1985 Austrian Grand Prix

The 1985 Austrian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Österreichring on 18 August 1985. It was the tenth race of the 1985 Formula One World Championship. It was the 25th Austrian Grand Prix and the 24th to be held at Österreichring. The race was run over 52 laps of the 5.94-kilometre (3.69 mi) circuit for a total race distance of 308.9 kilometres (191.9 mi).

1985 Austrian Grand Prix
Race 10 of 16 in the 1985 Formula One World Championship
The Österreichring (last modified in 1977)
The Österreichring (last modified in 1977)
Race details
Date 18 August 1985
Official name XXIII Holiday Großer Preis von Osterreich
Location Österreichring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 5.942 km (3.692 miles)
Distance 52 laps, 308.984 km (191.994 miles)
Weather Dry
Pole position
Driver McLaren-TAG
Time 1:25.490
Fastest lap
Driver France Alain Prost McLaren-TAG
Time 1:29.241 on lap 39
First McLaren-TAG
Second Lotus-Renault
Third Ferrari
Lap leaders

The race was won by Frenchman Alain Prost, driving a McLaren-TAG, after he started from pole position. Prost took his fourth victory of the season by 30 seconds from Brazilian Ayrton Senna in a Lotus-Renault, with Italian Michele Alboreto third in a Ferrari. With the win, Prost moved level on points with Alboreto at the top of the Drivers' Championship.

This was the last F1 race until the start of 1987 in which a car with a naturally aspirated engine was entered, Martin Brundle failing to qualify his Cosworth-powered Tyrrell.

Race summaryEdit

Missing from the grid was RAM driver Manfred Winkelhock who had been killed in a sportscar race in Canada just a week before. His place was taken in the team by Kenny Acheson for his first Formula One race since the 1983 South African Grand Prix.

A second Toleman was driven by Piercarlo Ghinzani.

Before Saturday morning practice triple and defending World Champion (and 1984 Austrian Grand Prix winner) Niki Lauda, flanked by a very unhappy McLaren team boss Ron Dennis, announced to the media that he would be retiring for good from Formula One following the season ending Australian Grand Prix to concentrate on running his airline Lauda Air. Dennis was reportedly unhappy as he had paid Lauda a considerable amount of money to make his F1 comeback in 1982 and he had unsuccessfully tried to get Lauda to continue racing into the 1986 season.

A now relaxed Lauda gave his home fans something to cheer about when he qualified a season-high third. Lauda's team mate Alain Prost captured pole position, averaging 155.478 mph (250.219 km/h), followed by Nigel Mansell (Williams-Honda), Lauda, Keke Rosberg (Williams) and Nelson Piquet (Brabham-BMW). After a troubled qualifying, Senna only qualified 14th on the grid in his Lotus-Renault.

The race was restarted after one lap (with Niki Lauda having made a great start from third on the grid to lead Prost as the race was stopped). Mansell had got away very slowly in his Williams, but behind him Teo Fabi in the Toleman-Hart barely moved. Elio de Angelis (Lotus) dived left to avoid Fabi and was hit by the Ferrari of Alboreto. Fabi suffered damage as did the Arrows-BMW of the second Austrian driver in the race Gerhard Berger. Luckily for those with damaged cars (especially championship leader Alboreto) the first lap was declared null and void and the race was completely restarted meaning those with damaged cars were permitted to start in the team spares. Lucky too was Prost who was able to change cars after his McLaren had developed a misfire. Piercarlo Ghinzani became a non-starter in his Toleman after team mate Fabi took over the spare TG185 for the race as he had qualified 6th while Ghinzani started 19th. This left Ghinzani without a drive.

On lap 13 Andrea de Cesaris survived one of the biggest crashes ever seen in Formula One when his Ligier-Renault got sideways at the left hand Panorama Curve and slid onto the outside grass at high speed. The grass, wet from overnight rain caused the Ligier to initially slide sideways before his right rear hit a slight bank launching the car into a series of rolls with de Cesaris's head bouncing around freely in the cockpit. Somehow as soon as the Ligier came to a rest (thankfully the right way up), de Cesaris undid his seat belts and walked away with nothing more than a mud-splattered helmet and driving suit.[1] When he returned to the pits, the Ligier team had not yet seen a replay of the accident, and de Cesaris told the team that the car had stalled and wouldn't restart. However, the crash was the end for de Cesaris at Ligier, with team owner Guy Ligier firing the Italian after he saw a replay of the crash stating "I can no longer afford to keep employing this man" referring to the constant repair bills from de Cesaris's crashes since he joined the team in 1984.

With his 20th career victory, Prost moved into a shared lead in the World Drivers' Championship alongside Alboreto, with each having 50 points. After a string of non-finishes since his win in the second race of the season in Portugal, Senna drove a great race into second from a lowly (for him) 14th on the grid, with Alboreto finishing third in the spare Ferrari to retain his lead in the World Championship (now shared with Prost). Stefan Johansson (Ferrari), Elio de Angelis, and Marc Surer (Brabham), completed the points-scoring finishers.



Pos No Driver Constructor Q1 Q2 Gap
1 2   Alain Prost McLaren-TAG 1:25.490 no time
2 5   Nigel Mansell Williams-Honda 1:26.453 1:26.052 +0.562
3 1   Niki Lauda McLaren-TAG 1:26.250 1:26.727 +0.760
4 6   Keke Rosberg Williams-Honda 1:26.333 1:26.762 +0.843
5 7   Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW 1:26.568 1:26.404 +0.914
6 19   Teo Fabi Toleman-Hart 1:26.664 11:12.639 +1.174
7 11   Elio de Angelis Lotus-Renault 1:26.799 no time +1.309
8 15   Patrick Tambay Renault 1:27.722 1:27.502 +2.012
9 27   Michele Alboreto Ferrari 1:29.774 1:27.516 +2.026
10 22   Riccardo Patrese Alfa Romeo 1:29.485 1:27.851 +2.361
11 8   Marc Surer Brabham-BMW 1:27.954 1:50.796 +2.464
12 28   Stefan Johansson Ferrari 1:28.134 1:27.961 +2.471
13 16   Derek Warwick Renault 1:30.602 1:28.006 +2.516
14 12   Ayrton Senna Lotus-Renault 1:28.123 3:04.856 +2.633
15 26   Jacques Laffite Ligier-Renault 1:29.181 1:28.249 +2.759
16 18   Thierry Boutsen Arrows-BMW 1:28.617 1:28.262 +2.772
17 17   Gerhard Berger Arrows-BMW 1:28.566 1:28.762 +3.076
18 25   Andrea de Cesaris Ligier-Renault 1:28.666 no time +3.176
19 20   Piercarlo Ghinzani Toleman-Hart 1:28.894 no time +3.404
20 23   Eddie Cheever Alfa Romeo 1:29.031 1:29.608 +3.541
21 10   Philippe Alliot RAM-Hart 1:32.766 1:29.827 +4.337
22 3   Stefan Bellof Tyrrell-Renault 1:31.022 1:30.514 +5.024
23 9   Kenny Acheson RAM-Hart no time 1:35.072 +9.582
24 24   Huub Rothengatter Osella-Alfa Romeo 1:35.329 1:58.090 +9.839
25 30   Jonathan Palmer Zakspeed 1:36.060 1:35.787 +10.297
26 29   Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Motori Moderni 10:36.417 1:36.765 +11.275
DNQ 4   Martin Brundle Tyrrell-Ford 1:39.247 1:37.317 +11.827


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 2   Alain Prost McLaren-TAG 52 1:20:12.583 1 9
2 12   Ayrton Senna Lotus-Renault 52 + 30.002 14 6
3 27   Michele Alboreto Ferrari 52 + 34.356 9 4
4 28   Stefan Johansson Ferrari 52 + 39.073 12 3
5 11   Elio de Angelis Lotus-Renault 52 + 1:22.092 7 2
6 8   Marc Surer Brabham-BMW 51 + 1 lap 11 1
7 3   Stefan Bellof Tyrrell-Renault 49 Out of fuel 22  
8 18   Thierry Boutsen Arrows-BMW 49 + 3 laps 16  
9 24   Huub Rothengatter Osella-Alfa Romeo 48 + 4 laps 24  
10 15   Patrick Tambay Renault 46 Engine 8  
Ret 26   Jacques Laffite Ligier-Renault 43 Accident 15  
Ret 29   Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Motori Moderni 40 Suspension 26  
Ret 1   Niki Lauda McLaren-TAG 39 Engine 3  
Ret 17   Gerhard Berger Arrows-BMW 33 Turbo 17  
Ret 19   Teo Fabi Toleman-Hart 31 Electrical 6  
Ret 16   Derek Warwick Renault 29 Engine 13  
Ret 10   Kenny Acheson RAM-Hart 28 Engine 23  
Ret 7   Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW 26 Exhaust 5  
Ret 5   Nigel Mansell Williams-Honda 25 Engine 2  
Ret 22   Riccardo Patrese Alfa Romeo 25 Engine 10  
Ret 30   Jonathan Palmer Zakspeed 17 Engine 25  
Ret 9   Philippe Alliot RAM-Hart 16 Turbo 21  
Ret 25   Andrea de Cesaris Ligier-Renault 13 Accident 18  
Ret 23   Eddie Cheever Alfa Romeo 6 Turbo 20  
Ret 6   Keke Rosberg Williams-Honda 4 Oil pressure 4  
DNS 20   Piercarlo Ghinzani Toleman-Hart 0 Car raced by Fabi 19  

Championship standings after the raceEdit

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


  1. ^ Andrea de Cesaris crashes out of the 1985 Austrian Grand Prix on YouTube
  2. ^ "1985 Austrian Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 18 February 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Austria 1985 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 7 March 2019.

Previous race:
1985 German Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1985 season
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1985 Dutch Grand Prix
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1984 Austrian Grand Prix
Austrian Grand Prix Next race:
1986 Austrian Grand Prix