Grand Prix Classic


Round 2 - South African Grand Prix
Kyalami, 5-7 April, 1984
Team-by-Team Review


Brabham BT53-BMW
1. Nelson Piquet (Brz)
2. Teo Fabi (It)

Much improved showing. Qualifying special engine sees Piquet reach 190mph down long straight, and take pole position. Fabi is given special car for a few laps, and promptly starts a personal best 6th. Mixed fortunes at the start as Piquet nearly stalls but winds up 2nd, with Fabi 3rd. Piquet retakes the lead at the start of the second lap, Fabi up to 2nd on third lap. Run 1-2 until Fabi is passed by Lauda on lap 10. He then stops with blistered tyres and drops to 12th, retiring on lap 19 with turbo failure. Piquet comes under heavy pressure from Lauda, and pits on lap 21, again with failing tyres. Rejoins 6th and swiftly surges back up to 2nd, only to retire on lap 30, also with turbo failure. BT53's oversteer problems still causing excessive tyre wear.



Tyrrell 012-Cosworth
3. Martin Brundle (GB)
4. Stefan Bellof (Ger)

Team does not expect to be competitive at Kyalami, and largely isn't - Bellof qualifies 25th, Brundle 26th. Bellof makes great start to 18th and heads Cosworth battle for most of the race, before sliding off from 9th on lap 61 when brakes fail approaching Crowthorne. Brundle collides with obstructive Hesnault early on and loses a lot of time in the pits having a replacement nose section fitted. Continues to finish 12th, four laps down.



Williams FW09-Honda
5. Jacques Laffite (Fr)
6. Keke Rosberg (Fin)

New differentials improve handling somewhat, and Rosberg pulls out dynamite qualifying lap to start 2nd, with Laffite 11th. Rosberg then jumps into the lead at the first corner, but gradually pushed back down to 4th. Resists pressure from Warwick for first half of the race before poor lap 37 stop drops him to 8th. Unable to make up much ground before retiring on lap 52 with broken CV joint. Laffite runs non-stop and is in 2nd by lap 38. Unable to hold Prost but is then in secure 3rd only for a rear wheel to fall off on lap 61, causing retirement.



McLaren MP4/2-TAG
7. Alain Prost (Fr)
8. Niki Lauda (Aut)

Prost qualifies 5th, with Lauda 8th. Lauda has car trouble in warm-up, and Prost forced to start from pitlane in spare after trouble on the formation lap. Lauda up to 4th by first corner, then passes Rosberg and hunts down the Brabhams with clinical skill, taking the lead on lap 21. Is not headed from then on, even after lap 35 tyre stop, to convincingly take 20th career Grand Prix win. Prost up to 16th by lap 6, then 6th by lap 25 before stopping for tyres on lap 32. Relives Laffite of 2nd place on lap 44, and stays there to finish as the only driver not lapped by Lauda. A stunning display from McLaren.



RAM 02-Hart
9. Philippe Alliot (Fr)
RAM 01-Hart
10. Jonathan Palmer (GB)

Despite Hart turbo power at Kyalami, RAM cars are only around a second a lap faster than Cosworth machines. Palmer starts 21st in the old car, a place ahead of Alliot in the lone RAM 02. Both run near the back before retiring - Palmer from 21st on lap 23 with an engine failure, Alliot from 23rd on lap 25 with a broken turbo. Second RAM 02 for Palmer expected in Belgium.



Lotus 95T-Renault
11. Elio de Angelis (It)
12. Nigel Mansell (GB)

Mansell qualifies excellent 3rd, with de Angelis 7th. Race once again a disappointment - Mansell off the grid well, but hesitates going into first corner and is lost in the pack, dropping to 11th. On hard tyres (planning to run non-stop) makes little progress, and drops out of 6th place on lap 52 when boost fails due to broken turbo inlet; de Angelis races comfortably in group behind Rosberg, running 6th/7th, and briefly reaches 2nd before tyre stop. Returns to the pits shortly after with defective throttle cable. Long repair stop drops him out of contention, but attrition and some fast laps see him finish 7th, four laps down.



ATS D7-BMW
14. Manfred Winkelhock (Ger)

With BMW power on long straight, Winkelhock starts respectable 12th (fastest Pirelli runner). Runs 11th until long stop to look at a misfire, which costs him nine laps. Continues to circulate until a spectacular turbo failure in the closing stages.



Renault RE50-Renault
15. Patrick Tambay (Fr)
16. Derek Warwick (GB)

Tambay qualifies 4th, with Warwick 7th after problems with boost pressure in practice. Run 5th (Warwick) and 6th (Tambay) behind Rosberg until tyre stops, where both leapfrog the Finn. Warwick picks up a puncture and has to make a second stop. Despite broken clutch, recovers well, passing Alboreto on the way to first rostrum finish in 3rd - albeit a lap behind the McLarens, and thanks to Tambay's retirement - the Frenchman sets fastest lap, only for a faulty fuel metering unit to cause his tank to run dry nine laps from home.



Arrows A6-Cosworth
17. Marc Surer (Swz)
18. Thierry Boutsen (Bel)

At turbo circuit, Surer does well to qualify 24th as fastest Cosworth runner - thanks to a tow from Winkelhock. Boutsen only 27th fastest, but allowed to start after Ghinzani's accident. Boutsen then wins the Cosworth class in the race, translating to 9th place, four laps down, and just ahead of Surer in 10th.



Toleman TG183B-Hart
19. Ayrton Senna (Brz)
20. Johnny Cecotto (Ven)

Senna qualifies strong 13th (a second faster than Warwick's time six months before), six places ahead of Cecotto (who crashes during Thursday testing, and is obliged to use spare all weekend). Cecotto retires on lap 27 with suspension failure when 16th. Senna loses part of nose section battling with de Cesaris early on, but despite resulting massive understeer perseveres to score first-ever point in second Grand Prix - 6th place, three laps down.



Spirit 101-Hart
21. Mauro Baldi (It)

Baldi starts 22nd in good-looking but underdeveloped 101 chassis, and runs steady if unspectacular race to finish 8th, four laps down, despite misfire. With Baldi's initial sponsorship having been exhausted, team unsure who will be driving at Zolder.



Alfa Romeo 184T-Alfa Romeo
22. Riccardo Patrese (It)
23. Eddie Cheever (USA)

Cheever qualifies 16th, with Patrese only 18th after turbocharger problem and misfire on Friday afternoon. Cheever only lasts four laps before damaging a radiator and retiring when still 16th. 1983 winner Patrese runs 12th early on, survives the attrition and finishes a distant 4th, two laps down, for team's fourth successive points finish.



Osella FA1F-Alfa Romeo
24. Piercarlo Ghinzani (It)

Ghinzani qualifies effective FA1F in 20th place, but has massive accident in Sunday warm-up, writing off chassis (though the cockpit survival cell holds up well) and sustaining burns to his face, neck and hand in fire. Withdrawn from race, but hopes to be fit in time for Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder.



Ligier JS23-Renault
25. Francois Hesnault (Fr)
26. Andrea de Cesaris (It)

JS23 continues to disappoint, with de Cesaris qualifying 14th and Hesnault 17th. Hesnault makes a poor start, struggles to find a rhythm and has to pit to repair damage incurred when blocking Brundle. Finishes 11th, four laps down; de Cesaris keeps out of trouble and runs in midfield. Promoted to 5th (two laps down) by retirements to score team's first points for 16 races.



Ferrari 126C4-Ferrari
27. Michele Alboreto (It)
28. Rene Arnoux (Fr)

Car handles badly at Kyalami, leaving Alboreto only 10th on the grid, and Arnoux 15th. Both plan to run non-stop on harder Goodyears. Alboreto tags onto train following Rosberg in first half of the race, and moves up to 3rd after others stop. Is repassed twice by Warwick and Tambay, but holding 4th place when fuel vaporisation causes retirement, four laps from finish. Identical problem claims unimpressive Arnoux when 6th on lap 41.