Grand Prix Classic

Round 14 - European Grand Prix
Brands Hatch, 23 - 25 September, 1983
Team-by-Team Review

Williams FW08C-Cosworth
1. Keke Rosberg (Fin)
2. Jacques Laffite (Fr)
43. Jonathan Palmer (GB)

With new Honda-powered FW09 in intense testing ahead of Kyalami debut, team largely going through the motions, but nevertheless enter a third car for F2 champion and test driver Dr. Jonathan Palmer, by way of a thank you gesture for his hard work. Chassis and Goodyear tyres are uncompetitive at Brands - Rosberg only 16th on the grid; Laffite, with tyre trouble, fails to qualify for second time running; Palmer gets in, however, starting 25th. Rosberg puts in strong, stubborn drive, keeping with Giacomelli and rising to 6th before lap 40 fuel stop, but retires four laps later with dropped valve in DFV. Palmer drives sensible Grand Prix debut, passing Ghinzani and Boesel on his way to 13th, four laps down - setting race times faster than his practice laps as he gains confidence.

Tyrrell 012-Cosworth
3. Michele Alboreto (It)
4. Danny Sullivan (USA)

Sullivan finally gets a new 012 chassis, and promptly out-qualifies Alboreto (20th to 26th). Alboreto exercises his right as number 1 driver to take over the American's chassis, and passes his team-mate on lap 12. Sullivan's race ends with a spectacular engine failure on lap 27 when 18th. Alboreto progresses well to 10th before retiring with another broken DFY on lap 56.

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

Team continues recent excellent form, with Ferrari-style rear wing now fitted. Patrese starts 2nd, Piquet 4th. After great start in the spare car (after a misfire on the warm-up lap), Patrese leads laps 1-11 resisting pressure from de Angelis until they collide. Drops down to 2nd behind Piquet, but damaged suspension and long pitstop cause him to fall back to 7th place by the finish. Piquet, however, holds convincing lead for the rest of the race, not even losing first place during his fuel stop, to take third victory of the year. Heads to Kyalami only two points behind Prost, with momentum on his side.

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

Continued problems with throttle response of TAG turbo engine. Watson qualifies encouraging 10th, with Lauda 13th. Lauda out of 10th on lap 25 when engine fails. Watson, after dropping to 14th at the start, takes over place, but has a long stop to repair failing rear wing. Resumes 16th, but retires one lap later when wing collapses entirely, causing crash.

9. Manfred Winkelhock (Ger)

For third race in succession Winkelhock starts 9th. Up to 6th after good start. After being passed by Prost and then scraps with Mansell and Arnoux. Pits from 7th on lap 36 and continues to finish lapped 8th, hindered by unsuitable Goodyear tyres, but pleased with car's first trouble-free race of the season.

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

Stunning practice once again - de Angelis takes first-ever pole position, with Mansell 3rd. After being passed by Patrese at the start, de Angelis strong 2nd pressuring the Brabham driver until they collide on lap 11. Drops to 6th, and then retires on lap 13 with broken oil pump. Mansell, struggling with tyres, drops to 7th by lap 4 after holding up several faster runners. Second set of tyres from lap 42 stop are much better, and Mansell chases down struggling Tambay, passing him on lap 67 to finish strong 3rd for team's first podium finish of 1983.

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

Car still fast, just not as fast as the Brabham, despite also copying Ferrari's large rear wing. Cheever starts 7th, one place ahead of Prost. Run 4th/5th after start, before Prost moves past on lap 8. Passes Patrese on lap 14, but is unable to match Piquet's pace. Nevertheless finishes 2nd, and retains lead of championship - albeit only by two points. Cheever, troubled by brake pedal, holds 4th until lap 36 stop, but is forced to pit a second time on lap 45 to have broken helmet visor fixed with sticky tape. Presses on to hold 9th, but passed by Arnoux two laps from the end and finishes lapped 10th.

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

Acheson 26th fastest on Friday thanks to problems with both Osellas, but improvement by Ghinzani on Saturday bumps him down to first non-qualifier. Still no start for British driver - or team since Long Beach.

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

Poor practice sees de Cesaris start 14th (after big crash on Friday morning) and Baldi 15th. After good start to 11th, de Cesaris drives fine well-paced race to finish excellent unlapped 4th for his first points since Hockenheim. Baldi less successful - in 12th before lap 35 fuel & tyres stop, but clutch only lasts four laps more after he rejoins.

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

Jarier qualifies 22nd, but retires immediately when clutch breaks on the starting grid. Boesel starts 23rd and runs ahead of only Ghinzani for most of the race before finishing 15th and last, three laps behind.

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

Team struggles with Goodyear cross-ply tyres all weekend. Arnoux starts 5th and Tambay 6th. Both have poor starts. Arnoux recovers to 5th by lap 11, but spins down to 19th when chasing Cheever. Reaches 11th before fuel stop, but unable to advance any further than 9th, one lap down, before the end after second stop for fresh tyres. Eight points behind Prost with one race to go. Tambay passes Winkelhock and reaches 2nd before pitstop, but with fading brakes lets Mansell pass on lap 65. Slides out of 4th when brakes lock two laps later, ending his race and title hopes.

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

Surer starts 17th, one place ahead of Boutsen. Surer progresses to 11th by lap 46, but retires on lap 51 with engine. Boutsen has interesting first few laps - down to 24th at the start; back up to 18th by lap 5, spins back down to 22nd, then scraps with Guerrero on his way to a respectable lapped 11th place.

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

Neither driver in top 26 on Friday as FA1E doesn't run well at Brands. Ghinzani improves to 24th; Fabi fails to qualify. Ghinzani moves up to 21st at the start, but down in last by lap 10 with sticking throttle. Perseveres despite three long repair stops, but ends up 13 laps behind and not classified.

Theodore N183-Cosworth
33. Robert Guerrero (Col)

Cecotto leaves the team for apparent 'political' reasons shortly before the race. Team pleads force majeur (in this case, lack of finances to pay a new driver, and lack of time to find a new sponsored pilot) and does not replace him. Guerrero starts 21st and has race-long battle with Boutsen on the way to 12th place, two laps behind the winner. Team's future very bleak.

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

Team take 6th row of the grid, Warwick ahead of Giacomelli. Both run at a decent pace throughout, and rejoin 6th (Warwick) and 7th (Giacomelli) after fuel stops. Warwick attempts to challenge de Cesaris, only for the cockpit fire extinguisher to activate, costing him around 10 seconds. Continues, despite numb hand and superficial chemical burns on his right leg. Promoted to 5th and 6th, unlapped, when Tambay retires, to give team third successive top six finish, and first ever double points score.

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

Team told by Honda that they will not be supplied with engines for 1984. With new 101C chassis still incomplete, team face a further setback when Honda V6 fuel consumption at Brands is so high boost has to be turned right down, making the car no faster than the Cosworth runners. Johansson qualifies 19th and battles ahead of the Tyrrells before lap 36 fuel stop. Resumes 19th, and finishes 14th, two laps down despite suspected broken rear suspension component.