Brazilian GP 1983

MARCH 13, 1983

Brazilian GP, 1983

There were a lot of changes over the winter of 1982-3 as teams hurried to do deals for turbocharged engines and to build cars for the new flat-bottomed regulations. In December Team Lotus suffered a major setback when its founder Colin Chapman died of a heart attack at the age of only 54. The running of the team was taken over by Peter Warr. The team had new deal for Renault engines and Pirelli tires but the drivers remained the same, Nigel Mansell partnering Elio de Angelis.

Although Keke Rosberg had won the 1982 title, it was clear that it had been a victory of reliability rather than horsepower. Williams retained Rosberg but he was joined by Jacques Laffite. The team continued with Cosworth engines but a deal had been struck with Honda for turbo engines. A new team called Spirit Racing was doing development testing for Honda.

Tyrrell had ended the 1982 season with Michele Alboreto winning in Las Vegas and the team had new backing from the Benetton clothing company. Alboreto was retained while American Danny Sullivan took the second car. Brabham retained Nelson Piquet and Riccardo Patrese but there was a new Brabham-BMW BT52. In addition BMW had agreed to supply a one-car ATS team with driver Manfred Winkelhock.

McLaren was little changed with drivers John Watson and Niki Lauda and Cosworth-engined MP4/1Cs but the TAG turbo engines were being developed by Porsche. Renault had modified versions of the RE30 and Alain Prost was joined by Eddie Cheever, while Rene Arnoux moved on to Ferrari to partner Patrick Tambay. The two had B versions of the fast but fragile 126C2. The Ligier team was struggling as a result of the breakup of its deal with Talbot. The team switched back to Cosworth engines and took on Raul Boesel (with money from Cafe do Brasil) to partner Jean-Pierre Jarier. The new JS21 was run on Michelin tires.

There had been changes at Alfa Romeo with the running of the team being handed over to Paolo Pavanello's Euroracing. Bruno Giacomelli had moved to Toleman and was replaced as Andrea de Cesaris's team mate by Mauro Baldi. The team ran three bulky-looking turbocharged 183Ts. Toleman had B-versions of the TG183 and Derek Warwick once again as team leader.

The Fittipaldi team had been closed down and Chico Serra transferred to Arrows where he partnered Marc Surer with the new Cosworth-engined A6 chassis. Osella remained much as before with two cars for Corrado Fabi and Piercarlo Ghinzani while Ensign and Theodore had merged with Theodore team manager Jo Ramirez running the team and the chassis being a development of the 1982 Ensign. Roberto Guerrero was retained and Venezuela's Johnny Cecotto signed to drive the second car.

Although the March team had disappeared John Macdonald had decided to go his own way with RAM Automotive and Dave Kelly had designed the conventional Cosworth-engined RAM 01. Eliseo Salazar had moved from ATS to drive for the new team.

In qualifying in Brazil Rosberg was on pole from Prost, Tambay, Piquet, Warwick, Arnoux, Patrese, Cheever, Lauda and Baldi. Qualifying was a disaster for Andrea de Cesaris who was disqualified for failing to stop for a weight check. The other non-qualifier was Piercarlo Ghinzani in the Osella.

In the race Rosberg took the lead from Prost and Piquet while in the midfield Baldi and Alboreto collided. This badly delayed de Angelis but everyone was still running. Rosberg remained in the lead only until lap seven when he was overtaken by Piquet (who had passed Prost on the second lap). Piquet then drove away at speed and had enough time in hand to stop for fuel and tires on lap 40 and still stay ahead of Rosberg, who stopped much earlier and during the refueling there was a fire and Keke jumped out of the car. The fire was put out and he rejoined and had to work his way back through the front-runners. He finished second. When Keke pitted Watson was briefly second before he retired with an engine problem, which allowed Prost back into the position. He later faded behind Lauda who drove a nonstop race to finish third. Laffite was fourth with Tambay fifth and Surer sixth. After the race there was controversy when Rosberg was disqualified because he had been given a push start in the pits.

Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW  63 1h48m27.731s  
dq Keke Rosberg Williams-Cosworth  63 Push Start In Pits 
Niki Lauda McLaren-Cosworth  63 1h49m19.614s  
Jacques Laffite Williams-Cosworth  63 1h49m41.682  18 
27 Patrick Tambay Ferrari  63 1h49m45.848s  
29 Marc Surer Arrows-Cosworth  63 1h49m45.938s  20 
15 Alain Prost Renault  62  
35 Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart  62  
30 Chico Serra Arrows-Cosworth  62  23 
10 28 Rene Arnoux Ferrari  62  
11 Danny Sullivan Tyrrell-Cosworth  62  21 
12 12 Nigel Mansell Lotus-Cosworth  61  22 
dq 11 Elio de Angelis Lotus-Cosworth  60 Changed Car After Parade Lap 13 
14 34 Johnny Cecotto Theodore-Cosworth  60  19 
15 17 Eliseo Salazar RAM March-Cosworth  59  26 
16 Manfred Winkelhock ATS-BMW  59  25 
nc 33 Roberto Guerrero Theodore-Cosworth  53  14 
16 Eddie Cheever Renault  41 Turbo 
John Watson McLaren-Cosworth  34 Engine 16 
26 Raul Boesel Ligier-Cosworth  25 Electrics 17 
23 Mauro Baldi Alfa Romeo  23 Accident/front Suspension 10 
25 Jean-Pierre Jarier Ligier-Cosworth  22 Rear Suspension 12 
Riccardo Patrese Brabham-BMW  19 Exhaust 
31 Corrado Fabi Osella-Cosworth  17 Engine 24 
36 Bruno Giacomelli Toleman-Hart  16 Spin 15 
Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Cosworth  Accident 11 
nq 32 Piercarlo Ghinzani Osella-Cosworth    27 
exc 22 Andrea de Cesaris Alfa Romeo   Missed Weight Check 28