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The 1980 United States Grand Prix West was the fourth round of the 1980 Formula One Season. The race was won by Nelson Piquet ahead of Riccardo Patrese and Nelson Piquet. The race was marred by a serious accident which saw Ensign driver, Clay Regazzoni crash out on lap 50, suffering severe injuries from the waist down. The accident not only ended the career of Regazzoni but left him paralysed from the waist down for the rest of his life.


BackgroundEdit

After his back to back wins in Brazil and South Africa, René Arnoux had taken the lead of the driver's championship ahead of Williams driver Alan Jones. As well as this Renault now led the constructor's championship ahead of the Williams team.

McLaren driver Alain Prost was still out of action with a broken wrist following his qualifying accident in South Africa. The team had hoped to run former driver and world champion, James Hunt who had recently retired from racing the previous year, however Hunt himself was injured with a broken leg following a skiing accident. The team instead hired, Formula Two racer Stephen South for the grand prix.

Similarily at ATS, Jan Lammers returned as a full time driver with regular driver Marc Surer out of action after breaking his legs in qualifying for the previous event. 


Entry ListEdit

Below is the full entry list for the 1980 United States Grand Prix West:

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 United Kingdom Stephen South 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 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni 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 DN11 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

QualifyingEdit

Qualifying ResultsEdit

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

RaceEdit

ReportEdit

As the race began, Nelson Piquet maintained his lead heading into the first corner. At the back, John Watson's McLaren failed to get away and had to be push-started by his mechanics. There was carnage heading into the first corner, Ricardo Zunino, Mario Andretti, Jochen Mass and Jean-Pierre Jarier all made contact. Zunino was out on the spot, whilst Andretti limped back to the pits to retire from the race.

Patrick Depailler moved into second position ahead of René Arnoux, Alan Jones, Bruno Giacomelli, Riccardo Patrese, Carlos Reutemann, Gilles Villeneuve and Derek Daly

Jan Lammers who had a magnificent qualifying to start from fourth, had retired on the first lap with transmission problems.

On lap two, Reutemann managed to overtake Patrese for sixth position. The following lap however, Giacomelli spun at the hairpin, leaving Reutemann nowhere to go, piling into the back of him. The two cars blocked the circuit, causing much of the mid-field to be caught up in the accident. Elio de Angelis and Jarier were caught up in the crash, retiring from the race alongside Reutemann. Jody Scheckter and Eddie Cheever were also involved in the accident but were able to continue. Giacomelli who had started the pile-up managed to continue the race with the assistance of a push-start from the marshalls.

Meanwhile up front, Piquet was dominating the race. His lead over Depailler in second position extended lap after lap, Depailler unable to compete as he began to battle brake troubles. He then fell into the clutches of Alan Jones who had moved up to third following an overtake on Arnoux. Arnoux was dropping back and would soon fall behind Patrese as well. After a long battle, Jones was able to overtake Depailler on lap 18. Depailler would then retire on lap 46 with suspension troubles.

Towards the rear of the field, the second Alfa Romeo of Bruno Giacomelli was making a comeback. Giacomelli held an extensive battle with Clay Regazzoni, Emerson Fittipaldi and John Watson at the rear before managing to clear the trio and begin carving his way through the mid-field. 

Lap 46 saw Gilles Villeneuve retire from the race, the Ferrari driver pulling into the pits with transmission troubles. Villeneuve retiring, following an incident which saw him clip the back of Daly's Tyrrell whilst lapping him.

On lap 47, Jones who was moving through the backmarkers went to overtake the surging Bruno Giacomelli. The Alfa Romeo driver, however closed the door and the two driver's collided. Giacomelli's move had ruined both driver's race and they were out on the spot.

Piquet continued to dominate, now leading Arnoux, Patrese and the battling trio of Regazzoni, Fittipaldi and Watson. The three cars who had been battling throughout the race provided an exciting spectacle for the spectators, however the race was about to take a dramatic turn for the worse. On lap 50, Regazzoni who was running well in fourth place failed to brake heading into the Queen's Hairpin. The Ensign driver suffering a brake failure slammed into the barriers at full speed. Regazzoni smashed through Zunino's parked Brabham, several tyre barriers before colliding with a concrete wall.

It immediately became apparent that Regazzoni was severely injured. Medical teams were quickly on the scene to extract Regazzoni from his stricken Ensign. Whilst Regazzoni remarkably survived the incident, he suffered severe spinal injuries that would render him a paraplegic bringing an end to his ten year Formula One career.   

Arnoux dropped out of second following a puncture, leaving Patrese to inherit second position. This meant the now battling duo of Fittipaldi and Watson were now fighting for the final podium position. Watson was able to briefly overtake Fittipaldi, however the McLaren driver began to suffer brake troubles and lost third to Fittipaldi once again. Watson began to drop back into the clutches of Jody Scheckter's Ferrari. Scheckter attempted an overtake, however botched his manoeuvere, forcing him to drop back and concede fourth place to Watson.

Piquet went on to take a dominant race win, 49 seconds ahead of Patrese's Arrows. Fittipaldi was in a remarkable third place, having barely qualified into the final grid place ahead of Watson, Scheckter and Didier Pironi.

ResultsEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 5 Brazil Nelson Piquet United Kingdom Brabham-Ford 80 1:50.19.4 1 9
2 29 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Arrows-Ford 80 +49.212 8 6
3 20 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford 80 +1:18.563 24 4
4 7 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom McLaren-Ford 79 +1 lap 21 3
5 1 South Africa Jody Scheckter Italy Ferrari 79 +1 lap 16 2
6 25 France Didier Pironi France Ligier-Ford 79 +1 lap 9 1
7 30 Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom Arrows-Ford 79 +1 lap 17
8 4 Ireland Derek Daly United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 79 +1 lap 14
9 16 France René Arnoux France Renault 78 +2 laps 2
10 15 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille France Renault 71 +9 laps 11
Ret 21 Finland Keke Rosberg Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford 58 Overheating 22
Ret 14 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni United Kingdom Ensign-Ford 50 Accident 23
Ret 23 Italy Bruno Giacomelli Italy Alfa Romeo 49 Collision 6
Ret 27 Australia Alan Jones United Kingdom Williams-Ford 47 Collision 5
Ret 2 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Italy Ferrari 46 Transmission 10
Ret 22 France Patrick Depailler Italy Alfa Romeo 40 Suspension 3
Ret 26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier-Ford 36 Puncture 13
Ret 31 United States Eddie Cheever Italy Osella-Ford 11 Transmission 19
Ret 28 Argentina Carlos Reutemann United Kingdom Williams-Ford 3 Transmission 7
Ret 3 France Jean-Pierre Jarier United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 3 Accident 12
Ret 12 Italy Elio de Angelis United Kingdom Lotus-Ford 3 Accident 20
Ret 9 Netherlands Jan Lammers Germany ATS-Ford 0 Transmission 4
Ret 11 United States Mario Andretti United Kingdom Lotus-Ford 0 Accident 15
Ret 6 Argentina Ricardo Zunino United Kingdom Brabham-Ford 0 Accident 18
DNQ 18 Ireland Dave Kennedy United Kingdom Shadow-Ford
DNQ 17 United Kingdom Geoff Lees United Kingdom Shadow-Ford
DNQ 8 United Kingdom Stephen South United Kingdom McLaren-Ford

MilestonesEdit

Standings after raceEdit

  
Drivers' World Championship
Pos. Driver Pts +/-
1 FranceRené Arnoux 18
2 Brazil Nelson Piquet 18 ▲1
3 Australia Alan Jones 13 ▼1
4 FranceDidier Pironi 8
5 Italy Riccardo Patrese 7 ▲7
6 Italy Elio de Angelis 6 ▼1
7 FranceJacques Laffite 6 ▼1
8 FinlandKeke Rosberg 4 ▼1
9 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi 4 ▲7
10 FranceAlain Prost 3 ▼2
11 IrelandDerek Daly 3 ▼2
12 United Kingdom John Watson 3 ▲4
13 ItalyBruno Giacomelli 2 ▼3
14 ArgentinaCarlos Reutemann 2 ▼3
15 South Africa Jody Scheckter 2 ▲2
16 Germany Jochen Mass 1 ▼3
Constructors' World Championship
Pos. Team Pts +/-
1 France Renault 18
2 United Kingdom Brabham-Ford 18 ▲2
3 United Kingdom Williams-Ford 15 ▼1
4 France Ligier-Ford 14 ▼1
5 United Kingdom Arrows-Ford 8 ▲5
6 Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford 8
7 United Kingdom McLaren-Ford 6
8 United Kingdom Lotus-Ford 6 ▼2
9 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 3 ▼1
10 Italy Alfa Romeo 2 ▼1
11 Italy Ferrari 2 ▲1

External LinksEdit

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