1985 South African Grand Prix
|Race 15 of 16 in the 1985 Formula One season|
|Date||19 October 1985|
Gauteng, South Africa
|Course||Permanent racing facility
4.104 km (2.55 mi)
|Distance||75 laps, 308.8 km (191.248 mi)|
|Time||1:08.149 on lap 74|
The 1985 South African Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 19 October 1985 at the Kyalami Circuit in South Africa. It was the fifteenth and penultimate round of the 1985 Formula One season.
The race was marked with some teams boycotting the event due to apartheid -- the segregation of blacks and whites -- and was the last South African Formula One race until apartheid ended in 1992. The race was won by Nigel Mansell in a Williams, who also took pole position.
The event was boycotted by several Formula One teams, namely Ligier and Renault due to mounting international pressures against tolerating the country's system of apartheid. French teams Ligier and Renault's boycotts were in lockstep with the French government's boycott and sanctioning of South Africa, apparently doing so under pressure. Most of the Formula One drivers, including Alain Prost, Niki Lauda and Nigel Mansell were personally very much against racing in South Africa, but the drivers held the mentality that because they were contracted to drive at every Grand Prix, they would race at Kyalami.
Finland and Sweden held similar reservations regarding Finn Keke Rosberg and Swede Stefan Johansson competing. Sweden's National Automobile Federation had announced Johansson could not race in South Africa before the event, but he did race.
It was the final South African Grand Prix until apartheid ended, with FIA president Jean-Marie Balestre announcing days after the race that a grand prix would not return to the nation because of apartheid.
The South African Grand Prix would only return in 1992, after the apartheid ended, in a new configuration of the Kyalami circuit. Nigel Mansell, driving a V10 Williams-Renault, would also win the race when it returned to the Grand Prix calendar in 1992.
Pole position went to Nigel Mansell, averaging 147.201 mph (236.898 km/h).
|6||11||Elio de Angelis||Lotus-Renault||1:04.611||1:04.129||+1.763|
|12||22||Riccardo Patrese||Alfa Romeo||1:06.386||1:04.948||+2.582|
|14||23||Eddie Cheever||Alfa Romeo||1:07.159||1:05.260||+2.894|
|19||29||Pierluigi Martini||Minardi-Motori Moderni||1:10.025||1:08.658||+6.292|
|20||24||Huub Rothengatter||Osella-Alfa Romeo||1:09.904||1:09.873||+7.507|
|2||6||Keke Rosberg||Williams-Honda||75||+ 7.572||3||6|
|3||2||Alain Prost||McLaren-TAG||74||+ 1 Lap||9||4|
|4||28||Stefan Johansson||Ferrari||74||+ 1 Lap||16||3|
|5||17||Gerhard Berger||Arrows-BMW||74||+ 1 Lap||11||2|
|6||18||Thierry Boutsen||Arrows-BMW||74||+ 1 Lap||10||1|
|7||3||Martin Brundle||Tyrrell-Renault||73||+ 2 Laps||17|
|Ret||11||Elio de Angelis||Lotus-Renault||52||Engine||6|
|Ret||29||Pierluigi Martini||Minardi-Motori Moderni||45||Radiator||20|
|Ret||24||Huub Rothengatter||Osella-Alfa Romeo||1||Electrical||21|
|Ret||22||Riccardo Patrese||Alfa Romeo||0||Collision||12|
|Ret||23||Eddie Cheever||Alfa Romeo||0||Collision||14|
- This was the last Formula One Grand Prix to take place on a day other than Sunday (the race took place on a Saturday).
- First points - Gerhard Berger (Berger finished 6th in the 1984 Italian Grand Prix, but was ineligible to score points as he was driving the second car of the ATS Team, which had only entered one car in the championship.)
- Last F1 race to take place on the original 4.104 km (2.55 mi) Kyalami circuit, and the last South African Grand Prix until 1992.
- Philippe Streiff drove for Tyrrell at Kyalami replacing Ivan Capelli. Streiff's Ligier team had boycotted the race but the team 'loaned' him to Tyrrell for the Grand Prix. Streiff would go on to join Tyrrell for 1986 and 1987.
- Both Alfa Romeo drivers were taken out at Crowthorne (the first corner) on the first lap right after the start-the Toleman of Piercarlo Ghinzani was between both Alfas and he touched Riccardo Patrese on the right side and he went flying into Eddie Cheever on the left side of Ghinzani. Ghinzani's on-track behavior proved to be troublesome for other drivers; his Toleman's Hart engine blew up spectacularly and he dropped oil on the racing line at a few corners, particularly at Crowthorne- Williams driver Keke Rosberg slipped on Ghinzani's oil and spun off there; which gave his teammate Nigel Mansell the lead, although Rosberg was able to continue on to an eventual 2nd place.
- Alan Jones had qualified his Lola in 18th place, but failed to take the start after coming down with the flu. Despite Jones looking unwell during qualifying, it didn't stop rumors that the Haas Lola team had pulled out of the race as part of the political boycott. The rumors were denied by both the team and Jones.
- Carlos Reutemann drove the medical support car during this race. Sid Watkins stated in his autobiography that the car used was "borrowed" from a public car park next to the paddock as Reutemann had broken both of the cars set aside for this task by the race organisers. Video clips of the start of the race show just how underpowered the borrowed saloon car was.
 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.
- Walker, Rob (February 1986). "Tiger, Tiger". Road & Track (New York, United States: Hachette Filipacchi Médias) 37 (6): 122.
- Paskman, Ken (1985-10-24). "Auto Racing". Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Florida, United States: Tribune Company) (3 Star Edition): B.2.
- Martin, Gordon (1985-09-17). "The Apartheid Controversy Reaches Formula 1 Racing". San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, California, United States: Hearst Communications) (Final Edition): 63.
- "Injury shelves Lauda". The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec, Canada: CanWest Global Communications) (Final Edition): C.12. 1985-09-27.
Unless otherwise indicated, all race results are taken from "The Official Formula 1 website". Retrieved 2007-06-17.
1985 European Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1985 Australian Grand Prix
1984 South African Grand Prix
|South African Grand Prix||Next race:
1992 South African Grand Prix