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The 1980 Belgian Grand Prix saw French driver Didier Pironi take his maiden Formula One victory for the Ligier team. Rounding off the podium were the two Williams cars of Alan Jones and Carlos Reutemann


BackgroundEdit

After a five week break in between the USA and Belgium, it was announced that Don Nichols, the owner of the Shadow had called it quits after eight years in Formula One and had sold the team to Teddy Yip's Theodore organisation. In the first five races the team had been only able to qualify once, it had been a disappointing final season for Shadow. Despite now being under Theodore ownership, the team retained the Shadow name for the remainder of the season and kept its driver line-up of Geoff Lees and Dave Kennedy

Alain Prost was back racing with the McLaren team after missing the previous two events after breaking his wrist. Ensign also had to find a new driver following Clay Regazzoni's career ending crash in Long Beach. The team signed Tiff Needell as a replacement. Needell had previously signed as a race driver for the team in 1979, however failed to attain a superlicense due to a lack of experience. A season in British Formula One finally provided Needell the opportunity to race in Formula One as Regazzoni's replacement. 

Belgium would also mark the first race without qualifying tyres. Formula One's tyre suppliers, Goodyear and Michelin had agreed to no longer produce the special compound qualifying tyres. Instead the team's would now have to use the same type of compound tyres in qualifying as they would during the race.

Heading into Belgium,  René Arnoux and Nelson Piquet were tied in the lead of the driver's championship with 18 points. Alan Jones was not far behind, only five points adrift. Similarily in the Constructor's championship Renault and Brabham were tied for the lead with Williams and Ligier trailing not far behind.


Entry ListEdit

Below is the full entry list for the 1980 Belgian Grand Prix:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
1 South Africa Jody Scheckter Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312T5 Ferrari 015 F12 3.0 M
2 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312T5 Ferrari 015 F12 3.0 M
3 France Jean-Pierre Jarier United Kingdom Candy Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 010 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
4 Ireland Derek Daly United Kingdom Candy Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 010 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
5 Brazil Nelson Piquet United Kingdom Parmalat Racing Team Brabham BT49 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
6 Argentina Ricardo Zunino United Kingdom Parmalat Racing Team Brabham BT49 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
7 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom Marlboro Team McLaren McLaren M29C Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
8 France Alain Prost United Kingdom Marlboro Team McLaren McLaren M29C Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
9 Netherlands Jan Lammers West Germany Team ATS ATS D4 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
11 United States Mario Andretti United Kingdom Team Essex Lotus Lotus 81 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
12 Italy Elio de Angelis United Kingdom Team Essex Lotus Lotus 81 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
14 United Kingdom Tiff Needell United Kingdom Unipart Racing Team Ensign N180 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
15 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille France Equipe Renault Elf Renault RE20 Renault EF1 V6t 1.5 M
16 France René Arnoux France Equipe Renault Elf Renault RE20 Renault EF1 V6t 1.5 M
17 United Kingdom Geoff Lees United Kingdom Shadow Cars Shadow DN12 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
18 Ireland David Kennedy United Kingdom Shadow Cars Shadow DN11 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
20 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Brazil Skol Fittipaldi Team Fittipaldi F7 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
21 Finland Keke Rosberg Brazil Skol Fittipaldi Team Fittipaldi F7 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
22 France Patrick Depailler Italy Marlboro Team Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo 179 Alfa Romeo 1260 V12 3.0 G
23 Italy Bruno Giacomelli Italy Marlboro Team Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo 179 Alfa Romeo 1260 V12 3.0 G
25 France Didier Pironi France Equipe Ligier Gitanes Ligier JS11/15 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
26 France Jacques Laffite France Equipe Ligier Gitanes Ligier JS11/15 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
27 Australia Alan Jones United Kingdom Albilad Williams Racing Team Williams FW07B Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
28 Argentina Carlos Reutemann United Kingdom Albilad Williams Racing Team Williams FW07B Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
29 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Warsteiner Arrows Racing Team Arrows A3 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
30 West Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom Warsteiner Arrows Racing Team Arrows A3 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
31 United States Eddie Cheever Italy Osella Squadra Course Osella FA1 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G

Practice OverviewEdit

QualifyingEdit

Qualifying for Belgium was extremely wet as for the first time in 1980, the full wet tyre compounds were getting some use. The battle for the pole position was highly intense with less than a seconds covering the top six. Williams, Ligier and Renault appeared to have the measure over the rest of the field. The race lead likely to be fought by these six cars. Alan Jones took pole ahead of Didier Pironi, Jacques Laffite, Carlos Reutemann, Jean-Pierre Jabouille and René Arnoux

Qualifying ResultsEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor
27 Australia Alan Jones United Kingdom Williams-Ford
2 25 France Didier Pironi France Ligier-Ford
3 26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier-Ford
4 28 Argentina Carlos Reutemann United Kingdom Williams-Ford
5 15 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille France Renault
6 16 France René Arnoux France Renault
7 5 Brazil Nelson Piquet United Kingdom Brabham-Ford
8 12 Italy Elio de Angelis United Kingdom Lotus-Ford
9 3 France Jean-Pierre Jarier United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford
10 22 France Patrick Depailler Italy Alfa Romeo
11 4 Ireland Derek Daly United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford
12 2 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Italy Ferrari
13 30 Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom Arrows-Ford
14 1 South Africa Jody Scheckter Italy Ferrari
15 9 Netherlands Jan Lammers Germany ATS-Ford
16 29 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Arrows-Ford
17 11 United States Mario Andretti United Kingdom Lotus-Ford
18 23 Italy Bruno Giacomelli Italy Alfa Romeo
19 8 France Alain Prost United Kingdom McLaren-Ford
20 7 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom McLaren-Ford
21 21 Finland Keke Rosberg Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford
22 6 Argentina Ricardo Zunino United Kingdom Brabham-Ford
23 14 United Kingdom Tiff Needell United Kingdom Ensign-Ford
24 20 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford
DNQ 17 United Kingdom Geoff Lees United Kingdom Shadow-Ford
DNQ 18 Ireland Dave Kennedy United Kingdom Shadow-Ford
DNQ 31 United States Eddie Cheever Italy Osella-Ford

RaceEdit

ReportEdit

Unlike during qualifying, race day at Zolder was held in sunny and warm conditions. As the lights went green, Didier Pironi immediately took the lead from Alan Jones heading into the first corner. Bad luck struck Jean-Pierre Jabouille once again, the Renault driver suffering a clutch failure which saw him struggle to get away before retiring the next lap. The second lap saw Jochen Mass's Arrows spin into the catch fencing, forcing his retirement from the race. 

Out front Pironi continued to lead the field ahead of Jones, Jacques Laffite, Carlos ReutemannRené Arnoux and Nelson Piquet. Lap five saw Ricardo Zunino pull into the pits and retire with gearbox trouble. 

Pironi began to pull away in the lead whilst Jones and Laffite began to create a gap to the trio of Reutemann, Arnoux and Piquet. Lap seven saw John Watson pull into the pits with mechanical trouble. The McLaren driver would spend several laps in the pits as his mechanics repaired his car, Watson would rejoin the race albeit several laps down. 

Reutemann, Arnoux and Piquet held an intense battle for fourth place. On lap 17, Arnoux attempted to overtake Reutemann but succeeded in only spinning off the circuit. Arnoux dropped to tenth behind Piquet, Jean-Pierre Jarier, Gilles Villeneuve and Elio de Angelis. Arnoux then had to battle through the field in order to make his return to the front of the field.

On lap 32, Arnoux's comeback was further assisted when Nelson Piquet spun off the circuit and into retirement. At the front, Jacques Laffite was suffering from brake wear and was dropping back from Alan Jones and into the clutches of the second Williams of Carlos Reutemann.  Lap 38 saw Reutemann overtake Laffite, the following lap Laffite pitted to get his brakes fixed. This dropped him well out of the running for points. 

The final laps provided some interest as a four way battle occured for fourth place. Arnoux had fought his way back into fourth place, however Jarier, Villeneuve and De Angelis were hot on his heels. Three laps from the end, De Angelis spun off the circuit and into retirement as Arnoux, Jarier and Villeneuve continued to battle. In the end Arnoux maintained fourth just ahead of Jarier and Villeneuve.

Pironi took a dominant first Formula One win ahead of the two Williams cars of Alan Jones and Carlos Reutemann.

ResultsEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 25 France Didier Pironi France Ligier-Ford 72 1:38.47.4 2 9
2 27 Australia Alan Jones United Kingdom Williams-Ford 72 +47.37s 1 6
3 28 Argentina Carlos Reutemann United Kingdom Williams-Ford 72 +84.12s 4 4
4 16 France René Arnoux France Renault 71 +1 lap 6 3
5 3 France Jean-Pierre Jarier United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 71 +1 lap 9 2
6 2 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Italy Ferrari 71 +1 lap 12 1
7 21 Finland Keke Rosberg Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford 71 +1 lap 21
8 1 South Africa Jody Scheckter Italy Ferrari 70 +2 laps 14
9 4 Ireland Derek Daly United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 70 +2 laps 11
10 12 Italy Elio de Angelis United Kingdom Lotus-Ford 69 Spun off 8
11 26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier-Ford 68 +4 laps 3
12 9 Netherlands Jan Lammers Germany ATS-Ford 64 Engine 15
NC 7 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom McLaren-Ford 61 Not classified 20
Ret 29 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Arrows-Ford 58 Spun off 16
Ret 11 United States Mario Andretti United Kingdom Lotus-Ford 41 Gearbox 17
Ret 22 France Patrick Depailler Italy Alfa Romeo 38 Exhaust 10
Ret 5 Brazil Nelson Piquet United Kingdom Brabham-Ford 32 Spun off 7
Ret 8 France Alain Prost United Kingdom McLaren-Ford 29 Transmission 19
Ret 20 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford 16 Electrical 24
Ret 14 United Kingdom Tiff Needell United Kingdom Ensign-Ford 12 Engine 23
Ret 23 Italy Bruno Giacomelli Italy Alfa Romeo 11 Suspension 18
Ret 6 Argentina Ricardo Zunino United Kingdom Brabham-Ford 5 Gearbox 22
Ret 30 Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom Arrows-Ford 1 Spun off 13
Ret 15 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille France Renault 1 Clutch 5
DNQ 17 United Kingdom Geoff Lees United Kingdom Shadow-Ford
DNQ 18 Ireland Dave Kennedy United Kingdom Shadow-Ford
DNQ 31 United States Eddie Cheever Italy Osella-Ford

MilestonesEdit

Standings after raceEdit

Drivers' World Championship
Pos. Driver Pts +/-
1 France René Arnoux 21
2 Australia Alan Jones 19 ▲1
3 Brazil Nelson Piquet 18 ▼1
4 France Didier Pironi 17
5 Italy Riccardo Patrese 7
6 Argentina Carlos Reutemann 6 ▲8
7 Italy Elio de Angelis 6 ▼1
8 France Jacques Laffite 6 ▼1
9 Finland Keke Rosberg 4 ▼1
10 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi 4 ▼1
11 France Alain Prost 3 ▼1
12 Ireland Derek Daly 3 ▼1
13 United Kingdom John Watson 3 ▼1
14 Italy Bruno Giacomelli 2 ▼1
15 South Africa Jody Scheckter 2
16 France Jean-Pierre Jarier 2 ▲3
17 Germany Jochen Mass 1 ▼1
18 Canada Gilles Villeneuve 1 ▲1
Constructors' World Championship
Pos. Team Pts +/-
1 United Kingdom Williams-Ford 25 ▲2
2 France Ligier-Ford 23 ▲2
3 France Renault 21 ▼2
4 United Kingdom Brabham-Ford 18 ▼2
5 United Kingdom Arrows-Ford 8
6 Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford 8
7 United Kingdom McLaren-Ford 6
8 United Kingdom Lotus-Ford 6
9 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 5
10 Italy Ferrari 3 ▲1
11 Italy Alfa Romeo 2 ▼1

External LinksEdit

Template:1980

Belgium Belgian Grand Prix
Circuits Spa-Francorchamps (1950 - 1970, 1983, 1985 - Present), Nivelles (1972, 1974), Zolder (1973, 1975 - 1982, 1984)
Track map of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium
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