Grand Prix Classic

Round 9 - Dallas Grand Prix
Fair Park, 6-8 July, 1984
Team-by-Team Review

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

Team relocates oil cooler to avoid foot burning seen at Montreal, but change upsets handling, leaving Piquet 12th - one place behind returning Corrado Fabi. Relocated before Saturday, but neither able to improve due to track's surface. Piquet plagued by sticking throttle, but advances to 6th by lap 26. Throttle finally catches him out on lap 45 when it jams altogether and propels car into a wall. Fabi advances to 9th by lap 18, but flat-spots tyres. Pitstop drops him to 13th, but fights exhaustion to last the distance, finishing 7th, two laps down.

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

Bad weekend at circuit where team had hoped to do well. Brundle badly injures his feet crashing on Friday, and will be out for 6-8 weeks. Bellof qualifies well in 17th and is up to 14th by the end of the first lap. However, hits a wall for the second race running, this time on lap 9 when 13th.

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

Front uprights once again revised, this time based on 1979 FW07. Rosberg qualifies 8th in new spare built around original FW09 monocoque, and finds it much improved. Laffite qualifies 25th, four and a half seconds slower, but raises a smile by arriving on Sunday in pyjamas, in honour of the 11am local time start. Rosberg, aided by water-cooled skullcap, puts in terrific drive - 7th on lap 1, 6th when Senna spins, 5th when Warwick crashes. Past Lauda into 4th on lap 13, then 2nd past de Angelis on lap 18. Then pressures Mansell for the lead. Briefly repassed by Prost, but back into 2nd after two laps, then finally gets by into first on lap 35. Loses out to Prost lap 48, but retakes the lead when the McLaren crashes, and cruises to 3rd Grand Prix victory, and complains bitterly about Mansell's blocking on rostrum. Laffite keeps out of trouble in lower midfield and is rewarded with 4th place, two laps down at the finish to double Williams' 1984 points.

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

Neither driver happy with abrasive Dallas surface; Prost starts 7th, with Lauda 5th after crashing twice. Both run well in first half of the race, battling with the Lotus cars and Rosberg. Prost takes the lead from the Williams on lap 48 and seems set for victory until brushing the wall and retiring. This promotes Lauda to 3rd, but he hits the same piece of wall four laps later and also retires.

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

Alliot destroys car on Friday morning and, despite setting 24th best time, cannot start as the team only has two chassis. Palmer qualifies 26th despite persistent electrical trouble. Drives smoothly, if slowly, in the race only for electrics problems to reoccur when 15th and last on lap 47, ending race.

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

Continued speed in practice sees Mansell take first-ever pole, with de Angelis 2nd. Mansell then leads until lap 35, robustly fending off de Angelis and Rosberg. Then drops to 5th before stopping for new tyres. Resumes 7th and charges to 5th before gearbox begins playing up again. Still seems set for 5th with attrition only for gearbox to fail altogether on last corner. Collapses trying to push car home, but classified 6th. After holding 3rd when Mansell pits, de Angelis - with down on power Renault - passed by Lauda and Arnoux. Promoted to 3rd when McLarens exit, and finishes there, one lap down, for 8th points finish of 1984.

14. Manfred Winkelhock (Ger)

Winkelhock starts 13th after being one of the few drivers not to crash in practice - much to relief of team. However, once again gets off the line poorly and bends suspension in first corner squeeze. Runs near the tail of the field on the way to finishing 8th and last, two laps down, in ill-handling car.

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

Warwick one of only three drivers to improve on Saturday, and starts 3rd, with Tambay 10th. Warwick passes de Angelis on lap 3 and closes on Mansell, but slides off into tyres when challenging for the lead on lap 10. Tambay runs 6th from lap 11, but loses a wheel against a wall on lap 25 and retires. No points since Dijon for disappointing team.

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

Out of A6 chassis, both drivers now equipped with BMW-powered A7 cars - still with big handling problems. Surer and Boutsen both suffer niggling mechanical troubles on Friday, but improve on Saturday to start 22nd and 20th respectively. Boutsen runs well - up to 16th at the start and 9th by lap 51, only for BMW to blow five laps later. Surer crashes out of 13th of 14 runners on lap 55, ending a disappointing weekend for the team.

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

Impressive Senna starts 6th, despite crash; Cecotto hits a wall on Friday, and starts 15th in spare. Neither runs on Saturday to preserve cars. Senna briefly up to 4th on lap 1, but clips a wall, spins and pits for new tyres. Spins at the same corner again soon after, and eventually stops with sheared driveshaft when 14th out of 15 runners on lap 48. Cecotto spins down to last on first lap. Passes delayed Senna and Rothengatter to reach 16th, but crashes out on lap 26.

Spirit 101-Hart
21. Huub Rothengatter (Hol)

Back with Hart engines, Rothengatter qualifies solid 24th. Steers clear of the walls, but retires from 20th and second-last on lap 16 when fuel leaks into the cockpit and burns the unfortunate driver.

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

Cheever hits a wall on Friday on his way to 14th on the grid; Patrese once again well down in 21st. Cheever spins on marbles when 11th on lap 8 and is unable to keep the car out of the wall. Patrese advances to 17th before following suit five laps later.

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

Excellent weekend for hard-trying team. Ghinzani qualifies well in 18th. Collides with Hesnault at the start, but climbs to strong 9th by lap 21. Forced to pit for new tyres on lap 30. Slow stop at least allows team to refresh driver with water. Advances to 6th by lap 61, and takes 5th from Mansell on final corner to score delighted team's first points since 1982 San Marino Grand Prix, and first-ever top six finish in a full field.

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

After Detroit demolition derby, de Cesaris behaves himself and qualifies 16th, three places ahead of Hesnault. Hesnault knocked off on first lap tussling with Ghinzani. After good start, de Cesaris 11th by lap 8, but crashes out on lap 17.

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

Both cars fitted with electronic fuel injection. Arnoux qualifies excellent 4th, with Alboreto 9th. Arnoux fails to get away on dummy lap, and starts from the back. Makes up six places on the first lap (three of them at the first corner), reaches top ten by lap 15 and 5th by lap 39. Passes Lauda and de Angelis to finish superb unlapped 2nd, raising team's morale. Alboreto runs 7th laps 2-4, but clips a wall and bends suspension. Struggles around in poor handling car, reaching 6th by lap 49, only to crash out on lap 54. Both drivers re-sign for 1985.