Grand Prix Classic

Round 10 - British Grand Prix
Brands Hatch, 20-22 July, 1984
Team-by-Team Review

Brabham BT53B-BMW
1. Nelson Piquet (Brz)
2. Teo Fabi (It)

Revised BT53B takes pole in the hands of Piquet despite wasted first day's practice when team tries to be too radical with setup. Piquet then leads first 11 laps before his soft tyres go off and both McLarens go past. Given a reprieve and starts second race from pole. Down to 2nd at first corner, then passed by Lauda, but keeps with McLarens. Briefly looks like challenging Lauda for the lead after Prost retires, but engine begins losing boost before the turbo fails altogether, leaving Piquet to finish lapped 7th in what is effectively a 1.5l non-turbo car. Returning Teo Fabi qualifies 14th. Advances to 10th by lap 8, but pits with an electrical fault and does not take second start.

Tyrrell 012-Cosworth
3. Stefan Johansson (Swe)
4. Stefan Bellof (Ger)

Team thrown into chaos as FISA suspends them and removes all points due to an irregularity found in Brundle's water tank in Detroit. Team obtains an injunction allowing them to run at Brands Hatch, pending an appeal. In tense circumstances, and with DFY-engined car not effective on circuit's fast corners, Brundle stand-in Stefan Johansson qualifies 25th, one place ahead of Bellof. Johansson eliminated with damage from first lap multiple accident. Bellof up to 19th on first lap, and takes 17th on the grid for second race. Unable to fend off Hesnault and ends up 11th, three laps down after nightmare week for team.

Williams FW09B-Honda
5. Jacques Laffite (Fr)
6. Keke Rosberg (Fin)

Updated FW09B seems no great step forward - Rosberg qualifies 5th in usual strong Brands showing, with Laffite down in 16th. Rosberg holds 6th laps 1-4 before a split intercooler hose causes engine problems, and thus retirement. Laffite takes second start from 15th. Loses out to Patrese before retiring on lap 15 with a broken water pump.

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

After wobbles in North America, team resumes dominant early-season form. Prost qualifies 2nd, Lauda 3rd, and both pressure Piquet until lap 11, when they pass him. Back down to 2nd and 3rd for restart, but Prost takes immediate lead. Lauda behind Piquet until lap 37, but once past closes on Prost. Broken gear pinion causes retirement for Prost, allowing Lauda to take his 22nd career victory, cutting Prost's championship lead to just 1.5 points.

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

Palmer qualifies 23rd for home race, one place ahead of Alliot (both behind the Spirit). Alliot hits the back of Cheever's Alfa Romeo at Graham Hill, destroying chassis. Palmer makes good start to 19th, before passing Bellof and - briefly - Patrese. However, steering fails at Clearways on lap 11, causing massive crash which stops the race, and means another expensive rebuild for John Macdonald's unfortunate team.

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

Chassis struggles at Brands, with a lack of grip and severe understeer. Nevertheless, de Angelis starts 4th, with Mansell a deflated 8th after gearbox problems. Mansell struggles all race, beginning second start from 9th, dropping to 12th and then retiring from 11th on lap 24 with more gearbox trouble. After starting from 6th in second race, de Angelis struggles around in 4th, being passed by Ayrton Senna, before boost problems set in. Able to pass similarly-afflicted Piquet to finish lapped 4th, now only eight points behind Prost in drivers' table.

14. Manfred Winkelhock (Ger)

Team finally has a second D7 to replace old D6 destroyed at Monaco (triggering rumours they will soon be running a second driver), and Winkelhock qualifies decent 11th. Battles with similarly-engined Boutsen and Fabi before spinning and stalling on lap 8. Marshals recover car during race stoppage and Schmidt hopes to continue in second part of the race, but overruled as Winkelhock had already been declared an official retirement.

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

Warwick signs to continue with team in 1985, and qualifies 6th, with Tambay 10th. Warwick holds 4th place in outclassed RE50 from laps 2-38, moving up as Prost and Piquet hit problems to come home overjoyed 2nd for his first points since Imola, and team's first since Dijon. Tambay moves up well in early stages to take second start from 6th. Runs 5th behind Warwick until lap 33 tyre stop. Resumes 7th, and advances to 5th only for a turbo to fail on the last corner, dropping him to 8th.

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

Boutsen qualifies delighted 12th after new rear suspension layout greatly improves handling, with Surer 15th with old suspension. Boutsen takes second start from 11th, battling with Arnoux, but out of 12th on lap 24 with a faulty electrical pickup. Surer to 14th before race stoppage. Disastrous tyre stop on lap 26, and fails to solve chronic understeer anyway. Continues to finish unhappy 12th, four laps down, after being passed by Bellof.

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

Roller-coaster weekend for team. Johnny Cecotto severely injured in Friday free practice, with racing future in doubt. Senna restores morale by qualifying fine 7th. Drops to 9th at the start, but passes Mansell and Alboreto, starting second race from 7th again. Passes Alboreto once more and then chases de Angelis for 4th place, eventually passing on lap 66. Past ailing Piquet a lap later and finishes superb full-distance 3rd.

Spirit 101-Hart
21. Huub Rothengatter (Hol)

Rothengatter qualifies well in 22nd, ahead of both RAMs. However, on ineffective Pirelli race rubber struggles in the race, taking the second start from 19th and last. Hits Hesnault three laps into restarted race and loses five laps having replacement nosecone fitted by small team. Continues afterwards, but is nine laps behind Lauda and not classified.

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

Boost problems see Patrese qualify 17th and Cheever 18th. Patrese has huge sideways moment at Graham Hill on first lap, causing Cheever to trigger multiple accident when he brakes and is hit from behind by Alliot's RAM. Cheever limps around to the pits, but is unable to continue. Patrese fights back past Hesnault, Bellof, Palmer, Ghinzani and Surer before race stoppage. Takes second start from 16th and passes Laffite and, after a long struggle, Ghinzani again to reach 10th. However, slows with severe gearbox trouble and ends up 13th, four laps down. Team has now failed to score, or even finish a healthy car, for eight races.

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

Team expands to two cars for the rest of the series, the second to be driven by Jo Gartner. Ghinzani qualifies 21st, but Gartner has best time disallowed due to too-high rear wing and is only 27th fastest. Stewards allow him to start to avoid repercussions if the Tyrrell team lose their appeal, but he is caught up in Cheever/Alliot collision, and ploughs into tyre wall at Graham Hill on first lap. Ghinzani again drives well, taking second start from fine 13th. Then keeps ahead of Patrese's works Alfa Romeo for some 18 laps, and does a fine job to finish 9th, three laps down, in what is fast becoming modest team's best season yet.

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

JS23 unhappy over bumpy Brands gradients, with de Cesaris starting 19th and Hesnault 20th. Good starts in both races see de Cesaris reach 8th, ahead of both Ferraris, by lap 14. Then holds them up until Alboreto forces his way past on lap 46, and Arnoux on lap 62. The latter move leaves him with a deranged right-rear wheel and he limps home 10th, three laps down, before animated post-race discussion with both Ferrari drivers about track manners. Hesnault takes restart from 18th, and retires from 12th on lap 44 with electrical trouble.

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

Poor handling limits Alboreto to 9th, with bemused Arnoux only 13th. Both have mediocre races - Alboreto taking second start from 7th and Arnoux from 12th. Both are stuck behind obstructive de Cesaris for much of the race before forcing their way through to finish lapped 5th (Alboreto, for first points since Zolder) and 6th (Arnoux).