French GP 1983

APRIL 17, 1983

French GP, 1983

Before the French GP, held much earlier in the year than usual, several of the F1 teams took part in a non-championship Race of Champions at Brands Hatch where Keke Rosberg held off a determined Danny Sullivan (Tyrrell) after Rene Arnoux retired the single Ferrari.

Then it was on to the French GP where Alan Jones was missing, having decided to think a little more about his F1 comeback. Chico Serra was back in the second Arrows. The field was boosted by the appearance of a second RAM for Jean-Louis Schlesser but he failed to qualify as did his teammate Eliseo Salazar. The only other major change was that Mauro Baldi now had one of the new Alfa Romeo 183T chassis rather than the older car.

In qualifying it was no big surprise to see Alain Prost on pole from his Renault team mate Eddie Cheever. Then came Rene Arnoux (Ferrari), Riccardo Patrese (Brabham-BMW), Elio de Angelis (Lotus-Renault), Nelson Piquet (Brabham-BMW), Andrea de Cesaris and Baldi in the Alfas, Derek Warwick (Toleman-Hart) and Manfred Winkelhock in the ATS-BMW. It was a turbocharged top 10, the first normally-aspirated runner being 12th placed Niki Lauda.

In the race Prost took the lead from Patrese, Cheever, Piquet, Arnoux, a fast-starting Patrick Tambay (up from 11th on the grid) and de Angelis. On the third lap Cheever moved back up to second, while behind them Piquet overtook Patrese to run third although the Italian went out with engine failure after 19 laps, promoting Tambay to fourth. On lap 18 Piquet breezed ahead of Cheever. The mid-race pit stops changed nothing and so Prost won with Piquet second and Cheever third. Tambay took fourth with the two Williams's of Keke Rosberg and Jacques Laffite finishing fifth and sixth.

15 Alain Prost Renault  54 1h34m13.913s  
Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW  54 1h34m43.633s  
16 Eddie Cheever Renault  54 1h34m54.145s  
27 Patrick Tambay Ferrari  54 1h35m20.793s  11 
Keke Rosberg Williams-Cosworth  53  16 
Jacques Laffite Williams-Cosworth  53  19 
28 Rene Arnoux Ferrari  53  
Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Cosworth  53  15 
25 Jean-Pierre Jarier Ligier-Cosworth  53  20 
10 29 Marc Surer Arrows-Cosworth  53  21 
11 34 Johnny Cecotto Theodore-Cosworth  52  17 
12 22 Andrea de Cesaris Alfa Romeo  50  
13r 36 Bruno Giacomelli Toleman-Hart  49 Gearbox 13 
26 Raul Boesel Ligier-Cosworth  47 Engine 25 
31 Corrado Fabi Osella-Cosworth  36 Engine 23 
Manfred Winkelhock ATS-BMW  36 Engine/exhaust 10 
Niki Lauda McLaren-Cosworth  29 Wheel Bearing 12 
23 Mauro Baldi Alfa Romeo  28 Accident 
30 Chico Serra Arrows-Cosworth  26 Gearbox 26 
33 Roberto Guerrero Theodore-Cosworth  23 Engine 22 
Danny Sullivan Tyrrell-Cosworth  21 Clutch 24 
11 Elio de Angelis Lotus-Cosworth  20 Electrics 
Riccardo Patrese Brabham-BMW  19 Engine Overheating 
35 Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart  13 Water Pipe/engine 
12 Nigel Mansell Lotus-Cosworth  Driver Discomfort 18 
John Watson McLaren-Cosworth  Throttle Linkage 14 
nq 17 Eliseo Salazar RAM March-Cosworth    27 
nq 32 Piercarlo Ghinzani Osella-Cosworth    28 
nq 18 Jean-Louis Schlesser RAM March-Cosworth    29