Austrian GP 1982

Austrian GP, 1982

The 1982 Austrian Grand Prix came at a time when Formula 1 desperately needed some good news. That year Gilles Villeneuve had been killed at Zolder and a few days before the Zeltweg race, World Championship leader Didier Pironi was grievously injured in an accident in practice at the German Grand Prix.

Being at high altitude the Zeltweg track gave the advantage to the turbocharged cars and thousands of Ferrari fans came north in the hope that Patrick Tambay, in the only Ferrari, would give them something to cheer about. But in qualifying there was no catching the Brabham-BMWs of Nelson Piquet and Riccardo Patrese. Behind came the two turbo Renaults of Alain Prost and Rene Arnoux, split by Tambay. The first of the normally-aspirated cars was Keke Rosberg's Williams.

Ferrari's hopes were wiped out at the end of the first lap when Tambay picked up a puncture from wreckage from a first lap accident. This left the four turbos to pull away from the rest, with Patrese taking the lead from Piquet on the second lap. Lotus driver Elio de Angelis was driving a storming race in fifth, pulling well clear of the normally-aspirated opposition.

And then things began to go wrong for the turbo men. Arnoux retired with engine trouble and when Piquet pitted for new tires he was unable to pull away from fifth-placed Rosberg.

Patrese pitted without losing the lead but three laps later his engine failed. Piquet was fading too and on lap 32 Rosberg moved into third place and began to chase down de Angelis.

On lap 49 Prost's Renault engine stopped. The normally-aspirated battle became a battle for the lead. Neither man had won a Grand Prix and both were desperate to do so. Rosberg was quicker and the gap came down dramatically in the tense final laps. As they set off for the final lap Elio was 1.6s ahead. This was reduced to nothing by the time the pair came through the Texaco Schikane section and Rosberg was ready to challenge as they hurtled into the long sweeping Rindtkurve - the final corner.

But Rosberg lost momentum, having to brake behind the Lotus, and so de Angelis stayed ahead. Onto the start-finish straight the Finn jinked out and tried to power past the Lotus but he was still 0.050s behind when they crossed the line.

11 Elio de Angelis Lotus-Cosworth  53 1h25m02.212s  
Keke Rosberg Williams-Cosworth  53 1h25m02.262s  
26 Jacques Laffite Talbot Ligier-Matra  52  14 
27 Patrick Tambay Ferrari  52  
Niki Lauda McLaren-Cosworth  52  10 
30 Mauro Baldi Arrows-Cosworth  52  23 
20 Chico Serra Fittipaldi-Cosworth  51  20 
8r 15 Alain Prost Renault  48 Fuel Injection 
John Watson McLaren-Cosworth  44 Water Pipe 18 
Brian Henton Tyrrell-Cosworth  32 Valve Spring 19 
Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW  31 Camshaft Drive 
33 Tommy Byrne Theodore-Cosworth  28 Spin 26 
29 Marc Surer Arrows-Cosworth  28 Fuel System 21 
Riccardo Patrese Brabham-BMW  27 Engine Gudgeon Pin/spin 
25 Eddie Cheever Talbot Ligier-Matra  22 Valve 22 
12 Nigel Mansell Lotus-Cosworth  17 Engine 12 
16 Rene Arnoux Renault  16 Turbo 
Manfred Winkelhock ATS-Cosworth  15 Spin 25 
35 Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart  Rear Suspension 15 
36 Teo Fabi Toleman-Hart  Drive Shaft 17 
14 Roberto Guerrero Ensign-Cosworth  Drive Shaft 16 
Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Cosworth  Accident 
17 Rupert Keegan March-Cosworth  Accident 24 
22 Andrea de Cesaris Alfa Romeo  Accident 11 
Derek Daly Williams-Cosworth  Accident 
23 Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo  Accident 13 
nq 18 Raul Boesel March-Cosworth    27 
nq 31 Jean-Pierre Jarier Osella-Cosworth    28 
nq 10 Eliseo Salazar ATS-Cosworth    29