1984-1985 Off-season

There would be a lot of continuity between the 1984 and 85 seasons, both in terms of driver-team-engine combinations and technical regulations. The ATS team had gone, and just as last year there were question marks over the underfunded Spirit squad, but there were three new teams planning entries: Minardi, Zakspeed and Lola-Beatrice. The real question on everyone’s lips was whether anyone could put up more of a fight against the McLarens than they had in 1984?

Technical and rules changes

The expulsion of Tyrrell had enabled the remaining teams to unanimously push for an increase in size of the cars’ fuel tanks, although FOCA also banned the cooling of fuel before races which had allowed teams to fit more in the tanks. This should reduce the “economy run” feel of some races, and would certainly be welcome news for Alfa Romeo. The huge rear wings some teams had sprouted were also restricted to reduce dangerous cornering speeds further.


The calendar remained broadly similar to 1984. The Portuguese and South African races swapped ends of the season with Estoril now being the second race and Kyalami the penultimate one, and another new race made its debut; the Australian Grand Prix on a new street circuit in Adelaide would be the last race of the season, and its organisers hoped that it would see a close title battle decided. Others feared that if the title had been sewn up by then, Australia was an awfully long way to go for a dead rubber. Elsewhere, the Belgian and British races alternated back to Spa and Silverstone respectively, while a late-season European Grand Prix on a Rome street circuit was mooted, which would give Italy three races if it came to pass. Meanwhile, another attempt was made to get the New York street circuit off the ground – the race was scheduled for September.


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