Grand Prix Classic


Round 8 - Detroit Grand Prix
Detroit, 22-24 June, 1984
Team-by-Team Review


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

Having waited seven races for a finish, Piquet wins second race in eight days. Takes stunning pole position despite engine losing a cylinder on his fastest lap, but race car hit by Mansell at first start. Restarts in spare and leads from start to finish, despite overheating engine from litter in intercooler intake. Up to 4th in the championship, and suddenly looking like a contender again. Teo Fabi returns in second car, but only qualifies 23rd after colliding with Boutsen on Friday. Then survives carnage on Sunday to come home unlapped 4th for first-ever points in Formula 1. Reportedly trying to negotiate with Dick Forsythe for release from Indycar contract in order to concentrate on driving for Brabham.



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

Having won in 1983, Tyrrell hope for a good showing at Detroit. Brundle delivers, starting 11th, with Bellof 16th after writing off a car on Saturday. Both race through the field impressively to run 5th (Brundle) and 6th by lap 28. Brundle makes water stop on lap 33, briefly dropping to 8th, but Bellof crashes again at final chicane on lap 34. Brundle races impressively, however, with a mix of speed and others' problems raising him to a fighting second place, less than a second behind Piquet. Brundle up 9th in drivers' table, with Tyrrell now 6th - ahead of the likes of Williams and Alfa Romeo.



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

Revised front uprights (more-or-less lifted from 1983 FW08C) no help as team's season gets even worse. Rosberg only qualifies 21st over Detroit bumps - two places behind Laffite. As usual, Rosberg drives aggressively, moving up to 4th by lap 28. Fends off Brundle, Warwick and Brundle again, only for a turbo to seize after broken exhaust burns through oil line. Laffite runs near the tail of the field, in last place after Alliot and Tambay retire, but ends up lapped 6th for first point of 1984.



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

In spare car, after throttle lag with his car, Prost qualifies 2nd, Lauda has Friday time disallowed after rear wing found to be 3mm too wide, and limited to 10th by traffic on Sunday. Both start on too-soft Michelin tyres. Prost runs 2nd until lap 10, and stops for harder tyres on lap 16, dropping to 14th. Up to 6th by lap 41, but spins with a puncture and has to stop again. Resumes 8th and last, and passes Laffite to finish 5th. Lauda up to 8th on first lap, but also suffers with tyres, pitting from 6th on lap 21. However, with a misfire makes a long stop to have plugs replaced when 10th on lap 33. One more lap convinces Lauda engine will blow if he continues, and he chooses to retire in the pits instead.



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

Some improvement - Alliot starts 20th for team's best grid position of the season, with Palmer 24th. However, a deflating tyre pitches Palmer out of 23rd and into a wall on only the second lap, while Alliot crashes heavily when 13th and last on lap 34, finishing off an uncompetitive and expensive weekend for the struggling team.



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

Mansell fastest in both sessions on Friday, and again on Saturday morning, but only 3rd on the grid after being unable to get a clear lap; de Angelis starts 5th. Mansell heavily involved in first start crash, but restarts in miraculously unscathed car. Runs 3rd laps 1-10 before passing Prost, and then rapidly catches Piquet, only for gearbox problems to strike, causing retirement on lap 28. In the other car, de Angelis drops to 7th at the start. Drives a sensible race, despite losing second gear in final third, to maintain consistent finishing record and take unlapped 3rd place.



ATS D7-BMW
14. Manfred Winkelhock (Ger)

Winkelhock qualifies 14th after the usual procession of niggling mechanical problems in practice. Drops to 19th after a poor start, and out halfway around the first lap when BMW engine lets go anyway - not a good weekend.



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

Warwick starts 6th (despite a fresh bruise on his leg after another suspension arm comes through the cockpit when he crashes on Friday), with Tambay 9th. Both struggle with Michelin tyres in race, Warwick holding 4th before stopping and dropping down the order. On harder tyres, runs impressively, setting fastest lap and back in charging 3rd by lap 35, only to lose fifth gear and drop back to 5th, before retiring when gearbox fails entirely on lap 41. Tambay holds 9th until spinning on lap 17, dropping to 14th and stopping for harder rubber. Struggles to make up ground, and retires from 11th on lap 34 with broken gearbox. Renault continue to go backwards.



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

Surer again opts to stick with the A6, and qualifies 22nd after Friday collision with Fabi. Boutsen finds A7's handling improved by extended wheelbase, and despite numerous mechanical problems starts fine 13th. Surer hits Piquet at first start, and with the team having no spare A6, is unable to take the restart. Boutsen out on top of scintillating battle with Senna and the Tyrrell drivers, reaching strong 5th, laps 23-27, only for engine to blow. Some hope for troublesome turbo car, however.



Toleman TG184-Hart
19. Ayrton Senna (Brz)
20. Johnny Cecotto (Ven)

Senna, with latest Hart development engine, qualifies superb 7th, despite a crash on Friday morning. Cecotto also crashes on Friday, and qualifies dejected 17th. Senna has front suspension broken by loose wheel from Piquet's Brabham at first start, and is forced to restart in spare with older engine. Drops to 10th after poor start, and out of 8th on lap 21 when a front wishbone breaks at speed and he slides into a wall. Cecotto runs 16th/17th until pitting on lap 23 to report broken clutch to pit crew - and is predictably unable to restart.



Spirit 101-Cosworth
21. Huub Rothengatter (Hol)

As Brian Hart is unable to replace defective engine used in Canada, team bolt in a Cosworth DFV. Hard work by team is unrewarded as the car is plagued by overheating all weekend, and Rothengatter ends up sole non-qualifier.



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

Cheever qualifies well in 8th, optimistic that thirsty V8 will be less of an issue at Detroit. Patrese has fuel pump fail in race car and then a misfire in the spare, starting 25th. Cheever makes stunning start to run 5th by the first corner. Passed by Warwick, but on fine Goodyear tyres advances to strong 3rd by lap 16, , but a split turbo intercooler causes retirement on lap 23. Patrese advances to 15th by lap 12, but spins a lap later, brushing a wall. With damaged suspension, withdraws on lap 21.



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

Overheating problems limit Ghinzani to 26th on the grid, but makes a great start to reach 18th by the end of the first lap. With car running well, tries to take 15th from Hesnault on lap 4, only to collide with the Ligier. Limps around to the pits, but unable to continue due to damage caused in the accident.



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

Exciting practice session sees de Cesaris crash four times and qualify 12th, with Hesnault 18th. After running wide on the opening lap, de Cesaris drops to last place, and runs last until overheating ends race on lap 24. Hesnault up to 15th at the start, but hit by Ghinzani on the third lap and retires on the spot.



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

1983 winner Alboreto starts 4th, but Arnoux is well down in 15th after a spin on Saturday. His miserable weekend finishes after only two laps with suspension failure. Alboreto runs 4th/5th until Michelin runners stop and Mansell retires, taking over 2nd on lap 28. Holds the position comfortably, only for a split intercooler to cause an engine failure 14 laps from the end.