Dutch GP 1981

Dutch GP, 1981

The Fittipaldi team was back in action after missing the Austrian GP but had switched to Pirelli tires. Otherwise the field was the same as usual and it was an all-Renault front row with Alain Prost outqualifying Rene Arnoux. Third place went to World Championship challenger Nelson Piquet (Brabham) with his rival Carlos Reutemann fifth, behind his Williams teammate Alan Jones. Jacques Laffite was sixth in his Talbot Ligier just ahead of Mario Andretti's Alfa Romeo, John Watson's McLaren, Elio de Angelis's Lotus and the Arrows of Riccardo Patrese. Andrea de Cesaris qualified 13th but was withdrawn because the team was worried that he would damage another car, his season with the team having seen a string of accidents.

At the start Prost and Arnoux went into Tarzan ahead but behind them Gilles Villeneuve tried to make up for his poor qualifying and charge through a gap between Patrese and Bruno Giacomelli's Alfa Romeo. Giacomelli was unaware that Villeneuve was there and the result was that Villeneuve ran into the Alfa, vaulted over it and landed, spinning. At the next corner Andretti and Reutemann collided and the American ended up with a bent front wing. Also in trouble were Didier Pironi (Ferrari) and Patrick Tambay (Talbot Ligier), the pair having collided in the course of the first lap.

This left Prost leading Arnoux and Jones with Piquet fourth, Laffite fifth and Reutemann sixth. In the opening laps Jones went ahead of Arnoux and the Frenchman soon dropped behind Piquet and Laffite as well By the 10th lap Reutemann too was clear of Arnoux and a couple of laps later Watson drove around the outside of Arnoux at Tarzan to take sixth place.

The order at the front remained unchanged but Jones was beginning to challenge Prost. behind these two there was another lively battle for fourth between Laffite and Reutemann. This ended on lap 18 with the pair colliding. Jones tried to pass Prost on several occasions but then his tires became marginal and he dropped away. In the closing laps he fell into the clutches of Piquet and lost second place. Hector Rebaque gave Brabham fourth place after a steady run with the other points going to de Angelis and Eliseo Salazar in the Ensign, one of the few men still running, albeit two laps down.

Piquet's second place meant that he was equal on points with Reutemann.

15 Alain Prost Renault  72 1h40m22.430s  
Nelson Piquet Brabham-Cosworth  72 1h40m30.670s  
Alan Jones Williams-Cosworth  72 1h40m57.930s  
Hector Rebaque Brabham-Cosworth  71  15 
11 Elio de Angelis Lotus-Cosworth  71  
14 Eliseo Salazar Ensign-Cosworth  70  24 
30 Siegfried Stohr Arrows-Cosworth  69  21 
33 Marc Surer Theodore-Cosworth  69  20 
9r Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Cosworth  68 Engine 25 
10 10 Slim Borgudd ATS-Cosworth  68  23 
22 Mario Andretti Alfa Romeo  62 Tyre Burst/ Accident 
John Watson McLaren-Cosworth  50 Electrics 
Eddie Cheever Tyrrell-Cosworth  46 Suspension/ Accident 22 
32 Jean-Pierre Jarier Osella-Cosworth  29 Gearbox 18 
16 Rene Arnoux Renault  21 Accident 
23 Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo  19 Accident 14 
26 Jacques Laffite Talbot Ligier-Matra  18 Accident 
Carlos Reutemann Williams-Cosworth  18 Accident 
29 Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Cosworth  16 Suspension  10 
17 Derek Daly March-Cosworth  Suspension 19 
28 Didier Pironi Ferrari  Accident 12 
12 Nigel Mansell Lotus-Cosworth  Electrics 17 
25 Patrick Tambay Talbot Ligier-Matra  Accident 11 
27 Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari  Accident 16 
ns Andrea de Cesaris McLaren-Cosworth   Withdrawn By Team (accidents) 13 
nq 35 Brian Henton Toleman-Hart    26 
nq 20 Keke Rosberg Fittipaldi-Cosworth    27 
nq 21 Chico Serra Fittipaldi-Cosworth    28 
nq 31 Beppe Gabbiani Osella-Cosworth    29 
nq 36 Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart    30