Dutch GP 1977

AUGUST 28, 1977

Dutch GP, 1977

There were 34 cars fighting for the 26 grid positions and so the Dutch organizers decided to have a pre-qualifying session as has happened at Silverstone. This proved to be a waste of time as Arturo Merzario objected, pointing out that the rules did not insist that he should pre-qualify. Thus 34 drivers took part in practice. Renault Sport was back in action with its turbocharged RS1 while Riccardo Patrese was back in the Shadow after the financial problems between the team and his sponsor had been sorted out. RAM Racing ran two Dutchmen, Boy Hayje being joined by Michael Bleekemolen. Brian Henton had been invited by HB Bewaking Alarm Systems to drive the old Boro (a modified Ensign) rather than his usual March.

Qualifying resulted in pole position going to Mario Andretti's Lotus with Jacques Laffite second in the Ligier-Matra. On the second row were perpetual rivals Niki Lauda (Ferrari) and James Hunt (McLaren) with the third row featuring Carlos Reutemann (Ferrari) and Gunnar Nilsson (Lotus). Then came John Watson (Brabham) and Ronnie Peterson (Tyrrell) and the top 10 was completed by Jean-Pierre Jabouille's Renault and Clay Regazzoni in the Ensign. Austrian GP winner Alan Jones was 13th in his Shadow and World Championship challenger Jody Scheckter was down in 15th.

At the start Hunt got away fastest and he and Andretti went around Tarzan corner side by side, the American having to lift off to avoid going off onto the grass. Hunt was ahead and Andretti's hesitation meant that Laffite was through into second place. Further back there was excitement as Watson damaged his car on a curb and Jochen Mass (McLaren) collided with Jones and spun off.

Andretti repassed Laffite for second place at the start of the third lap and then challenged for the lead. At the start of lap six Andretti tried to drive around the outside of the McLaren at Tarzan. This time Andretti did not lift and the result was that the two cars collided. Andretti spun and Hunt limped around to the pits to retire. This put Laffite into the lead with Lauda and Reutemann behind him. Then came the recovering Andretti. He diced with Reutemann until lap 15 when he suffered an engine failure. On lap 20 Lauda challenged Laffite for the lead and went ahead and the order remained unchanged all the way to the flag. Reutemann's third place came under pressure from Nilsson and on lap 34 the two collided and spun off. Nilsson was out but Reutemann rejoined at the back. This elevated Patrick Tambay (Theodore Ensign) to third place but he ran out of fuel on the penultimate lap and so Scheckter took third with Emerson Fittipaldi fourth and Tambay being classified fifth ahead of Reutemann.

11 Niki Lauda Ferrari  75 1h41m45.930s  
26 Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra  75 1h41m47.820s  
20 Jody Scheckter Wolf-Cosworth  74  15 
28 Emerson Fittipaldi Copersucar-Cosworth  74  17 
5r 23 Patrick Tambay Ensign-Cosworth  73 Out Of Fuel 12 
12 Carlos Reutemann Ferrari  73  
Hans-Joachim Stuck Brabham-Alfa Romeo  73  19 
35 Hans Binder Penske-Cosworth  73  18 
30 Brett Lunger March-Cosworth  73  20 
10 10 Ian Scheckter March-Cosworth  73  25 
11 Alex-Dias Ribeiro March-Cosworth  72  24 
12r 19 Vittorio Brambilla Surtees-Cosworth  67 Accident 22 
13 16 Riccardo Patrese Shadow-Cosworth  67  16 
dq 38 Brian Henton March-Cosworth  52 Push Start After Spin 23 
15 Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault  39 Rear Suspension 10 
Gunnar Nilsson Lotus-Cosworth  34 Accident 
17 Alan Jones Shadow-Cosworth  32 Engine 13 
Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Cosworth  31 Engine 11 
Ronnie Peterson Tyrrell-Cosworth  18 Ignition 
22 Clay Regazzoni Ensign-Cosworth  17 Throttle Linkage 
Mario Andretti Lotus-Cosworth  14 Engine 
24 Rupert Keegan Hesketh-Cosworth  Accident 26 
James Hunt McLaren-Cosworth  Accident 
34 Jean-Pierre Jarier Penske-Cosworth  Engine 21 
John Watson Brabham-Alfa Romeo  Oil Sump/engine 
Jochen Mass McLaren-Cosworth  Accident 14 
nq 27 Patrick Neve March-Cosworth    27 
nq 37 Arturo Merzario March-Cosworth    28 
nq 18 Vern Schuppan Surtees-Cosworth    29 
nq 39 Ian Ashley Hesketh-Cosworth    30 
nq 33 Boy (Johan Gerard) Hayje March-Cosworth    31 
nq 25 Hector Rebaque Hesketh-Cosworth    32 
nq 29 Teddy Pilette Stanley BRM-BRM    33 
nq 32 Michael Bleekemolen March-Cosworth    34