San Marino Grand Prix – 1985


Ayrton Senna went to the San Marino Grand Prix right after his first win in Formula One, which naturally boosted his confidence. It was a very different atmosphere from his last trip to Ímola, in 1984, when he was unable to secure a good enough time to get a position on the starting grid, with his Toleman.

On Saturday, he scored his second pole position in F1. It also became the pole position Ayrton obtained by the smallest margin in his career. Senna was just 27 thousandths of a second faster than Williams’ Keke Rosberg.

Ímola’s second row featured Elio de Angelis – Senna’s Lotus teammate – and Ferrari’s Michele Alboreto. On the third row, Thierry Boutsen (Arrows) would be starting in fifth and Alain Prost (McLaren) took the sixth place. Five teams in the first five positions pointed to a very even field at the start of the 1985 season.

Before leaving for the grid, Senna smiled, remembering:

“Last year, I didn’t even manage to qualify for the start of this race. Today I am in it to win.”

And he tried hard: the Brazilian started well and kept the lead. Elio de Angelis was right behind him, after overtaking Rosberg, who had a bad start and fell down to fifth. Alboreto became third and Prost jumped to fourth.

At the start, taking advantage of his new Renault engine, De Angelis went after Senna. The Brazilian held him back in the first few laps, until his teammate was forced to start worrying about Alboreto’s Ferrari.

In the Italian showdown, Alboreto was able to overtake on lap 11, to the delight of the “tifosi” – the rabid Ferrari fans who crowd the stands at each Italian Grand Prix. Prost also took advantage of the situation: the McLaren driver got closer to De Angelis and, one lap later, also passed the Lotus driver.

despite starting in seventh place, Lauda was already in fifth, after overtaking Rosberg and Boutsen. The Austrian was also able to pass De Angelis before the 20th lap was over. That meant the 1984 champion was free to go after the three leaders, who were seven seconds ahead of him.

Facing electrical problems in his Ferrari, Alboreto was easily overtaken by both McLarens and stopped at the pit-box. He left the race soon after that.

On the 26th lap, Lauda spun out on his own, leaving the fight for the lead just between Senna and Prost. The Austrian stayed in the race, but was forced to focus on carving out a third place finish.

At the front of the pack, Prost went after Senna with everything he had. It was the first of several duels they would engage in throughout the years.

Both drivers wore out their cars. Senna kept closing the door on Prost, and was able to keep the lead. Since there was no refueling at the time, both teams started to worry about running out of gas.

Both McLarens started taking it easier from the 30th lap on. Lauda lost the fourth position to Swede Stefan Johansson, who had an amazing recovery after starting in 15th place with his Ferrari.

The driver from the Italian team also overtook Elio de Angelis, while Senna widened his lead over Prost to nine seconds, less than ten laps away from the end. The Frenchman slowed down and Johansson had no trouble passing him and taking the second place.

Ayrton Senna led the race with overwhelming competence from the very beginning. And he kept driving like that up to the 56th lap. With fewer than four laps to go, the turbo of his Renault engine began to fail.

He was so close. Could he take the car to the end? He stepped on the throttle, hoping for the best. Nevertheless, the engine malfunction was affecting his gas mileage – the gas guzzling turbo started burning more fuel – leaving the car dry on the following lap. He was very close to securing his second win in F1.

With the Brazilian’s retirement, victory was Joahansson’s to take. He started the 58th lap (out of 60) in the lead, while Ferari’s fans screamed at the top of their lungs at the Enzo and Dino Ferrari Speedway. But at the beginning of the last lap, the Italian car also ran out of fuel, leaving the way open to Alain Prost. The Frenchman had an easy win, since most of his other rivals had also ran out of gas.

After the race, the Frenchman was disqualified due to a weight irregularity in his McLaren. Lotus’ Elio de Anglis was the new winner, followed by Arrows’ Thierry Boutsen and Patruck Tambay. Lauda finished in fourth place and Mansell in fifth. These were all the drivers that finished the race. Johansson, even after running out of gas, was awarded one point.

It was Elio de Angelis’ second win in his career, and the first time Lotus had won two races in a row since 1978.

The following race was scheduled to May 19, in Monaco, where Senna would secure his third pole position in a row.

Resumo da Corrida

  • 1 Ayrton Senna
  • 2 K. Rosberg
  • 3 E. de Angelis
  • 4 M. Alboreto
  • 5 T. Boutsen
  • 6 A. Prost
  • 7 N. Mansell
  • 8 N. Lauda
  • 9 N. Piquet
  • 10 G. Berger
  • 11 P. Tambay
  • 12 E. Cheever
  • 13 A. de Cesaris
  • 14 D. Warwick
  • 15 S. Johansson
  • 16 J. Laffite
  • 17 J. Palmer
  • 18 R. Patrese
  • 19 P. Martini
  • 20 F. Hesnault
  • 21 P. Alliot
  • 22 P. Ghinzani
  • 23 M. Winkelhock
  • 24 S. Bellof
  • 25 M. Brundle
  • 26 M. Baldi
Voltas 60
Tempo Nublado
Volta mais rápida M. Alboreto - 1´30´´961
Podium 1º E. de Angelis 2º T. Boutsen 3º P. Tambay
Carros 26
Abandonos 14