European GP 1983

SEPTEMBER 25, 1983

European GP, 1983

The cancellation of the New York Grand Prix gave Brands Hatch the chance to host a European GP and there was much excitement as Alain Prost, Rene Arnoux and Nelson Piquet disputed the World Championship. Williams decided not to run the new Honda-engined cars at Brands Hatch but entered a third car for test driver Jonathan Palmer. Theodore was struggling and with Mo Nunn having departed, the team dropped to one car with Johnny Cecotto ending up a spectator. The big news was that Patrick Tambay would be dropped by Ferrari in 1984 and replaced by Michele Alboreto while there were hints that Tambay might end up at Renault as Eddie Cheever was rumored to be leaving.

Qualifying produced a surprise with Elio de Angelis on pole in his Lotus-Renault with Riccardo Patrese second in his Brabham-BMW and Nigel Mansell third in his Lotus-Renault. Piquet was fourth ahead of Arnoux and Tambay with Cheever, Prost, Manfred Winkelhock (ATS-BMW) and John Watson (McLaren-TAG) completing the top 10. The dwindling group of Cosworth cars were headed as usual by Keke Rosberg but he was 16th in his Williams.

In the race Patrese took the lead from de Angelis at the start with Mansell third, Piquet fourth and Cheever fifth. Within a lap however Piquet was ahead of Mansell. Prost was charging and passed Cheever on the ninth lap. On lap 12 de Angelis challenged Patrese for the lead and both men spun. Piquet went through into the lead while Patrese rejoined before Prost arrived. De Angelis also rejoined but he had damaged the engine and retired soon afterwards.

The order at the front remained unchanged all the way to the flag with Piquet leading home Prost. Patrese faded through the field and after the pit stops it was Tambay in third place but near the end of the race he lost all his brake fluid and dropped behind Mansell. The Frenchman then spun out of the race. Mansell duly claimed third place ahead of de Cesaris, Derek Warwick (Toleman-Hart) and his team mate Bruno Giacomelli.

As the F1 circus headed off to South Africa, Prost was still ahead in the World Championship but Piquet was only two points behind. Arnoux could still win the title, but it looked likely as he was eight points behind Prost.

Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW  76 1h36m45.865s  
15 Alain Prost Renault  76 1h36m52.436s  
12 Nigel Mansell Lotus-Cosworth  76 1h37m16.180s  
22 Andrea de Cesaris Alfa Romeo  76 1h37m20.261s  14 
35 Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart  76 1h37m30.780s  11 
36 Bruno Giacomelli Toleman-Hart  76 1h37m38.055s  12 
Riccardo Patrese Brabham-BMW  76 1h37m58.549s  
Manfred Winkelhock ATS-BMW  75  
28 Rene Arnoux Ferrari  75  
10 16 Eddie Cheever Renault  75  
11 30 Thierry Boutsen Arrows-Cosworth  75  18 
12 33 Roberto Guerrero Theodore-Cosworth  74  21 
13 42 Jonathan Palmer Williams-Cosworth  74  25 
14 40 Stefan Johansson Spirit-Honda  74  19 
15 26 Raul Boesel Ligier-Cosworth  73  23 
27 Patrick Tambay Ferrari  67 Accident/brake Fluid Lost 
Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Cosworth  64 Engine 26 
nc 32 Piercarlo Ghinzani Osella-Cosworth  63  24 
29 Marc Surer Arrows-Cosworth  50 Engine 17 
Keke Rosberg Williams-Cosworth  43 Engine 16 
23 Mauro Baldi Alfa Romeo  39 Clutch 15 
John Watson McLaren-Cosworth  36 Accident 10 
Danny Sullivan Tyrrell-Cosworth  27 Oil Line/fire 20 
Niki Lauda McLaren-Cosworth  25 Engine 13 
11 Elio de Angelis Lotus-Cosworth  12 Engine 
25 Jean-Pierre Jarier Ligier-Cosworth  Gearbox 22 
nq 17 Eliseo Salazar RAM March-Cosworth    27 
nq 31 Corrado Fabi Osella-Cosworth    28 
nq Jacques Laffite Williams-Cosworth    29