Grand Prix Classic




Round 8 - Canadian Grand Prix
Montreal, 11-13 June, 1982

A week after the race in Detroit, the teams had moved straight on to the rechristened Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. The championship remained wide open, one of the contributing factors to the FISA/FOCA political struggle all but disappearing after it seemed set it intensify after the San Marino Grand Prix - a couple of wins would put anyone in contention.

The Montreal track would, it was expected, produce a relatively level playing surface. Its' purpose-built nature would negate the Michelin runners advantage seen on the street circuits, while the long back straight would help the turbos, but the twister sections would keep the Cosworth runners in contention over a whole lap in racing conditions.


Entry Notes

Ex-Shadow, Tyrrell and Ensign driver Geoff Lees would take the place of the injured Jan Lammers in the Theodore, but the entry was otherwise unchanged in the short time since the United States Grand Prix. Toleman would once again fail to arrive, despite the promises they made at the time of the previous round.

[Full Entry]


Qualifying

With the Tolemans once again absent, there was no prequalifying, with 29 cars vying for 26 places on the grid. Friday was wet in the morning, and one end of the circuit was still getting drizzled on as qualifying began. Saturday was dry and clear, however, and nearly everyone was 2-7 seconds faster than they had been in the wet.

Didier Pironi broke Renault's run of five straight poles, beating Arnoux by three tenths of a second. Prost was third, with a relieved Piquet alongside him - turbo cars in the top four. Giacomelli was next in the Alfa, once more running well on a slower circuit (de Cesaris had been fastest on Friday), with Watson, Rosberg, Patrese, de Angelis and de Cesaris rounding out the top 10.

Further back, Lees got the Theodore in at 25th for the team's first race since Long Beach. The non-qualifiers unsurprisingly counted Serra (whose car stopped out on the circuit on Saturday afternoon, and was unable to better his poor Friday time) and de Villota (despite logging 27 laps, remaining out for most of the session in his attempts to qualify) amongst their number, but more of a shock came in the shape of Manfred Winkelhock - the German crashing into Arnoux on Friday morning and only getting a car for the last half hour of Saturday's timed session (one of those broken in Detroit having been sent back to Europe for repairs), getting squeezed off the grid by a matter of hundredths of a second.

[Full Grid & Practice Times]


Race

Race day remained clear and cold as the 26 cars lined up to start However, Didier Pironi’s pole-sitting Ferrari stalled at the start as the lights remained on for longer than usual, causing the field to scatter. Paletti, at the back of the grid and experiencing his first F1 standing start, was caught unawares as Boesel and Salazar took evasive action, and ploughed into the back of the stationary Ferrari at around 110mph. Paletti was trapped in his car, the nose of the Osella collapsing and pinning the Italian behind the steering wheel.

Doctor Sid Watkins and Pironi began trying to extricate him, only for the car’s ruptured fuel tanks to ignite. The French driver furiously rallied the marshals to keep the flames back, and even attempted to reach Paletti himself. In the end it was 25 minutes before Paletti was freed from the car. He was declared dead soon afterwards at Montreal’s Royal Victoria Hospital due to his chest injuries from the impact and toxic gases inhaled during the fire. Riccardo Paletti was two days shy of 24 years old, and the whole thing was witnessed by his mother Gina, who had flown over to Canada in preparation for his birthday.

Two hours later at 6:15pm local time, with something of a lack of enthusiasm the grid was ready to go again. Jarier's Osella had been withdrawn as a mark of respect, while Lees' Theodore had been hit in the accident and the team had no spare, so there were only 23 cars present for the restart, with Pironi, Boesel and Salazar in spare cars. The second start was clean, with Pironi retaining his lead, followed by Arnoux, Prost, Piquet, Giacomelli, Rosberg and de Cesaris.

Next time around Arnoux was right behind the Ferrari, getting right behind the Ferrari coming out of turn 5 and just powering past; further back, Piquet shot past Prost, who was struggling with a down-on-power engine, and would soon pass Pironi too. Giacomelli would disappear before the end of the lap, something locking as he approached the Pits Hairpin, and Mansell rode up the back of the Alfa. Both were out on the spot, the Italian taking a moment to kick his stalled machine.

On the third lap Prost too was past Pironi. The spare Ferrari had an older front suspension layout than Pironi's favoured car, and he was finding it very difficult to drive at any real speed. However, the turbos were waltzing away from the normally-aspirated cars, the first four moving clear of the pack, led by Watson under heavy pressure from Cheever and de Cesaris. With Pironi and Prost hamstrung, the race seemed to be between Arnoux and Piquet, the latter now beginning to close on the Renault in a Brabham-BMW that was finally running perfectly.

Watson would soon fall behind Cheever and de Cesaris, while Patrese's Cosworth-engined Brabham was also making up places. Pironi soon fell into the hands of this bunch, and was down to 7th ahead of Daly when he decided to make a pit-stop to see if anything could be done to speed up the car. It couldn't, so after a long stop he continued on his way, out of contention. By now the midfield was getting thinner - Lauda, having never been a factor all weekend, disappeared with a broken clutch, Alboreto dropped out with gearbox problems and Laffite withdrew with handling problems.

Patrese was the only DFV runner making any progress, moving past Daly, Watson, de Cesaris, Cheever and Prost in short order to run 3rd in short order. That soon became second as Arnoux, keeping with Piquet and under no threat from Patrese some 25 seconds back, span and stalled on the back of the circuit. The turbo Brabham's lead briefly extended to 30 seconds before, with no real competition, the Brazilian began to ease off in order to ensure a finish. Renault's day was made complete two laps later as Prost's engine finally gave up in a plume of expensive smoke on the back straight. Rosberg would follow soon after from an anonymous midfield placing, his gearbox having broken.

That was pretty much it for the racing. Cheever would gamely press de Cesaris for third place, only for the fuel tank to run dry with three laps to go, the American following Giacomelli's example and giving his car a couple of therapeutic punches. This promoted Watson to 4th, Daly to 5th and de Angelis to 6th, but things weren't finished quite yet; de Cesaris had the same problem on the final lap, pulling up on the Virage du Casino straight also with a dry tank. Watson was now 3rd, but as Daly came up to pass the stricken Alfa he too was coasting and pulled to the side to park neatly in front of the Italian's car.

This left de Angelis a surprised fourth, ahead of Marc Surer's Arrows, while de Cesaris had done enough laps to be classified 6th (as he had led Daly going into the final lap, as per the rules he was classified ahead of the Irishman). Behind them, there were only three other finishers - Baldi in 8th to complete a good day for Arrows; Pironi an unhappy 9th; and Mass 11th and last in the March. Still, Piquet could reflect on a fitting reward for a tricky season thus far, and best of all he had beaten Arnoux fair and square before the Frenchman's problems. With the championship still tight and the Brabham-BMW combination suddenly looking like a real contender only a week after failing to make the grid in Detroit, no-one would be betting against them for the upcoming return to fast European tracks. However, as darkness rapidly settled on Montreal, nobody was particularly happy.


Result

Pos.
Driver Car
Laps
Time/Retirement
Grid
1
Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW
70
1h 38m 39.577s
4
2
Riccardo Patrese Brabham-Cosworth
70
+ 13.801s
8
3
John Watson McLaren-Cosworth
70
+ 1m 01.836s
6
4
Elio de Angelis Lotus-Cosworth
69
+ 1 lap
10
5
Marc Surer Arrows-Cosworth
69
+ 1 lap
16
6
Andrea de Cesaris Alfa Romeo
68
+ 2 laps/Out of fuel
9
7
Derek Daly Williams-Cosworth
68
+ 2 laps/Out of fuel
13
8
Mauro Baldi Arrows-Cosworth
68
+ 2 laps
17
9
Didier Pironi Ferrari
67
+ 3 laps
1
10
Eddie Cheever Ligier-Matra
66
+ 4 laps/Out of fuel
12
11
Jochen Mass March-Cosworth
66
+ 4 laps
22
NC
Brian Henton Tyrrell-Cosworth
59
+ 11 laps
26
R
Keke Rosberg Williams-Cosworth
52
Gearbox
7
R
Raul Boesel March-Cosworth
47
Engine
21
R
Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Cosworth
41
Gearbox
15
R
Alain Prost Renault
30
Engine
3
R
Rene Arnoux Renault
28
Spin
2
R
Eliseo Salazar ATS-Cosworth
20
Transmission
24
R
Niki Lauda McLaren-Cosworth
17
Clutch
11
R
Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra
8
Handling
19
R
Robert Guerrero Ensign-Cosworth
2
Clutch
20
R
Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo
1
Accident/Mansell
5
R
Nigel Mansell Lotus-Cosworth
1
Accident/Giacomelli
14
R
Jean-Pierre Jarier Osella-Cosworth
0
Withdrawn
18
R
Geoff Lees Theodore-Cosworth
0
Accident/Pironi
23
R
Riccardo Paletti Osella-Cosworth
0
Accident/Pironi
25

Fastest Lap: Didier Pironi (Ferrari), 1:26.323

[Team-by-Team report]


Tables

Driver's Championship

Pos.
Driver
Points
1
John Watson
30
2
Didier Pironi
20
3
Riccardo Patrese
19
4
Alain Prost
18
5
Keke Rosberg
17
6
Niki Lauda
12
7
Nelson Piquet
11
8=
Eddie Cheever
10
8=
Michele Alboreto
10
8=
Elio de Angelis
10
11
Nigel Mansell
7
12=
Carlos Reutemann
6
12=
Gilles Villeneuve
6
14
Andrea de Cesaris
5
15
Rene Arnoux
4
16=
Jean-Pierre Jarier
3
16=
Derek Daly
3
18=
Manfred Winkelhock
2
18=
Eliseo Salazar
2
18=
Marc Surer
2
21=
Jacques Laffite
1
21=
Chico Serra
1

Constructor's Championship

Pos.
Constructor
Points
1
McLaren
42
2
Brabham
30
3=
Williams
26
3=
Ferrari
26
5
Renault
22
6
Lotus
18
7
Ligier
11
8
Tyrrell
10
9
Alfa Romeo
5
10
ATS
4
11
Osella
3
12
Arrows
2
12
Fittipaldi
1