Brazilian GP 1984

MARCH 25, 1984

Brazilian GP, 1984

There were new regulations for the 1984 season with a maximum of 220 liters of fuel in a race and no refueling. There were changes in the teams as well with Riccardo Patrese departing Brabham to join Alfa Romeo which had picked up Tyrrell's sponsorship from Benetton and had taken on Eddie Cheever from Renault. The French team had blown up after the defeat at the end of 1983 with Alain Prost departing to replace John Watson at McLaren. Renault hired Patrick Tambay from Ferrari and Derek Warwick from Toleman. Ferrari replaced Tambay with Michele Alboreto and as Danny Sullivan had gone back to the United States the Tyrrell team had to find two new drivers. Ken Tyrrell decided to take on two youngsters: Martin Brundle and Stefan Bellof. Tyrrell was the only team without turbocharged engines.

Toleman also needed two new drivers as Teo Fabi had moved to Brabham and so the team hired Johnny Cecotto (from the defunct Theodore team) and a youngster called Ayrton Senna. The team had new sponsorship from Magirus and Segafredo.

There was a complete change at Ligier as well with a supply of Renault turbocharged engines and two new drivers: Andrea de Cesaris from Alfa Romeo and a rising French star called Francois Hesnault. Arrows had concluded a deal to use BMW engines and retained Marc Surer and Thierry Boutsen and landed sponsorship from Barclay cigarettes. Lotus retained Nigel Mansell and Elio de Angelis, Williams kept Keke Rosberg and Jacques Laffite and ATS continued with Manfred Winkelhock while Osella reduced its involvement to one car for Piercarlo Ghinzani. Mauro Baldi (who had been dropped by Alfa Romeo) found himself with the Spirit team, which was now using Hart engines but this did not appear until the European season began. The RAM team was revamped again with backing from Skoal Bandit and drivers Jonathan Palmer and Philippe Alliot.

Qualifying resulted in pole position for de Angelis with Alboreto alongside on the front row. Then came Warwick, Prost, Mansell, Niki Lauda (McLaren), Nelson Piquet (Brabham), Tambay, Rosberg and Rene Arnoux (Ferrari). At the start Alboreto took the lead from Warwick, Mansell and Lauda as de Angelis and Prost got away slowly and Piquet was left behind on the grid. Lauda quickly overtook Mansell and Tambay overtook de Angelis for fifth place. De Angelis then dropped behind Arnoux and Prost as well and it was not long before the McLaren-TAG driver overtook the Ferrari. Lauda was able to overtake Warwick as well and the two had a small coming-together as they battled for second.

On the 12th lap Alboreto spun because of a brake problem and so the lead passed to Lauda with Warwick second and Mansell third but soon Nigel was overtaken by Prost and Alain followed up by moving to second position on lap 24. The McLarens were running 1-2.

This was fine until the cars stopped for new tires. Lauda went out with an electrical problem during his stop and Prost was delayed in the confusion in the pits and so Warwick was ahead with Prost second, Tambay third, Rosberg fourth and de Angelis fifth. Mansell had gone off, Arnoux's car had blown up and Piquet too was out after a charge through the field.

Warwick now seemed to be in control of the race but on lap 51 his suspension, which had been damaged when he hit Lauda, collapsed and he spun off. Tambay, having to conserve fuel, slowed down and was overtaken by Rosberg. Two laps from the end the Renault ran out of gas.

Prost duly took the flag with Rosberg second and de Angelis third. Fourth went to Cheever with F1 debutante Martin Brundle fifth for Tyrrell while Tambay was classified sixth.

Alain Prost McLaren-TAG Porsche  61 1h42m34.492s  
Keke Rosberg Williams-Honda  61 1h43m15.006s  
11 Elio de Angelis Lotus-Renault  61 1h43m33.620s  
23 Eddie Cheever Alfa Romeo  60  12 
dq Martin Brundle Tyrrell-Cosworth  60 (1) 18 
5r 15 Patrick Tambay Renault  59 Out Of Fuel 
18 Thierry Boutsen Arrows-Cosworth  59  20 
17 Marc Surer Arrows-Cosworth  59  24 
10 Jonathan Palmer RAM-Hart  58  26 
16 Derek Warwick Renault  51 Front Suspension 
26 Andrea de Cesaris Ligier-Renault  42 Gearbox 14 
22 Riccardo Patrese Alfa Romeo  41 Gearbox 11 
Niki Lauda McLaren-TAG Porsche  38 Electrics 
12 Nigel Mansell Lotus-Renault  35 Accident 
Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW  32 Engine 
Teo Fabi Brabham-BMW  32 Turbo 15 
28 Rene Arnoux Ferrari  30 Battery 10 
24 Piercarlo Ghinzani Osella-Alfa Romeo  28 Gearbox 21 
25 Francois Hesnault Ligier-Renault  25 Engine Overheating 19 
Philippe Alliot RAM-Hart  24 Battery Mounting 25 
20 Johnny Cecotto Toleman-Hart  18 Turbo Boost Pressure 17 
Jacques Laffite Williams-Honda  15 Electrics 13 
27 Michele Alboreto Ferrari  14 Brake Caliper 
21 Mauro Baldi Spirit-Hart  12 Distributor 23 
dq Stefan Bellof Tyrrell-Cosworth  11 Throttle Linkage/(1) 22 
19 Ayrton Senna Toleman-Hart  Turbo Boost Pressure 16 
exc 14 Manfred Winkelhock ATS-BMW   Mechanics Pushed Car Into Pits 27