On August 25, 1985, exactly 35 years ago, the legendary Niki Lauda won the Dutch Grand Prix in Formula 1, conquering the last of his 25 wins in the category. In addition, on that occasion, young Ayrton Senna finished third with Lotus and also conquered a podium for the third time in that year, after his first F1 win ever in Portugal and a second place in Austria. Alain Prost, champion of that season, completed the podium finishing second.
The Dutch Grand Prix would come back to the Formula 1 calendar in the 2020 season after three decades of absence, but the return was delayed for 2021, due to changes in F1’s calendar. The last race in the circuit of Zandvoort was exactly in 1985.
Zaandvort is located 24 km away from the capital city of Amsterdam, and has hosted 30 F1 GPs. In 2021, however, the Dutch circuit will be a little longer than it was 34 years ago, with 4,307 meters.
After his F1 debut in 1984, driving a humble Toleman, Senna was in his second season in the category, this time with Lotus. The future three-time champion was facing reliability issues with his car, that year, but found a good balance in the Netherlands, starting in fourth place.
Out of the 26 cars that started the 1985 Dutch GP, only 10 finished all 71 laps at Zanvoort. After the podium in the Netherlands, Senna tied Stefan Johansson in points and climbed to fourth place in the season standings – the same position in which he would finish the championship, with 38 points.
Both Lauda and Senna were three-time F1 champions. The Austrian won his titles in 1975, 1977 and 1984, while Ayrton was champion in 1988, 1990, and 1991. Taking Prost’s titles into account, the podium of the 1985 Dutch GP was made up of drivers who would go on to win 10 world titles overall.