Just like in the Brazilian GP – the season’s first race – Germany witnessed a win by the Brazilian twosome, but not before an intense fight for the lead featuring Ayrton Senna, Nelson Piquet and other drivers.
Nigel Mansell was the overall leader, after winning four out of the last five races. The Britton had 47 points, Alain Prost had 43 and Senna, 36. Piquet was in fourth place with 23 points, with seven races to go in the season.
In the qualifying, Senna secured the third best time, 1min42s329, just 0s316 slower than McLaren’s Keke Rosberg, who got the pole position. Alain Prost made sure the first row was fully occupied by team from Woking . Gerhard Berger would be starting in fourth place and Piquet in fifth. Mansell was in a modest sixth position.
Senna started the race in spectacular fashion, jumping from third to first place as soon as the light turned green at Hockenheim. Berger followed the Brazilian and took the second position. Rosberg fell to third, Piquet climbed up to fourth and Prost closed the first lap in fifth place.
At the start of the second lap, Rosberg managed a double-overtake and jumped ahead of both Senna and Berger in a single maneuver. As a matter of fact, he had just announced his plans to retire as a driver at the end of the 1986.
Before the second lap was over, Piquet took advantage of his Honda engine’s power to also overtake Berger and Senna at the German raceway’s long straights. Experiencing problems, Berger was also passed by Prost and Mansell, falling to sixth place in the fourth lap.
In the fifth lap, Prost overtook Senna, who was now in fourth place. It was the beginning of a series of problems for the Lotus driver. Soon after that, Piquet took the lead from Rosberg. Berger was forced to make an early pit-stop, and fell way behind the front of the pack. The Austrian finished the race with a two-lap delay.
Employing a different tactic from his main rivals, Piquet was the first to make a pit-stop, in the 15th lap, allowing both McLarens and Senna to pass him by. Afterwards, Piquet easily overtook his opponents, since Rosberg and Prost also made pit-stops before the 20th lap. Senna, who was sparing his car for the final laps, didn’t stand in the way of his fellow Brazilian. Piquet and Mansell – both Williams drivers – were the only ones in the top-six to make two pit-stops.
A. de Cesaris
position in championship following the race
championship points accumulated
There was no reason to make an extra pit stop if I couldn’t put it into high gear because of gasoline consumption. I took a risk on the final laps, almost completely empty on gas and driving on heavily worn wheels. But I was lucky.