United States GP 1982
JUNE 6, 1982
United States GP, 1982
In the fortnight which followed Riccardo Patrese's extraordinary win in Monaco, Ferrari negotiated a deal for Patrick Tambay to take over as the late Gilles Villeneuve's replacement but the Frenchman did not appear in Detroit, the team deciding to run with just one car again.
The entry was it had been in Monaco except that Jan Lammers crashed in practice and broke his thumb and so could not continue with the Theodore and that the Toleman team had not made the trip to North America, deciding to concentrate on developing its car.
There was a bit of a shock for Brabham as Nelson Piquet broke down in his Brabham-BMW on Friday and rain on Saturday meant that the World Champion did not qualify. He was joined as a spectator by Emilio de Villota in the Onyx-run March and Lammers.
Pole position went to Alain Prost's Renault with Andrea de Cesaris second in his Alfa Romeo. Keke Rosberg was third for Williams ahead of Pironi, the impressive Manfred Winkelhock (ATS), Bruno Giacomelli (Alfa Romeo), the Lotuses of Nigel Mansell and Elio de Angelis, Eddie Cheever's Talbot Ligier (the team decided to use old JS17 rather than the troublesome new JS19) and Niki Lauda in the McLaren. Roberto Guerrero did a good job to qualify the Ensign 11th, while Rene Arnoux in particular had a bad time and ended up 14th on the grid.
At the start Prost held off a challenge from Rosberg and went into the first corner ahead with de Cesaris slotting in behind him. Winkelhock disappeared quickly when he hit a wall and on the third lap de Cesaris stopped as well with a driveshaft broken after he had made contact with a concrete barrier. This left Prost leading Rosberg, Pironi, Mansell, Giacomelli, Cheever and Arnoux.
On the seventh lap, however, the race was stopped after a crash between Guerrero and de Angelis which was made worse by the rapid of arrival of Riccardo Patrese (Brabham). He swerved into the barriers.
As the track was cleared the teams got ready for the second part of the race. Once again Prost went into lead with Rosberg behind him while Pironi, Giacomelli and Cheever diced for third place. Prost eventually ran into fuel feed problems and Rosberg was able to close up and on lap 23 he took the lead. Further back, however, Watson was putting in a remarkable drive, fighting up from 13th on the restart grid to move to second, despite a brush which resulted in Giacomelli going into the wall. He then chased, caught and passed Rosberg to take the lead on lap 37. Lauda also charged up to pass Cheever and Pironi and to close on Rosberg. Lauda tried to pass and made a mess of it, bouncing off the Williams and into a barrier. Cheever moved ahead of Pironi and when Rosberg faded he was able to take second place. Laffite charged up to third but then faded back and with Pironi also getting ahead of Rosberg, the Finn ended up fourth ahead of his team mate Derek Daly, while Laffite had to settle for sixth.