Grand Prix Classic

Round 16 - Caesar's Palace Grand Prix
Caesar's Palace, 23-25 September, 1982
Team-by-Team Review

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

After hating Las Vegas in 1981, Gordon Murray opts to stay in England rather than travel to Caesar's Palace. Team struggles with setup all weekend, with Patrese starting 5th and Piquet back in 12th. Patrese runs 4th laps 1-18, but is unable to escape from Cheever/Rosberg/Watson before retiring with a broken clutch. Piquet runs in midfield until his engine eats a sparkplug and expires, lap 27, when running 11th. Patrese 10th overall, Piquet 11th, with the team 5th. Team in general happy to have learning year with BMW out of the way.

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

Alboreto in sensational form all weekend. Qualifies best-ever 3rd, then keeps both Renaults in sight for the early part of the race. Up to second when Arnoux retires, then steadily catches and passes troubled Prost, lap 51. Then smoothy pulls away for accomplished first Grand Prix victory, moving up to 8th in drivers' standings and pushing Tyrrell to 7th. Henton qualifies less impressive 19th, and runs careful but anonymous race to 8th, one lap down. Ken Tyrrell hoping for BMW turbo engines to power new 1983 car for Alboreto.

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

Needing 5th place to guarantee title, Rosberg starts 6th on the grid. Runs a careful race aiming to finish and let attrition do the rest, notably giving Watson a wide berth when the McLaren comes to pass him. Moves up to 5th when Andretti retires, lap 27, and then holds place until the end, narrowly avoiding being lapped, to secure extraordinary championship despite only winning one race. Daly, who finds out while in Vegas that he will be replaced by Jacques Laffite for 1983, starts 14th. Damages front wing trying to pass Warwick for 9th on lap 3, but runs to a reliable lapped 6th. Takes 13th in the championship. Williams finish disappointed 4th in the Constructors' Cup, but look forward to 1983 with six-wheeled FW08D and have high hopes of landing a turbo deal in time for 1984. Team's final appeal against Brazilian disqualification is overturned, but with little importance to Rosberg's title.

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

Watson starts 9th (only his fourth appearance in the top 10 on the grid all season), with Lauda 13th. Watson superb in the early stages, passing Daly, Warwick, Rosberg and Cheever, running 3rd on lap 21. Then catches and passes Prost for 2nd, but with worn Michelins is unable to do anything about Alboreto. Six points at least lift him to joint-2nd overall, level with Pironi. Lauda runs steadily early on to preserve his tyres, and is in 8th on lap 41. Then passes de Cesaris and Daly before closing gap to Rosberg, only for engine to go sick and cause retirement on lap 54. Finishes 5th after appeal against Belgian Grand Prix disqualification is rejected.

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

Air of stagnation continues. This time Salazar fails to qualify after engine problems and crashing, with Winkelhock making it in 22nd. Races near the tail of the field before two long pit stops to fix a misfiring engine cost him 11 laps. Still circulating at the chequered flag without his engine cover, but 13 laps down and not classified. Drivers finish joint 22nd in the table, with team 11th after difficult second half of the season. ATS rumoured to be running BMW turbo engines in 1983.

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

Tricky 91 chassis doesn't suit the circuit, and de Angelis starts 20th, one place ahead of Mansell. Mansell out of 23rd lap 9 after determined attempt to pass Baldi fails and he hits the Arrows, spins off and stalls. 14th overall. Elio de Angelis is stuck in midfield until retiring from 10th when Cosworth fails, and finishes 9th overall. 30 points and 6th overall in tight year is at least an improvement for Lotus on previous two seasons, but Colin Chapman's team now looking forward to genuine revival with Renault power in 1983.

Ensign N181-Cosworth
14. Robert Guerrero (Col)

Tough luck season continues for penniless team. Guerrero continues impressive late season form by qualifying excellent 15th, but blows engine in Saturday morning warm-up. Team has no spare and is unable to borrow one from anyone else, and is forced to withdraw. Mo Nunn's outfit face a difficult winter battle for survival to even be present in 1983.

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

Tense atmosphere within the team continues. Once again the fastest cars in qualifying, Prost ahead of Arnoux. Away from the grid in that order, but Arnoux takes the lead on lap 2. Holds it until lap 14, when forced into the pits with engine trouble. Despite a long stop for repairs, problem proves terminal after completing 20 laps. Prost takes over the lead until lap 51, when with wearing Michelins, he is forced to allow Alboreto past. Both Watson and Cheever also get by before the end, with Prost finishing 4th to cap disappointing season. 4th (Prost) and 6th (Arnoux) in drivers' championship and 3rd in constructors' title a poor return for season favourites. Team announce Eddie Cheever as Arnoux's replacement for 1983.

March 821-Cosworth
17. Rupert Keegan (GB)
18. Raul Boesel (Brz)

Despite ongoing incompatibility with Michelin tyres, both drivers qualify, Boesel 24th (after failing to improve on Thursday time by crashing in Friday's session; the team no longer has a spare car) and Keegan 25th. Both run slowly but reliably at the back to 12th (Keegan, two laps down) and 13th (Boesel, 6 laps down after serious tyre trouble and starting from the pit lane). Hugely disappointing season over, with major revitalisation needed for 1983. Rothmans and Boesel both expected to take their money elsewhere.

Fittipaldi F9-Cosworth
20. Chico Serra (Brz)

Local sponsor deals allow team to attend meeting, but without a spare car. Downcast Serra is slowest of all in qualifying, nearly a second slower than final qualifier Tommy Byrne, bringing a difficult season to a disappointing end. Driver and team 26th and 13th in respective championships. Emerson Fittipaldi must somehow find major sponsor soon to ensure team's survival into 1983.

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

Most disappointing practice since Kyalami sees Giacomelli start 16th and de Cesaris 18th. In gritty drive de Cesaris rises to 7th, lap 31, pressing Daly, but is passed by Lauda. Both fade badly in the later stages as Michelin tyres wear, eventually finishing 9th (de Cesaris) and 10th (Giacomelli), two laps down. Massive budget goes to waste on a distant 9th on constructors cup, with de Cesaris and Giacomelli 17th and 22nd respectively in drivers' table. Future for all concerned unclear, as strong talk of withdrawal from F1 continues.

Ligier JS19-Matra
25. Eddie Cheever (USA)
26. Jacques Laffite (Fr)

Both drivers announce plans for 1983 - Laffite going to Williams, Cheever to rivals Renault. The latter gives a good farewell performance, starting 4th. Passed by Patrese and Watson to sit 6th, but retirements restore him to 4th. Catches future team-mate Prost to take 3rd place, his third rostrum finish of a tricky season, and 12th overall. Laffite's long tenure at Ligier comes to a disappointing end, though - starts 11th and stuck on long queue behind Warwick before retiring after 7 laps with ignition problems. Team's driver line-up unknown for 1983, but at least the Matra turbo should finally be ready.

Ferrari 126C2-Ferrari
27. Patrick Tambay (Fr)
28. Mario Andretti (USA)

Andretti able to take second car thanks to understanding CART manager and organisation. Qualifies 7th, one place ahead of Tambay. The latter suffers from a recurrence of Dijon trapped nerve and is forced to withdraw after the Saturday morning warm-up. Andretti runs 5th laps 1-27 holding off constant pressure from Rosberg until broken suspension pitches him off. Then heads to Michigan Indycar meeting, finishing second from the back of the grid on Sunday. Despite disappointing final race and hugely turbulent season, Ferrari at least have the satisfaction of being the first turbo team to win a constructors' cup, with drivers placing 2nd (Pironi), 7th (Tambay), 15th (Villeneuve) and 19th (Andretti).

Arrows A5-Cosworth
29. Marc Surer (Swz)
Arrows A4-Cosworth
30. Mauro Baldi (It)

Surer qualifies A5 car in 17th, and runs well. Lost in midfield early on, but with good Pirelli tyres makes up places at the end to finish 7th, one lap down, despite severe vibration. Baldi starts 23rd in old A4, and survives early collision with Mansell to finish 11th, two laps down. Team happy with development of A5 ahead of 1983, and with 10th overall in constructors' table after difficult start to the year.

Osella FA1D-Cosworth
31. Jean-Pierre Jarier (Fr)

On latest Pirelli tyres, Jarier an excellent 8th fastest in Thursday timed session. However, after another suspension failure at the start of Friday's afternoon session causes 180mph crash. Furious Jarier angrily berates team, accusing Osella of a lack of professionalism and running worn parts, and walks out. His criticisms are backed by Herve Guilpin. Difficult 1982 season thus comes to a premature end for Italian team.

Theodore TY02-Cosworth
33. Tommy Byrne (Ire)

Byrne continues to struggle in obsolescent TY02. Only 27th fastest in qualifying, but promoted to 26th by Jarier's withdrawal. Runs last until spinning out on lap 40, having already been lapped twice. Teddy Yip's plans for 1983 still unknown.

Toleman TG183-Hart
35. Derek Warwick (GB)
Toleman TG181C-Hart
36. Teo Fabi (It)

New TG183 runs well at Caesar's Palace in practice, Warwick starting 10th. Fabi has less fun in the old car, missing the grid. Warwick then finds the new car running badly in race trim, leading a train of irritated drivers in 9th before pitting with a misfire. Problem can't be fixed despite two changes of plugs, and so he is forced to retire. Team pleased with progress made across 1982, however, and expect new TG183, Warwick and ever-improving Brian Hart four-block turbo to be a capable combination in 1983.