Grand Prix Classic

Round 4 - San Marino Grand Prix
Imola, 29 April - 1 May, 1983
Team-by-Team Review

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

Once again power circuit leaves Williams hunting for minor placings. Rosberg once again fastest DFV runner, starting 11th. Passes Winkelhock, de Angelis and Baldi to run 6th on lap 6, and drives hard, moving up when Patrese and de Cesaris retire to take 4th, one lap down, after fuel/tyres stop on lap 31. Laffite starts 16th. Up to 9th by lap 12. 6th before lap 33 fuel/tyres stop. Long battle with Mansell, but is unable to catch Watson and Surer, finishing 7th.

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

Alboreto qualifies 13th, with Sullivan 22nd. Alboreto spins out of 11th on lap 11 after contact with Surer's Arrows, while Sullivan survives an early collision with Guerrero to run 16th, but also crashes out at exit of Rivazza, hitting Warwick's derelict Toleman - thankfully without injury. Team and Alboreto not showing expected form as yet.

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

After testing at Snetterton and Spa-Francorchamps solves many of the chassis' problems, Piquet qualifies 2nd and Patrese 5th. Piquet stalls at the start and drops to last. Patrese passes Tambay and Arnoux to take the lead on lap 6 before long pitstop (caused by overshooting pit box) drops him back to 2nd. Catches Tambay (after setting fastest lap) and passes on lap 55, only to immediately crash out with a mistake at the Acque Minerale. Despite over-revving engine when starting and half a lap handicap, Piquet reaches as high as 5th before his own pitstop, and is back in that position when he coasts into the pits with blown engine on lap 42. Very disappointing blank for Brabham.

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

Both drivers have DFY engines, but still only qualify 18th (Lauda) and 24th (Watson). As per usual both race much better. Lauda is up to 9th when he slides off under braking and hits a barrier on lap 12. Watson is in 12th by then, and has long scrap with Mansell. Running non-stop he benefits from Mansell and Laffite stopping and retirements to finish a worthy lapped 5th. Team nevertheless down to 2nd in Constructors' table.

9. Manfred Winkelhock (Ger)

Continued improvement in practice sees Winkelhock start 7th, fastest 'customer' car, thanks to 25kg lighter second D6 chassis. However, forced to race in spare after a fuel leak appears in the warm-up. Finds the handling to be much worse and drops to 9th before stopping for new tyres in hope of sorting problems. Resumes 20th with car not working much better, but perseveres and is running 11th and last when the engine cuts as he starts his final lap just before Tambay crosses the line.

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

Elio de Angelis qualifies solid 9th, with Mansell (recovered from French Grand Prix injury) 15th thanks to DFY engine and, in the latter's case, new four-tier rear wing. Both originally planning to stop for fuel and tyres, but de Angelis' car suffers engine failure on formation lap. Switches to spare 93T, and opts to run non-stop. Running 6th at the end of lap 1, but passed by Baldi and Rosberg. Holds 8th until passed by Piquet on lap 27, and pits lap 32 with handling problems. New tyres make little difference and pits again on lap 44, refusing to continue. Mansell reaches 10th before long battle with Watson, and stopping for tyres and fuel on lap 30. Stops again for tyres to solve grip problem, but rear wing fails when last, three laps from the end, pitching him into five consecutive spins, somehow avoiding barriers. Year turning into a nightmare for Lotus.

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

Prost qualifies 4th, with Cheever 6th. Prost hangs onto the back of Tambay at rear of leading group, but Cheever out of 7th on lap 2 when turbo catches fire. Prost pits from 3rd lap 28, but suffers from down-on-power engine and dodgy 4th gear and is unable to challenge leaders. Nevertheless up to 2nd after Arnoux spins, and stays there as the only man not lapped by Tambay. Moves into joint-lead of Drivers' standings, level with Piquet.

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

Back down to a single car for Salazar, as Schlesser's sponsorship has fallen through after lacklustre showing in France. With Cosworth power on fast Imola circuit the team expect to struggle, and despite weight reduction the bulky March is three-tenths of a second off making the grid. 1983 turning out to be even worse than 1982 for RAM.

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

Gerard Ducarouge is fired after fire extinguisher fiasco at Paul Ricard, to general paddock amazement and strong belief he has been made the scapegoat. Nevertheless, de Cesaris qualifies 8th, with Baldi 10th, team trying mid-race refuelling for the first time - though de Cesaris crashes in morning warm-up and has to start in spare. After a good start to 5th de Cesaris pulls away from following group but is unable to keep with the leading group. Drops to 6th when he stops on lap 28, but regains position when Piquet stops. However, only lasts until lap 46, when Alfa V8 fails. Baldi also does well early on, running 8th/9th and battling with de Angelis early on. Poor lap 33 stop hinders progress, but is in 6th in later stages, only for the engine to blow a lap from home and drop him to 10th. Some improvement, but long-term effects of Ducarouge departure are yet to be seen.

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

Another poor qualifying effort sees Jarier 19th and Boesel 25th, only faster than Salazar and the Osellas. Jarier races better and is in 11th, lap 35. Badly blocks leader Tambay when being lapped before water leak caused by a stone piercing radiator ends his race. Boesel is once again consistent but utterly anonymous on his way to 9th and last runner, two laps down.

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

Much improved on home ground. Arnoux wins pole position shoot-out on Saturday to start first, with Tambay 3rd. Arnoux leads laps 1-6, but is passed by Patrese. Pits from 2nd, lap 20, but fails to get back up to speed after stop. Spins just after passing stricken Patrese, dropping behind Prost and off lead lap, and finishes lapped 3rd. Tambay 2nd laps 1-3, passed by Patrese, up to 2nd when Prost pits. Stops on lap 33 and is able to retain his position. Takes the lead when Patrese stops, but with a slight misfire and being held up by Jarier is repassed on lap 55. Almost immediately retakes the lead when the Brabham crashes, and thereafter comfortably takes his second victory, moving up to 3rd in Drivers' standings.

Arrows A6-Cosworth
29. Marc Surer (Swz)
30. Chico Serra (Brz)

Surer impresses in qualifying with 12th (second DFV), and Serra is a worthy 20th. Despite an early delay after contact with Alboreto, Surer races hard as usual and is up to 8th by lap 50; makes up places as Patrese and Baldi retire, fending off Laffite to take 6th place and third points finish in four 1983 races. Serra also runs well, keeping out of trouble on his way to 8th, 1 lap down. Good form for team, but still no sign of any significant sponsorship enabling them to afford Alan Jones. Rumour is that Belgian F2 driver Thierry Boutsen, a former Spirit development driver who also tested for RAM, is finding funds to take over the second car in his continued absence.

Osella FA1D-Cosworth
31. Corrado Fabi (It)
Osella FA1E-Alfa Romeo
32. Piercarlo Ghinzani (It)

One protype Alfa Romeo V12-powered FA1E for Piercarlo Ghinzani. Dart-shaped Tony Southgate design looks good, but is still being finished in the pits at start of practice, and unsurprisingly fails to qualify after succession of 'new car' problems - not least of which is its' weight. Definitive FA1E not expected until mid-season. Corrado Fabi gets in 26th in Cosworth car, but crashes out of 20th place on lap 21.

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

Unusually poor qualifying sees Guerrero start 21st and Cecotto 23rd. Guerrero collides with Sullivan on lap 4 fighting over 18th place and retires. Cecotto pits lap 2 to remove oil from Cheever's turbo from his visor, and drops to last place. Then runs wide and has to pit for long repair stop. Completes only 11 laps before having to retire after another spin caused by extant damage.

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

Both drivers suffer problems in qualifying sessions, and end up sharing the spare on Saturday. In the circumstances happy with 14th (Warwick) and 17th (Giacomelli). Giacomelli less happy when his roadgoing Mercedes is stolen from outside a local restaurant on Saturday night. Once again neither makes much progress in the race - a bolt shears in Giacomelli's suspension when 16th on lap 21, and Warwick spears into a tyre wall when 13th on lap 28. Early season promise seems to be fading badly amid dreadful reliability.