South African GP 1984
APRIL 7, 1984
South African GP, 1984
There was only a fortnight between the Brazilian and South African GPs and with the race having been moved to the start of the year it was the second South African GP in six months. The first round of the 1984 series had been won by the McLaren-TAG of Alain Prost. There were 27 cars and with 26 starting the unlucky man was Thierry Boutsen. On pole was Nelson Piquet in his Brabham-BMW with Keke Rosberg alongside in his Williams-Honda. Then came Nigel Mansell (Lotus-Renault), Patrick Tambay (Renault), Prost, Teo Fabi (Brabham-BMW) and Elio de Angelis (Lotus-Renault). The top 10 was completed by Niki Lauda (McLaren-TAG), Derek Warwick (Renault) and Michele Alboreto (Ferrari).
In the warm-up on Sunday morning Jean-Pierre Jarier had an enormous accident when his Osella went off in the Jukskei Sweep. The car was torn in half by the huge impact and the monocoque somersaulted down the road. The trail of fuel caught fire and Ghinzani suffered burns to his right hand when he took his glove off to undo his seat belts. Otherwise he was unhurt. He did not race and so Boutsen was able to start.
Before the start Prost's McLaren refused to start and so Prost jumped into the spare and drove out of the pits (illegally). At the end of the lap he went back to the pits. The start was aborted, however, when Mansell stalled and so Prost was ready to start from the pitlane as he should have done. At the second attempt the field got away although Piquet made a bad start and was passed almost immediately by Mansell. But the car then faltered and Mansell was overtaken by the rest of the field led by Rosberg. Piquet got his car running and on the run down to the first corner he used the BMW's prodigious horsepower to overtake the cars which had slipped ahead. He was second into the corner behind Rosberg. Fabi was third. At the end of the first lap Piquet took the lead. A lap later Fabi moved to second place while Rosberg found himself with Lauda, Warwick and Tambay chasing. Ayrton Senna (Toleman) lost some of the bodywork from the nose of his car but decided that he would continue without it. Rosberg held on to third, struggling with his Goodyear tires, while the Michelin users queued up behind him. Lauda moved to third on the fourth lap but Warwick struggled to get by Rosberg's Honda having plenty of horsepower. On lap 10 Lauda moved to second and it was not long before Fabi was in the pits for new tires. Piquet began to struggle as well and Lauda moved in. Before he could pass Piquet the Brazilian pitted on lap 21. This left Lauda in the lead with Rosberg second and Warwick third but Piquet was soon charging back and he was up to second within four laps But on lap 29 the BMW turbo broke and Piquet was out, leaving the order as it had been until Prost overtook Warwick. The mid-race pit stops then took place, during which Rosberg disappeared and Jacques Laffite (Williams-Honda) decided not to stop and was second until Prost passed him. The order remained unchanged until lap 60 when Laffite's car shed a wheel and so Tambay moved to third (after passing Alboreto). The Renault however ran out of fuel with nine laps to go and so the position went to Warwick in the sister car, which was not misfiring and so used less fuel. But he was a lap down on the two McLaren-TAGs. Riccardo Patrese (Alfa Romeo) was fourth with Andrea de Cesaris (Ligier) fifth and Senna sixth, scoring his first World Championship point.
|1||8||Niki Lauda||McLaren-TAG Porsche||75||1h29m23.430s||8|
|2||7||Alain Prost||McLaren-TAG Porsche||75||1h30m29.380s||5|
|4||22||Riccardo Patrese||Alfa Romeo||73||18|
|5||26||Andrea de Cesaris||Ligier-Renault||73||14|
|7||11||Elio de Angelis||Lotus-Renault||71||7|
|r||15||Patrick Tambay||Renault||66||Fuel Metering Unit||4|
|r||5||Jacques Laffite||Williams-Honda||60||Cv Joint||11|
|r||6||Keke Rosberg||Williams-Honda||51||Wheel Nut/wheel Lost||2|
|r||12||Nigel Mansell||Lotus-Renault||51||Turbo Inlet Duct||3|
|r||28||Rene Arnoux||Ferrari||40||Fuel Injection||15|
|r||1||Nelson Piquet||Brabham-BMW||29||Turbo Compressor||1|
|r||20||Johnny Cecotto||Toleman-Hart||26||Tire Burst/suspension||19|
|r||9||Philippe Alliot||RAM-Hart||24||Water Leak/engine||22|
|r||2||Teo Fabi||Brabham-BMW||18||Turbo Compressor||6|
|r||23||Eddie Cheever||Alfa Romeo||4||Radiator||16|
|ns||24||Piercarlo Ghinzani||Osella-Alfa Romeo||Accident/injury||27|