British GP 1980

British GP, 1980

The field was much as normal as the teams gathered at Brands Hatch for the first time in two years. Pre-race testing had shown how much progress had been made with Didier Pironi lapping the track five seconds faster than the best lap in 1978.

The entry list was bolstered by the appearance of RAM's British F1 Championship team of Rupert Keegan and Desire Wilson with old Williams FW07 chassis. Brabham had dropped Ricardo Zunino and taken on Hector Rebaque while there was much interest in the new Fittipaldi F8, although Keke Rosberg had to make do with a modified old car while Emerson Fittipaldi used the new model.

Qualifying resulted in Pironi taking pole from his Ligier team mate Jacques Laffite. The second row was shared by the two Williams's of Alan Jones and Carlos Reutemann while Nelson Piquet put his Brabham in fifth ahead of Bruno Giacomelli's Alfa Romeo. Ferrari and Renault were both in serious difficulties with tires with Jean-Pierre Jabouille 13th on the grid, Rene Arnoux 16th, Gilles Villeneuve 19th and Jody Scheckter 23rd.

At the start Pironi took the lead with Laffite holding of a challenge for second place by Jones as they dived into Paddock Hill Bend. Piquet however was able to grab fourth place from Reutemann. As Pironi drove away from his challengers the race order remained the same until lap 17 when seventh placed Giacomelli pitted for new tires. Then Pironi began to slow and on lap 19 he went into the pits with a flat left front tire. The pit stop was not a success and Pironi rejoined at the tail of the field. He began a remarkable charge.

At the front, however, Laffite was comfortably ahead until lap 31 when he began to suffer a deflating tire. This exploded and Laffite spun off into the catchfencing at Hawthorn Bend. This left Jones with a good lead over Piquet and Reutemann while Pironi provided the excitement as he worked his way up through the midfield. He was up to fifth place when he suffered another tire deflation. It was later established that the problems were being caused by the wheel rims cracking.

Jones finished 10 seconds ahead of Piquet with Reutemann third. Derek Daly did a good job to finish fourth for Tyrrell while the top six was completed by the second Tyrrell of Jean-Pierre Jarier and Alain Prost's McLaren.

The result gave Jones a six point lead in the World Championship over Piquet.

27 Alan Jones Williams-Cosworth  76 1h34m49.228s  
Nelson Piquet Brabham-Cosworth  76 1h35m00.235s  
28 Carlos Reutemann Williams-Cosworth  76 1h35m02.513s  
Derek Daly Tyrrell-Cosworth  75  10 
Jean-Pierre Jarier Tyrrell-Cosworth  75  11 
Alain Prost McLaren-Cosworth  75  
Hector Rebaque Brabham-Cosworth  74  17 
John Watson McLaren-Cosworth  74  12 
29 Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Cosworth  73  21 
10 Jody Scheckter Ferrari  73  23 
11 50 Rupert Keegan Williams-Cosworth  73  18 
12 20 Emerson Fittipaldi Fittipaldi-Cosworth  72  22 
13 30 Jochen Mass Arrows-Cosworth  69  24 
nc 16 Rene Arnoux Renault  67  16 
25 Didier Pironi Ligier-Cosworth  63 Wheel/ Tyre 
Marc Surer ATS-Cosworth  59 Engine 15 
11 Mario Andretti Lotus-Cosworth  57 Gearbox 
23 Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo  42 Accident 
Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari  35 Engine 19 
26 Jacques Laffite Ligier-Cosworth  30 Wheel/ Puncture/ Accident 
22 Patrick Depailler Alfa Romeo  27 Engine 
31 Eddie Cheever Osella-Cosworth  17 Rear Suspension 20 
12 Elio de Angelis Lotus-Cosworth  16 Rear Suspension 14 
15 Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault  Engine 13 
nq 14 Jan Lammers Ensign-Cosworth    25 
nq 21 Keke Rosberg Fittipaldi-Cosworth    26 
nq 43 Desir¬© Wilson Williams-Cosworth    27