Belgian GP 1980

MAY 4, 1980

Belgian GP, 1980

There was a gap of five weeks after the Long Beach race before the European season began at Zolder and in that time Don Nichols sold the Shadow team to Teddy Yip's Theodore Racing organization. Alain Prost was back in action having missed two races with a broken wrist while Clay Regazzoni's accident in Long Beach had left the Ensign team in trouble. Tiff Needell was hired to drive.

The event marked the first without qualifying tires, as Michelin and Goodyear had agreed not to produce them. The result of qualifying was that Alan Jones took pole in his Williams with Didier Pironi second fastest in his Ligier and Jacques Laffite third in his JS11/15. Then came Carlos Reutemann in the second Williams ahead of the two Renaults of Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Rene Arnoux. The top 10 was completed by the Brabham of Nelson Piquet, Elio de Angelis's Lotus, the Tyrrell of Jean-Pierre Jarier and Patrick Depailler's Alfa Romeo. It was bad qualifying for Ferrari with Gilles Villeneuve 12th and Jody Scheckter 14th.

At the start of the race Pironi went into the lead with Jones second and Laffite third. Jabouille suffered clutch failure and was out straight away. The order remained unchanged at the front until lap 17 when fifth-placed went off trying to pass Reutemann and dropped back down the order.

On lap 33 fifth-placed Piquet spun off. Five laps later Laffite lost third place to Reutemann. The Frenchman then pitted to have his brakes fixed.

Pironi won from Jones and Reutemann while a lively battle for fourth resulted in the place going to Arnoux, who finished just ahead of Jarier and Villeneuve. It was Pironi's first victory and he became the third new winner in four races (following Rene Arnoux and Nelson Piquet).

25 Didier Pironi Ligier-Cosworth  72 1h38m46.510s  
27 Alan Jones Williams-Cosworth  72 1h39m33.880s  
28 Carlos Reutemann Williams-Cosworth  72 1h40m10.630s  
16 Rene Arnoux Renault  71  
Jean-Pierre Jarier Tyrrell-Cosworth  71  
Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari  71  12 
21 Keke Rosberg Fittipaldi-Cosworth  71  21 
Jody Scheckter Ferrari  70  14 
Derek Daly Tyrrell-Cosworth  70  11 
10r 12 Elio de Angelis Lotus-Cosworth  69 Accident 
11 26 Jacques Laffite Ligier-Cosworth  68  
12r Jan Lammers ATS-Cosworth  64 Engine 15 
nc John Watson McLaren-Cosworth  61  20 
29 Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Cosworth  58 Accident 16 
11 Mario Andretti Lotus-Cosworth  41 Gear Linkage 17 
22 Patrick Depailler Alfa Romeo  38 Exhaust 10 
Nelson Piquet Brabham-Cosworth  32 Accident 
Alain Prost McLaren-Cosworth  29 Transmission 19 
20 Emerson Fittipaldi Fittipaldi-Cosworth  16 Electrics 24 
14 Tiff Needell Ensign-Cosworth  12 Engine 23 
23 Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo  11 Suspension 18 
Ricardo Zunino Brabham-Cosworth  Clutch/ Gearbox 22 
15 Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault  Clutch 
30 Jochen Mass Arrows-Cosworth  Accident 13 
nq 17 Geoff Lees Shadow-Cosworth    25 
nq 18 David Kennedy Shadow-Cosworth    26 
nq 31 Eddie Cheever Osella-Cosworth    27