Alfa Romeo started the 1984 Formula One season with two new drivers, Riccardo Patrese (race number 22) and Eddie Cheever (race number 23).The sponsoring of the car also changed from Marlboro to Benetton. The original design of the car was made by Gerard Ducaruouge, but he left the Alfa team and went to Lotus. Luigi Marmirolli finished the car which was the first to use the monocoque as the actual outer bodywork of the car. The V8 twin turbo engine was designed by Carlo Chiti and proved to be quiet unreliable and ‘thirsty’ during the season.
|Engine||Alfa Romeo 890 T V8|
|Fuel||Magneti Marelli/Weber fuel injection + 2 Avio Turbo’s|
|Max. power||680 hp @ 10.700 rpm|
|Max. torque||382 Nm @ 9.800 rpm|
The first Grand Prix of the 1984 season was raced in Brasil. Patrese qualified 11th and Cheever 12th. Patrese had to retire in the 41st lap of the race due to a gearbox problem. Cheever finished 4th.
The second race took place in South Africa. Because this is a high altitude track, turbo cars are handicaped by the thin air. Cheever qualified 14th and Patrese 16th. Eddie Cheever was the first car to retire from the race with a leaking radiator. Patrese was lapped by race leader Niki Lauda in the 25th lap but managed to finish fourth.
Next was the Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder. Patrese qualified 7th and Cheever 11th. After two laps in the race Riccardo Patrese had to retire after the Magneti Marelli ignition broke down. Eddie Cheever blew up one of his turbo’s in the 28th lap, driving in 5th position and also had to retire.
The Grand Prix of San Marino was next, racing the Imola track. Patrese qualified 10th and Cheever managed 8th position on the starting grid. Patrese’s engine grinded to a halt in the 7th lap when he was in 7th place. Cheever had to pit after the first lap with a flat tyre but managed to race to 6th position but ran out of fuel in the 50th lap.
At the Dijon-Prenios track in France Riccardo Patrese qualified 15th and Eddie Cheever 16th. Patrese blew up his engine in the 16th lap and Cheever spun off the track in the 51st lap.
Eddie Cheever did not qualify for the race at Monaco. Riccardo Patrese qualified 14th. Due to heavy rain the race was quiet chaotic. In last position, Patrese’s ignition stopped working and he had to leave his car just in front of the Monaco tunnel.
After qualifying 11th Eddie Cheever ran out of fuel in the 63rd lap of the Montreal Grand Prix, running in 6th position. Riccardo Patrese qualified 14th and crashed his Alfa 184T in the 37th lap while in 14th position.
At the Detroit street track Eddie Cheever qualified 8th and Riccardo Patrese 25th. Nigel Mansell caused an enormous crash during the start of the race after which the race was stopped. Drivers with a T-car (reserve car) were allowed to the second start. Cheever was in 5th position after lap one and was in third place after 16 laps. Unfortunately the turbo cooler broke in the 22nd lap after which Cheever had to retire. Riccardo Patrese retired with a broken rear wheel suspension in the 21st lap.
In Dallas, also a street track, Cheever qualified 14th and Patrese 21st but during the race Cheever crashed in lap 9 and Patrese in lap 13. The only good news in Dallas was the 5th place of Piercarlo Ghinzani, driving the Alfa Romeo powered Osella car.
At Brands Hatch Patrese and Cheever qualified for 17th and 18th position respectively. In the first lap of the race Cheever got involved in a major crash. Patrese ran out of fuel in the 66th lap in 9th position.
After qualifying 18th and 20th Patrese’s gearbox broke down in the 16th lap of the race and the turbo on Cheevers’ car broke in the 29th lap. In the Austian Grand Prix Riccardo Patrese finished in 10th position after qualifying 13th. Eddie Cheever qualified 16th and ended his race in the 18th lap with engine problems.
At Zandvoort Cheever qualified 17th and Patrese 18th. Patrese had to retire from the race in lap 51 after reaching the 7th position. Cheever ran out of fuel again in lap 65. Riccardo Patrese finished 3rd in the Alfa Romeo home Grand Prix at Monza where Eddie Cheever ran out of fuel again while racing in 3rd position. He ended as number 9.
The European Grand Prix at the Nürburgring in Germany, Cheevers fuel pump broke down and he had to retire. Patrese finished in 6th place. In the final race of the season at Estoril, Cheever and Patrese managed both to finish; Patrese in 12th position and Cheever in 14th place.
The evolution of the 184T, the 185T ran in the 1985 championship. No championship points were scored that year…