Brazilian GP 1979

FEBRUARY 4, 1979

Brazilian GP, 1979

After a year away in Rio de Janeiro, the F1 circus returned to Interlagos, where major upgrading work had been done although the drivers were still complaining about bumps on the newly-surfaced track. The field was the same as it had been in Argentina a fortnight earlier and once again it was the two Ligiers which were dominant with pole position going to Jacques Laffite once again and Patrick Depailler alongside him on the front row.

The second row featured the Lotuses of Carlos Reutemann and Mario Andretti and the third row featured the Ferraris of Gilles Villeneuve and Jody Scheckter. Jean-Pierre Jabouille put his Renault seventh, just ahead of Didier Pironi's Tyrrell. The top 10 was completed by Emerson Fittipaldi (Fittipaldi) and James Hunt (Wolf). Brabham was in trouble on this occasion with Niki Lauda down in 12th place and the hobbling Nelson Piquet 22nd.

In the race Laffite took the lead while Reutemann briefly grabbed second place before Depailler seized it back again. Reutemann lost third place as well as Andretti went past him. Behind them came Scheckter and Fittipaldi. Fittipaldi then overtook Scheckter and moved to fourth when Andretti's Lotus began to misfire and went into the pits. Fittipaldi then attacked Reutemann while behind them Scheckter came under pressure from Pironi. Pironi got ahead but then spun and found himself behind again. He repeated the overtaking move and began to pull away from the Ferrari.

On the twenty-second lap Fittipaldi's fine charge ended when a rear wheel worked itself loose and he had to pit. Both Ferraris pitted for new tires and Villeneuve got ahead and they finished fifth and sixth behind Laffite, Depailler, Reutemann and Pironi.

26 Jacques Laffite Ligier-Cosworth  40 1h40m09.640s  
25 Patrick Depailler Ligier-Cosworth  40 1h40m14.920s  
Carlos Reutemann Lotus-Cosworth  40 1h40m53.780s  
Didier Pironi Tyrrell-Cosworth  40 1h41m35.520s  
12 Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari  39  
11 Jody Scheckter Ferrari  39  
30 Jochen Mass Arrows-Cosworth  39  19 
John Watson McLaren-Cosworth  39  14 
29 Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Cosworth  39  16 
10 15 Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault  39  
11 14 Emerson Fittipaldi Copersucar-Cosworth  39  
12 18 Elio de Angelis Shadow-Cosworth  39  20 
13 22 Derek Daly Ensign-Cosworth  39  23 
14 17 Jan Lammers Shadow-Cosworth  39  21 
15 28 Clay Regazzoni Williams-Cosworth  38  17 
27 Alan Jones Williams-Cosworth  33 Fuel Pressure 13 
Hans-Joachim Stuck ATS-Cosworth  31 Steering Wheel 24 
16 Rene Arnoux Renault  28 Spin 11 
Patrick Tambay McLaren-Cosworth  Accident 18 
20 James Hunt Wolf-Cosworth  Steering Rack 10 
Nelson Piquet Brabham-Alfa Romeo  Accident 22 
Niki Lauda Brabham-Alfa Romeo  Gear Linkage 12 
Mario Andretti Lotus-Cosworth  Misfire/ Fuel Leak/ Fire 
Jean-Pierre Jarier Tyrrell-Cosworth  -1 Electrics 15 
nq 31 Hector Rebaque Lotus-Cosworth    25 
nq 24 Arturo Merzario Merzario-Cosworth    26