Grand Prix Classic

Round 3 - United States West Grand Prix
Long Beach, 2-4 April, 1982
Team-by-Team Review

Brabham BT49D-Cosworth
1. Nelson Piquet (Brz)
2. Riccardo Patrese (It)

A disappointing meeting on track team hopes to do well on. Piquet qualifies 6th despite crash. Down to 9th at the start, but back to 6th after Arnoux/Giacomelli crash. Makes no further practice before sliding into wall, lap 26. Patrese has poor qualifying, writing off race car and having to use spare BT49C, only starting 18th. Despite an spin on lap on lap 26 which removes front-left wing charges impressively late in the race, passing de Angelis, Cheever and Alboreto to finish unlapped 4th, which becomes third after Villeneuve is disqualified, for his first points for Brabham.

Tyrrell 011-Cosworth
3. Michele Alboreto (It)
4. Slim Borgudd (Swe)

Another excellent performance from rising star Alboreto. Qualifies a fine 12th, and up to 10th at the start. Up to 7th by lap 11, and keeping pace with Piquet ahead. Into the points and challenging Villeneuve for 4th after the Brazilian's crash. Makes numerous attempts to pass the Ferrari until the two make contact, and Alboreto backs off to ensure finish after surviving a 360° spin on the new section. Passed by charging Patrese three laps from the end, but finishes fine unlapped 5th. Elevated to fourth after Ken Tyrrell protests Ferrari's staggered rear wing. Borgudd much less impressive. Starts 24th, and hits both ATS cars at the start. A lap later hits Winkelhock again to put the German out, and heads to pits for repairs with a damaged rear wing. After long stop heads back out, several laps adrift, and baulks Henton, sending the Arrows into retirement. Finishes 11th (later 10th) and last, seven laps down and in the bad books with ATS and Arrows.

Williams FW07D-Cosworth
5. Mario Andretti (USA)
6. Keke Rosberg (Fin)

After shock retirement of Carlos Reutemann, and Alan Jones' decision to stay in Australia, team hires Mario Andretti to drive on one-off basis. Qualifies 14th in unfamiliar car, but is up to 9th on lap 20 when he runs wide on marbles, clips wall and retires in the pits. Rosberg, however, steps up to the plate with another fine drive. Starts in 8th, up to 5th by lap 8 and challenging Villeneuve. After superb three-lap long scrap eventually secures 4th, and then passes Watson for 3rd on lap 26. Managing his tyres, slowly closes on de Cesaris, but the Alfa retires before he gets there. Briefly sets off after Lauda and the lead, but realises Lauda has the race in hand before settling for 2nd, 14s behind, for first undisputed podium. Up to joint third in Driver's Championship.

McLaren MP4B-Cosworth
7. John Watson (GB)
8. Niki Lauda (Aut)

A superb race for Lauda, only his third since coming out of retirement. Fastest man for most of practice, but pushed down to 2nd on grid by banzai de Cesaris lap, but able to keep a fresh set of tyres for race day. Down to 3rd at the start and stuck behind Arnoux laps 1-6. After Giacomelli removes the obstacle Lauda rapidly closes on de Cesaris, harrying the Italian until taking the lead on lap 14. Maintains his tyres perfectly and keeps de Cesaris and then Rosberg at a safe distance to win his first Grand Prix victory since 1978. To second in championship, six points behind Prost. Watson also impressive in early stages - qualifies disappointed 8th but forcefully moves up to third by lap 8. However, as tyres go off is passed by Rosberg, Villeneuve and Alboreto before stopping on lap 29. Resumes in lapped 8th, and moves up thanks to de Cesaris/Cheever retirements to finish 6th, one lap down, after Villeneuve exclusion despite damaging a skirt with a trip up an escape road.

ATS D5-Cosworth
9. Eliseo Salazar (Chi)
10. Manfred Winkelhock (Ger)

Awful weekend for team. Both drivers hit walls in qualifying, and squeak onto the back row (Winkelhock 25th after crash on Saturday morning, Salazar 26th after clutch and engine problems). Both hit by wayward Borgudd at the start, and Winkelhock savaged by the Tyrrell again on the second lap, ending up in the wall. Salazar doesn't last much longer, running wide and hitting the wall on lap 4. A race to forget for Gunther Schmidt's outfit.

Lotus 91-Cosworth
11. Elio de Angelis (It)
12. Nigel Mansell (GB)

Lotus 91 continues to be largely unimpressive. Only 16th (de Angelis) and 17th on the grid, both with handling problems. Confusion at the start when the Italian ends up in the wrong grid slot. Mansell reverses to allow him to take his proper place only for the race to start. Mansell spends most of the race picking through slower cars in nervous, twitching car but keeps at it to finish 8th, two laps down. In the other car, de Angelis runs reliably and is into the points by lap 30. Up to 5th after de Cesaris crash, but unable to hold Patrese. Down to 6th, lap 38, and stays there for first point of the year, one lap down. Promoted to 7th and 5th respectively after Villeneuve's exclusion.

Ensign N181-Cosworth
14. Robert Guerrero (Col)

Roberto Guerrero does very well to qualify 19th, as fastest Avon runner, with help from new rear wing and adjusted skirts. Runs capably ahead of more experienced drivers on his Grand Prix debut only to crash out of 11th (of 15 runners) on lap 28 when a broken front wing endplate makes the car very difficult to drive and sends him into the wall. Nevertheless, Mo Nunn's team happy to have got into a race for the first time in 1982.

Renault RE30B-Renault
15. Alain Prost (Fr)
16. Rene Arnoux (Fr)

Before the race Renault were confident they had solved the turbo lag problems which had plagued them on slower circuits. Second row of the grid (Arnoux ahead of Prost) seems to back this up, but both cars mobile chicanes in race. Arnoux moves into second at the start, and is able to fend off the faster Lauda for five laps until his race is ended by a late-braking Giacomelli. Prost down to 5th off the line, and passed by Villeneuve before the end of the first lap. Unable to keep pace with the Ferrari due to failing brakes, and passed by Piquet, Rosberg and Watson. Out from 10th on lap 11 after brushing a wall when his brakes run out altogether.

March 821-Cosworth
17. Jochen Mass (Ger)
18. Raul Boesel (Brz)

Once again the 821 proves reliable but uncompetitive. Mass starts 21st and drives usual sensible race (after making up three places on the first lap), keeping out of trouble on his way to 9th, two laps down, after keeping Mansell's Lotus behind him for much of the middle of the race. Boesel qualifies 23rd, and runs near the tail of the field. Attracts criticism for blocking de Cesaris and allowing Lauda to take the lead, but finishes 10th, five laps down. Promoted to 8th and 9th after Villeneuve disqualification. Lighter revised car expected for the European season.

Fittipaldi F8D-Cosworth
20. Chico Serra (Brz)

After joy of qualifying for home race, flu-stricken Serra and team back in the doldrums after he is only 29th fastest in practice, and does not qualify.

Alfa Romeo 182-Alfa Romeo
22. Andrea de Cesaris (It)
23. Bruno Giacomelli (It)

Team finds that the mix of V12 power and good throttle response suits circuit. After looking fast all weekend, de Cesaris takes his first pole position in the dying minutes of final session, with Giacomelli a superb 5th. Contrary to expectations, de Cesaris holds the lead and pulls away from second-placed Arnoux. Giacomelli in competitive 4th, closing on Arnoux/Lauda battle. Sweeps past Lauda on lap 6, only to miss his braking point and collide with Arnoux, ending his race with a badly damaged car. Lauda then closes on de Cesaris, passing when the Italian is baulked by Boesel on lap 16. Then runs safe second until sliding off on lap 34 - blaming suspension failure. Joy over competitive showing tempered by the loss of a potentially good points haul.

Ligier JS17B-Matra
25. Eddie Cheever (USA)
26. Jacques Laffite (Fr)

Desperate work on JS17 chassis after disastrous Brazilian Grand Prix rewarded by improved showing. Cheever starts 13th, Laffite 15th. The American impresses with a fast, careful drive, and is in the points by lap 30. Up to fifth and closing on Alboreto after de Cesaris retires, but pits for fresh tyres after Patrese blasts past. Begins charging again, only retire with broken gearbox, lap 59. Laffite up to 8th by lap 27, only to spin off and stall after being sent wide by the flying Patrese. Disappointing, but a step in the right direction.

Ferrari 126C2-Ferrari
27. Gilles Villeneuve (Can)
28. Didier Pironi (Fr)

Team causes stir by arriving in California with bizarre twin rear wings - two separate wings, mounted one after each other but staggered. They argue that it's as valid as the FOCA water-cooled brakes, as the rules only limit wing dimensions, but not the number of rear wings. It does little to help performance, as well as looking dreadful and flexing heavily over the bumpy circuit. Powerful engine still handicapped by chassis, with Villeneuve starting 7th after a couple of spins, and Pironi 9th complaining of excessive wear on Goodyear qualifiers. Pironi out from the same position on lap 7 after contact with a wall. Villeneuve gives dogged performance in car unsuited to circuit, however - up to 6th at start, then passes Prost on lap 1. Unable to close on leaders, and so settles for battling with whichever DFV runners catch him. Spins off after almighty scrap with Rosberg, laps 18-22, but recovers in 5th. Then has tough-but-fair scrap with Alboreto until the Tyrrell backs off after they touch wheels, and finishes 3rd, over a minute behind Lauda. Then inevitably disqualified after Tyrrell protest rear wing. Still no points for Villeneuve after three races.

Arrows A4-Cosworth
29. Brian Henton (GB)
30. Mauro Baldi (It)

Revised rear wing on the car, but Baldi props up full practice timesheets and does not qualify after crashing in Saturday free practice and being forced to use the spare. Henton does so in 20th, for his last Arrows race before Surer returns, despite a broken exhaust in Saturday's qualifying session. Runs second from last for much of the race before passing Boesel, and then skids on marbles when forced off-line by lapped Borgudd, going nose-first into a wall when 12th, lap 33.

Osella FA1C-Cosworth
31. Jean-Pierre Jarier (Fr)
32. Riccardo Paletti (It)

Riccardo Paletti only 28th fastest and again fails to qualify. Jarier does so in superb 10th place - the best ever for Osella. Drops down to 14th at the start but keeps pace well in midfield only for gearbox to break on lap 27 when running 11th. Still, an encouraging weekend for Enzo Osella's team.

Theodore TY02-Cosworth
33. Derek Daly (Ire)

Underdeveloped TY02 chassis seems to be no great leap forward for Teddy Yip's enthusiastic team. Daly starts 22nd despite limited running time in practice, and runs near the tail of the field until crashing out of 16th, lap 24.

Toleman TG181C-Hart
35. Derek Warwick (GB)
36. Teo Fabi (It)

Team don't expect to do well on tight circuit due to turbo lag of Hart engine and general obsolescence of TG181C. Predictions fulfilled as Warwick is only 31st on Friday morning after turbocharger problems, and fails to pre-qualify. Fabi tries best on Saturday, but ultimately only 27th and fails to qualify by 0.16s.