Grand Prix Classic

Round 14 - Italian Grand Prix
Monza, 7-9 September, 1984
Team-by-Team Review

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

Piquet takes pole position, with Fabi 5th on circuit which suits powerful BMW engine. As usual, Piquet leaps into comfortable lead. As usual, car breaks down - this time after 15 laps when split radiator causes engine to blow. Fabi has best race yet - passes de Angelis and hassles Tambay until lap 8 spin. Down to 8th, but charges again and back into 3rd on lap 15. Then passes Lauda and presses Tambay for the lead. With tyres fading, drops down to third and seems set for first rostrum finish, until broken oil union ends race with eight laps to go.

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

Rosberg qualifies 6th, with Laffite down in 13th. Rosberg off the line badly, down to 10th then passed by both Alfa Romeos. Recovers to 9th only for engine to fail after 8 laps. Laffite only lasts two laps longer, also out of 9th with a blown turbo.

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

Prost on the front row alongside Piquet, with Lauda 4th (after straining back in practice). Prost 2nd to Piquet under pressure from Tambay until Monza jinx strikes again with a blown engine on lap 4. Lauda preserves tyres, trailing Fabi and Tambay until passing both on lap 39 and lap 42 respectively, driving textbook Lauda race to record 5th win of 1984 and extend championship lead to impressive 10.5 points over Prost.

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

Alliot qualifies 23rd, with Palmer 26th after borrowing Alliot's car on Saturday after engine problems with his example. Team's reliability record evaporates on Sunday, sadly, with Alliot dropping out of 21st after 6 laps with electrical trouble, and Palmer suffers oil pressure problems when 13th out of 15 on lap 19. Stops to see if problem can be solved in the pits, but withdraws after one more lap rather than risk expensive Hart failure.

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

After being fastest on Friday, boost problems drop de Angelis top 3rd on the grid, with Mansell (closely linked with move to Williams for 1985) 7th. After holding 3rd for the first lap, hard tyres see de Angelis drop back to 6th, before slowing and then stopping with broken gearbox. Mansell 7th laps 1-5, but then also falls down leaderboard, and is in 9th when he hits de Cesaris' oil on lap 14, sliding into sand trap. Unable to restart. Team down to 3rd in constructors' championship.

14. Manfred Winkelhock (Ger)
31. Gerhard Berger (Aut)

Exciting weekend, even by team's usual standards. Berger once again appears in second car. Winkelhock has big suspension failure on Friday and gearbox trouble on Saturday, and qualifies 21st, one place behind Berger. Winkelhock then has gearbox problems getting to the dummy grid. Storms away from the grid, wanting no more to do with shambolic organisation. Berger loses 4th gear on lap 15 and is unable to keep with the Osellas, but hangs on to the end to finish 6th for team's best result since 1982 San Marino Grand Prix. However, due to being a late entry to the series, the second ATS cannot score points.

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

Team suffers numerous problems in practice, with Tambay starting 8th and Warwick 12th. Tambay drives best race for some time, however - 4th by the end of lap 1, then passes de Angelis. Into 2nd when Prost retires and takes over the lead when Piquet stops. Fends off Fabi's challenge and holds first until lap 42, when throttle troubles let Lauda past. Seems set for 2nd only for throttle cable to snap entirely two laps later. Warwick anonymous, unable to escape Cheever's Alfa Romeo. Holds 5th laps 19-31 until pulling off with falling oil pressure before engine has time to explode.

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

Surer announces he will be leaving the team at the end of the year to pursue other racing challenges outside of Formula 1. After pickup problems, he starts 15th, with Boutsen 19th after a faulty wastegate pitches him off on Friday. Surer starts from the pitlane after rev problems on parade lap. Charges through to 7th by lap 32, but out on lap 43 when BMW engine fails. Boutsen advances to 9th by lap 15, but has to pit twice to tend to misfire. Finishes 10th, six laps adrift.

Toleman TG184-Hart
19. Stefan Johansson (Swe)
20. Pierluigi Martini (It)

Team suspends Ayrton Senna due to ongoing legal action regarding his contract, and arrives with two new drivers - Johansson in the Brazilian's place, and Martini in second car to please sponsors. Having not driven the car before practice, and with no F1 experience since pre-season testing with Brabham, Martini is slowest of all and fails to qualify. Johansson only qualifies 17th after broken engine mount prevents him repeating 10th fastest on Friday. Then gets revs wrong on the grid and is last going into the first corner. After that, is one of the stars of the race. Into 6th place by lap 32 then 4th on lap 46, before having to pit when something breaks on rear of the car. Problem found to be a wheel-bearing - with no possibility of repairs, limps around and is passed by Patrese and Ghinzani, but still comes home 4th to score first career points.

Spirit 101-Hart
21. Huub Rothengatter (Hol)

Rothengatter qualifies 25th with no problems. Then drives a sensible race to profit from others' troubles to finish respectable 8th, equalling the team's best result to much delight from tiny crew. However, rumours are rife that Mauro Baldi has found the sponsorship to take over the seat again for the final two rounds of the series.

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

Revised McLaren-style rear aerodynamics vastly improve speed and handling, and Patrese qualifies 9th with Cheever 10th - ahead of both Ferraris on home ground. Patrese opts to race with boost turned down for whole distance, Cheever on regular settings. Cheever thoroughly enjoys himself battling for much of the race with Warwick and Johansson, into the points by lap 14. 4th and then 3rd with Tambay/Fabi retirements, but then runs out of fuel five laps from the end. Circumspect Patrese keeps to the plan and profits from others' problems, taking 3rd place from Johansson on the last lap to score team's best result yet in 1984.

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

Bittersweet home race. Ghinzani qualifies 22nd, with Gartner 24th. Ghinzani runs well in midfield before finding himself 6th on lap 46. Moves past Cheever and Johansson to reach 4th, only to heartbreakingly run out of fuel a lap from the end, dropping to 7th. This does promote Gartner to 5th, but the Austrian's entry is ineligible for points. Well-liked team nevertheless heartened by good showing on home ground.

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

Updated JS23B tested at Ricard before the race, but not used. In standard JS23, de Cesaris qualifies dejected 16th, with Hesnault 18th. Both cars out on lap 7 when de Cesaris' engine blows when 12th and Hesnault, following in 17th, spins out on his oil. Season turning out to be no better than abject 1983.

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

Revised rear-end McLaren-style bodywork only puts Alboreto 11th (behind the Alfa Romeo cars) and Arnoux 14th. Both cars revert to old bodywork for the race. Arnoux up to 10th before gearbox fails after just five laps. Alboreto, however, drives mature, careful race, moving up as others retire to finish 2nd, the only driver apart from Lauda to be on the lead lap. Ferrari at least move past Lotus into second in constructors' cup.