The tiny Spirit team had somehow made it to the end of the 1984 season with no main sponsors and no points, but nonetheless they were optimistic for 1985. The 101 chassis, now updated to the 101C, was a decent little runner and Mauro Baldi – the better of their two 1984 drivers – stayed on board, at least until someone with a fatter wallet came along. Money would be the main problem once again, and despite everything the team would probably agree that just staying where they were would be a major achievement.

Baldi21. Mauro Baldi it

The Italian’s unspectacular, no-nonsense driving had been exactly what the team needed in 1984, and although he never managed to drag the Spirit into the points, he had managed three 8th places, qualified for every one of his 8 races bar one, and finished half of them – about as good as he could have hoped for in the circumstances. He was also notably more reliable than Huub Rothengatter, who had only finished two of his 8 races.


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