1986 Australian Grand Prix
- Sunday, October 26, 1986
- Foster's Australian Grand Prix
- F1 World Championship
The way in which the last two Formula 1 races of the season came together must have reminded Alain Prost of 1983. Then, apparently secure in the lead of the World Championship at the wheel of his Renault RE40, he watched with a frustrated sense of helplessness as Nelson Piquet and the Brabham-BMW partnership ate remorselessly into his points advantage. Finally, in the last race of the season, the South African Grand Prix at Kyalami, Prost lost out in his bid to take the title and the Brazilian became Champion for the second time in his career.
Up until 1985, Prost had a lot of experience in both winning and losing; winning races, losing Championships. After switching to McLaren at the start of 1984, he won seven races only to lose out by half a point in the title chase to Niki Lauda, his TAG-Porsche-propelled teammate. Lauda won five races. By this point in time Prost must have been wondering whether or not the World Championship was actually something worth winning. Thankfully, the unobtrusive little Frenchman’s efforts were rewarded with the crown in 1985 and this year he had some good luck go his way and he became the first driver to win two consecutive titles since Jack Brabham won for Cooper-Climax in 1959 and ’60.
However, we are running slightly ahead of the story. Following Nigel Mansell’s superb flag-to-flag victory in the Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril, the F1 fraternity moved out of Europe for the last two races of the season. The penultimate round was in Mexico City, reviving an event which has been missing from the calendar for 16 years, and it produced a pleasant outcome as far as the race winner was concerned.
Adelaide, South Australia
Temporary street circuit
Damon Hill (Williams FW15C-Renault), 1m15.381, 112.087 mph, F1, 1993
First Race1985 Australian Grand Prix