British GP 1981
JULY 18, 1981
British GP, 1981
The field was almost the same as at Dijon a fortnight earlier except that Jean-Pierre Jarier had been hired to drive for Osella in place of Miguel Angel Guerra. Team Lotus appeared with the Lotus 88B but once again the team ran into trouble with the FISA over the legality of the car and eventually the cars were disqualified and as they had been built by cannibalizing the 87s the team had no choice but to withdraw.
Qualifying resulted in a 1-2 for the Renaults of Rene Arnoux and Alain Prost with Nelson Piquet third in his Brabham. The Brazilian used a new BMW turbo-engined BT50 in the course of practice but set his time in the old BT49C. Didier Pironi was fourth fastest for Ferrari and then came the two McLarens of John Watson and Andrea de Cesaris. The fourth row featured Alan Jones (Williams) alongside Gilles Villeneuve's Ferrari while the top 10 was completed by Carlos Reutemann (Williams) and Riccardo Patrese (Arrows).
In the race Prost was ahead at the end of the first lap with Pironi, Villeneuve, Arnoux and Piquet behind him. Arnoux quickly moved ahead of the Ferraris and on lap 3 the race became a Renault 1-2 with Piquet third, having got past Villeneuve. Shortly afterwards the Canadian hit a curb at Woodcote and spun. Jones tried to avoid the Ferrari but was taken out by it while behind them de Cesaris locked up and went off heavily into the barriers. Villeneuve managed to get the Ferrari going again but only got as far as Stowe Corner before parking.
Piquet was now after Pironi and he passed him on the fifth lap. The order then stabilized until lap 12 when Piquet suffered a tire explosion at Becketts and crashed heavily. Nelson was taken off to hospital.
Watson was now fighting back after being delayed by the Villeneuve-Jones incident he overtook Reutemann and Mario Andretti (Alfa Romeo) and closed on Pironi. As he overtook the Ferrari it blew up and went out and so Watson was a safe third with only the two Renault drivers ahead. On the 17th lap Prost's engine blew but Arnoux remained firmly ahead with Watson second, Reutemann third, Andretti fourth, Patrese fifth and Hector Rebaque (Brabham) sixth. Patrese soon moved ahead of Andretti while Rebaque dropped down the order when he stopped for new tires, Laffite moving into sixth place. The order was then settled until the 50th lap when the Renault engine began to sound odd and Watson began to close up quickly. On the 60th lap he went ahead. At the same moment Andretti disappeared with a throttle cable failure and as Arnoux faded through the field Patrese went out with an engine failure. This meant that the final order was Watson, Reutemann, Laffite, Eddie Cheever (Tyrrell), Rebaque and Slim Borgudd (ATS).
|3||26||Jacques Laffite||Talbot Ligier-Matra||67||14|
|11r||33||Marc Surer||Theodore-Cosworth||61||Out Of Fuel||24|
|r||22||Mario Andretti||Alfa Romeo||59||Throttle Linkage||11|
|r||20||Keke Rosberg||Fittipaldi-Cosworth||56||Rear Suspension||16|
|r||11||Elio de Angelis||Lotus-Cosworth||25||Black-flagged/ Withdrew||22|
|r||25||Patrick Tambay||Talbot Ligier-Matra||15||Ignition||15|
|r||5||Nelson Piquet||Brabham-Cosworth||11||Tyre Burst/ Accident||3|
|r||23||Bruno Giacomelli||Alfa Romeo||5||Gearbox||12|
|r||8||Andrea de Cesaris||McLaren-Cosworth||3||Accident||6|