Grand Prix Classic




Round 13 - Austrian Grand Prix
Osterreichring, 13-15 August, 1982

Before Hockenheim it had seemed Pironi was coasting to the championship, carefully adding to his total while his rivals suffered inconsistent form. Leaving Hockenheim the Frenchman was stable, but seriously injured, and the question of whether he would be competing in 1983 was being raised. The accident had resurrected the hopes of the likes of Prost, Rosberg and Watson; while Pironi still held a nine-point lead, few thought that it would hold out even in a very topsy-turvy season.

Naming a favourite was a harder business, though. Prost seemed completely deflated, while three of the remaining four tracks were fast ones which would count against the DFV challengers. The Osterreichring, with one of the highest average speeds on the calendar, was an extreme demonstration, and only the retirement of all the front-running turbos would give the Cosworth runners much chance.


Entry Notes

With only a week's turnaround since the German Grand Prix there were few changes. Ferrari elected not to nominate a second driver alongside Patrick Tambay at such short notice, instead entering just the one car.

Elsewhere, Jochen Mass had decided to retire from Grand Prix racing after his Paul Ricard accident, so March hired Rupert Keegan to complete the season.

[Full Entry]


Qualifying

As expected, it was the manufacturer-backed turbos that dominated the timed sessions. However, a surprise came in the advantage Brabham-BMW had over their rivals, with Piquet taking pole from Patrese, with Prost nearly a second behind the Italian in third, and Tambay splitting the Renaults.

Trying to uphold Cosworth's honour were Rosberg in 6th (2.7s off pole, but 1.5s faster than any other DFV runner), de Angelis in 7th, Alboreto 8th, Daly 9th (despite a crash) and Lauda 10th, fit again after his injury in Germany.

Watson was down in 18th, his championship challenge looking very weak indeed after being unable to counter severe understeer. Elsewhere, Keegan qualified his March in 24th, albeit at the cost of bumping team-mate Boesel from the grid, while Tommy Byrne qualified for his first Grand Prix in 26th. Joining Boesel in non-qualification were Salazar and Jarier.

[Full Grid & Practice Times]


Race

The scenic Osterreichring was brightly lit by warm sunlight as 25 cars lined up on the grid, with Surer starting from the pitlane after his engine had failed on the formation lap. As the lights went out Piquet and Prost led away followed by Patrese, with Rosberg making a great start only to get boxed in entering the first corner and drop back to 7th. Further back there was already chaos. Daly had got off badly, de Cesaris had swerved to avoid him and been clouted by Giacomelli who was storming through. The pair of Alfas swiped across the front of the Williams before Giacomelli was shoved into the left-hand barrier, while de Cesaris limped across to the right. All three were out of the race, and Keegan would soon join them having bent his car against the pit wall dodging the accident.

Halfway around the second lap there would be further implications. Both Tambay and Alboreto ran over debris left, despite the best efforts of the marshals, on the start-finish straight. Tambay's right rear tyre punctured immediately in 4th and had to limp slowly around for most of the lap; the Tyrrell driver was even less lucky,the tyre peeling off entirely and pitching him backwards into the Boschcurve armco.

Up front, Patrese had repassed Prost before the end of the first lap and then tore past Piquet second time around. Behind them the Renaults were once again on their watching brief, Prost ahead of Arnoux. Next and keeping the symmetry up were de Angelis and Mansell in the Lotuses, ahead of Rosberg. Next were the Tolemans of Warwick and Fabi, who after a slightly disappointing practice were now making prodigious use of their straight-line speed. They soon followed Rosberg past Mansell, and then moved past the Finn too.

After five laps Patrese was leading Piquet by around one and a half seconds, a gap that would stay relatively stable as the pair pulled away from the Renaults at a breathtaking pace. By now the Tolemans had disappeared near-simultaneously, Fabi pulling over with locked transmission and Warwick skating off into the grass with broken suspension. They were replaced in 6th and 7th by Rosberg and a charging Jacques Laffite, with Henton next in the second Tyrrell, then Lauda and a fading Mansell.

The half-tank Brabhams were pulling clear at around one and a half seconds a lap, and their hand strengthened further when Arnoux pulled into the pits with major power loss, and Mansell soon followed with engine trouble. Next into the pits was Piquet, about eight laps ahead of schedule. The World Champion had noticed his rear tyres were blistering badly and moved his stop up accordingly. Brabham weren't ready for him, but the stop was still completed with remarkable speed. He returned to the track in 4th, having lost out to Prost and de Angelis and being just ahead of Rosberg. However, the engine had gone off almost as soon as he rejoined, and Piquet struggled to pull away from the Williams, let alone close on the Lotus.

The first fully-prepared stop came on lap 24, when Patrese pulled in with a lead of nearly 31 seconds. The stop was once again incredibly impressive - the Italian was up on jacks for 13.8 seconds, and despite a moment's difficulty engaging first gear emerged with around three seconds advantage over Prost. The Frenchman pushed hard while Patrese's tyres were cool, but the Italian slung his Brabham and soon got them up to pressure. However, on lap 28 the car was suddenly hurtling into the Austrian scenery. Another BMW blow-out had locked the rear wheels, the unfortunate Patrese swapping ends at the Texaco chicane, flying off and parking backwards against an earth bank. A great shame after an impressive drive, but it proved that Gordon Murray's refuelling strategy was viable.

This left Prost slowly pulling away from de Angelis, while Piquet was still struggling and now had Rosberg all over him. The situation didn't last long as Rosberg slim-streamed past before Piquet retired the second Brabham with a loss of drive. Henton would follow from a fine 5th when his Cosworth died, leaving just nine cars running - Prost steadily pulling away from de Angelis, who was being gradually being closed on by Rosberg. Laffite was in a steady 4th place in the unwieldy Ligier, Lauda was coaxing his understeering McLaren along in 5th and Baldi was 6th in the Arrows, capably fending off Watson in the other McLaren. Tambay had made up a lap on the backmarkers after his puncture, passing Serra and now reeling Watson in.

Apart from Tambay's pursuit of points, it seemed all the excitement had been used up and the remaining runners would circulate to the finish. However, Prost's Renault had other ideas, and the fuel injection system decided to empty fuel over the exhausts, causing the luckless Frenchman to pull off with his car ablaze. This meant Rosberg was now chasing de Angelis down for the lead, rather than second place. With the Williams slaloming through the corners he made rapid gains, desperate for his first win. With three laps to go it was down to 3 seconds. A lap later it was 2.2 seconds. At the start of the last lap the gap was 1.6s, and halfway around Rosberg was on the Lotus, with de Angelis' engine cutting out once or twice as the fuel pressure began to drop.

However, the Italian kept his cool and put his car in all the right places. Rosberg was still on him in the final corner, and dived out of the slipstream on the inside of the track, but de Angelis had done just enough. Despite the Williams having better momentum held on to score his first victory, and the first win for a Lotus since the 1978 Dutch Grand Prix, by just half a length, and completed the slowing down lap waving excitedly as he coasted around. It had been a fantastic finish. Tambay had sliced past Baldi and Lauda, but was too far behind Laffite, who took a popular 3rd despite oversteer caused by a bent skirt. After the justly rewarded Tambay came Lauda, playing the percentages in a car which wasn't working well and adding another two points to his total. Baldi was delighted with 6th after his most competitive showing yet, while Serra was happy to finish the new Fittipaldi, even if he was the only driver to see the chequered flag who didn't score points.


Result

Pos.
Driver Car
Laps
Time/Retirement
Grid
1
Elio de Angelis Lotus-Cosworth
53
1h 25m 02.212s
7
2
Keke Rosberg Williams-Cosworth
53
+ 0.050s
6
3
Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra
52
+ 1 lap
14
4
Patrick Tambay Ferrari
52
+ 1 lap
4
5
Niki Lauda McLaren-Cosworth
52
+ 1 lap
10
6
Mauro Baldi Arrows-Cosworth
52
+ 1 lap
23
7
Chico Serra Fittipaldi-Cosworth
51
+ 2 laps
20
8
Alain Prost Renault
48
+ 5 laps/Fuel injection
3
R
John Watson McLaren-Cosworth
44
Water pipe
18
R
Brian Henton Tyrrell-Cosworth
32
Valve spring
19
R
Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW
31
Engine
1
R
Tommy Byrne Theodore-Cosworth
28
Spin
26
R
Marc Surer Arrows-Cosworth
28
Fuel system
21
R
Riccardo Patrese Brabham-BMW
27
Engine
2
R
Eddie Cheever Ligier-Matra
22
Engine
22
R
Nigel Mansell Lotus-Cosworth
17
Engine
12
R
Rene Arnoux Renault
16
Turbo
5
R
Manfred Winkelhock ATS-Cosworth
15
Engine
25
R
Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart
7
Suspension
15
R
Teo Fabi Toleman-Hart
7
Transmission
17
R
Roberto Guerrero Ensign-Cosworth
6
Driveshaft
16
R
Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Cosworth
1
Accident/puncture
8
R
Rupert Keegan March-Cosworth
1
Accident damage
24
R
Derek Daly Williams-Cosworth
0
Accident/de Cesaris
11
R
Andrea de Cesaris Alfa Romeo
0
Accident/Giacomelli
9
R
Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo
0
Accident/de Cesaris
13

Fastest Lap: Nelson Piquet (Brabham), 1m 33.699s

[Team-by-Team report]


Tables

Driver's Championship

Pos.
Driver
Points
1
Didier Pironi
39
2
Keke Rosberg
33
3
John Watson
30
4
Niki Lauda
26
5
Alain Prost
25
6
Elio de Angelis
22
7=
Riccardo Patrese
19
7=
Rene Arnoux
19
7=
Patrick Tambay
19
10
Nelson Piquet
17
11
Michele Alboreto
14
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
17=
Jacques Laffite
5
19=
Jean-Pierre Jarier
3
19=
Marc Surer
3
21=
Manfred Winkelhock
2
21=
Eliseo Salazar
2
21=
Bruno Giacomelli
2
21=
Mauro Baldi
2
25=
Chico Serra
1

Constructor's Championship

Pos.
Constructor
Points
1
Ferrari
64
2
McLaren
56
3
Williams
46
4
Renault
44
5
Brabham
36
6
Lotus
30
7
Ligier
15
8
Tyrrell
14
9
Alfa Romeo
7
10
Arrows
5
11
ATS
4
12
Osella
3
13
Fittipaldi
1