1985 Belgian Grand Prix
- Sunday, September 15, 1985
- Grand Prix de Belgique
- F1 World Championship
Spa-Francorchamps, September 15th.
It was with some trepidation that the Formula One “circus” re-assembled in the paddock of the splendid Circuit Nationale de Francorchamps for a re-run of the 1985 Belgian Grand Prix that had been abandoned back in June when the Formula One cars tore up the newly-laid surface. Since then the whole circuit has been resurfaced at enormous cost and effort, using a normal tarmac-mix instead of the “trick” water-repellant one that had not worked. The motorcycle grand prix, a 24 hour saloon car race and a sports car endurance race had all been held on the new surface without any problems arising so all augured well. But the Haute Fagnes and the edge of the Ardennes in mid-September was another matter and weather reports were being studied carefully. Add to this the fact that practice was due to start on Friday the Thirteenth and that two drivers who were here in June are no longer with us, while a third was in hospital and it is easy to see why some people were a little apprehensive.
The normal entry was slightly depleted by the Tyrrell team only entering Martin Brµndle, though he had two Renault-powered Tyrrell cars to utilise, and the RAM team withdrew its entry for Kenny Acheson due to a shortage of spare Hart 415T engines following the Italian Grand Prix the week before. The new team sponsored by the Beatrice Group could not enter Alan Jones with its Hart-powered car for this re-run as it had not entered the original event last June. During Friday morning in the test-session Niki Lauda damaged a wrist when a sticking throttle on his McLaren-Porsche caught him out and spun him into the barriers. The car was not badly damaged but Lauda flew away to Vienna to have his injury looked at and did not return. There was talk of replacing him with John Watson, who happened to be ”passing through”, but it would have needed the agreement of all the other teams and Ron Dennis has made some enemies within the ranks recently and it now showed. All this meant there were only 24 drivers for qualifying, so providing everyone went fairly quickly there were no problems about the starting grid, only the question of where everyone would be.
Permanent road course
Alain Prost (Williams FW15C-Renault), 1m51.095, 139.729 mph, F1, 1993
First Race1925 Belgian Grand Prix