Italian GP 1977

SEPTEMBER 11, 1977

Italian GP, 1977

Niki Lauda's victory in Holland gave him a 21 point lead in the World Championship with four races to go but the major talking point at Monza was the announcement that the Austrian was going to leave the team to drive for Brabham in 1978. The Ferrari team was not happy.

There were a variety of new faces for the race with Brabham-Alfa Romeo running a third car for Giorgio Francia, Lamberto Leoni replacing Vern Schuppan in the second Surtees and Bruno Giacomelli being given a run in a factory McLaren M23. Loris Kessel also reappeared in an old Williams which had been christened an Apollon. There were 34 entries and only 24 starters and the unlucky 10 included a depressed Emerson Fittipaldi.

At the front James Hunt took pole in his McLaren with Carlos Reutemann second in his Ferrari ahead of Jody Scheckter (Lauda's nearest championship challenger in his Wolf) and Mario Andretti (Lotus). Then came Lauda who shared the third row with an impressive Riccardo Patrese (Shadow). Clay Regazzoni was on the fourth row in the Ensign alongside Jacques Laffite's Ligier and the top 10 was completed by Jochen Mass's McLaren and Vittorio Brambilla's Surtees.

The Brabham-Alfa Romeos were not on the pace and the Tyrrells were also struggling, while Giacomelli did a commendable job to line up 15th.

At the start Scheckter took the lead and Regazzoni pulled off a remarkable dash to the first corner to take second place ahead of Hunt and Andretti. In the course of the first lap. however, both the McLaren and the Lotus repassed the Ensign and Regazzoni fell back to Reutemann and Lauda. On the second lap Andretti breezed past Hunt and set off after Scheckter while behind them Reutemann and Lauda both overtook Regazzoni and were followed through by Mass although with a few laps he had fallen behind a charging Hans Stuck (Brabham-Alfa Romeo). For a few laps the order settled and then on lap 10 Andretti drove around the outside of the Wolf in the Parabolica and took the lead. Andretti was not troubled for the rest of the afternoon. Scheckter went out with an engine failure on lap 24 and Reutemann was overtaken by Lauda on lap 35. Reutemann then had the misfortune to be running being Giacomelli when the youngster's engine failed and the Ferrari driver spun off. This elevated Alan Jones to third in his Shadow with Mass fourth, Regazzoni fifth and Ronnie Peterson sixth for Tyrrell.

With 69 points to Scheckter's 42 Lauda was the World Champion because even if Scheckter won the final three races, Lauda still had enough second places to still be ahead.

Mario Andretti Lotus-Cosworth  52 1h27m50.300s  
11 Niki Lauda Ferrari  52 1h28m07.260s  
17 Alan Jones Shadow-Cosworth  52 1h28m13.930s  16 
Jochen Mass McLaren-Cosworth  52 1h28m18.780s  
22 Clay Regazzoni Ensign-Cosworth  52 1h28m21.410s  
Ronnie Peterson Tyrrell-Cosworth  52 1h29m09.520s  12 
27 Patrick Neve March-Cosworth  50  24 
26 Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra  50  
24 Rupert Keegan Hesketh-Cosworth  48  23 
10 Ian Scheckter March-Cosworth  41 Transmission 17 
12 Carlos Reutemann Ferrari  39 Accident 
14 Bruno Giacomelli McLaren-Cosworth  38 Engine 15 
16 Riccardo Patrese Shadow-Cosworth  38 Accident 
Hans-Joachim Stuck Brabham-Alfa Romeo  31 Engine 11 
James Hunt McLaren-Cosworth  26 Brakes/spin 
Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Cosworth  24 Engine 13 
20 Jody Scheckter Wolf-Cosworth  23 Engine 
15 Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault  23 Engine 20 
34 Jean-Pierre Jarier Penske-Cosworth  19 Engine 18 
23 Patrick Tambay Ensign-Cosworth  Engine 21 
19 Vittorio Brambilla Surtees-Cosworth  Accident/radiator 10 
30 Brett Lunger March-Cosworth  Engine 22 
Gunnar Nilsson Lotus-Cosworth  Front Suspension 19 
John Watson Brabham-Alfa Romeo  Accident 14 
nq Alex-Dias Ribeiro March-Cosworth    25 
nq 28 Emerson Fittipaldi Copersucar-Cosworth    26 
nq 18 Lamberto Leoni Surtees-Cosworth    27 
nq 38 Brian Henton March-Cosworth    28 
nq 36 Emilio de Villota McLaren-Cosworth    29 
nq 25 Ian Ashley Hesketh-Cosworth    30 
nq 29 Teddy Pilette Stanley BRM-BRM    31 
nq 33 Hans Binder Penske-Cosworth    32 
nq 41 Loris Kessel Williams-Cosworth    33 
nq 21 Giorgio Francia Brabham-Alfa Romeo    34