Grand Prix Classic

Round 6 - Belgian Grand Prix
Spa-Francorchamps, 22 - 24 May, 1983
Team-by-Team Review

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

Both drivers love the circuit and drive well, but with Cosworth power are reduced to 9th and 11th in qualifying. Both do the best they can, with Rosberg hanging onto the turbo cars in 7th early on, and both keeping ahead of Cheever in the first half of the race. Inevitably drop back after tyre stops but still continue to finish excellent unlapped 5th (Rosberg) and 6th (Laffite). Both cars stop immediately after crossing the line, having no fuel remaining to complete a slowing down lap - and are protested by Renault for not going to Parc Ferme. Stewards dismiss protest.

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

Despite DFY engine, Alboreto only starts 17th and spends most of the race splitting the Theodore cars before a lap 28 pitstop to remedy gearbox troubles when 9th. Finishes 14th and last, two laps down. Sullivan starts 23rd and runs near the back for the whole race on his way to 11th, one lap behind.

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

Due to small fuel tank team has to again reduce boost to ensure they only need one pitstop. Piquet starts 4th, with Patrese 6th. Patrese out on the first lap. Piquet loses out to Arnoux at the start and runs 5th laps 1-16. Takes over the lead for a lap as others pit before making his own stop on lap 24. Good pit work gets him out in 2nd, but 5th gear goes missing and he loses out to Tambay and Cheever before the end to finish 4th.

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

Much hard work since Monaco humiliation sees Lauda start 15th and Watson 20th. Watson taken out by Jarier on lap 9 when hit by Jarier at La Source. Lauda runs non-stop and is elevated to 7th when others pit and retire, and begins slowly advancing on Laffite when his gearbox fails. Still no confirmed date for arrival of TAG Porsche V6 engine, still being bench-tested in Germany.

9. Manfred Winkelhock (Ger)

Chassis and all-action Winkelhock suit Spa, and he qualifies strong 7th, planning to pit at mid-distance. Up to 6th when Patrese retires and keeping with Piquet until engine begins cutting out on lap 12. Electrical problem fixed at the cost of six laps. Winkelhock resumes, only for right rear wheel to detach on lap 19, sending him flying off the track.

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

Amid rumours the team are courting Gerard Ducarouge to revamp difficult 93T, de Angelis qualifies 13th and Mansell 19th. With Pirelli tyres slightly improved by low temperature de Angelis runs 10th before being passed by Warwick and then pitting. Passes Cecotto on lap 27, but advances no further than 9th, one lap down. Mansell spins down to last on second lap and only passes Boesel and Fabi before retiring from 15th, lap 31, with broken gearbox.

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

RE40 continues to look like the answer to Renault's problems - fast and reliable. New rear-end aerodynamics - intended to cool tyres while also improving airflow over the back half as a 'side effect' - attract interest from rivals, but are ruled legal. Prost takes pole, with Cheever 8th. Prost passed by de Cesaris at the start and runs 2nd until the Alfa stops. Pits lap 23, with excellent work seeing him back out in the lead. Untroubled for rest of the race to take his second victory of the year and increase his championship lead to four points. Cheever passed by both Williams cars at the start. Repasses Laffite lap 4 but is unable to close on Rosberg. Another good pitstop on lap 20 boosts him to fourth, and passes ailing Piquet on lap 37 to move into 3rd. Rear-end is protested by Williams, but stewards side with Renault.

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

With tired DFV and poor chassis, Salazar fails to qualify for the fourth time in succession, over 6 seconds away from 26th-fastest Boesel. Redesigned aerodynamics expected for US Grand Prix in Detroit.

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

Andrea de Cesaris one of the stars of the meeting, starting 3rd fastest, with Baldi 12th, both using new in-house turbocharger units. Both starts see de Cesaris jump into the lead, and he holds it confidently, setting fastest lap, until dreadful lap 18 fuel and tyres stop. Back to 2nd by lap 24 only for his engine to expire almost immediately, ending his best drive yet. Baldi retires from 10th on lap 4 with broken throttle linkage.

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

Deal to run Renault engines formally announced ahead of the race, but engine supply will not be ready until 1984 season. In the meantime, Jarier starts poor 21st and drives into Watson trying to take 16th place on lap 9. Boesel starts 26th and runs at the back, stopping for fuel and tyres on lap 23, and finishes lapped 13th.

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

Tambay qualifies 3rd, with Arnoux 6th. Run 4th & 5th laps 1-18, with Arnoux falling back after overheating his tyres. Arnoux pits lap 19, and briefly returns to 5th before his engine fails. Tambay stops on lap 21 and resumes 4th. Up to 3rd when de Cesaris retires, then chases and passes slowing Piquet on lap 33 to finish 2nd, albeit 23 seconds behind Prost.

Arrows A6-Cosworth
29. Marc Surer (Swz)
30. Thierry Boutsen (Bel)

Thierry Boutsen secures finance and is signed for the rest of the season in place of Chico Serra. Qualifies 18th for Grand Prix debut, but retires after a lap 4 pitstop fails to fix wayward rear suspension component. Surer starts superb 10th after stunning qualifying performance, but transmission problems at first start force him into the spare, starting from the pitlane. Drives beautifully, passing Boesel, Fabi and Sullivan to finish 11th, one lap down.

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

Alfa Romeo-powered FA1E making progress, but Ghinzani once again fails to qualify by one and a half seconds. Fabi goes better, starting 24th and running ahead of Mansell and Boesel before stopping on lap 16 to clear radiators and prevent engine overheated. Running 20th and last three laps later when rear wheel breaks and falls off, pitching Fabi into retirement.

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

Return to form for Guerrero after a couple of disappointing outings, starting 14th. Cecotto crashes on Friday, and with spare out of commission only qualifies 25th. Both race well - non-stop Guerrero runs 11th fending off Lauda early on before dropping to 14th when the Tolemans pass him and Lauda follows them past. Nevertheless advances to 9th by lap 23, only for the engine to fail. Cecotto gets a good start and is 18th by lap 4. Holds de Angelis and Warwick in later stages before losing out to turbo power, and finishes lapped 10th after a solid drive.

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

Once again both drivers have very limited running in practice, with Giacomelli starting 16th and Warwick 22nd. Both drive superbly, finding car and tyres to really suit track. Warwick makes up six places on opening lap, and they run 13th and 14th from lap 4. Warwick passes Giacomelli on lap 8, before both pass Guerrero, Lauda and de Angelis to sit 9th and 10th. Warwick then has disastrous lap 22 stop when he inadvertently receives Giacomelli's fuel load and has to stop again on lap 26 to top up for the full distance, while Giacomelli also has a long stop on lap 20. Both charge again, Giacomelli reaching 7th by lap 34, with Warwick in 8th. Giacomelli then spins on the last lap and is passed by Warwick, but both complete full distance. Joy at two unlapped finishes tempered by realisation that pitstop disorganisation prevented them from challenging Williams cars for first ever points.