Dutch GP 1978

Dutch GP, 1978

After Ronnie Peterson's win in the chaotic Austrian GP, it was back to business as usual in Holland with the field much as normal. Hans Binder had been replaced at ATS by local driver Michael Bleekemolen and Danny Ongais popped up again in his old Interscope-run Shadow. Pre-qualifying got rid of Ensign's Harald Ertl, Rolf Stommelen in the Arrows and Ongais.

Qualifying resulted in the usual 1-2 for Team Lotus with Mario Andretti beating Peterson on this occasion. Third fastest, a second behind Andretti, was Niki Lauda in the Brabham-Alfa Romeo. Then came the two Ferraris with Carlos Reutemann just ahead of Gilles Villeneuve while Jacques Laffite (Ligier) was sixth. The top 10 was completed by James Hunt (McLaren), John Watson (Brabham), Jean-Pierre Jabouille (Renault) and Emerson Fittipaldi (Fittipaldi). In the warm-up on Sunday Rupert Keegan damaged his wrist in a sizable crash in his Surtees and so was unable to start, which meant that Arturo Merzario (Merzario) made it into the race.

At the start of the race Andretti took the lead from Peterson with Laffite bursting through into third place. At the second corner Didier Pironi (Tyrrell) and Riccardo Patrese (Arrows) had a spectacular collision and several other drivers were delayed and suffered damage as everyone avoided the crash. Patrese's car was still in the middle of the road when the leaders returned but Andretti passed on one side of the wreck and Peterson on the other.

As the Lotuses built up their lead Lauda was left in third as Laffite soon faded back down the order with Reutemann, Watson, Fittipaldi and Villeneuve all passing the Frenchman. The order then settled until lap 38 when fourth-placed Reutemann dropped behind Watson and Fittipaldi with tire trouble.

Andretti thus led Peterson to another Lotus 1-2 ahead of the two Brabhams of Lauda and Watson. Fittipaldi was fifth with Villeneuve getting ahead of Reutemann by the finish to claim the final point.

Andretti was effectively World Champion because although Peterson was only 12 points behind he had agreed to be number two in the team. Lauda was third in the World Championship but was 28 points behind with a maximum of 27 available in the final three races.

Mario Andretti Lotus-Cosworth  75 1h41m04.230s  
Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Cosworth  75 1h41m04.550s  
Niki Lauda Brabham-Alfa Romeo  75 1h41m16.440s  
John Watson Brabham-Alfa Romeo  75 1h41m25.150s  
14 Emerson Fittipaldi Copersucar-Cosworth  75 1h41m25.730s  10 
12 Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari  75 1h41m50.180s  
11 Carlos Reutemann Ferrari  75 1h42m04.730s  
26 Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra  74  
Patrick Tambay McLaren-Cosworth  74  14 
10 James Hunt McLaren-Cosworth  74  
11 25 Hector Rebaque Lotus-Cosworth  74  20 
12 20 Jody Scheckter Wolf-Cosworth  73  15 
33 Bruno Giacomelli McLaren-Cosworth  60 Spin 19 
16 Hans-Joachim Stuck Shadow-Cosworth  56 Differential 18 
31 Rene Arnoux Martini-Cosworth  40 Rear Wing Mounting 23 
37 Arturo Merzario Merzario-Cosworth  40 Engine 27 
dq 19 Vittorio Brambilla Surtees-Cosworth  37 Push Start After Spin 22 
15 Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault  35 Piston 
30 Brett Lunger McLaren-Cosworth  35 Engine 21 
32 Keke Rosberg ATS-Cosworth  21 Throttle Jammed/accident 24 
27 Alan Jones Wlliams-Cosworth  17 Throttle Linkage 11 
29 Nelson Piquet McLaren-Cosworth  16 Drive Shaft 26 
Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Cosworth  13 Engine 12 
22 Derek Daly Ensign-Cosworth  10 Drive Shaft 16 
35 Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Cosworth  Accident 13 
Didier Pironi Tyrrell-Cosworth  Accident 17 
ns 18 Rupert Keegan Surtees-Cosworth    25 
nq 17 Clay Regazzoni Shadow-Cosworth    28 
nq 10 Michael Bleekemolen ATS-Cosworth    29 
nq Jochen Mass ATS-Cosworth    30 
npq 23 Lamberto Leoni Ensign-Cosworth    31 
npq 39 Danny Ongais Shadow-Cosworth    32 
npq 36 Rolf Stommelen Arrows-Cosworth    33