Belgian GP 1976

MAY 16, 1976

Belgian GP, 1976

Two weeks after the controversial race in Spain (which had been won by James Hunt before being given to Niki Lauda when Hunt's McLaren was found to be too wide) the F1 team gathered at Zolder. The field included two six-wheeler Tyrrells (Jody Scheckter having used an older car in Spain). Hesketh had expanded to two cars with the return of Guy Edwards, who had found sponsorship from Penthouse and Rizla, while RAM Racing had replaced Emilio de Villota with local driver Patrick Neve. He would end up as the only Belgian in the race as Jacky Ickx failed to qualify the Williams-run Hesketh.

Ferrari dominated practice with Niki Lauda on pole from Clay Regazzoni. Hunt was third with Depailler fourth, Vittorio Brambilla fifth in his March and Jacques Laffite sixth in the Ligier-Matra. Scheckter qualified seventh in his Tyrrell, just ahead of Chris Amon's Ensign with the top 10 being completed by Carlos Pace in the Brabham-Alfa and Ronnie Peterson's March.

At the back there was disappointment for Emerson Fittipaldi who failed to qualify his Fittipaldi.

At the start Lauda went into the lead and Hunt grabbed second from Regazzoni. It soon became clear that the Ferraris was quicker on lap six Regazzoni moved to second. The two Ferraris then ran off to a dominant 1-2 victory. In the early laps Laffite ran fourth but he was passed on the ninth lap by Depailler after an attempt to pass Hunt caused him to slow down. The Ligier driver recovered and retook Depailler on lap 15. Two laps later Laffite went ahead of Hunt. Depailler followed by the Tyrrell went out with engine failure on lap 29, elevating Scheckter to fourth. Hunt was fifth but retired on lap 36 with a transmission failure, leaving the place to Amon. On the 52nd lap a wheel came off the Ensign and Amon crashed, the car being flipped upside-down by an earth bank but the New Zealander emerging unscathed. This left Alan Jones (Surtees) to finish sixth.

Niki Lauda Ferrari 312T2 70 1h42m53.230s  
Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 312T2 70 1h42m56.690s  
26 Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra JS5 70 1h43m28.610s  
Jody Scheckter Tyrrell-Cosworth P34 70 1h44m24.310s  
19 Alan Jones Surtees-Cosworth TS19 69  16 
12 Jochen Mass McLaren-Cosworth M23 69  18 
28 John Watson Penske-Cosworth PC3 69  17 
37 Larry Perkins Boro-Cosworth N175 69  20 
17 Jean-Pierre Jarier Shadow-Cosworth DN5B 69  14 
10 16 Tom Pryce Shadow-Cosworth DN5B 68  13 
11 21 Michel Leclere Wolf Williams-Cosworth FW05 68  25 
12 32 Loris Kessel Brabham-Cosworth BT44B 63  23 
18 Brett Lunger Surtees-Cosworth TS19 62 Electrics 26 
Carlos Pace Brabham-Alfa Romeo BT45 58 Electrics 
22 Chris Amon Ensign-Cosworth N176 51 Wheel Lost/ Accident 
11 James Hunt McLaren-Cosworth M23 35 Transmission 
34 Hans-Joachim Stuck March-Cosworth 761 33 Suspension 15 
24 Harald Ertl Hesketh-Cosworth 308D 31 Engine 24 
Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Cosworth P34 29 Engine 
Mario Andretti Lotus-Cosworth 77 28 Cv Joint 11 
33 Patrick Neve Brabham-Cosworth BT44B 24 Cv Joint 19 
35 Arturo Merzario March-Cosworth 761 21 Engine 21 
Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Alfa Romeo BT45 17 Engine 12 
10 Ronnie Peterson March-Cosworth 761 16 Accident 10 
Gunnar Nilsson Lotus-Cosworth 77 Accident 22 
Vittorio Brambilla March-Cosworth 761 Drive Shaft 
nq 30 Emerson Fittipaldi Copersucar-Cosworth FD04   27 
nq 20 Jacky Ickx Wolf Williams-Cosworth FW05   28 
nq 25 Guy Edwards Hesketh-Cosworth 308D   29