Canadian GP 1979

SEPTEMBER 30, 1979

Canadian GP, 1979

The weeks between the Italian GP and the race in Canada were filled with the non-championship Dino Ferrari Grand Prix at Imola which was won by Niki Lauda. And it was the Austrian in the news in Canada, Lauda announcing in the middle of practice that he no longer wanted to be a Formula 1 driver, after completing a few laps in the all-new Brabham-Cosworth BT49. Brabham boss Bernie Ecclestone decided to put Argentina's Ricardo Zunino in the car.

The other changes to the field were a third Tyrrell for Derek Daly and a second Fittipaldi for Alex Ribeiro. The Alfa Romeo team appeared with two 179 chassis for Bruno Giacomelli and Vittorio Brambilla but the organizers refused to let them practice if they did not pre-qualify and the team refused to pre-qualify.

After qualifying Alan Jones (Williams) was on pole position with local hero Gilles Villeneuve second in his Ferrari then came Clay Regazzoni (Williams) and Nelson Piquet in one of the new Brabham-Cosworths. Fifth on the grid was Jacques Laffite (Ligier) with Didier Pironi (Tyrrell), Jean-Pierre Jabouille (Renault), Rene Arnoux (Renault), the new World Champion Jody Scheckter (Ferrari) and Mario Andretti (Lotus) completing the top 10. Zunino qualified 19th and Hector Rebaque put his own HR100 chassis 22nd.

There were political battles over whether or not Alfa Romeo would be allowed to run and eventually a compromise was reached with Brambilla allowed to run but Giacomelli being refused an entry.

In the race Villeneuve took the lead at the start with Jones and Regazzoni chasing him. Piquet ran fourth but then moved ahead of Regazzoni to take third. Jones shadowed Villeneuve for the early part of the race and eventually slipped ahead at the hairpin, the two cars banging wheels. Jones was then able to stay ahead but Villeneuve was only a second behind him at the finish. Piquet ran third until the closing laps when he dropped behind Regazzoni again and retired soon afterwards with a gearbox problem. Scheckter finished fourth with Pironi fifth and John Watson (McLaren) sixth.

27 Alan Jones Williams-Cosworth  72 1h52m06.892s  
12 Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari  72 1h52m07.972s  
28 Clay Regazzoni Williams-Cosworth  72 1h53m20.548s  
11 Jody Scheckter Ferrari  71  
Didier Pironi Tyrrell-Cosworth  71  
John Watson McLaren-Cosworth  70  17 
Ricardo Zunino Brabham-Alfa Romeo  68  19 
14 Emerson Fittipaldi Copersucar-Cosworth  67  15 
17 Jan Lammers Shadow-Cosworth  67  21 
10r Mario Andretti Lotus-Cosworth  66 Out Of Fuel 10 
Nelson Piquet Brabham-Alfa Romeo  61 Gearbox 
36 Vittorio Brambilla Alfa Romeo  52 Fuel Metering Unit 18 
25 Jacky Ickx Ligier-Cosworth  47 Gearbox 16 
Jean-Pierre Jarier Tyrrell-Cosworth  33 Engine 13 
Derek Daly Tyrrell-Cosworth  28 Engine 24 
31 Hector Rebaque Lotus-Cosworth  26 Engine Mounting 22 
18 Elio de Angelis Shadow-Cosworth  24 Distributor Rotor Arm 23 
15 Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault  24 Brakes 
Carlos Reutemann Lotus-Cosworth  23 Rear Suspension 11 
29 Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Cosworth  20 Spin 14 
Patrick Tambay McLaren-Cosworth  19 Engine 20 
16 Rene Arnoux Renault  14 Accident 
Hans-Joachim Stuck ATS-Cosworth  14 Accident 12 
26 Jacques Laffite Ligier-Cosworth  10 Engine 
nq 30 Jochen Mass Arrows-Cosworth    25 
nq 22 Marc Surer Ensign-Cosworth    26 
nq 20 Keke Rosberg Wolf-Cosworth    27 
nq 19 Alex-Dias Ribeiro Copersucar-Cosworth    28 
nq 24 Arturo Merzario Merzario-Cosworth    29 
ew Niki Lauda Brabham-Alfa Romeo   Sudden Retirement From The Sport 30