United States GP 1983
MARCH 27, 1983
United States GP, 1983
The Long Beach had been altered considerably since the 1982 event but the field was as it had been in Brazil except that Arrows had lured Alan Jones out of retirement in an effort to find sponsorship for the all-white cars. Alain Prost also had a brand new Renault RE40. It was clear in qualifying that tires were going to be important with the Michelin runners off the pace of the Goodyear men. Pole position went to Patrick Tambay in his Ferrari with his team mate Rene Arnoux alongside. The two Williams's of Keke Rosberg and Jacques Laffite shared the second row while the Pirelli-shod Elio de Angelis (Lotus) was fifth, just ahead of another Pirelli man Derek Warwick (Toleman-Hart). The top 10 was completed by Michele Alboreto (Tyrrell), Prost (the fastest Michelin runner), Danny Sullivan (Tyrrell) and Jean-Pierre Jarier (Ligier). Roberto Guerrero impressed everyone by qualifying his Theodore eighth but the car was later excluded for having rear bodywork which was slightly too wide. Jones did well to qualify 12th.
At the start of the race Tambay took the lead while Rosberg elbowed Arnoux out of the way to grab second place. He then spun but managed to rejoin having lost only one place to his team mate Laffite. Alboreto was fourth with Arnoux down in fifth. Rosberg quickly repassed Laffite and then the top four ran together, leaving behind the fifth-placed Patrese. Prost had disappeared to the pits early on with a misfire. Jarier moved up to battle with Alboreto and on lap 22 he ran into the back of the Italian. Alboreto had to pit for repairs. On lap 26 Rosberg tried to grab the lead, misjudged it and rammed Tambay. Rosberg got going again but was then rammed by Jarier. This left Laffite in the lead with Patrese second and then a big gap back to Surer in the Arrows. He was soon swallowed up by the two McLarens, Lauda leading Watson. They had found that the Michelin rubber was much better in race conditions are had worked their way through the field from 22nd (Watson) and 23rd (Lauda) on the grid. On lap 33 Watson decided he wanted to be ahead and overtook Lauda. The two then chased and overtook Patrese on lap 44 (when the Italian went up an escape road) and Laffite on lap 45. They then pulled away to score a remarkable 1-2 finish for McLaren. Patrese moved ahead of Laffite on lap 52 but he then suffered a turbo failure and had to trundle round for the final laps and dropped out of the points. Laffite was unable to hold off Arnoux and so the Ferrari took third with Laffite fourth, Surer fifth and Cecotto sixth in only his second F1 race.