Austrian GP 1981

AUGUST 16, 1981

Austrian GP, 1981

The entry was as normal except that the Fittipaldi team, which was struggling for money, was not present because it did not have enough engines. Tyrrell had switched from Avon to Goodyear. The result of this was that Eddie Cheever failed to make the grid in the new Tyrrell 011. With Austria's extra altitude the turbocharged cars were at an advantage and Rene Arnoux and Alain Prost put their Renaults on the front row with Gilles Villeneuve's Ferrari third. Jacques Laffite was next up in the Talbot Ligier (powered by a Matra V12 engine) while Williams team mates Carlos Reutemann and Alan Jones were fifth and sixth. The top 10 was completed by Nelson Piquet (Brabham), Didier Pironi (Ferrari), Elio de Angelis (Lotus) and Riccardo Patrese (Arrows).

At the start Villeneuve blasted his Ferrari into the lead ahead of Prost, Arnoux and Pironi (who had made a fast start in his Ferrari). Villeneuve pushed too hard on the second lap and went off, rejoining in sixth place. This left Prost and Arnoux to pull away while Pironi's Ferrari provided a road block for those chasing. The cork stayed in the bottle until the ninth lap, by which time the Renaults had a lead of nearly 20secs. Laffite made it through and was followed by Piquet. Laffite began to close up but then the gap stabilized. Pironi dropped back behind the two Williams cars, Jones still leading Reutemann. By mid-distance Laffite was within striking distance of the Renaults and then Prost suffered a suspension failure and went out, allowing Arnoux to take the lead. On lap 39 Laffite finally managed to get ahead as the pair diced through traffic. Arnoux had to settle for second while third went to Piquet. Jones and Reutemann were fourth and fifth and the final point went to John Watson (McLaren).

26 Jacques Laffite Talbot Ligier-Matra  53 1h27m36.470s  
16 Rene Arnoux Renault  53 1h27m41.640s  
Nelson Piquet Brabham-Cosworth  53 1h27m43.810s  
Alan Jones Williams-Cosworth  53 1h27m48.510s  
Carlos Reutemann Williams-Cosworth  53 1h28m08.320s  
John Watson McLaren-Cosworth  53 1h29m07.610s  12 
11 Elio de Angelis Lotus-Cosworth  52  
Andrea de Cesaris McLaren-Cosworth  52  18 
28 Didier Pironi Ferrari  52  
10 32 Jean-Pierre Jarier Osella-Cosworth  51  14 
11 17 Derek Daly March-Cosworth  47  19 
22 Mario Andretti Alfa Romeo  46 Engine 13 
10 Slim Borgudd ATS-Cosworth  44 Brakes 21 
29 Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Cosworth  43 Engine 10 
14 Eliseo Salazar Ensign-Cosworth  43 Engine 20 
Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Cosworth  40 Engine 22 
23 Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo  35 Engine/ Fire 16 
Hector Rebaque Brabham-Cosworth  31 Clutch 15 
30 Siegfried Stohr Arrows-Cosworth  27 Spin 24 
15 Alain Prost Renault  26 Front Suspension 
25 Patrick Tambay Talbot Ligier-Matra  26 Engine 17 
12 Nigel Mansell Lotus-Cosworth  23 Engine 11 
27 Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari  11 Accident 
33 Marc Surer Theodore-Cosworth  Distributor 23 
nq Eddie Cheever Tyrrell-Cosworth    25 
nq 36 Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart    26 
nq 35 Brian Henton Toleman-Hart    27 
nq 31 Beppe Gabbiani Osella-Cosworth    28