Ayrton Senna's Formula 1 cars: 1985 - Lotus 97T

7 poles, 16 starts, 2 wins, 6 podiums

Ayrton Senna made the switch to Lotus for 1985, a move that earned him a race ban from Toleman for not informing the team about the discussions as required by his contract.

The Brazilian’s first win came at the Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril in just the second race of the season, having also claimed his first ever pole position the day before the race. From pole Senna established a sizable lead early on, with the gap to second place only increasing as heavy rain began to fall.

As Prost had done the year before, Senna signaled from the car that the race ought to be stopped, but no red flag came and the race continued in the treacherous conditions. Only 67 of the 70 scheduled laps were completed as the race went beyond the two-hour limit, and Senna took the checkered flag more than a minute ahead of Ferrari’s Michele Alboreto; the only driver who wasn’t lapped.

Senna’s team-mate Elio de Angelis won the next race and Senna racked up several retirements over the course of the season, but was back on the top step again at the Belgian Grand Prix. Senna finished fourth in the standings that year as Prost clinched his maiden title.