Despite a dreadful season, fractionally enlivened by Patrese’s podium at their home race at Monza, Alfa Romeo maintained continuity of drivers and personnel for 1985. There was a new 185T chassis for Patrese and Cheever, who would hope that the new car would be a better fit for the engine, and that the new enlarged fuel tank regulations would prevent a repeat of the previous season’s run of retirements through running out of petrol. Like Renault, the team was widely regarded has having squandered massive resources with little to show for it, and like Renault the team was perpetually mired in rumours of the plug being pulled – 1985 would be a crunch year for both.
22. Riccardo Patrese (left)
If Patrese, the Alfa Romeo team leader, had had the better results of the two drivers, it was only because of a couple of races late in the season where he brought the car home thanks to simply turning the boost down in order to finish, and being lucky to have drivers in front of him drop out. In truth, he looked to have given up on his new team early on and seemed happy enough to simply tour round and collect his paycheck, while being shown up by Cheever – and he showed his immature streak when, making a breakthrough with his setup at Monaco, he neglected to share it with his team-mate, who failed to qualify. From then on, relations between the two were frosty at best; the team need to ensure they can work together in 1985.
23. Eddie Cheever (right)
Cheever is a born racer, and this ironically hurt his season in 1984; with the fuel-consumption issues affecting the engine, he would have done better to back off and just try and finish, like Patrese – but “Fast Eddie” was never going to be someone who does that. If not for the fuel issues, Eddie would have had a great season; he demonstrated more than once his superb car control and racing instincts, especially in the wet, and because of that it was all the more frustrating for him to constantly be seen pulling off with a dry engine from a good position just a few laps from the end of the race. Nonetheless, most observers felt that he had shown Patrese up in 1984 despite the Italian having better results on paper.