French GP 1984

MAY 20, 1984

French GP, 1984

The only major change at the French GP was the appearance of new Toleman TG184s for Ayrton Senna and Johnny Cecotto. At Arrows the BMW-engined A7 went back to Thierry Boutsen, having been driven by Marc Surer in Imola. There was much grumbling about the fuel restrictions given the number of cars which were running out of gas in the final laps of races. The tire war was closely balanced with the front row featuring Patrick Tambay's Michelin-shod Renault and Elio de Angelis's Goodyear-tired Lotus-Renault. Nelson Piquet (Brabham-BMW on Michelin) was third ahead of Keke Rosberg (Williams-Honda/Goodyear). The top 10 was completed by Alain Prost (McLaren-TAG/Michelin), Nigel Mansell (Lotus-Renault), Derek Warwick (Renault), Manfred Winkelhock (ATS-BMW/Goodyear), Niki Lauda (McLaren-TAG) and Michele Alboreto (Ferrari).

Andrea de Cesaris's Ligier was found to have an empty extinguisher bottle and lost its qualifying time. With rain on Saturday he did not qualify and Ligier took the bizarre step of withdrawing its second car, driven by Francois Hesnault and qualified 15th, to enable de Cesaris to start from the back of the grid.

Tambay was outgunned by Piquet at the start but de Angelis made a good start too and was alongside Piquet as they went into the first corner. Tambay dived between them and Piquet was nudged offline which allowed Tambay to take the lead and Mansell to move to third behind de Angelis. Rosberg also took advantage of the situation to get ahead of Piquet.

The man on the move in the early laps was Prost who moved from seventh at the end of the first lap to third by lap 14 when he overtook Mansell. Piquet and Winkelhock both went out early with mechanical troubles. Prost moved to second on lap 18 while Lauda had also worked his way through to third by lap 21. The leading three all pitted by Lauda's late stop enabled him to avoid getting caught in traffic. Tambay led after the stops but on lap 62 Lauda went ahead. Prost's challenge faded with another stop and so third place went to Mansell with Rene Arnoux (Ferrari) fourth ahead of de Angelis and Rosberg.

Niki Lauda McLaren-TAG Porsche  79 1h31m11.951s  
15 Patrick Tambay Renault  79 1h31m19.105s  
12 Nigel Mansell Lotus-Renault  79 1h31m35.920s  
28 Rene Arnoux Ferrari  79 1h31m55.657s  11 
11 Elio de Angelis Lotus-Renault  79 1h32m18.076s  
Keke Rosberg Williams-Honda  78  
Alain Prost McLaren-TAG Porsche  78  
Jacques Laffite Williams-Honda  78  12 
Teo Fabi Brabham-BMW  78  17 
10 26 Andrea de Cesaris Ligier-Renault  77  26 
11 18 Thierry Boutsen Arrows-Cosworth  77  14 
dq Martin Brundle Tyrrell-Cosworth  76 (1) 23 
12 24 Piercarlo Ghinzani Osella-Alfa Romeo  74  25 
13 10 Jonathan Palmer RAM-Hart  72  21 
21 Mauro Baldi Spirit-Hart  61 Engine 24 
16 Derek Warwick Renault  53 Accident 
17 Marc Surer Arrows-Cosworth  51 Accident 19 
23 Eddie Cheever Alfa Romeo  51 Engine 16 
19 Ayrton Senna Toleman-Hart  35 Turbo 13 
27 Michele Alboreto Ferrari  33 Engine 10 
20 Johnny Cecotto Toleman-Hart  22 Turbo 18 
22 Riccardo Patrese Alfa Romeo  15 Engine 15 
Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW  11 Turbo 
dq Stefan Bellof Tyrrell-Cosworth  11 Thought Engine Failed/(1) 20 
14 Manfred Winkelhock ATS-BMW  Clutch 
Philippe Alliot RAM-Hart  Electrics 22 
ns 25 Francois Hesnault Ligier-Renault   Car Raced By De Cesaris 27