Grand Prix Classic

Round 5 - Belgian Grand Prix
Zolder, 7-9 May, 1982
Team-by-Team Review

Brabham BT50-BMW
1. Nelson Piquet (Brz)
2. Riccardo Patrese (It)

Team arrives in Belgium with BMW-engined cars after terse words from German company, unimpressed at the use of Cosworth cars in previous races. Both drivers struggle with power delivery in qualifying, ending up 8th (Piquet) and 9th (Patrese) on the grid. Patrese runs well early on, up to 7th at the start. Passes Alboreto and Prost to run 4th on lap 10. Passed by Watson, lap 34 but regains place almost immediately when de Cesaris retires. Then slides off and out of the race with fading tyres, lap 52. Piquet has abysmal race, running 8th for most of the time and becoming embroiled in a battle with the Ligiers. Pits for fresh tyres lap 27, but still unable to find much speed, spinning on lap 52 (metres from Patrese's abandoned car) but makes up places as others retire to finish 5th, three laps down. Promoted to 4th after Lauda disqualification for his first points of the season.

Tyrrell 011-Cosworth
3. Michele Alboreto (It)
4. Brian Henton (GB)

Alboreto continues to impress, starting from an excellent 5th. Runs 6th laps 1-9, until passed by Watson. Regains place when Prost pits, but engine begins smoking lap 27, and blows two laps later, ending his 100% finishing record. Henton starts from 20th (losing Friday time due to being underweight), and rises to 11th, but also has engine problems. Into the pits for an inspection and sent on his way, with his Cosworth predictably expiring in an expensive cloud of smoke a few laps later.

Williams FW08-Cosworth
5. Derek Daly (Ire)
6. Keke Rosberg (Fin)

New FW08 makes an impressive debut. Rosberg, now team leader in only his fourth race for Williams, qualifies an excellent third, only a tenth of a second behind the Renaults. Past Prost off the line, and then pressures Arnoux for opening laps. Takes the lead when the Renault pits on lap 5, initially chased by Lauda but gradually working up a 15 second lead. However, with brake and tyre wear is rapidly caught by Watson, slides wide at Kleine chicane two laps from the end and finishes disappointed second. Derek Daly signs to drive second car for the rest of the season. Starts from 13th place, and up to 11th by first corner. 8th on lap 21 and takes over 6th place after Alboreto retirement. Running 4th when caught by charging Cheever, and after gritty battle spins off into catch fencing, lap 61.

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

Mixed fortunes for the McLaren drivers. Lauda qualifies 4th, passes Prost early on and is up to second after Arnoux retires. Closes on leading Rosberg before damaging tyres avoiding the spinning Serra, briefly dropping to third. Up to second lap 38, before waving Watson through. Nurses tyres to finish 3rd, a minute behind Rosberg, only to be disqualified for car being 2kg underweight. Watson up to 9th at the start; passes Piquet, Alboreto and Prost to run 5th, lap 10. Past Patrese lap 34, then rapidly catches Lauda. Team-mate waves him by and he catches Rosberg two laps from the end, moving into the lead when the Finn slides wide. Happy to take third Grand Prix win, and move up to second in the championship, only one point behind Prost, while McLaren take lead of Constructors' table.

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

Irked by Ecclestone's interference, team switch from Avon to Michelin tyres. Good qualifying - Winkelhock an excellent 12th and Salazar respectable 18th - followed by disastrous race. Salazar struck by Laffite and Giacomelli at the start and doesn't even make the first corner. Winkelhock out half a lap later with a broken clutch. Not a good weekend.

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

Team had best qualifying of the year so far - Mansell starts superb 7th, de Angelis 11th. Mansell has clutch problem on formation lap, however, stalls at the start and needs a push to get started. Catches and passes the backmarkers at a rapid rate, only for clutch to finally break altogether on lap 10 when 17th. After a good start, de Angelis runs 9th early on before pitting for fresh tyres. Makes good progress thereafter, passing Piquet, Mass, Surer and Serra on his way to 5th; promoted to 4th after Lauda exclusion.

Ensign N181-Cosworth
14. Robert Guerrero (Col)

With a variety of niggling problems and no spare car due to strained finances severely reducing his track time, Guerrero is 29th in both timed sessions and fails to qualify for the race.

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

Once again Renault flatter to deceive. They lock out the front row of the grid for the second race in succession, Arnoux ahead of Prost. Arnoux leads laps 1-4 under pressure from Rosberg, only to pit when his engine drops to half power. Repairs fail to solve the problem after a couple more exploratory laps, and is later traced to a broken turbo component. Prost down to 3rd at the start. Is passed by Lauda and de Cesaris on lap 4, and then Patrese and Watson on lap 10. Pits to see if fresh tyres will improve grip at the end of the lap. They don't, and a second stop is no more help. Crashes out of 8th (of 13 runners) on lap 60. No points since Brazil for pre-season favourites.

March 821-Cosworth
17. Jochen Mass (Ger)
18. Raul Boesel (Brz)
19. Emilio de Villota (Sp)

Team provides a third 821 for Spanish driver Emilio de Villota, ran under the banner of LBT Team March and operated by Mike Earle's Onyx F2 crew. However, team has its' worst weekend of the season. Unsurprisingly de Villota fails to prequalify. Boesel initially squeezes into race last, but Mass only 28th fastest and hit by Villeneuve in fatal Saturday crash. Both move up two places after Ferrari withdrawal, and run near the back of the field for entire race. Mass passes Boesel in the race and moves up when others pit to reach 8th, lap 36. Passed by de Angelis, but back up to 7th before his engine blows. Boesel runs usual slow but reliable race, and after Lauda exclusion finishes 8th, four laps down.

Fittipaldi F8D-Cosworth
20. Chico Serra (Brz)

The presence of a spare car gives Serra an edge over Lammers and Guerrero, combined with poor form of the March team. He starts a respectable 23rd for second race of the season. Runs ahead of the Arrows and March cars, but spins in front of Lauda on lap 25. Gathers himself up and races to reliable 7th (after battling with Prost), three laps adrift, which becomes 6th after Lauda is disqualified - a much need fillip for cash-strapped team.

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

New narrow-body 182B derivative tried by both drivers in practice, but ultimately not used. Standard 182 runs well enough, with de Cesaris an excellent 5th, and Giacomelli starting from 15th, after pulling muscles in his back - and is very worried about ability to complete the race with this injury. However, the latter knocks Laffite into Salazar avoiding the stalled Mansell at the start and is taken out when the ATS shoots back across the track. Up front, de Cesaris has a better race - up to third after Renault difficulties, matching the pace of Rosberg and Lauda. Reacts quickly to take second on lap 26 when Serra spins in front of Lauda, only to retire eight laps later when gear linkage breaks up. Team yet to score in 1982.

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

Team picks up where it left off in California with another improved showing. Car is still overweight, but Cheever starts 14th and Laffite 17th. Run in unison for most of the race, and up to 7th (Laffite) and 8th on lap 33. However, Laffite breaks skirt going over kerb when 6th and loses time in pits having a replacement fitted. Finishes 9th and last, four laps down. Cheever carries on the battle, into points after de Cesaris retirement. Then chases down Daly for 4th, pressuring the Irishman into crashing off. After Lauda exclusion is promoted to lapped 3rd for the team's first points of the season. New JS19, launched on the Thursday before the race, has shakedown at Clermont Ferrand on Friday evening after Laffite is driven down following qualifying.

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

Arrive with drivers still feuding after Imola team order 'misunderstanding'. Car runs respectably, and provisionally set for 5th (Pironi) and 7th when Villeneuve collides with Mass eight minutes from the end of Saturday sessions. Thrown from the car, Villeneuve dies of his wounds that evening, and the devastated Ferrari withdraw from the Grand Prix as a sign of respect.

Arrows A4-Cosworth
29. Marc Surer (Swz)
30. Mauro Baldi (It)

Surer qualifies a respectable 24th for first start for Arrows, still not fully fit. Baldi only 28th, but both promoted two places by Ferrari withdrawal. Both run reliably with the March cars for most of the race until Baldi retires lap 52 with broken throttle cable when 15th and last. Surer classified a respectable 7th, four laps behind, but having set 8th fastest lap of the race.

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

Jarier, unhappy at not landing Williams drive, starts from 16th. Successfully avoids Mansell at the start to run 13th. Unhappy with grip, pits from 9th (battling with Piquet and the Ligiers) on lap 23. Second set no better, and calls in for another set on lap 36 from 15th. Departs too quickly, taking a pneumatic gun still stuck in rear wheel with him, which destroys rear wing and causes embarrassing retirement. However Paletti in the second car fails to prequalify.

Theodore TY02-Cosworth
33. Jan Lammers (Hol)

With Derek Daly moving to Williams (with Teddy Yip's blessing) team hires Jan Lammers to drive sole TY02. With little seat time and no spare, struggles to get to grips with car after several problems and, as 30th fastest, fails to qualify for the Grand Prix.

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

For the first time both cars qualify on genuine merit, with Warwick starting 19th and Fabi 21st. Warwick stalls at the start, is push-started by marshals and is running 14th and second-last when driveshaft fails, lap 30. Fabi affected by brake problems almost from the start, which end his race (after lengthy, unsuccessful pit stop to repair the damage after seven laps) on lap 10.