Grand Prix Classic

Round 2 - United States West Grand Prix
Long Beach, 25-27 March, 1983
Team-by-Team Review

Williams FW08C-Cosworth
1. Keke Rosberg (Fin)
2. Jacques Laffite (Fr)

Car runs well at Long Beach, and Rosberg/Laffite qualify 3rd/4th. Rosberg into 2nd at the start, spins down to 3rd before the end of the lap and is back to 2nd before the end of the second. Then presses Tambay relentlessly until lap 25 collision with the Ferrari, and is then hit by Jarier, ending his race. Laffite runs 3rd until the accident, then takes over the lead, but on worn tyres is passed by Watson and Lauda on lap 45, and then by Patrese to run 4th. Loses two more positions due to poor pit signals from Williams, but moves back up to 4th with retirements of Cheever and Patrese.

Tyrrell 011-Cosworth
3. Michele Alboreto (It)
4. Danny Sullivan (USA)

Excellent qualifying sees Alboreto 7th (despite Saturday morning crash) and Sullivan 9th. Alboreto latches onto the leaders early on, but is unable to pass Laffite and is then hit by Jarier on lap 21. Loses a long time with repairs in the pits, but resumes to finish 9th. Sullivan briefly up to 3rd on lap 26 thanks to retirements, but with worn tyres and down on revs engine is helpless to stop Surer, Cheever, Arnoux, Lauda, Watson, Cecotto and - on the last lap - Boesel going past, finishing 8th, two laps down.

Brabham BT52-BMW
5. Nelson Piquet (Brz)
6. Riccardo Patrese (It)

Both drivers find practice difficult on Michelin tyres - Patrese starts 11th (3rd Michelin runner), Piquet 20th. Patrese moves up well early on - past Sullivan for 6th on lap 2, battles with Jarier over 5th and is up to second after Rosberg collisions. However, is unable to do anything about Laffite, and with boost turned down is easy meat for the McLarens. Finally gets past Laffite on lap 51 and seems set for 3rd, only for a distributor to fail two laps from home. Piquet barely shows in the race before sliding out of 10th (of 15 runners) on lap 52.

McLaren MP4/1C-Cosworth
7. John Watson (GB)
8. Niki Lauda (Aut)

Very strange weekend for team. With no grip on Michelin qualifiers, Watson and Lauda despondent 22nd and 23rd in the race. However, they find the cars running one-and-a-half seconds faster in the races and make tandem progress through the slower runners before finding themselves 5th (Lauda) and 6th (Watson) on lap 26. Both then pass Sullivan and Surer before Watson passes Lauda, lap 33. Both then pressure Patrese into a spin then blast past Laffite to run 1st and 2nd. Watson pulls away thanks to a better choice of tyre compound to seal his 5th win (and 4th for McLaren), with Lauda a comfortable 2nd. Team baffled but delighted.

9. Manfred Winkelhock (Ger)

Team finds Long Beach is not the best place to sort ill-handling turbo powered chassis. Winkelhock qualifies 24th and is still in the same position when he slides into a wall and posts first retirement of the race on lap 4.

Lotus 93T-Renault
11. Elio de Angelis (It)
Lotus 92-Cosworth
12. Nigel Mansell (GB)

Team find Pirelli tyres work better in qualifying, with de Angelis an excellent 5th and Mansell 13th in heavy active suspension car. Neither runs as well in the race - de Angelis drops back to 13th, stops for tyres, finds they don't fix the handling and retires after completing only 29 laps. Mansell doesn't have much more fun, making three tyre stops without rectifying his own handling problems, but keeps going to finish a despondent 12th and last, three laps adrift.

Renault RE40-Renault
15. Alain Prost (Fr)
Renault RE30C-Renault
16. Eddie Cheever (USA)

After Brazil disaster, prototype RE40 is flown out for Prost, who qualifies it in 8th (fastest Michelin time). Up to 7th early on, but then suffers a misfire. Pits lap 17 with a misfire and loses three laps fixing the problem, but completes valuable mileage in new car on his way to 11th. Cheever starts 15th, but passes Prost for 7th on lap 9. Picks up a puncture and pits on lap 19, but returns at a good pace. In the points lap 51, and has long battle with Arnoux. Briefly reaches 4th after passing Arnoux and Laffite, but almost immediately retires with a broken gearbox.

RAM March 01-Cosworth
17. Eliseo Salazar (Chi)

Salazar qualifies in 25th place with revised, 'slow' circuit aerodynamics, and drops out of a lapped 19th and last place on lap 26 when the gear linkage falls apart.

Alfa Romeo 183T-Alfa Romeo
22. Andrea de Cesaris (It)
23. Mauro Baldi (It)

Team struggles on Michelin qualifiers, with de Cesaris 19th and Baldi 21st. Unlike most other Michelin runners, not much better in the race either. Baldi stops for tyres after brushing a wallcrashes out of 18th on lap 25; de Cesaris retires from 14th on lap 49 when gearbox breaks up - which the team unconvincingly announces is an electrical failure.

Ligier JS21-Cosworth
25. Jean-Pierre Jarier (Fr)
26. Raul Boesel (Brz)

Jarier qualifies a satisfied 10th, 2nd fastest Michelin runner; Boesel struggles and squeezes in at 25th. Jarier then drives fast, eventful race - into the points on lap 17; shoves Alboreto aside on 21 having caught the leading bunch. However, then runs into the back of Rosberg on lap 25 as the Williams rejoins. Very briefly second but retires on lap 26 with damaged front suspension from the contact. Boesel also drives well, stopping for tyres before making up places steadily if less spectacularly and comes home 7th, 2 laps behind, after passing Sullivan on the last lap.

Ferrari 126C2-Ferrari
27. Patrick Tambay (Fr)
28. Rene Arnoux (Fr)

Turnaround sees Tambay take his first pole position, with Arnoux alongside. Tambay leads strongly for first 25 laps before being punted out of the race by Rosberg. Arnoux initially repeats Brazil performance and slides back through the field after being struck by Rosberg at the start, until pitting on lap 23 for fresh rubber. Then charges back through the field - back in the points lap 35, then passes Cecotto, Cheever and Laffite (thanks to poor Williams pit signals) to inherit 3rd when Patrese retires, the only runner on the same lap as the McLarens.

Arrows A6-Cosworth
29. Marc Surer (Swz)
30. Alan Jones (Aus)

Much attention as team signs Alan Jones for this race at least. Returning former World Champion, despite being out of shape and troubled by healing bones, qualifies 12th. Then runs in midfield, struggling on Goodyear tyres and with handling difficulties brought on by early brush with a wall, making two pit stops for repairs and retiring exhausted on lap 59 when 14th and last. Surer qualifies 16th, and then proves a point by running ahead of Jones for most of the race. Into 11th on lap 3, then briefly 4th on lap 26. With blistered Goodyears is passed by runners on faster tyres, but stays the course to come home 5th, one lap down, scoring more points for delighted, if impoverished, team.

Osella FA1D-Cosworth
31. Corrado Fabi (It)
32. Piercarlo Ghinzani (It)

Unlike Lotus and Toleman, and without the benefit of their chassis or drivers, Pirelli qualifiers aren't enough to help Osella, and neither Fabi nor Ghinzani make the grid.

Theodore N183-Cosworth
33. Robert Guerrero (Col)
34. Johnny Cecotto (Ven)

Hard work pays off for popular team. Respectable qualifying (Cecotto 17th/Guerrero 18th, the latter having his 8th best time disallowed when the car was found to be 1cm too wide - an accidental defect caused by carbon fibre warping in trip up from Brazil, which was brought to the stewards' attention before practice, but apparently later protested by a rival...) followed by good race. Both keep pace with more exalted rivals in midfield before Guerrero retires from 13th on lap 28 with a broken gearbox bearing, havign already lost third and fourth gears. Cecotto keeps going, taking 6th from Sullivan on lap 29, then 5th from Surer three laps later. Is then hit by the same tyre wear as other Goodyear runners, not to mention jumping gears and overheating DFV, and is unable to hold off Cheever or resurgent Surer. However, retirements of Cheever and Patrese return him to 6th, where he stays until the flag to take hard-earned first point.

Toleman TG183B-Hart
35. Derek Warwick (GB)
36. Bruno Giacomelli (It)

Warwick has massive suspension failure after hitting the bumps on Friday, and Giacomelli does not run as a precaution. Both still qualify comfortably on Saturday, Warwick 6th and Giacomelli 14th. Like the Lotus drivers, both hamstrung by poor Pirelli race tyres - Warwick down to 11th before tyre deflates and pitches him into the wall on lap 12; Giacomelli out of 16th on lap 27 when the electrics cut out. Still no points, but it can surely only be a matter of time.