South African GP 1980

South African GP, 1980

There was a month between the Brazilian and South African GPs and in that time there were some changes in the driver lineup with ATS deciding to enter only one new car for Marc Surer. This left Jan Lammers out of work. Shadow also decided to replace Stefan Johansson with Geoff Lees. In the course of qualifying there were two major crashes with Alain Prost breaking his wrist when he suffered a suspension failure on his McLaren and Marc Surer doing serious damage to his legs when his ATS went head-on into the barriers at Crowthorne. The Swiss driver had to be cut from the car. With Surer out, Lammers was drafted in to drive one of the old ATS chassis, the new D4 having been destroyed in the accident.

Kyalami's altitude helped the turbocharged Renaults to take first and second on the grid with Jean-Pierre Jabouille ahead of Rene Arnoux. Nelson Piquet was third in his Brabham with Jacques Laffite fourth in the Ligier, just ahead of his team mate Didier Pironi. Williams's Carlos Reutemann was sixth with Patrick Depailler seventh in the Alfa Romeo ahead of Alan Jones (Williams), Jody Scheckter (Ferrari) and Gilles Villeneuve (Ferrari).

In the race Jabouille and Arnoux were able to hold off Jones on the run down to the first corner and then set off on their own, leaving Jones to battle with Laffite, Reutemann, Piquet and Villeneuve. In the early laps Scheckter overtook both Villeneuve and Piquet and soon battling Reutemann for fifth place. On the eighth lap Laffite managed to get ahead of Jones while soon afterwards Villeneuve pitted to changes tires. Soon afterwards Scheckter's promising race ended with an engine failure.

The two Renaults continued to run together at the front (Jabouille leading Arnoux) with Laffite a distant third. Jones was fourth until the middle of the race when his gearbox failed. Jean-Pierre Jarier had been up to fifth in the new Tyrrell but he then began to slip backwards and dropped behind Piquet and Pironi, although in the closing laps this order switched. Jabouille's hopes of victory ended on lap 62 when he suffered a tire failure and so the win went to Arnoux with Laffite second, Pironi third, Piquet fourth and Carlos Reutemann fifth in his Williams. The final point went to Jochen Mass in his Arrows.

16 Rene Arnoux Renault  78 1h36m52.540s  
26 Jacques Laffite Ligier-Cosworth  78 1h37m26.610s  
25 Didier Pironi Ligier-Cosworth  78 1h37m45.030s  
Nelson Piquet Brabham-Cosworth  78 1h37m53.560s  
28 Carlos Reutemann Williams-Cosworth  77  
30 Jochen Mass Arrows-Cosworth  77  19 
Jean-Pierre Jarier Tyrrell-Cosworth  77  13 
20 Emerson Fittipaldi Fittipaldi-Cosworth  77  18 
14 Clay Regazzoni Ensign-Cosworth  77  20 
10 Ricardo Zunino Brabham-Cosworth  77  17 
11 John Watson McLaren-Cosworth  76  21 
12 11 Mario Andretti Lotus-Cosworth  76  15 
13r 17 Geoff Lees Shadow-Cosworth  70 Suspension/ Accident 24 
23 Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo  69 Engine 12 
15 Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault  61 Puncture 
Derek Daly Tyrrell-Cosworth  61 Puncture 16 
21 Keke Rosberg Fittipaldi-Cosworth  58 Accident 23 
nc 22 Patrick Depailler Alfa Romeo  53  
27 Alan Jones Williams-Cosworth  34 Gearbox Oil Cooler 
Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari  31 Transmission 10 
Jody Scheckter Ferrari  14 Engine/ Electrics 
29 Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Cosworth  10 Accident 11 
31 Eddie Cheever Osella-Cosworth  Accident 22 
12 Elio de Angelis Lotus-Cosworth  Accident 14 
ns Alain Prost McLaren-Cosworth   Accident/ Injury 25 
nq Marc Surer ATS-Cosworth   Accident/ Injury 26 
nq 18 David Kennedy Shadow-Cosworth    27 
nq Jan Lammers ATS-Cosworth    28