portuguese grand prix


On this day in 1984, Alain Prost won the final race of that season and the first race at the Estoril circuit, but with his teammate Niki Lauda finishing 2nd, the championship was Lauda’s by half a point. This is the smallest margin by which a driver has won a driver’s title, and the longest time between driver’s titles clocking in at 7 years between Lauda’s 1977 and 1984 titles.

On this day, 30 years ago, Niki Lauda won his third and last world championship title in Portugal. 

Following a two-year retirement, Lauda went back into F1 in 1982; teaming with Alain Prost at McLaren in 1984, the duo dominated the season. On the final race, the Portuguese Grand Prix, Prost won but Lauda claimed second after starting 11th — enough to give him the season’s championship over his teammate by half a point.

And as you can see, third went to a young Ayrton Senna. 

As Alain was nearly on tears before arriving on the podium, Lauda went to him and told him: "Forget it. Next year, the Championship is yours,“. And he was right… 


——— Ayrton Senna (Portugal 1985)  ——

—- Ayrton Senna da Silva (BRA) (John Player Special Team Lotus), Lotus 97T - Renault-Gordini EF15 1.5 V6 (t/c) (finished 1st)

1985 Portuguese Grand Prix, Autódromo do Estoril

© Sutton Images