Grand Prix Classic

Round 4 - San Marino Grand Prix
Imola, 4-6 May, 1984
Team-by-Team Review

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

Piquet takes second pole position of the season, with Fabi qualifying 9th. Both elect to run non-stop on hard compound Michelins. Piquet beaten off the line by Prost, and struggling with clutch and boost problems is passed by Warwick on lap 22. Retakes 2nd on lap 27, albeit unable to challenge Prost, only to retire on lap 49 with a broken turbo. Fabi drives well, passing de Angelis, Patrese and Arnoux to reach 4th by lap 24. Repassed by Arnoux, but secure in 5th when turbo blows seconds after Piquet's failure. Still no points for Brabham in 1984.

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

Another fine meeting. After both qualifying on the 11th row (Bellof ahead), both make superb starts to sandwich Arrows cars, Brundle in 11th, Bellof 14th. Neither able to hold de Cesaris or, later on, de Angelis or Cheever, but Brundle is in 8th by the time of lap 47 ballast stop, only to retire on lap 56 with broken fuel pickup. Bellof pits for water on lap 55 without losing 7th place, and is promoted to 5th by de Cesaris/Cheever retirements to score team's third top-six placing in four races.

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

Rosberg takes 3rd on the grid, with Laffite down in 15th. Neither had a good start, Rosberg's engine failing to find power and dropping him down the order, and Laffite colliding with Hesnault. Rosberg recovers to 19th by lap 3, but retires with electrical failure. Laffite recovers to 14th, only for a turbo to break on lap 12.

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

Prost qualifies a confident 2nd, with Lauda 6th. McLaren chassis good enough to run softer Michelin tyres than rivals. Prost takes the lead from Piquet off the line and then leads dominantly until the finish, despite a spin and lap 29 tyre stop, to extend championship lead to 11 points. Lauda gets off the line badly with tricky first gear, but tears through the field to reach 4th by lap 14, lapping half a second faster than Prost. However, retires lap 16 with turbo failure. Team reclaim clear advantage shown in first two rounds.

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

With others encountering problems, both cars qualify - Alliot 23rd (after being criticised by Mansell for blocking during practice), with Palmer 25th. Both passed by Gartner at the start, and eventually struggle past him. Palmer finishes 10th, three laps behind, after lap 31 tyre stop mobile chicane performance, notably holding up Brundle for six laps. Alliot (after pitting for tyres on lap 32) out of 12th and last with turbo failure on lap 54.

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

More disappointment in qualifying - de Angelis 11th, Mansell only 18th. Mansell briefly advances to 16th, before spinning off and stalling when front right brake mounting fails. Running hard tyres, de Angelis reaches 6th before lap 27 pitstop. Runs steadily and carefully on resumption to take over 3rd as others fall by the wayside, running out of fuel on the lap but still being classified 3rd.

14. Manfred Winkelhock (Ger)

Another good qualifying performance sees Winkelhock start 7th. Briefly up to 5th, but unable to fend off Lauda or Alboreto. Runs solid 7th until Pirelli tyres begin to fade, and is forced to retire from 10th on lap 32 with broken BMW.

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

Warwick qualifies strong 4th, with Tambay a disappointed 14th. Warwick to 3rd at the start; Tambay gets away well, but mounts Cheever's Alfa Romeo at Tosa on first lap and retires. Warwick briefly passes Piquet for 2nd, but soon has to back off with excessive fuel consumption. Passed by Piquet, Arnoux, de Cesaris and de Angelis and lapped by Prost, but finishes 4th after Piquet and de Cesaris retires to retain 2nd in championship.

Arrows A7-BMW
17. Marc Surer (Swz)
Arrows A6-Cosworth
18. Thierry Boutsen (Bel)

Surer's turn with BMW car, and he qualifies decent 16th. Boutsen heads Cosworth qualifiers in 20th. Surer up to 13th before the end of the first lap, but drops back and spends most of the race battling with the Tyrrells before retiring from 12th with a broken turbo on lap 41. Boutsen also makes a fine start to 11th and runs sensibly and smoothly to finish in 6th - scoring Arrows' first point of the season, and his first ever.

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

Tyre dispute with Pirelli intensifies when Toleman demand payment for testing mileage, with the Italian company claiming they are still well within the agreed period for remuneration. With Pirelli refusing to supply tyres, cars do not run on Friday. With help from FOCA's Bernie Ecclestone, agreement reached for Pirelli to provide tyres on Saturday. Cecotto qualifies 19th, but Senna fails to make the cut with boost problems. Cecotto makes up four places at the start, but with poor grip pits from 13th on lap 34 for fresh tyres. Second set even worse, and Cecotto pits again on lap 48. Running in 11th of 13 runners (ahead of the RAM cars) when fuel system fails on lap 50.

Spirit 101-Hart
21. Mauro Baldi (It)

Baldi qualifies 24th, and jumps to 18th after great start. Passed by Laffite and Cheever before battling with Cecotto on the way to 9th, two laps down after making Pirellis last the whole race (team cannot afford high-speed tyre-changing gear).

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

Attractive 184T again qualifies well - Cheever in 8th, Patrese in 10th. Cheever hit by Tambay on the first lap, and has to pit to replace punctured tyre. Patrese holds 7th laps 1-3 before being passed by Lauda and Fabi, and retires on lap 7 with engine failure. Cheever charges through the field in impressive style, reaching the points by lap 49. Out of 5th on lap 58 when fuel runs out, but classified 8th.

Osella FA1F-Alfa Romeo
24. Piercarlo Ghinzani (It)
Osella FA1E-Alfa Romeo
30. Jo Gartner (Aut)

Team rolls out 1983 V12-powered car for test driver Jo Gartner, who qualifies 26th for Grand Prix debut. Ghinzani, struck by mechanical problems during only dry session, fails to make the cut. Gartner briefly makes 20th early on, but soon drops down to last. Gets back ahead of both RAMs when they stop for tyres. Repassed by Palmer but able to keep ahead of Alliot until aged engine fails on lap 48.

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

Some improvement in qualifying, with de Cesaris 13th and Hesnault 17th. With misfiring Renault V6, de Cesaris starts from the pitlane. Hesnault collides with Laffite at the start and immediately retires. With dander up, de Cesaris tears through the field, reaching 6th by lap 27. Making hard compound Goodyears last the whole race, passes Warwick to run 3rd on lap 50, only to run out of fuel two laps from the end and wind up classified 7th. Disappointing, but a step in the right direction.

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

After Zolder win, team back in trouble. Numerous problems in practice see Arnoux start 6th and Alboreto only 13th. Good start sees them run 4th (Arnoux) and 5th (Alboreto) by lap 3, but no match for faster Michelin runners. Arnoux stops for fresh Goodyears on lap 21, and passes Fabi and Warwick to finish a distant 2nd. Alboreto out of 4th on lap 24 with broken exhaust.