United States GP 1980
OCTOBER 5, 1980
United States GP, 1980
The US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen came just a week after the Canadian GP, where Alan Jones had won the World Championship, and as a result the entry was much as before. Jean-Pierre Jabouille was missing, having suffered serious leg injuries in an accident in Montreal and the French team decided to run just one one for Rene Arnoux. Kevin Cogan had given up with the second RAM Racing Williams and the car was entrusted to Geoff Lees instead.
In qualifying Bruno Giacomelli surprised everyone by taking pole for Alfa Romeo with Nelson Piquet (Brabham), Carlos Reutemann (Williams), Elio de Angelis (Lotus), Jones (Williams), Arnoux, Didier Pironi (Ligier) and Hector Rebaque (Brabham) filling the front four rows. The top 10 was completed by John Watson's McLaren and Andrea de Cesaris's Alfa. Further back Alain Prost qualified his McLaren 13th but decided to miss the race because of a bang on the head he had received when he suffered a suspension failure (his second in two events).
At the start Giacomelli went into the lead while Jones tried a little too hard and went bouncing off at the first corner, being followed through the sand by de Cesaris and Arnoux. On the race track Piquet was second with Reutemann third. Then came Pironi, de Angelis and Rebaque.
Jones was soon fighting back while Piquet, under pressure from Reutemann, made a mistake and spun off. By lap 28 Jones had climbed back up to third place by overtaking Pironi and a couple of laps later he took second from Reutemann and began to chase after Giacomelli. On lap 32, however, the Alfa Romeo cut out and rolled to a stop. Jones was in the lead and with Reutemann behind him it was an easy run to the flag. Pironi was third with de Angelis fourth, Laffite fifth and Mario Andretti sixth.
Jody Scheckter finished his last race in 11th place.