Dutch GP 1981
AUGUST 30, 1981
Dutch GP, 1981
The Fittipaldi team was back in action after missing the Austrian GP but had switched to Pirelli tires. Otherwise the field was the same as usual and it was an all-Renault front row with Alain Prost outqualifying Rene Arnoux. Third place went to World Championship challenger Nelson Piquet (Brabham) with his rival Carlos Reutemann fifth, behind his Williams teammate Alan Jones. Jacques Laffite was sixth in his Talbot Ligier just ahead of Mario Andretti's Alfa Romeo, John Watson's McLaren, Elio de Angelis's Lotus and the Arrows of Riccardo Patrese. Andrea de Cesaris qualified 13th but was withdrawn because the team was worried that he would damage another car, his season with the team having seen a string of accidents.
At the start Prost and Arnoux went into Tarzan ahead but behind them Gilles Villeneuve tried to make up for his poor qualifying and charge through a gap between Patrese and Bruno Giacomelli's Alfa Romeo. Giacomelli was unaware that Villeneuve was there and the result was that Villeneuve ran into the Alfa, vaulted over it and landed, spinning. At the next corner Andretti and Reutemann collided and the American ended up with a bent front wing. Also in trouble were Didier Pironi (Ferrari) and Patrick Tambay (Talbot Ligier), the pair having collided in the course of the first lap.
This left Prost leading Arnoux and Jones with Piquet fourth, Laffite fifth and Reutemann sixth. In the opening laps Jones went ahead of Arnoux and the Frenchman soon dropped behind Piquet and Laffite as well By the 10th lap Reutemann too was clear of Arnoux and a couple of laps later Watson drove around the outside of Arnoux at Tarzan to take sixth place.
The order at the front remained unchanged but Jones was beginning to challenge Prost. behind these two there was another lively battle for fourth between Laffite and Reutemann. This ended on lap 18 with the pair colliding. Jones tried to pass Prost on several occasions but then his tires became marginal and he dropped away. In the closing laps he fell into the clutches of Piquet and lost second place. Hector Rebaque gave Brabham fourth place after a steady run with the other points going to de Angelis and Eliseo Salazar in the Ensign, one of the few men still running, albeit two laps down.
Piquet's second place meant that he was equal on points with Reutemann.
|5||11||Elio de Angelis||Lotus-Cosworth||71||9|
|r||22||Mario Andretti||Alfa Romeo||62||Tyre Burst/ Accident||7|
|r||3||Eddie Cheever||Tyrrell-Cosworth||46||Suspension/ Accident||22|
|r||23||Bruno Giacomelli||Alfa Romeo||19||Accident||14|
|r||26||Jacques Laffite||Talbot Ligier-Matra||18||Accident||6|
|r||25||Patrick Tambay||Talbot Ligier-Matra||0||Accident||11|
|ns||8||Andrea de Cesaris||McLaren-Cosworth||Withdrawn By Team (accidents)||13|