United States GP 1979

OCTOBER 7, 1979

United States GP, 1979

The final race of the season saw a field of 30 cars fighting for 24 grid positions. There were no driver changes and after qualifying Alan Jones, winner of four of the previous five races, was on pole position again. The main interest of the event was whether or not Jones would finish runner-up to the new World Champion Jody Scheckter or whether his Ferrari team mate Gilles Villeneuve would be able to hold him off. Second on the grid was Nelson Piquet in the promising new Brabham-Cosworth BT49 which had appeared at the previous race. Villeneuve was third in his Ferrari with Jacques Laffite (Ligier) fourth, Clay Regazzoni (Williams) fifth and Carlos Reutemann (Lotus) sixth. The top 10 was completed by the two Renaults of Rene Arnoux and Jean-Pierre Jabouille, the Brabham of Ricardo Zunino and Didier Pironi's Tyrrell.

It was raining on race days but it stopped before the race, although the track was still wet and so the cars started on wet tires. Villeneuve made the best start and took the lead from Jones, Reutemann, Laffite and Jabouille. Laffite and Reutemann both went off early on and so Regazzoni was able to take third place ahead of Scheckter. Both men later pitted for slicks and so Jabouille moved to third again but his engine failed and so the place went to Arnoux. On lap 31 Villeneuve pitted and Jones led but when the Australian went into the pits to get slicks the stop went wrong and a wheel came off after he had rejoined. This left Villeneuve with a commanding lead over Arnoux. Pironi was third with Elio de Angelis fourth for Shadow, Hans Stuck fifth in the ATS and John Watson sixth for McLaren.

12 Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari  59 1h52m17.734s  
16 Rene Arnoux Renault  59 1h53m06.521s  
Didier Pironi Tyrrell-Cosworth  59 1h53m10.933s  10 
18 Elio de Angelis Shadow-Cosworth  59 1h53m48.246s  20 
Hans-Joachim Stuck ATS-Cosworth  59 1h53m58.993s  14 
John Watson McLaren-Cosworth  58  13 
14 Emerson Fittipaldi Copersucar-Cosworth  54  23 
8r Nelson Piquet Brabham-Alfa Romeo  53 Drive Shaft 
Derek Daly Tyrrell-Cosworth  52 Accident 15 
11 Jody Scheckter Ferrari  48 Tyre Burst/ Suspension 16 
29 Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Cosworth  44 Rear Suspension 19 
27 Alan Jones Williams-Cosworth  36 Wheel Lost 
22 Marc Surer Ensign-Cosworth  32 Engine 21 
28 Clay Regazzoni Williams-Cosworth  29 Accident 
Ricardo Zunino Brabham-Alfa Romeo  25 Accident 
15 Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault  24 Camshaft Belt 
Patrick Tambay McLaren-Cosworth  20 Engine 22 
20 Keke Rosberg Wolf-Cosworth  20 Accident 12 
Jean-Pierre Jarier Tyrrell-Cosworth  18 Accident 11 
Mario Andretti Lotus-Cosworth  16 Gearbox 17 
Carlos Reutemann Lotus-Cosworth  Accident 
26 Jacques Laffite Ligier-Cosworth  Accident 
25 Jacky Ickx Ligier-Cosworth  Accident 24 
35 Brunco Giacomelli Alfa Romeo  Accident 18 
nq 36 Vittorio Brambilla Alfa Romeo    25 
nq 30 Jochen Mass Arrows-Cosworth    26 
nq 17 Jan Lammers Shadow-Cosworth    27 
nq 31 Hector Rebaque Lotus-Cosworth    28 
nq 19 Alex-Dias Ribeiro Copersucar-Cosworth    29 
nq 24 Arturo Merzario Merzario-Cosworth    30