Brazilian GP 1978

Brazilian GP, 1978

The Brazilians switched the Grand Prix to the Jacarepagua circuit outside Rio de Janeiro, a place more fitting to the glamorous F1 image than Interlagos. The field was the same as it had been in Argentina with addition of the just-finished Arrows FA1, which appeared in Varig colors.

Qualifying resulted in pole position for Ronnie Peterson in his Lotus 78 (the new 79 not being ready). Then came James Hunt in his McLaren M26 with Mario Andretti third in the second Lotus. Carlos Reutemann (Ferrari) was fourth ahead of Patrick Tambay (McLaren), Gilles Villeneuve (Ferrari), Emerson Fittipaldi (doing well for a change with his own car) and Alan Jones in the promising Williams FW06. Hans Stuck was next up for Shadow with Niki Lauda completing the top 10 in his Brabham-Alfa Romeo. John Watson had a bad time in qualifying and ended up 21st on the grid. Patrese qualified the new Arrows 18th.

In the race Reutemann went into the lead at the start and was never headed, winning his first race for Ferrari and the first F1 victory for Michelin. He was chased in the early laps by Hunt but the Englishman dropped back when he had to pit for harder tires. That promoted Andretti to second place and he remained there until lap 57 when his Lotus jammed in fourth gear. This dropped him to fourth place at the finish behind an impressive Fittipaldi and Lauda. Fifth place went to Clay Regazzoni (Shadow) with the final point going to Tyrrell's Didier Pironi in only his second Grand Prix.

11 Carlos Reutemann Ferrari  63 1h49m59.860s  
14 Emerson Fittipaldi Copersucar-Cosworth  63 1h50m48.990s  
Niki Lauda Brabham-Alfa Romeo  63 1h50m56.880s  10 
Mario Andretti Lotus-Cosworth  63  
17 Clay Regazzoni Shadow-Cosworth  62  15 
Didier Pironi Tyrrell-Cosworth  62  19 
Jochen Mass ATS-Cosworth  62  20 
John Watson Brabham-Alfa Romeo  62  21 
26 Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra  61  14 
10 36 Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Cosworth  59  18 
11 27 Alan Jones Wlliams-Cosworth  58  
25 Hector Rebaque Lotus-Cosworth  40 Driver Exhausted 22 
12 Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari  35 Accident 
Patrick Tambay McLaren-Cosworth  34 Accident 
16 Hans-Joachim Stuck Shadow-Cosworth  25 Fuel Pump 
James Hunt McLaren-Cosworth  25 Accident 
20 Jody Scheckter Wolf-Cosworth  16 Accident/suspension 12 
Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Cosworth  15 Accident/suspension 
22 Danny Ongais Ensign-Cosworth  13 Brake Disc 23 
30 Brett Lunger McLaren-Cosworth  11 Engine Overheating 13 
Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Cosworth  Spin/brake Master Cylinder 11 
18 Rupert Keegan Surtees-Cosworth  Accident 24 
23 Lamberto Leoni Ensign-Cosworth  -1 Drive Shaft 17 
ns 10 Jean-Pierre Jarier ATS-Cosworth   Car Raced By Mass 16 
nq 37 Arturo Merzario Merzario-Cosworth    25 
nq 32 Eddie Cheever Theodore-Cosworth    26 
nq 19 Vittorio Brambilla Surtees-Cosworth    27 
nq 24 Divina Galica Hesketh-Cosworth    28