However, a number of other Formula One stars such as Carlos Reutemann, Jacques Laffite and Alain Prost had come to the Nürburgring, together with an almost unknown newcomer: Ayrton Senna, who later became a three-time world champion. The Brazilian had just made the leap into Formula One with a scratch team and saw this race as his chance to attract attention.
At the qualifying stage, he managed to get his 190 E 2.3-16 into third place, beaten only by Prost and Reutemann. During the race proper, he drew on the full range of his skills and sprinted out to the front. He reeled off one lap after another there until an old master at the game, Niki Lauda, appeared in his rear-view mirror. The Austrian had had to start the race from one of the slots at the back of the grid, had fought his way up to 4th place in the first lap and was now not willing to admit defeat to a member of the younger generation.