Italian GP 1980
SEPTEMBER 14, 1980
Italian GP, 1980
The Italian GP moved away from Monza in 1980, as a direct result of the multiple-car accident in 1978. Monza had done the necessary safety work but by then a contract had been agreed with Imola. As a result there was a non-championship Dino Ferrari GP in 1979 and the Italian GP in 1980.
There were 28 cars entered and with Jochen Mass still out of action at Arrows, his place was taken by Manfred Winkelhock. His F1 debut was short-lived however as he soon spun and crashed into Nigel Mansell's Lotus. Both cars were destroyed and neither man qualified as a result.
Qualifying resulted in the expected 1-2 for the Renault team with Rene Arnoux beating Jean-Pierre Jabouille. Carlos Reutemann was third his Williams ahead of Bruno Giacomelli (Alfa Romeo), Nelson Piquet (Brabham), Alan Jones (Williams), Riccardo Patrese (Arrows), Gilles Villeneuve (Ferrari), Hector Rebaque (Brabham) and Mario Andretti (Lotus). Ligier was in trouble with Didier Pironi 13th and Jacques Laffite 20th. Ferrari appeared with the new 126C turbo car in the hands of Villeneuve (Jody Scheckter had announced that he would be retiring at the end of the year) but the car was not reliable.
In the race Reutemann jumped into the lead at the start but it ran into clutch trouble almost immediately and so it was Arnoux and Jabouille who led the field away with Piquet third, Giacomelli fourth, Villeneuve fifth, Rebaque sixth and Jones seventh. On the third lap Jabouille and Piquet overtook Arnoux and then Piquet passed Jabouille to take the lead.
On lap six there was a spectacular accident when Villeneuve suffered a tire failure at the corner before Tosa (now known as Villeneuve). The Ferrari hit the barriers nearly head-on and the car was destroyed, the main section of the monocoque bouncing back into the middle of the pack. Villeneuve escaped unhurt but the accident caused the retirement of Giacomelli who ran over some of the wreckage.
Arnoux fell back and was overtaken by Jones (who had previously overtaken Rebaque). The Australian then chased after Jabouille and took second place on lap 29. The pair finished in that order and Piquet moved into the lead in the World Championship by just one point.
Reutemann was able to work his way up third after Arnoux faded and Jabouille went out with a gearbox failure. This enabled Elio de Angelis to finish fourth with Keke Rosberg (Wolf) fifth and Pironi sixth.