1985 Austrian Grand Prix

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.

Ayrton Senna qualified a disappointing 14th for Lotus

Race Results


Circuit - Osterreichring




Spielberg, Styria


Permanent road course


3.692 (Miles)


Nigel Mansell (Williams FW11B-Honda), 1m28.318, 150.493 mph, F1, 1987