1985 French Grand Prix

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1985 French Grand Prix
Race 7 of 16 in the 1985 Formula One World Championship
Circuit Paul Ricard Le Castellet 1970-1999.png
Race details
Date 7 July 1985
Official name 71e Grand Prix de France[1]
Location Circuit Paul Ricard
Le Castellet, Var, France
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 5.810[2] km (3.610 mi)
Distance 53 laps, 307.928[2] km (191.338 mi)
Weather Dry, hot[2]
Pole position
Driver Williams-Honda
Time 1:32.462
Fastest lap
Driver Finland Keke Rosberg Williams-Honda
Time 1:39.914 on lap 46
Podium
First Brabham-BMW
Second Williams-Honda
Third McLaren-TAG

The 1985 French Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Paul Ricard on 7 July 1985. It was the seventh race of the 1985 FIA Formula One World Championship. It was the 63rd French Grand Prix and the ninth to be held at Paul Ricard. The race was held over 53 laps of the 5.81-kilometre (3.61 mi) circuit for a total race distance of 307.93 kilometres (191.34 mi).

The race was won by Nelson Piquet, driving a Brabham-BMW. It was the 35th and final Formula One victory for the Brabham team, as well as the first F1 victory for Italian tyre manufacturer Pirelli since 1957. Keke Rosberg finished second in a Williams-Honda, having started from pole position, while Alain Prost was third in a McLaren-TAG. Prost moved to within five points of Drivers' Championship leader Michele Alboreto, who retired on lap 6 with a turbo failure.

This was to be the last French Grand Prix held on the full Paul Ricard circuit until 2018. A shorter, 3.813-kilometre (2.369 mi) circuit would be used from 1986 until 1990, following Elio de Angelis's fatal accident during a test session in May 1986.

Report[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

Qualifying saw Keke Rosberg take pole position in his Williams-Honda with a time of 1:32.462, averaging 140.561 mph (226.211 km/h), with Ayrton Senna alongside him on the front row in his Lotus-Renault. On the second row were Michele Alboreto in the Ferrari and Alain Prost in the McLaren, and on the third were Nelson Piquet in the Brabham and Niki Lauda in the second McLaren. Completing the top ten were Elio de Angelis in the second Lotus, Gerhard Berger in the Arrows, and the two factory Renaults of Patrick Tambay and Derek Warwick, Tambay driving a 'B' specification of the RE60.

Rosberg's Williams teammate, Nigel Mansell, had set a time good enough for eighth on the grid when he had a high-speed crash at the Signes corner, located at the end of the 1.8-kilometre (1.1 mi) long Mistral Straight. A puncture caused the car to plunge off the track at over 200 mph (322 km/h) and into catch fencing; one of the poles struck Mansell on the head, giving him a concussion which forced him to miss the race.

The race was also the first in which the Tyrrell team used Renault turbo engines, thus becoming the last F1 team to go over from naturally aspirated engines to turbos. However, only Martin Brundle drove the new Renault-powered 014 car, while teammate Stefan Bellof continued to use the Cosworth-powered 012. Brundle could only qualify 20th, but was still over four seconds faster than Bellof in 25th.

Race[edit]

At the start, Rosberg led away from Senna and Piquet, while Prost slipped to eighth. The early laps saw both Ligiers retire, Jacques Laffite suffering a turbo failure on lap 3 and Andrea de Cesaris dropping out with steering problems two laps later. Alboreto also suffered a turbo failure on lap 6 while running fourth.

On lap 7, Piquet overtook compatriot Senna on the Mistral Straight. He then closed up to Rosberg, who was struggling for grip, before passing him for the lead at Beausset on lap 11. At the same time, Lauda and Prost moved up to third and fourth respectively, ahead of de Angelis. On lap 21, Berger collided with the Minardi of Pierluigi Martini, putting both drivers out.

Senna, who had dropped down the order due to gearbox problems, retired in dramatic fashion on lap 27, when his engine failed and oil from it leaked onto his rear tyres, causing him to spin off into the catch fencing at Signes. He escaped with bruises. Lauda retired on lap 31 when his own gearbox failed, promoting Prost to third; Brundle also suffered a gearbox failure on lap 33.

On lap 38, by which time Piquet had extended his lead to over 20 seconds, Prost overtook Rosberg for second at the Verrerie bends. The Finn promptly pitted for new tyres, emerging in fourth behind de Angelis. He then made a charge, quickly passing the Lotus and setting the fastest lap of the race on lap 46, before retaking second from Prost on the final lap.

Up front, Piquet cruised to victory, taking the chequered flag 6.6 seconds ahead of Rosberg. Prost finished 44 seconds ahead of the second Ferrari of Stefan Johansson, who passed de Angelis for fourth on the final lap, with Tambay taking the final point for sixth.

Classification[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Q1 Q2 Gap
1 6 Finland Keke Rosberg Williams-Honda 1:33.484 1:32.462
2 12 Brazil Ayrton Senna Lotus-Renault 1:32.835 1:33.677 +0.373
3 27 Italy Michele Alboreto Ferrari 1:35.421 1:33.267 +0.805
4 2 France Alain Prost McLaren-TAG 1:33.547 1:33.335 +0.873
5 7 Brazil Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW 1:33.981 1:33.812 +1.350
6 1 Austria Niki Lauda McLaren-TAG 1:33.860 1:34.166 +1.398
7 11 Italy Elio de Angelis Lotus-Renault 1:34.022 1:34.227 +1.560
8 17 Austria Gerhard Berger Arrows-BMW 1:34.674 1:37.445 +2.212
9 15 France Patrick Tambay Renault 1:34.680 1:36.339 +2.218
10 16 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Renault 1:34.976 1:35.190 +2.514
11 18 Belgium Thierry Boutsen Arrows-BMW 1:36.051 1:35.488 +3.026
12 25 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Ligier-Renault 1:37.335 1:35.571 +3.109
13 8 Switzerland Marc Surer Brabham-BMW 1:35.572 1:35.640 +3.110
14 26 France Jacques Laffite Ligier-Renault 1:38.173 1:36.133 +3.671
15 28 Sweden Stefan Johansson Ferrari 1:37.546 1:36.140 +3.678
16 22 Italy Riccardo Patrese Alfa Romeo 1:36.729 1:38.745 +4.267
17 23 United States Eddie Cheever Alfa Romeo 1:36.931 1:38.489 +4.469
18 19 Italy Teo Fabi Toleman-Hart 1:37.142 1:37.657 +4.680
19 9 West Germany Manfred Winkelhock RAM-Hart 1:37.654 1:45.628 +5.192
20 3 United Kingdom Martin Brundle Tyrrell-Renault 1:40.486 1:40.015 +7.553
21 30 United Kingdom Jonathan Palmer Zakspeed 1:40.647 1:40.289 +7.827
22 10 France Philippe Alliot RAM-Hart 1:41.647 1:44.221 +9.185
23 24 Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani Osella-Alfa Romeo 1:42.136 1:42.968 +9.674
24 29 Italy Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Motori Moderni 1:47.523 1:44.350 +11.888
25 4 West Germany Stefan Bellof Tyrrell-Ford 1:44.404 1:45.478 +11.942
DNS 5 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Williams-Honda 1:34.191 +1.729

Race[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 7 Brazil Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW 53 1:31:46.266 5 9
2 6 Finland Keke Rosberg Williams-Honda 53 + 6.660 1 6
3 2 France Alain Prost McLaren-TAG 53 + 9.285 4 4
4 28 Sweden Stefan Johansson Ferrari 53 + 53.491 15 3
5 11 Italy Elio de Angelis Lotus-Renault 53 + 53.690 7 2
6 15 France Patrick Tambay Renault 53 + 1:15.167[3] 9 1
7 16 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Renault 53 + 1:44.212 10  
8 8 Switzerland Marc Surer Brabham-BMW 52 + 1 Lap 13  
9 18 Belgium Thierry Boutsen Arrows-BMW 52 + 1 Lap 11  
10 23 United States Eddie Cheever Alfa Romeo 52 + 1 Lap 17  
11 22 Italy Riccardo Patrese Alfa Romeo 52 + 1 Lap 16  
12 9 West Germany Manfred Winkelhock RAM-Hart 50 + 3 Laps 19  
13 4 West Germany Stefan Bellof Tyrrell-Ford 50 + 3 Laps 25  
14 19 Italy Teo Fabi Toleman-Hart 49 Fuel System 18  
15 24 Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani Osella-Alfa Romeo 49 + 4 Laps 23  
Ret 3 United Kingdom Martin Brundle Tyrrell-Renault 32 Gearbox 20  
Ret 1 Austria Niki Lauda McLaren-TAG 30 Gearbox 6  
Ret 12 Brazil Ayrton Senna Lotus-Renault 26 Engine/Accident[4] 2  
Ret 17 Austria Gerhard Berger Arrows-BMW 20 Accident 8  
Ret 29 Italy Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Motori Moderni 19 Accident 24  
Ret 10 France Philippe Alliot RAM-Hart 8 Fuel System 22  
Ret 30 United Kingdom Jonathan Palmer Zakspeed 6 Engine 21  
Ret 27 Italy Michele Alboreto Ferrari 5 Turbo 3  
Ret 25 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Ligier-Renault 4 Steering 12  
Ret 26 France Jacques Laffite Ligier-Renault 2 Turbo 14  
DNS 5 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Williams-Honda Driver Injured  
Source:[5]

Lap leaders[edit]

Keke Rosberg 10 (1–10), Nelson Piquet 43 (11–53).

Championship standings after the race[edit]

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Motor Racing Programme Covers: 1985". The Programme Covers Project. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "French Grand Prix". MotorSport. August 1985. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  3. ^ Hamilton, Maurice (ed.) (1985). AUTOCOURSE 1985–86. Hazleton Publishing. p. 242. ISBN 0-905138-38-4.
  4. ^ Pritchard, Anthony (March 2006). Lotus: The Competition Cars. Haynes Publishing. p. 245. ISBN 1-84425-006-7.
  5. ^ "1985 French Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 18 February 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2015.


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