Dutch GP 1983
AUGUST 28, 1983
Dutch GP, 1983
In the fortnight between the Austrian and Dutch GPs, Keke Rosberg and Jacques Laffite agreed to re-sign for Williams in 1984 while there were suggestions that Prost had had an offer to join Ferrari. The big news in the Zandvoort paddock, however, was that the first McLaren-TAG MP4/1E was ready and it was driven for the weekend by Niki Lauda. It was not an immediate challenger with Lauda having to be content with 19th on the grid while Nelson Piquet was on pole position in his Brabham-BMW with Patrick Tambay (Ferrari) alongside on the front row. Then came Elio de Angelis (Lotus-Renault) and World Championship leader Alain Prost (Renault) ahead of Nigel Mansell (Lotus-Renault), Riccardo Patrese (Brabham-BMW), Derek Warwick (Toleman-Hart), Andrea de Cesaris (Alfa Romeo), Manfred Winkelhock (ATS-BMW) and Prost's title challenger Rene Arnoux, the Frenchman having had engine trouble in qualifying.
At the start of the race Piquet went ahead as Tambay was slow off the line while Cheever made a sensational start to grab second place from 12th on the grid! Prost was third ahead of Patrese, de Cesaris, Arnoux and de Angelis (who had been banging wheels with his teammate Mansell. Tambay was down in 21st position.
De Cesaris did not last long, going out with a blown engine but apart from that the order did not change until the eighth lap when Patrese overtook Cheever. Eddie soon dropped behind Arnoux as well and on lap 22 the Ferrari driver went ahead of Patrese. Riccardo dropped back and was later passed by Cheever. The pit stops began on lap 38 but at the start of lap 42 the two leaders collided in Tarzan. Piquet was punted of and Prost rejoined but his front wing was damaged and he soon retired. This left Arnoux in the lead with Patrese second, Tambay third and John Watson (McLaren-Cosworth) fourth. The order remained the same until lap 70 when Patrese suffered a turbo failure and so Ferrari scored a 1-2 with Watson third. Warwick was fourth, Mauro Baldi (Alfa Romeo) and Michele Alboreto sixth in the Tyrrell 012.