Grand Prix Classic

Round 9 - British Grand Prix
Silverstone, 14 - 16 July, 1983
Team-by-Team Review

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

Fast circuit doesn't suit car or engine, with Rosberg qualifying 13th (after spending Friday practice doing race set-up on non-marked tyres) and Laffite 20th after unsuccessful experiments with front wheel fairings mounted on wing. Rosberg over the grass at the start losing three places, and - struggling on Goodyear tyres - neither makes up much ground as race goes on, finishing two laps down in 11th (Rosberg) and 12th (Laffite, after long battle with Alboreto). Team confirms deal with Honda to run V6 turbo engine, with Patrick Head already working on a new chassis to hopefully race before the end of the season.

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

As usual on a fast circuit, neither driver qualifies well - Alboreto 17th, Sullivan 23rd. With Tyrrell unable or unwilling to afford refuelling equipment, both start with heavy cars and are left behind even by fellow Cosworth runners as their Goodyears begin to cook. The drivers do their best, but finish 13th (Alboreto, after a long fight with Laffite which the Williams driver wins) and 14th (Sullivan), both two laps adrift. Ken Tyrrell then disgraces himself with poorly-received protest at fuel systems of Ferrari and Renault, which is promptly rejected and further alienates manufacturers who hold turbo engine supplies for 1984.

Brabham BT52B-BMW
5. Nelson Piquet (Brz)
6. Riccardo Patrese (It)

New BT52B incorporates Renault-style rear 'cooling' aerodynamics and various other improvements picked up across the first half of the season, not to mention stunning new "inverted" colour scheme. Patrese and Piquet qualifying 5th and 6th, and run 4th/5th laps 3-10 before Patrese retires again with a broken turbo. Piquet then catches and passes the struggling Ferraris,has excellent tyres & fuel stop, but is then given no information from the pit wall, and believes Prost is too far away to challenge. Finishes an angry 2nd after finding the Renault might have been close enough for him to attack.

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

With Porsche engine finally testing, McLaren try pitstops for the first time in preparation for joining the turbo sprint races before the end of the year. Lauda starts 15th, Watson (1981 winner) only 24th. With Michelin radials and smooth fuel/tyre stops, both are the best of the Cosworths on race day, with Lauda taking 6th and Watson 9th (after a delay stuck in neutral after pit-stop), both one lap down.

9. Manfred Winkelhock (Ger)

Again Winkelhock qualifies well on fast track. Starts fine 8th, passed by de Cesaris at the start but nevertheless funs fine 6th from laps 10-29, when he stops for fuel and tyres. Passed by Mansell but passes de Cesaris during pits sequence, so continues in 6th after all stops have been made. Struggles with wearing Goodyears and is being slowly caught by Lauda when broken exhaust causes overheating and retirement on lap 50.

Lotus 94T-Renault
11. Elio de Angelis (It)
12. Nigel Mansell (GB)

Five weeks hard slog led by Gerard Ducarouge sees team debut new 94T chassis. Immediately popular with both drivers; de Angelis qualifies 4th, but myriad problems limit Mansell to 18th. After being fastest in warm-up and hugely confident, de Angelis makes a poor start and drops to 7th, but repasses Piquet before the end of the first lap only for engine to blow on the second lap. Mansell shows car's potential, however, with sensational race. Up to 12th on the first lap. Passes Johansson and Warwick and has enough pace to move past most of the leaders when they pit, briefly running 2nd before his own stop on lap 43. Resumes 5th and charges again, passing Arnoux to run 4th. Too far behind to have a serious go at Tambay, but finishes popular 4th.

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

Once again outqualified by Ferrari, with Prost 3rd and Cheever 7th. Cheever briefly up to 5th before a turbocharger failure ends his race after only four laps. Prost reaps benefits of fine Michelin tyres to pass Arnoux on lap 14 and Tambay on lap 20. Loses the lead to Piquet on lap 36 fuel stop but regains it when the Brabham pits on lap 41, and then wins with usual lack of visible effort to extend championship lead by three points.

RAM March 01-Cosworth
17. Kenny Acheson (GB)

Sponsorship from the RMC Construction group sees Kenny Acheson take over the single RAM entry, after Mike Thackwell fails to find sponsorship. After 150 mile test at Donington, team and driver are pessimistic about chances of qualification at one of the fastest circuits on the calendar, and are proved right. However, both are optimistic that with more experience they can finally begin to move forwards. Team rumoured to be running full-works March team in 1984, with BMW engines and Teo Fabi.

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

Heavily revised 183T chassis for both drivers - lighter and smaller, with reduced fuel tankage as team now plans to pitstop at all remaining races. Baldi improves on recent bad form to start 11th, two places behind de Cesaris. After good start de Cesaris runs 6th, which becomes 5th when Patrese retires. Is up to 4th by time of lap 34 pitstop, but after slow refuelling then loses over a lap when the clutch won't engage. Gets going and finishes frustrated lapped 9th on a day when he had the pace to score points. Baldi reaches 6th before lap 38 pitstop, but drops to 8th on resumption and is unable to catch Lauda's McLaren, finishing lapped 7th.

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

Jarier loses Thursday times when he misses weigh-in, but after appeal to stewards is allowed to run on Friday, qualifying 25th - behind Boesel (22nd) for the first time. Jarier drives the better race, making up five places on the first lap and reaching 11th before lap 33 fuel stop. Resumes 13th and passes both Williams cars when they stop on the way to a respectable 10th place. Boesel battles with Alboreto, but no higher than 16th before his lap 39 stop, and only makes an impression through losing his engine cover at Copse before retiring with leaking suspension hydraulics on lap 49.

Ferrari 126C3-Ferrari
27. Patrick Tambay (Fr)
28. Rene Arnoux (Fr)

New 126C3 chassis flies in qualifying, with Tambay seemingly set for pole until Arnoux takes it with a storming lap. Tambay passes Arnoux on first lap and cars run 1st and 2nd laps 1-14. However, Goodyear tyres go off in the heat and both are passed by Prost and then Piquet. Fresh tyres at mid-distance make little difference, though Tambay continues to 3rd place. Arnoux fades and is passed by Mansell, but still finishes 5th.

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

With no refuelling and Cosworth engines, fine drivers and chassis are uncompetitive at Silverstone. Boutsen starts 17th and Surer 19th - down to 24th and 25th after poor first lap. Both struggle with blistering Goodyears, but finish 15th (Boutsen) and 17th (Surer). Arrows in for a hard second half of the season, with sponsorship (this time provided by magazine Grand Prix International) still being attracted on a race-by-race basis.

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

Cosworth car finally junked, and both drivers have revised FA1E. Fabi struggles from lack of experience with Alfa V12 and other problems, and does not qualify. Ghinzani starts last, from pitlane in Fabi's car after his own breaks down on formation lap. Runs slowly in last, hoping merely to finish, but fuel pickup fails on lap 47 when 21st, six laps adrift. Much work to do for team to prove to Alfa Romeo they deserve turbo V8 engines in 1984.

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

Team in trouble - Teddy Yip (who arrives with his latest son - according to him, the 370th he has sired...) becoming reluctant to inject funds, especially on vital turbo engine for 1984, and clashing with Mo Nunn. With tired engine in his car, Cecotto fails to qualify for the first time and is rumoured to be in talks with ATS about running in a second car for the rest of the season. Guerrero gets in 21st, and advances to 17th by lap 2. Slips back with blistered Goodyears but manages to finish 16th, three laps behind. Guerrero and Nunn to travel to Elkhart Lake over the following week to try and raise finance by selling the extant Theodore Indycar.

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

Team desperate to do well at home race, and Warwick qualifies 10th, two places ahead of Giacomelli. Warwick, a year after announcing his arrival with stunning drive at Brands, runs 7th, laps 9-15, before being passed by Mansell and retiring in the pits with a broken 5th gear on lap 28. Giacomelli already out of 17th on lap 4 with blown engine.

Spirit 201C-Honda
40. Stefan Johansson (Swe)

Much anticipated championship debut of John Wickham's 25-man team, and return to F1 of Honda (who supply a phalanx of technicians). New 201C is a development of test hack, with 30kg less weight and conventional single rear wing. 600kg test hack, with updated wing, remains as spare. Team aim for 9th row of the grid and a finish; Johansson achieves the first objective in style by qualifying 14th, in the spare after fuel feed problems in the new car. Starts in the spare, but is soon up to 10th and keeping with Mansell when a fuel pump drive belt breaks on lap 5. Team pleased with their debut on the whole, but have no confirmation of how long they will have the Honda engine for now the Japanese manufacturer have signed a contract with Williams.