United States GP 1977

United States GP, 1977

The entry was slightly smaller than had been the norm with 27 cars vying for 26 places on the grid. ATS had decided not to make the trip to the United States and most of the privateers were gone as well. The major addition to the field was Danny Ongais in an Interscope Racing Penske PC4.

Ferrari had already announced that Niki Lauda's replacement at Ferrari would be Gilles Villeneuve and as Ferrari and Lauda were becoming increasingly estranged it looked more and more likely that Lauda would not even both to finish the season. Team Lotus also announced that Gunnar Nilsson would not be retained and that Ronnie Peterson would be returning to the team in 1978. There was a change at Shadow as well as Riccardo Patrese was busy with a Formula 2 race in Estoril and so his place was taken by Jean-Pierre Jarier who had been released from his ATS contract.

Qualifying resulted in another pole position for James Hunt with Hans Stuck showing well to qualify second in his Brabham-Alfa Romeo. Then came John Watson in the second Brabham and Mario Andretti in the Lotus. Peterson was next up in the Tyrrell and shared the third row of the grid with Carlos Reutemann's Ferrari while Lauda was seventh alongside the second Tyrrell of Patrick Depailler. The top 10 was completed by Jody Scheckter (Wolf), Jacques Laffite (Ligier), Vittorio Brambilla (Surtees) and Nilsson in the second Lotus.

At the start the track was damp and Watson gambled on slick tires. Stuck went into the lead with Hunt second, Andretti third ahead of Reutemann, Peterson, Lauda, Scheckter and the rest. Watson dropped quickly to the tail of the field. Stuck continued to lead in the early laps while Scheckter passed Lauda, Peterson and Reutemann to take fourth. Stuck however spun off on lap 15 and as he had no clutch he was unable to rejoin. The order at the front then remained unchanged all the way to the flag with Hunt winning from Andretti, Scheckter and Lauda. Clay Regazzoni (Ensign) was able to overhaul Reutemann to take fifth place.

James Hunt McLaren-Cosworth  59 1h58m23.267s  
Mario Andretti Lotus-Cosworth  59 1h58m25.293s  
20 Jody Scheckter Wolf-Cosworth  59 1h59m42.146s  
11 Niki Lauda Ferrari  59 2h00m03.882s  
22 Clay Regazzoni Ensign-Cosworth  59 2h00m11.405s  19 
12 Carlos Reutemann Ferrari  58  
26 Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra  58  10 
24 Rupert Keegan Hesketh-Cosworth  58  20 
16 Jean-Pierre Jarier Shadow-Cosworth  58  16 
10 30 Brett Lunger March-Cosworth  57  17 
11 18 Hans Binder Surtees-Cosworth  57  25 
12 John Watson Brabham-Alfa Romeo  57  
13 28 Emerson Fittipaldi Copersucar-Cosworth  57  18 
14 Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Cosworth  56  
15 Alex-Dias Ribeiro March-Cosworth  56  23 
16 Ronnie Peterson Tyrrell-Cosworth  56  
17 25 Ian Ashley Hesketh-Cosworth  55  22 
18 27 Patrick Neve March-Cosworth  55  24 
19 19 Vittorio Brambilla Surtees-Cosworth  54  11 
15 Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault  30 Alternator 14 
Gunnar Nilsson Lotus-Cosworth  17 Accident 12 
Hans-Joachim Stuck Brabham-Alfa Romeo  14 Accident 
10 Ian Scheckter March-Cosworth  10 Accident 21 
Jochen Mass McLaren-Cosworth  Fuel Pump Belt 15 
14 Danny Ongais Penske-Cosworth  Accident 26 
17 Alan Jones Shadow-Cosworth  Accident 13 
nq 23 Patrick Tambay Ensign-Cosworth    27