Italian GP 1976
SEPTEMBER 12, 1976
Italian GP, 1976
There had been changes to the Monza circuit with new chicanes before the Curva Grande and before the Lesmo Corners but the big news was the return to the cockpit of the scarred Niki Lauda, just six weeks after his terrible accident at the Nurburgring. This made life complicated because Ferrari had hired Carlos Reutemann as a replacement, the Argentine buying himself out his Brabham contract because he was unhappy with the Alfa Romeo engines. Ferrari thus had to run three cars.
Lauda was still ahead in the World Championship although during his absence Hunt had closed up to within 14 points.
Brabham had taken on Rolf Stommelen to replace Reutemann, while Guy Edwards returned to Hesketh. The other unusual entry was Otto Stuppacher's Tyrrell, the Austrian having managed to get clearance to compete.
Qualifying on Friday was spoiled by rain and on Saturday Jacques Laffite took pole position in his Ligier, just ahead of Jody Scheckter's Tyrrell (the South African having just announced that he was moving to the Wolf team in 1977), On the second row Carlos Pace did well in the Brabham-Alfa Romeo with Patrick Depailler alongside in his Tyrrell. Lauda was fifth with Hans Stuck (March) sixth and Carlos Reutemann (Ferrari) seventh. John Watson (Penske) was eighth, Hunt ninth and his McLaren team mate Jochen Mass 10th but after qualifying fuel samples from McLaren and Penske proved to over the 101-octane limit and Hunt, Watson and Mass were deprived of their Saturday qualifying times. Because of the bad weather on Friday, however, this meant that they had not qualified. However, Williams and Stuppacher had already departed having failed to qualify and Guy Edwards agreed to stand down so that the three men could race.
At the start Scheckter pushed his way ahead of Laffite at the chicane with Pace following but the Brazilian was soon overtaken by Depailler, Peterson and Reutemann. Lauda was down to 12th while Mass, Hunt and Watson were charging through the backmarkers. On the second lap, however, Mass was hit by a misfire and had to pit.
At the front Scheckter stayed ahead but Laffite was pushed back to fourth on the third lap as Depailler and Peterson went past him and a lap later Peterson had got ahead of Depailler. Regazzoni was in hot pursuit and had overtaken Reutemann and on lap 11 passed Laffite as well to take sixth place. On that lap Peterson moved ahead of Scheckter to take the lead and the Tyrrell began to drop back, being passed by Depailler on lap 14 and Regazzoni on lap 23. Scheckter then fought for fifth with Laffite while Lauda followed them, intent on a finish. Hunt's charge had ended on lap 12 when he spun off.
Laffite managed to get ahead of Scheckter at three-quarter distance and the Tyrrell driver then dropped behind Lauda as well while ahead of them Depailler hit engine trouble on lap 46 and dropped back to sixth, leaving Regazzoni to finish second to Peterson with Laffite third and Lauda an incredible fourth.
|1||10||Ronnie Peterson||March-Cosworth 761||52||1h30m35.600s||8|
|2||2||Clay Regazzoni||Ferrari 312T2||52||1h30m37.900s||9|
|3||26||Jacques Laffite||Ligier-Matra JS5||52||1h30m38.600s||1|
|4||1||Niki Lauda||Ferrari 312T2||52||1h30m55.000s||5|
|5||3||Jody Scheckter||Tyrrell-Cosworth P34||52||1h30m55.100s||2|
|6||4||Patrick Depailler||Tyrrell-Cosworth P34||52||1h31m11.300s||4|
|7||9||Vittorio Brambilla||March-Cosworth 761||52||1h31m19.500s||16|
|8||16||Tom Pryce||Shadow-Cosworth DN8||52||1h31m28.500s||15|
|9||35||Carlos Reutemann||Ferrari 312T2||52||1h31m33.100s||7|
|10||22||Jacky Ickx||Ensign-Cosworth N176||52||1h31m48.000s||10|
|11||28||John Watson||Penske-Cosworth PC4||52||1h32m17.800s||27|
|12||19||Alan Jones||Surtees-Cosworth TS19||51||18|
|13||6||Gunnar Nilsson||Lotus-Cosworth 77||51||12|
|14||18||Brett Lunger||Surtees-Cosworth TS19||50||24|
|15||30||Emerson Fittipaldi||Copersucar-Cosworth FD04||50||20|
|16r||24||Harald Ertl||Hesketh-Cosworth 308D||49||Drive Shaft||19|
|17||38||Henri Pescarolo||Surtees-Cosworth TS19||49||22|
|18||37||Alessandro Pesenti-Rossi||Tyrrell-Cosworth 007||49||21|
|19||17||Jean-Pierre Jarier||Shadow-Cosworth DN5B||47||17|
|r||7||Rolf Stommelen||Brabham-Alfa Romeo BT45||41||Fuel System||11|
|r||34||Hans-Joachim Stuck||March-Cosworth 761||23||Accident||6|
|r||5||Mario Andretti||Lotus-Cosworth 77||23||Accident||14|
|r||11||James Hunt||McLaren-Cosworth M23||11||Spin||25|
|r||40||Larry Perkins||Boro-Cosworth N175||8||Engine||13|
|r||8||Carlos Pace||Brabham-Alfa Romeo BT45||4||Engine||3|
|r||12||Jochen Mass||McLaren-Cosworth M23||2||Ignition||26|
|ns||25||Guy Edwards||Hesketh-Cosworth 308D||Withdrew To Let Watson Race||23|
|ns||20||Arturo Merzario||Wolf Williams-Cosworth FW05||Withdrew||28|
|ns||39||Otto Stuppacher||Tyrrell-Cosworth 007||Departed Before Disqualifications||29|