled media that he believed that the standard the of the organisation and the circuit itself was bad news for Formula One, explaining that Adelaide had raised the standards of what would be expected in the future and that several tracks in Europe already on the calendar, or hoping to be, would have to lift their own games in order to match it.
The only Australian driver in the field, 1980 World Drivers' Champion Alan Jones who was driving the Haas Lola team's Lola THL1-Hart, was given the honor of driving the first Formula One car out onto the new circuit when first practice opened on the Friday morning. Jones also had the honor of having a section of track named after him, with the Rundle Road section of the track, a 350 metre straight between turns 9 and 10, renamed as the "Jones Straight" when the circuit was in use. Jones Straight led directly onto the fast Brabham Straight.
Official qualifying became a battle royal between the Williams-Honda's of Rosberg and Nigel Mansell, and the Lotus-Renault of Ayrton Senna. Rosberg took the honors on Friday with a lap of 1:22.402, only 0.001 faster than Senna, with Mansell a further 0.161 back in third. During final qualifying, Mansell looked to have pole position wrapped up with a lap of 1:20.537 in his Williams FW10, with Senna second with Rosberg another three-tenths further back in third. Senna was out on his third run with only minutes left before the end of qualifying in his black and gold Lotus 97T, powered by a special Renault qualifying engine rumored to be putting out some 1,150 bhp (858 kW; 1,166 PS), and stunned everyone with a time of 1:19.843, seven-tenths faster than Mansell, to grab his 7th pole position of the season. As such, Senna was the only driver to record a time under 1:20.
Nelson Piquet was fourth on the grid in his Brabham-BMW, World Champion elect Alain Prost was 5th in his McLaren-TAG Porsche, with the Ferrari of 1985 World Championship runner up Michele Alboreto rounding out the top six qualifiers. Outgoing World Champion Niki Lauda was 16th on the grid in his McLaren, while Alan Jones was 19th in his Lola.
The slowest qualifier for the race, Huub Rothengatter in the Osella-Alfa Romeo, was 10.473 seconds slower than Senna with a time of 1:30.319. With only 25 cars appearing for the race (the RAM and Zakspeed teams did not contest the last two races of the season), all cars that practiced qualified for the start.
The race of high attrition, which was run in 30 °C heat, was won by the 1982 World Champion, Finnish driver Keke Rosberg driving the Williams-Honda; it would turn out to be the last victory (and fastest lap) of his Formula One career. Rosberg was the only front running driver to finish strongly and one of only eight cars to be classified. It was the 5th Grand Prix win of Rosberg's career and confirmed his status as a street race specialist with three of his previous four wins being on the streets of Monaco (1983), Dallas (1984), and Detroit earlier in the 1985 season.
On the penultimate lap, Ligier-Renault driver Philippe Streiff tried to overtake his team-mate Jacques Laffite for second place and, as result of this manoeuvre, Streiff's front wheel axle was severely damaged. With fourth placed Ivan Capelli a lap down in his Tyrrell-Renault, Streiff managed to limp his Ligier JS25 home and retain third place despite only have three wheels firmly attached to the car, with the front left wheel bouncing up and down over the course of the last lap, but somehow remaining attached to the car. It would remain a career best finish for Streiff. Ligier team boss Guy Ligier, not impressed that Streiff had almost taken out both team cars at the end of the race when they were both assured of a podium finish, would not offer the Frenchman a drive for 1986.
A delayed Stefan Johansson finished fifth in his Ferrari ahead of Gerhard Berger in his Arrows-BMW. Berger performed double duty during the weekend, also driving a BMW 635 CSi during the Group A touring car support races. This was actually a breech of Formula One's driver rules which stated a driver must not take part in any motor race within the 24 hours before the start of a Grand Prix. As the Group A race was scheduled for late on the Saturday afternoon after F1 qualifying had finished (qualifying finished exactly 24 hours before race start), Berger had to obtain permission from the FIA, FOCA and his Arrows team to race the BMW. The only other finishers were Huub Rothengatter (Osella) and Pierluigi Martini (Minardi), both of whom were four laps behind Rosberg. Martin Brundle's Tyrrell was running at the end, but Brundle was 33 laps down on Rosberg and was not classified as a finisher.
Every car qualified for the race. With RAM Racing and Zakspeed not making the journey to Australia (or to the previous race in South Africa), there would not be a cut-off based on grid numbers. Early in the race Elio de Angelis, driving in his last race for Lotus, was disqualified for regaining his original grid position after being delayed on the parade lap. The race was the 100th World Championship start for 1980 World Champion Alan Jones. Jones (along with Alain Prost) was one of two drivers to have won the Australian Grand Prix previously (Jones in 1980 and Prost in 1982). Jones' Lola retired on lap 20 with failed electrics following a typically fiery drive through to 6th place after stalling at the start and being dead last at the end of the first lap, while Prost retired with engine failure on lap 26. It was also the last race for outgoing world champion Niki Lauda. His McLaren ended in the fence with damage to the front left after a brake failure at the end of the long Brabham Straight.
Fittingly Lauda's career ended while he was in the lead of a Grand Prix. Lauda and race winner Rosberg were the only drivers in the field who had actually competed in the non-championship 1984 Australian Grand Prix which was held for Formula Pacific cars.
Both Alfa Romeo and Renault had their last Grand Prix as a constructor in the turbo era. As of 2013 Alfa have never returned to Grand Prix racing (Alfa was purchased by Fiat from the Italian government in 1986, which is the same company that owns Ferrari) while Renault would return in 2002 following their purchase the Benetton team. It was also the last Grand Prix for the Toleman team as Toleman. The team would continue in 1986 but would be renamed Benetton after being purchased by their main sponsors, the Italian Benetton Group. All six cars (the Alfa Romeo 184TB's of Riccardo Patrese and Eddie Cheever, the Renault RE60's of Patrick Tambay and Derek Warwick and the Toleman TG185's of Teo Fabi and Piercarlo Ghinzani) failed to finish the last F1 race for their teams.
McLaren-TAG Porsche and Ferrari came into this race fighting for the Constructor's Championship
- McLaren-TAG Porsche (90pts) needed either
- 2nd (or 3rd and 6th) or better
- 4th (or 5th and 6th) with the Ferraris 1st and 3rd or lower
- 5th with the Ferraris 1st and 4th or lower
- 6th with the Ferraris 1st and 5th or lower
- the Ferraris scoring 1st and 6th or lower
- Ferrari (80pts) needed either
- 1st and 2nd with the McLarens scoring fewer than 5pts
- 1st and 3rd with the McLarens scoring fewer than 3pts
- 1st and 4th with the McLarens 6th or lower
- 1st and 5th with the McLaren 7th or lower
|10||11||Elio de Angelis||Lotus-Renault||1:24.543||1:23.077||+3.244|
|13||23||Eddie Cheever||Alfa Romeo||1:23.597||1:24.295||+3.764|
|14||22||Riccardo Patrese||Alfa Romeo||1:23.758||1:24.128||+3.925|
|23||29||Pierluigi Martini||Minardi-Motori Moderni||1:27.196||1:27.402||+7.363|
|25||24||Huub Rothengatter||Osella-Alfa Romeo||1:30.319||+10.486|
|2||26||Jacques Laffite||Ligier-Renault||82||+ 43.130||20||6|
|3||25||Philippe Streiff||Ligier-Renault||82||+ 1:28.536||18||4|
|4||4||Ivan Capelli||Tyrrell-Renault||81||+ 1 Lap||22||3|
|5||28||Stefan Johansson||Ferrari||81||+ 1 Lap||15||2|
|6||17||Gerhard Berger||Arrows-BMW||81||+ 1 Lap||7||1|
|7||24||Huub Rothengatter||Osella-Alfa Romeo||78||+ 4 Laps||25|
|8||29||Pierluigi Martini||Minardi-Motori Moderni||78||+ 4 Laps||23|
|NC||3||Martin Brundle||Tyrrell-Renault||49||Not Classified||17|
|Ret||22||Riccardo Patrese||Alfa Romeo||42||Exhaust||14|
|Ret||18||Thierry Boutsen||Arrows-BMW||37||Oil Leak||11|
|DSQ||11||Elio de Angelis||Lotus-Renault||18||Disqualified||10|
|Ret||23||Eddie Cheever||Alfa Romeo||5||Engine||13|
- Lap Leaders: Keke Rosberg 71 (1-41, 44-52, 62-82); Ayrton Senna 9 (42-43, 53-55, 58-61); Niki Lauda 2 (56-57)
Standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. Only the best 11 results counted towards the Drivers' Championship. Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.
- Hamilton, Maurice (ed.) (1985). AUTOCOURSE 1985-86. Hazleton Publishing. p. 260. ISBN 0-905138-38-4.
- Joining grid position after delay on warming up lap instead of starting from back of grid. According to Anthony, Pritchard (March 2006). Lotus: The Competition Cars. Haynes Publishing. p. 245. ISBN 1-84425-006-7.
Unless otherwise indicated, all race results are taken from "The Official Formula 1 website". Retrieved 2007-06-17.
1985 South African Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1986 Brazilian Grand Prix
1984 Australian Grand Prix
|Australian Grand Prix||Next race:
1986 Australian Grand Prix
1984 Detroit Grand Prix
|Formula One Promotional Trophy
for Race Promoter
1986 Mexican Grand Prix