Dutch GP 1980
AUGUST 31, 1980
Dutch GP, 1980
The circuit had been altered after the unsuccessful episode with a fast chicane at the back of the track the previous year. The new corner was much tighter. The entry was back up to 28 cars thanks to the return of Vittorio Brambilla to Alfa Romeo (replacing Patrick Depailler who had been killed on August 1). Team Lotus decided to continue with three cars: Nigel Mansell again joining Mario Andretti and Elio de Angelis. The Ensign team had expanded to run a second car for Geoff Lees while McLaren appeared with the new M30 for Alain Prost. Jochen Mass tried the second Arrows but found it to cause his neck too much pain (after a crash in Austria) and so Tyrrell agreed to lend Arrows its test driver Mike Thackwell. The young New Zealander hoped to become the youngest ever F1 driver but he failed to qualify. There were several big accidents in practice, notably for Alan Jones. Qualifying resulted in a 1-2 for the Renault team with Rene Arnoux again faster than Jean-Pierre Jabouille. The second row was shared by the two Williams cars of Carlos Reutemann and Jones while Nelson Piquet (Brabham) was fifth ahead of Jacques Laffite (Ligier), Gilles Villeneuve (Ferrari), Bruno Giacomelli (Alfa Romeo), John Watson (McLaren) and Andretti.
In the race Jones made a great start to take the lead but on the second lap he drove over a curb and damaged one of the skirts on his car and the Williams began to handle oddly. He had to pit for repairs. This left Arnoux in the lead with Laffite second and Reutemann third. Then came Jabouille, Piquet, Villeneuve and Giacomelli. On the third lap it was busy at Tarzan corner as Laffite took the lead from Arnoux, Jabouille passed Reutemann and Villeneuve moved ahead of Piquet. Further back there was drama when de Angelis collided with Didier Pironi (Ligier). Villeneuve was now the man to watch as he moved to third place while Jabouille went into the pits. Within a few moments Piquet had displaced Villeneuve and was up to third. On lap 11 Piquet overtook Arnoux and two laps later went into the lead by overtaking Laffite. Villeneuve then dropped away with tire trouble and so Giacomelli moved to fourth place. The Alfa Romeo driver then moved up to third as Arnoux faded with brake trouble and he then closed up on Laffite. When he tried to overtook Giacomelli made a mistake and dropped back to seventh place.
On lap 61 Derek Daly (Tyrrell) had another of his spectacular accidents when the Tyrrell suffered a brake disc failure which caused a puncture. The Irishman went into the barriers, flew through the air and landed back on top of the tire barrier.
In the closing laps Piquet was unchallenged while Arnoux was able to catch and pass Laffite for second place. Fourth place went to Reutemann with Jean-Pierre Jarier (Tyrrell) fifth and Alain Prost (McLaren) sixth.
The result meant that Piquet closed to within two points of Jones in the World Championship.