French GP 1984
MAY 20, 1984
French GP, 1984
The only major change at the French GP was the appearance of new Toleman TG184s for Ayrton Senna and Johnny Cecotto. At Arrows the BMW-engined A7 went back to Thierry Boutsen, having been driven by Marc Surer in Imola. There was much grumbling about the fuel restrictions given the number of cars which were running out of gas in the final laps of races. The tire war was closely balanced with the front row featuring Patrick Tambay's Michelin-shod Renault and Elio de Angelis's Goodyear-tired Lotus-Renault. Nelson Piquet (Brabham-BMW on Michelin) was third ahead of Keke Rosberg (Williams-Honda/Goodyear). The top 10 was completed by Alain Prost (McLaren-TAG/Michelin), Nigel Mansell (Lotus-Renault), Derek Warwick (Renault), Manfred Winkelhock (ATS-BMW/Goodyear), Niki Lauda (McLaren-TAG) and Michele Alboreto (Ferrari).
Andrea de Cesaris's Ligier was found to have an empty extinguisher bottle and lost its qualifying time. With rain on Saturday he did not qualify and Ligier took the bizarre step of withdrawing its second car, driven by Francois Hesnault and qualified 15th, to enable de Cesaris to start from the back of the grid.
Tambay was outgunned by Piquet at the start but de Angelis made a good start too and was alongside Piquet as they went into the first corner. Tambay dived between them and Piquet was nudged offline which allowed Tambay to take the lead and Mansell to move to third behind de Angelis. Rosberg also took advantage of the situation to get ahead of Piquet.
The man on the move in the early laps was Prost who moved from seventh at the end of the first lap to third by lap 14 when he overtook Mansell. Piquet and Winkelhock both went out early with mechanical troubles. Prost moved to second on lap 18 while Lauda had also worked his way through to third by lap 21. The leading three all pitted by Lauda's late stop enabled him to avoid getting caught in traffic. Tambay led after the stops but on lap 62 Lauda went ahead. Prost's challenge faded with another stop and so third place went to Mansell with Rene Arnoux (Ferrari) fourth ahead of de Angelis and Rosberg.
|1||8||Niki Lauda||McLaren-TAG Porsche||79||1h31m11.951s||9|
|5||11||Elio de Angelis||Lotus-Renault||79||1h32m18.076s||2|
|7||7||Alain Prost||McLaren-TAG Porsche||78||5|
|10||26||Andrea de Cesaris||Ligier-Renault||77||26|
|12||24||Piercarlo Ghinzani||Osella-Alfa Romeo||74||25|
|r||23||Eddie Cheever||Alfa Romeo||51||Engine||16|
|r||22||Riccardo Patrese||Alfa Romeo||15||Engine||15|
|dq||4||Stefan Bellof||Tyrrell-Cosworth||11||Thought Engine Failed/(1)||20|
|ns||25||Francois Hesnault||Ligier-Renault||Car Raced By De Cesaris||27|