1985 French Grand Prix

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France  1985 French Grand Prix
Race details
Race 7 of 16 in the 1985 FIA Formula One World Championship
Circuit Paul Ricard Le Castellet 1970-1999.png
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 5.81 km (3.61 mi)
Distance 53 laps, 307.93 km (191.33 mi)
Weather Dry
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 time the full Paul Ricard circuit was used for the French Grand Prix. A shorter, 3.813-kilometre (2.369 mi) circuit would be used from the 1986 race onwards, following Elio de Angelis' 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 team-mate, 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 team-mate 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.

As the laps went on, the hot weather began to affect some of the cars. Ligier's Jacques Laffite suffered an engine failure on lap 3, before team-mate Andrea de Cesaris dropped out two laps later with steering problems. On lap 6, Alboreto suffered a turbo failure.

On lap 7, Piquet overtook compatriot Senna on the Mistral Straight, before passing Rosberg for the lead at Beausset four laps later. He then started to pull away from the Finn, who had wrecked his tires pushing hard early on. Berger later retired on lap 20 after a collision with Pierluigi Martini.

Senna pitted with gearbox problems and slipped out of contention. Lauda and Prost both passed de Angelis with some difficulty, before catching up to and battling with Rosberg. Although the McLarens were faster, the more powerful Honda engine in Rosberg's Williams allowed him to pull away on the faster parts of the circuit. While this battle continued, Piquet pulled further away.

While pushing hard to make up time, Senna had a huge accident at Signes. His engine failed, and oil from it leaked onto the Lotus's rear tyres, causing the car to spin off into the catch fencing at high speed. Senna escaped with bruises.

The Rosberg/Lauda/Prost battle continued until lap 31 when Lauda's gearbox failed. Prost finally got by Rosberg later on at the Verriere bends; and the pace started to hot up as Prost began to push very hard, catching Piquet (who was now 23 seconds ahead) at 1.5 to 2 seconds a lap. Rosberg then went into the pits for new rubber and he stormed after Prost and Piquet.

But Piquet, with BMW power and his Pirelli tyres working well for the first time in the season, was able to hold off both Prost and Rosberg to take what would be Brabham's last victory. Rosberg caught and passed Prost (who had eased his pace) on the last lap. Stefan Johansson took fourth place in the second Ferrari, just ahead of de Angelis, with Tambay in the Renault taking the final point.

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 16 3
5 11 Italy Elio de Angelis Lotus-Renault 53 + 53.690 7 2
6 15 France Patrick Tambay Renault 53 + 1:15.167[2] 10 1
7 16 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Renault 53 + 1:44.212 11  
8 8 Switzerland Marc Surer Brabham-BMW 52 + 1 Lap 14  
9 18 Belgium Thierry Boutsen Arrows-BMW 52 + 1 Lap 12  
10 23 United States Eddie Cheever Alfa Romeo 52 + 1 Lap 18  
11 22 Italy Riccardo Patrese Alfa Romeo 52 + 1 Lap 17  
12 9 West Germany Manfred Winkelhock RAM-Hart 50 + 3 Laps 20  
13 4 West Germany Stefan Bellof Tyrrell-Ford 50 + 3 Laps 26  
14 19 Italy Teo Fabi Toleman-Hart 49 Fuel System 19  
15 24 Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani Osella-Alfa Romeo 49 + 4 Laps 24  
Ret 3 United Kingdom Martin Brundle Tyrrell-Renault 32 Gearbox 21  
Ret 1 Austria Niki Lauda McLaren-TAG 30 Gearbox 6  
Ret 12 Brazil Ayrton Senna Lotus-Renault 26 Engine/Accident[3] 2  
Ret 17 Austria Gerhard Berger Arrows-BMW 20 Accident 9  
Ret 29 Italy Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Motori Moderni 19 Accident 25  
Ret 10 France Philippe Alliot RAM-Hart 8 Fuel System 23  
Ret 30 United Kingdom Jonathan Palmer Zakspeed 6 Engine 22  
Ret 27 Italy Michele Alboreto Ferrari 5 Turbo 3  
Ret 25 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Ligier-Renault 4 Steering 13  
Ret 26 France Jacques Laffite Ligier-Renault 2 Turbo 15  
DNS 5 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Williams-Honda 0 Driver Injured 8  
Source:[4]

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. ^ Hamilton, Maurice (ed.) (1985). AUTOCOURSE 1985-86. Hazleton Publishing. p. 242. ISBN 0-905138-38-4. 
  3. ^ Pritchard, Anthony (March 2006). Lotus: The Competition Cars. Haynes Publishing. p. 245. ISBN 1-84425-006-7. 
  4. ^ "1985 French Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 18 February 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2015. 


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1985 Detroit Grand Prix
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1985 British Grand Prix
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1986 French Grand Prix