Argentine GP 1981

Argentine GP, 1981

In the two weeks between the Brazilian and Argentine GPs there was plenty to talk about. Carlos Reutemann's decision to disobey team orders in Brazil had split the Williams team while the Lotus 88 was once again banned and team boss Colin Chapman was so incensed by the decision that he left before practice even began. There was also a dispute over Brabham's new hydro-pneumatic suspension which was designed to overcome the regulation which meant cars had to run with 6cm of ground clearance. Whenever the Brabham was measured it was 6cm above the ground.

The entry was the same as in Brazil except that Jean-Pierre Jabouille was back in the Talbot Ligier. He failed to qualify. Also missing out were the two Osellas and Eliseo Salazar's March.

Thanks to his hydro-pneumatic suspension system Piquet was on pole position with Alain Prost second quickest in the Renault. Then came Jones and Reutemann, Rene Arnoux in the second Renault and Hector Rebaque in the second Brabham. The top 10 was completed by Gilles Villeneuve (Ferrari), Keke Rosberg (Fittipaldi), Riccardo Patrese (Arrows) and Elio de Angelis in the Lotus.

Jones took the lead at the start but Piquet got ahead in the course of the first lap by driving around the outside of Jones in one of the corners and he then drove away from the field. He ended the race over 25 secs ahead.

In the course of the second lap Reutemann overtook Jones and the Australian would later drop behind Prost and Rebaque as well. Rebaque's Brabham was handling well and so he was able to get ahead of the Renault on lap 11 and so for the middle part of the race the Brabhams were running in 1-2 formation. On lap 33, however, the Mexican disappeared with a distributor problem. This put Reutemann back into second place with Prost third and Jones fourth. Arnoux finished fifth while the final point went to de Angelis after a fight with Patrese and Patrick Tambay (Theodore).

Nelson Piquet Brabham-Cosworth  53 1h34m32.740s  
Carlos Reutemann Williams-Cosworth  53 1h34m59.350s  
15 Alain Prost Renault  53 1h24m22.720s  
Alan Jones Williams-Cosworth  53 1h35m40.620s  
16 Rene Arnoux Renault  53 1h36m04.590s  
11 Elio de Angelis Lotus-Cosworth  52  10 
29 Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Cosworth  52  
22 Mario Andretti Alfa Romeo  52  17 
30 Siegfried Stohr Arrows-Cosworth  52  19 
10r 23 Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo  51 Out Of Fuel 22 
11 Andrea de Cesaris McLaren-Cosworth  51  18 
12 Jan Lammers ATS-Cosworth  51  23 
13 Ricardo Zunino Tyrrell-Cosworth  51 1 Lap Penalty (missed Chicane) 24 
27 Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari  40 Drive Shaft 
33 Patrick Tambay Theodore-Cosworth  36 Oil Loss/ Engine 14 
John Watson McLaren-Cosworth  36 Crown Wheel & Pinion 11 
Hector Rebaque Brabham-Cosworth  32 Distributor Rotor Arm 
21 Chico Serra Fittipaldi-Cosworth  28 Gearbox 20 
26 Jacques Laffite Talbot Ligier-Matra  19 Vibration/ Handling 21 
14 Marc Surer Ensign-Cosworth  14 Engine 16 
20 Keke Rosberg Fittipaldi-Cosworth  Fuel Pump Belt 
12 Nigel Mansell Lotus-Cosworth  Engine 15 
28 Didier Pironi Ferrari  Engine 12 
Eddie Cheever Tyrrell-Cosworth  Clutch 13 
nq 31 Miguel-Angel Guerra Osella-Cosworth    25 
nq 32 Beppe Gabbiani Osella-Cosworth    26 
nq 17 Derek Daly March-Cosworth    27 
nq 25 Jean-Pierre Jobouille Talbot Ligier-Matra    28 
nq 18 Eliseo Salazar March-Cosworth    29