Italian GP 1979

Italian GP, 1979

The field was slightly larger than normal at Monza with the return to the World Championship of Alfa Romeo which fielded a new 179 chassis for Bruno Giacomelli and the old 177 for Vittorio Brambilla, back in action for the first time since the crash at Monza the previous season. Ensign decided to give Formula 2 star Marc Surer a run in its car in place of Patrick Gaillard, while Hector Rebaque had his HR100 chassis ready for the first time.

In qualifying it was no surprise to see the powerful Renault turbos first and second with Jean-Pierre Jabouille ahead of Rene Arnoux. Then came Jody Scheckter (Ferrari), Alan Jones (Williams), Gilles Villeneuve (Ferrari) and Clay Regazzoni (Williams). The top 10 was completed by Jacques Laffite (Ligier), Nelson Piquet and Niki Lauda in the two Brabham-Alfa Romeos and Mario Andretti in the Lotus.

As usual the Renaults were slow off the line and so Scheckter grabbed the lead from Arnoux. Behind then Villeneuve grabbed third while Laffite made a good start to get into fourth place. Jones dropped to the back of the field. On the second lap Arnoux was able to pass Scheckter to take the lead and for the next few laps the five front-runners were nose-to-tail, while Regazzoni ran in a lonely sixth position. That lasted until lap 13 when Arnoux's car began to misfire and he dropped away leaving Scheckter, Villeneuve, Laffite and Jabouille by themselves. Later in the race Jabouille dropped away with engine trouble and Laffite stopped with a similar problem and so third place went to Regazzoni with Lauda, Andretti and Jean-Pierre Jarier (Tyrrell) picking up the other points.

The victory gave Jody Scheckter the World Championship.

11 Jody Scheckter Ferrari  50 1h22m00.220s  
12 Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari  50 1h22m00.680s  
28 Clay Regazzoni Williams-Cosworth  50 1h22m05.000s  
Niki Lauda Brabham-Alfa Romeo  50 1h22m54.620s  
Mario Andretti Lotus-Cosworth  50 1h22m59.920s  10 
Jean-Pierre Jarier Tyrrell-Cosworth  50 1h23m01.770s  16 
Carlos Reutemann Lotus-Cosworth  50 1h23m24.360s  13 
14 Emerson Fittipaldi Copersucar-Cosworth  49  20 
27 Alan Jones Williams-Cosworth  49  
10 Didier Pironi Tyrrell-Cosworth  49  12 
11 Hans-Joachim Stuck ATS-Cosworth  49  15 
12 36 Vittorio Brambilla Alfa Romeo  49  22 
13 29 Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Cosworth  47  17 
14r 15 Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault  45 Engine 
26 Jacques Laffite Ligier-Cosworth  41 Engine 
20 Keke Rosberg Wolf-Cosworth  41 Engine 23 
25 Jacky Ickx Ligier-Cosworth  40 Engine 11 
18 Elio de Angelis Shadow-Cosworth  33 Clutch 24 
35 Brunco Giacomelli Alfa Romeo  28 Spin 18 
John Watson McLaren-Cosworth  13 Accident 19 
16 Rene Arnoux Renault  13 Misfire 
Patrick Tambay McLaren-Cosworth  Engine 14 
30 Jochen Mass Arrows-Cosworth  Suspension 21 
Nelson Piquet Brabham-Alfa Romeo  Accident 
nq 17 Jan Lammers Shadow-Cosworth    25 
nq 22 Marc Surer Ensign-Cosworth    26 
nq 24 Arturo Merzario Merzario-Cosworth    27 
nq 31 Hector Rebaque Lotus-Cosworth    28