German GP 1982

AUGUST 8, 1982

German GP, 1982

The two-week gap between the French and German GPs saw some more changes in the driver lineup with Nigel Mansell back in action in the second Lotus, having missed the French GP because of a wrist injury. Jochen Mass was also out of action after his huge accident at Paul Ricard and so Rupert Keegan was in the second Arrows. Theodore has also decided to drop Jan Lammers and put British Formula 3 ace Tommy Byrne into the car instead.

Friday practice was dry and World Championship leader Didier Pironi was pole in his Ferrari but on Saturday it rained and in the morning session Pironi was lapping quickly when it ran into the back of Alain Prost's Renault, thinking that a cloud of spray had contained only Derek Daly's Williams. The Ferrari flew but fortunately for Pironi landed tail-first. It then somersaulted down the road. The car landed on its wheels but then smashed into the barriers nose-first. Pironi was very seriously injured but at least he was alive. He would undergo a long series of leg operations but would never race in F1 again. It was a desperate blow for Ferrari, which had already suffered the loss of Gilles Villeneuve just three months earlier.

The pole position slot was left open because Ferrari never withdrew Pironi. Second and third were the Renaults of Alain Prost and Rene Arnoux with Nelson Piquet third in his Brabham-BMW and Patrick Tambay fourth in the second Ferrari. Then came Riccardo Patrese's Brabham-BMW and Michele Alboreto (Tyrrell) in the first of the normally-aspirated cars. Behind him were Andrea de Cesaris (Alfa Romeo), Keke Rosberg (Williams) and John Watson (McLaren).

At the start everyone expected Piquet to go into the lead as Brabham was still planning to use its new pit stop strategy. Sure enough he was ahead by the end of the first lap and pulling away from Arnoux, Prost Tambay, de Cesaris and Patrese. Prost faded quickly behind Tambay and went out after 14 laps with an injection problem while Tambay also moved ahead of Arnoux on lap 10. Three laps later Patrese's race ended with engine failure. But all seemed to be going well for Piquet until the 19th lap when he tried to lap Eliseo Salazar in the ATS. The two cars collided and an irate Piquet proceeded to attack the Chilean driver.

This left Tambay and Arnoux ahead of Watson, Rosberg and Alboreto but Jacques Laffite made rapid progress in his Talbot Ligier to pass both the Tyrrell and the Williams. The Frenchman then slid wide, damaged a skirt and began to drop back. On lap 37 Watson disappeared from third place with a suspension failure.

Tambay thus won his Grand Prix victory, giving the Ferrari team a much-needed boost. Arnoux was second with Rosberg third, Alboreto fourth, Bruno Giacomelli (Alfa Romeo) fifth and Marc Surer (Arrows) sixth.

27 Patrick Tambay Ferrari  45 1h27m25.178s  
16 Rene Arnoux Renault  45 1h27m41.557s  
Keke Rosberg Williams-Cosworth  44  
Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Cosworth  44  
23 Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo  44  11 
29 Marc Surer Arrows-Cosworth  44  26 
Brian Henton Tyrrell-Cosworth  44  17 
14 Roberto Guerrero Ensign-Cosworth  44  21 
12 Nigel Mansell Lotus-Cosworth  43  18 
10 35 Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart  43  14 
11 20 Chico Serra Fittipaldi-Cosworth  43  25 
John Watson McLaren-Cosworth  36 Front Suspension 10 
26 Jacques Laffite Talbot Ligier-Matra  36 Handling 15 
Derek Daly Williams-Cosworth  25 Engine 19 
18 Raul Boesel March-Cosworth  22 Puncture 24 
11 Elio de Angelis Lotus-Cosworth  21 Transmission 13 
Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW  18 Accident 
10 Eliseo Salazar ATS-Cosworth  17 Puncture 22 
15 Alain Prost Renault  14 Electrics 
Riccardo Patrese Brabham-BMW  13 Piston 
22 Andrea de Cesaris Alfa Romeo  Accident 
25 Eddie Cheever Talbot Ligier-Matra  Handling 12 
30 Mauro Baldi Arrows-Cosworth  Misfire 23 
31 Jean-Pierre Jarier Osella-Cosworth  Steering 20 
Manfred Winkelhock ATS-Cosworth  Clutch/gearbox 16 
ns 28 Didier Pironi Ferrari   Accident/injury 
ns Niki Lauda McLaren-Cosworth   Accident/injury 27 
nq 33 Tommy Byrne Theodore-Cosworth    28 
nq 17 Rupert Keegan March-Cosworth    29 
nq 36 Teo Fabi Toleman-Hart    30