Grand Prix Classic




Round 12 - German Grand Prix
Hockenheim, 6-8 August, 1982

Didier Pironi's consistent scoring for Ferrari had put him in a very strong position to fulfil his ambition and become France's first ever world champion. Most of his rivals were either in DFV cars which would be handicapped on the fast tracks which made up most of the second half of the season (Watson, Lauda, Rosberg) or in faster but less reliable cars (Prost, Piquet, Patrese).

Hockenheim was unlikely to see much of a change in the order. The two long straights meant that, providing they stayed reliable, turbo dominance was assured, but it was likely to be hard on the engines, once again meaning the reliable Ferraris were likely to end up with a decent points haul, if not outright victory.


Entry Notes

The fortnight since the French Grand Prix had given Nigel Mansell's arm the time it needed to heal, and he was back in the Lotus, though still wearing a support and in some pain. At Theodore, Jan Lammers was dropped after only qualifying twice in six attempts. Replacing him was Tommy Byrne, a very highly rated 24-year old Irish Formula 3 front-runner.

Also on hand in the March pits was John Macdonald's old favourite Rupert Keegan, as Jochen Mass was still feeling sore and shaken from his crash at Paul Ricard. The German eventually declared himself unfit to drive. In terms of cars, Osella would finally debut their new FA1D chassis, designed by Herve Guilpin.

[Full Entry]


Qualifying

Friday was clear and dry. Pironi topped the timesheets, his Ferrari running beautifully. Next came the Renaults, Prost ahead of Arnoux, then Piquet, Tambay and Patrese. Next came Alboreto in the fastest non-turbo, best part of five seconds slower than Pironi in pole, with de Cesaris 8th, Rosberg 9th and Watson 10th.

Niki Lauda in the other McLaren had posted 8th best time, but was withdrawn after injuring his wrist after going off in the stadium section while trying to pass Keegan's March. Saturday saw heavy rain, meaning Friday's times would decide the grid. This left Byrne, Keegan and Fabi as non-qualifiers, while Surer was the lucky 27th man, promoted by Lauda's withdrawal. Saturday's sessions were mainly used for acclimitisation and set-up work in case the race was wet as well (especially as there hadn't been a fully wet race yet this season).

Disaster struck in the morning free practice as Pironi was on a fast lap, having already ran four seconds faster than anyone else in the wet. He saw a ball of spray ahead of him and saw Daly's Williams move across. Believing the Irishman was moving over, he dived past at 150mph only to smash into Alain Prost's Renault, which had slowed and was actually being passed by the Williams but was hidden in the spray. Pironi's car was launched into the air before crashing back down on the track, breaking both of his legs and seriously injuring his feet. It took half an hour to extricate him from the Ferrari, and Piquet, Cheever and Prost, who had all pulled over to help, were sickened by the Frenchman's injuries. Pironi was airlifted to Heidelberg hospital where he was in no real danger, but his career hung in the balance. Ferrari opted not to officially withdraw Pironi's entry, as moving up would put Tambay on the rougher right-hand side of the grid, so Byrne would not get the same benefit that Surer had received. Stunned at their misfortune, Ferrari briefed their remaining driver to do what he could to protect his team leader's championship lead and their own position in the constructors' title.

[Full Grid & Practice Times]


Race

Race day was dry, but cloudy and overcast, adding to a sombre mood. At the start of the parade lap, Baldi was forced to abandon his Arrows which wouldn't start, and jumped into the spare to start from the pit lane. When the cars set off, Arnoux made use of the empty space and cleaner outside line to take the lead into the first corner, followed by Prost, Piquet and Tambay; the Brabham would relegate Prost further before the first chicane. Patrese had made a poor start in the second Brabham, dropping to 9th behind the fast-starting Cheever. However, he would soon use his speed to move back past the atmospheric cars, and would be in 5th by the end of the second lap.

By then Piquet had already swept past Arnoux before the first chicane, and was moving away at a cracking pace - once again, Brabham were running the car on half-tanks and soft rubber. Prost had lost out to Tambay, and the Ferrari driver soon set off after Arnoux. By the time he had slipstreamed past on lap 11, the Brabham was 16 seconds clear. Prost then disappeared into the pits with a broken injection pipe. He lost five laps having this replaced, and would only last another couple before pulling out with an electrical fault.

Next to go on lap 13 was Patrese, pulling into the Brabham pits with a sick engine. By now de Cesaris was out from 6th after being hit by Watson, Jarier had slid off, Baldi had retired the spare Arrows with an engine problem having never caught up with anyone, Winkelhock's gearbox had expired and Cheever was out with damaged skirts.

All of which left Piquet in the lead by 24 seconds. Tambay was second, five seconds ahead of Arnoux and pulling away slowly from the Renault. Then came a gap of 30 seconds to Watson, who himself had a 17 second cushion over Rosberg, Alboreto and Laffite. The Brabham was on track to make it's pit-stop, pulling around a second and a half on the Ferrari with each lap; while Piquet would do well to make the 45 seconds most estimated the process would cost him, he would certainly be placed close enough to his rivals after rejoining to retake the lead. However, once again he wouldn't get far enough to make the much-anticipated refuelling stop. This time, the BMW engine wasn't to blame.

On his 19th lap Piquet was lapping Salazar, pushing hard to extend his advantage over Tambay. As they approached the much-criticised chicane he was alongside the ATS. The Chilean driver seemed more than a little surprised despite the fact Piquet had been alongside him since the straight, and was still on the inside line. Piquet sliced past on the outside line, but as Salazar braked on the slippery inside he slid straight into the Brabham, bouncing off into the right-hand tyre wall and ending up in the middle of the track. Piquet was sent spinning to the outside, and stalled his engine. The Brazilian gesticulated wildly as he climbed from the Brabham, and then stormed over to Salazar. The Chilean gave a somewhat non-plussed response which drew a shove, a brace of punches and then a rather pathetic kick (which was about 2 foot from connecting) from Piquet, who then stormed off and hurled his helmet to the ground, leaving an embarrassed Salazar not entirely sure what to do with himself.

To tell the truth it had been something of a fifty-fifty incident. Piquet was pushing hard and didn't seem to be paying that much attention to the ATS, and waiting until the following straight where the BMW would have driven him past with no problem would have been the sensible option. On the other hand, Salazar always had the option of braking earlier, and had been alongside the Brabham throughout braking for the corner. Regardless of the rights and wrongs, the end result was that for the third time running Piquet was out from the lead of a race, leaving Tambay with a respectable lead to maintain over Arnoux.

And the Ferrari driver largely did that. Arnoux, knowing he was beaten, concentrated on maintaining his second place, leaving most of the fighting down to the non-turbo cars. Watson had led these since the early stages, and was now in a secure 3rd. Rosberg had been following him, but was passed by a charging Jacques Laffite, who had finally coaxed the JS19 into some sort of competitive proposition, though the Matra V12 probably helped on the long straights.

However, he was soon in trouble. The Ligier was held up quite badly by Mansell going into the stadium section and had to go by on the dirty side of the track. As he started his 28th lap he ran wide into the Nord Kurve, damaging his skirts. Rosberg went straight back past, with Alboreto and then Giacomelli passing before Laffite retired with impossible handling. Just after he pulled into the pits, Watson was out from a safe 3rd when his front-right suspension broke and he slid helplessly into the tyres backwards.

Up front, Tambay eased off as he casually reeled off the last few laps, landing his first Grand Prix victory in only his fourth drive for Ferrari, with Arnoux 15 seconds behind. No-one else was on the lead lap, with Rosberg rounding out the rostrum ahead of Alboreto, despite the Williams suffering a misfire for the second half of the race. In 5th came Bruno Giacomelli, delighted with his first points of the year, and then came Surer in 6th. The Swiss driver had taken the chance that came his way with Lauda's withdrawal with both hands, passing Henton, Guerrero and Serra in the early stages then exploiting the Arrows' reliability to score his third point of the year.


Result

Pos.
Driver Car
Laps
Time/Retirement
Grid
1
Patrick Tambay Ferrari
45
1h 27m 25.187s
5
2
Rene Arnoux Renault
45
+ 16.379s
3
3
Keke Rosberg Williams-Cosworth
44
+ 42.218s
9
4
Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Cosworth
44
+ 1 lap
7
5
Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo
44
+ 1 lap
11
6
Marc Surer Arrows-Cosworth
44
+ 1 lap
26
7
Brian Henton Tyrrell-Cosworth
44
+ 1 lap
17
8
Roberto Guerrero Ensign-Cosworth
44
+ 1 lap
21
9
Nigel Mansell Lotus-Cosworth
43
+ 2 laps
18
10
Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart
43
+ 2 laps
14
11
Chico Serra Fittipaldi-Cosworth
43
+ 2 laps
25
R
John Watson McLaren-Cosworth
36
Suspension
10
R
Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra
36
Handling
15
R
Derek Daly Williams-Cosworth
25
Engine
19
R
Raul Boesel March-Cosworth
22
Puncture
24
R
Elio de Angelis Lotus-Cosworth
21
Driver unwell
13
R
Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW
18
Accident/Salazar
4
R
Eliseo Salazar ATS-Cosworth
17
Accident/Piquet
22
R
Alain Prost Renault
15
Electrics
2
R
Riccardo Patrese Brabham-BMW
13
Engine
6
R
Andrea de Cesaris Alfa Romeo
9
Accident damage
8
R
Eddie Cheever Ligier-Matra
8
Handling
12
R
Mauro Baldi Arrows-Cosworth
6
Engine
23
R
Jean-Pierre Jarier Osella-Cosworth
3
Accident
20
R
Manfred Winkelhock ATS-Cosworth
3
Transmission
16
DNS
Didier Pironi Ferrari
-
Practice accident
1

Fastest Lap: Nelson Piquet (Brabham), 1m 54.035s

[Team-by-Team report]


Tables

Driver's Championship

Pos.
Driver
Points
1
Didier Pironi
39
2
John Watson
30
3
Keke Rosberg
27
4
Alain Prost
25
5
Niki Lauda
24
6=
Riccardo Patrese
19
6=
Rene Arnoux
19
8
Nelson Piquet
17
9
Patrick Tambay
16
10
Michele Alboreto
14
11
Elio de Angelis
13
12
Eddie Cheever
10
13=
Nigel Mansell
7
13=
Derek Daly
7
15=
Carlos Reutemann
6
15=
Gilles Villeneuve
6
17
Andrea de Cesaris
5
18=
Jean-Pierre Jarier
3
18=
Marc Surer
3
20=
Manfred Winkelhock
2
20=
Eliseo Salazar
2
20=
Bruno Giacomelli
2
23=
Jacques Laffite
1
23=
Chico Serra
1
23=
Mauro Baldi
1

Constructor's Championship

Pos.
Constructor
Points
1
Ferrari
61
2
McLaren
54
3
Renault
44
4
Williams
40
5
Brabham
36
6
Lotus
21
7
Tyrrell
14
8
Ligier
11
9
Alfa Romeo
7
10=
ATS
4
10=
Arrows
4
12
Osella
3
13
Fittipaldi
1