1985 Austrian Grand Prix
- Sunday, August 18, 1985
- Grosser Preis von Osterreich
- F1 World Championship
In the pit lane there was a sadness at the Ioss of Manfred Winkelhock, killed in a sports car race in Canada the previous weekend and John Macdonald had been forced to do some quick regrouping within the RAM team. Philippe Alliot took over car number 9 and Kenny Acheson was brought in to drive car number 10. After Teo Fabi’s pole Position on Pirelli tyres at the German Grand Prix the Italian tyre company decided they could produce enough tyres for the Toleman team to run a second car, so the amiable Piercarlo Ghinzani was entered with the second TG185. With everyone present and correct it meant there were 27 drivers for practice and qualifying and as the rules limit the number of starters to 26 it meant that somebody was going to get left out. You did not need to know much about Formula One to know that it was going to be Martin Brundle with the lone 3-litre Cosworth-powered Tyrrell, no matter how well he drove, except that it only wanted a slight falter on the part of the tail end runners and Brundle would be in 26th place, for he was ready to drive the Tyrrell 012 just as hard as it would go.
The Brabham team had a brand new BT54 for Marc Surer and the FISA scrutineers objected to the cockpit controlled vane that could change the direction of the air flow inside the left-hand side pod, to alter the flow through the coolers. This device had been used in the German GP to vary the temperature messages being sent to the electronic engine management system, in the interests of fuel consumption, but now FISA had declared it to be a “movable aerodynamic device” and as such it was illegal, so was removed from all three cars. Renault had a brand new RE60B car as the team spare and in spite of being in the wilderness of technical progress they still found time to start the Friday morning test-session with a cine camera mounted on the nose of one of their cars, though they were not attempting any more direct television stunts with an extra car, as they had done in Germany. Lotus had decided that Senna’s drive-shaft joint failure in Germany had been caused by a new design of rear upright, so an even newer one was being tried.
Friday morning was superb as everyone juggled with tyres, aerodynamics, fore and aft loadings, brakes and engine power to arrive at a good compromise for race conditions and the maximum of everything for the afternoon qualifying session. As always happens trouble intervened to upset the best laid plans and it could be seen at both ends of the pit lane. At the top end Alboreto’s Ferrari blew up in a big way and caught fire briefly and at the bottom end Alliot’s RAM was all in bits having broken its gearbox. In between Tambay had abandoned his Renault out on the circuit and Senna’s Lotus had devoured one of the turbo-charger units on its Renault engine. In the Williams pits there seemed to be more Honda people than Williams people, and since the introduction of the completely revised V6 engine at mid-season the Honda element has grown dramatically and become a very powerful force on the scene.
Permanent road course
Nigel Mansell (Williams FW11B-Honda), 1m28.318, 150.493 mph, F1, 1987
First Race1969 Austrian Grand Prix