• Dutch Grand Prix

Prost dominant as McLaren seals constructors' crown

ESPN Staff
August 26, 1984
Alain Prost leads the rest of the field © Sutton Images
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McLaren's total domination was underlined when Alain Prost won the Dutch Grand Prix, his fifth and the team's ninth victory of the season. It was enough to ensure McLaren secured the constructors' championship with three rounds still to go, and Prost left Zandvoort trailing team-mate Niki Lauda, who finished second, by only half a point in the drivers' title race.

Nelson Piquet, whose hopes of retaining his title disappeared when he failed to score a point in the first six rounds, showed what might have been had his Brabham been reliable, with the fastest time in provisional qualifying and then grabbing a front-row spot on the Saturday. But the gremlins returned and he lasted only ten laps on the Sunday.

He did lead the field away from Prost while Lauda found himself relegated to ninth. Piquet's choice of soft tyres meant he was always going to need an early stop and so Prost was content to bide his time. His waiting game became even more sensible when the Brabham started leaking oil.

Once Piquet retired Prost took to the lead, but by this time Lauda had forced his way through to second. What followed was good for spectators but not for the team as Lauda closed to within three car lengths on the 25th lap. Prost, who had misread pit signals, awoke to the danger and pulled away.

By the three-quarter mark the rest of the field had been lapped, although by the end Nigel Mansell, who came third, re-passed the McLarens as they eased off.

Keke Rosberg was well placed in his Williams for fourth before running out of fuel three laps from the end, allowing Elio de Angelis to claim the spot despite spinning on oil, losing his brakes and wearing out his rear tyres.

There was pre-race anger in the Toleman camp when Lotus issued a press release to the effect it had signed Ayrton Senna on a two -year contract from the start of 1985, even though he had two years of his three-year deal with Toleman remaining. Senna had told Lotus he was free to sign but Toleman countered he could only do so after he had agreed to buy out his contract. Senna's race ended on the 20th lap with a broken engine.

Away from the racing, 35 people were injured, 15 seriously, when a staircase collapsed at the circuit a few hours before the race.

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