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The 1982 Belgian Grand Prix was the fifth round of the 1982 season, held on May 9. It was won by McLaren's John Watson as the FOCA backed teams returned to the championship.[1] Keke Rosberg in a Williams and Ligier's Eddie Cheever joined him on the podium, as both Renaults retired once again.

Yet, this was overshadowed by the death of one of Formula One's stars of the era during qualifying. Late in the session Gilles Villeneuve, trying to beat team mate Didier Pironi's sixth place time, struck the back of a slower car and crashed heavily, suffering injuries on impact with the fence that would prove fatal. Ferrari withdrew Pironi's car in the aftermath, and would race with just one car for the next few races.

BackgroundEdit

There were three major stories of note that occurred between the San Marino and Belgian Grand Prix. The first was that a meeting was held in Casablanca between FISA and FOCA, in which the two parties were set to negotiate terms. The boycott however was destined to end, McLaren broke ranks, their lead driver Niki Lauda most displeased at the situation of being unable to race in Imola effectively demanded to race in Zolder. Sponsorship demands eventually saw many of the other teams cave in and return to the grid for Zolder. The failure of the FOCA boycott, meant the disqualifications of Nelson Piquet and Keke Rosberg in Brazil were upheld.[1] The FIA also decided to keep the San Marino Grand Prix result as part of the championship, despite previous incidents which had been classed as non-championship events.[1]

After the tragic event the year before which saw the death of Osella mechanic Giovanni Amadeo due to an overcrowded pit lane, the race organisers spent $1.2 million in expanding the pit-lane to prevent the same overcrowding problems as the year before.

The big question between the US and Zolder was who would replace Carlos Reutemann at Williams. The Williams team had initially intended to persuade their one off replacement Mario Andretti to race whenever his CART commitments did not clash with Formula One. Andretti however was not interested in regularly participating in Formula One any more. The team then attempted to garner the interest of another former champion, Emerson Fittipaldi, who had retired in 1980. Fittipaldi was however committed to remain in charge of his own Fittipaldi F1 team. The team's test driver Jonathan Palmer was then slated to drive, however clashes with his Formula Two contract prevented the team from signing him. Other drivers such as Nigel Mansell, Jean-Pierre Jarier and Derek Warwick were all rumoured to be in the running for the seat, however it was Derek Daly who secured the race drive. Zolder would also see the début of the new Williams FW08 car which would see new lead driver Keke Rosberg and new team mate Daly partner up for the first time.

With Daly's departure from Theodore, the team signed up Jan Lammers who had been out of a drive since the beginning of 1981. The March team ran by RAM management expanded to three cars for the race. Alongside regular drivers Jochen Mass and Raul Boesel, the team invited Spanish racer Emilio de Villota who had made sporadic appearances in Formula One over the years to join the team. Marc Surer also returned to his Arrows seat, ready to begin his 1982 season after injuries sustained during testing for the 1982 South African Grand Prix.

But perhaps the most popular story (for fans) was the tension that had blossomed in Ferrari after the San Marino race, with Villeneuve staying true to his word in not speaking to his team mate Didier Pironi.[1] This story would become the dominant one as the weekend developed. There was a large support for Villeneuve where many in the paddock believed Pironi had betrayed his team mate by taking the race victory in Imola. The Ferrari management maintained a steadfast neutrality in the conflict and preferred to keep equality between Villeneuve and Pironi in the team.

Entry ListEdit

Below is the full entry list for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
1 Brazil Nelson Piquet United Kingdom Parmalat Racing Team Brabham BT49 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
2 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Parmalat Racing Team Brabham BT49 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
3 Italy Michele Alboreto United Kingdom Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 011 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
4 United Kingdom Brian Henton United Kingdom Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 011 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
5 Ireland Derek Daly United Kingdom TAG Williams Team Williams FW08 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
6 Finland Keke Rosberg United Kingdom TAG Williams Team Williams FW08 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
7 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom Marlboro McLaren International McLaren MP4/1B Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 M
8 Austria Niki Lauda United Kingdom Marlboro McLaren International McLaren MP4/1B Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 M
9 West Germany Manfred Winkelhock West Germany Team ATS ATS D5 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
10 Chile Eliseo Salazar West Germany Team ATS ATS D5 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
11 Italy Elio de Angelis United Kingdom John Player Team Lotus Lotus 91 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
12 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell United Kingdom John Player Team Lotus Lotus 91 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
14 Colombia Roberto Guerrero United Kingdom Ensign Racing Ensign N181 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 A
15 France Alain Prost France Equipe Renault Elf Renault RE30B Renault EF1 V6t 1.5 M
16 France René Arnoux France Equipe Renault Elf Renault RE30B Renault EF1 V6t 1.5 M
17 Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom Rothmans March Grand Prix Team March 821 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 P
18 Brazil Raul Boesel United Kingdom Rothmans March Grand Prix Team March 821 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 P
19 Spain Emilio de Villota United Kingdom Rothmans March Grand Prix Team March 821 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 P
20 Brazil Chico Serra Brazil Fittipaldi Automotive Fittipaldi F9 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 P
22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Italy Marlboro Team Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo 182 Alfa Romeo 1260 V12 3.0 M
23 Italy Bruno Giacomelli Italy Marlboro Team Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo 182 Alfa Romeo 1260 V12 3.0 M
25 United States Eddie Cheever France Equipe Talbot Gitanes Ligier JS19 Matra MS81 V12 3.0 M
26 France Jacques Laffite France Equipe Talbot Gitanes Ligier JS19 Matra MS81 V12 3.0 M
27 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 126C2 Ferrari 021 V6t 1.5 G
28 France Didier Pironi Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 126C2 Ferrari 021 V6t 1.5 G
29 Switzerland Marc Surer United Kingdom Arrows Racing Team Arrows A4 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 P
30 Italy Mauro Baldi United Kingdom Arrows Racing Team Arrows A4 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 P
31 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Italy Osella Squadra Course Osella FA1D Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 P
32 Italy Riccardo Paletti Italy Osella Squadra Course Osella FA1D Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 P
33 Netherlands Jan Lammers Hong Kong Theodore Racing Team Theodore TY02 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 A
35 United Kingdom Derek Warwick United Kingdom Toleman Group Motorsport Toleman TG181C Hart 415T L4t 1.5 P
36 Italy Teo Fabi United Kingdom Toleman Group Motorsport Toleman TG181C Hart 415T L4t 1.5 P

Practice OverviewEdit

With 32 entries, the practice sessions were morphed into a pre-qualifying session, which removed Riccardo Paletti and Raul Boesel from the main qualifying session.[1] At the front, the usual order remained, with Renault continuing to dominate in the pre-race sessions, while Ferrari's internal dispute continued to simmer in the background.[1]

QualifyingEdit

Qualifying saw the internal struggle hit home, as Pironi and Villeneuve went head to head for the first time since San Marino. Pironi had the upper hand after their first runs, beating Villeneuve by 0.1s to take sixth.[1] Villeneuve headed out once again, desperate to beat his team mate and started a lap in the final few minutes of qualifying.[1] As the Canadian approached Butte he came across the slow Jochen Mass, deciding to move off the racing line to get past.[1] In the same breath, Mass yielded the racing line to Villeneuve, trying to keep out his way.[1] Villeneuve, with nowhere to go, slammed into the back of Mass' car, sending the Ferrari into a series of cartwheels that obliterated the car.[1] Villeneuve was sent flying into the crash fence, with John Watson and Derek Warwick abandoning their laps to help their fellow racer, although it was later revealed that Villeneuve had been killed by the initial impact after he hit Mass.[1]

Villeneuve was kept on life support in Louvain until the evening, where he died from his injuries.[1] Ferrari, by that stage, had already announced their withdrawal, with Pironi remaining as their only driver for the next two races.[1] The session was restarted after the debris had been cleared, with the Renault's taking another one-two on the grid.[2]

Qualifying ResultsEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time[3] Gap
1 15 France Alain Prost Renault 1:15.709
2 16 France René Arnoux Renault 1:15.738 +0.029s
3 6 Finland Keke Rosberg Williams-Ford 1:15.855 +0.146s
4 8 Austria Niki Lauda McLaren-Ford 1:16.057 +0.348s
5 3 Italy Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Ford 1:16.316 +0.607s
6 22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Alfa Romeo 1:16.583 +0.874s
7 12 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Lotus-Ford 1:16.952 +1.243s
8 1 Brazil Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW 1:17.132 +1.423s
9 2 Italy Riccardo Patrese Brabham-BMW 1:17.134 +1.425s
10 7 United Kingdom John Watson McLaren-Ford 1:17.152 +1.443s
11 11 Italy Elio de Angelis Lotus-Ford 1:17.770 +2.061s
12 9 Germany Manfred Winkelhock ATS-Ford 1:17.887 +2.178s
13 5 Ireland Derek Daly Williams-Ford 1:18.202 +2.493s
14 25 United States Eddie Cheever Ligier-Matra 1:18.309 +2.600s
15 23 Italy Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo 1:18.379 +2.670s
16 31 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Osella-Ford 1:18.411 +2.702s
17 26 France Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra 1:18.573 +2.864s
18 10 Chile Eliseo Salazar ATS-Ford 1:18.975 +3.266s
19 35 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart 1:18.993 +3.284s
20 4 United Kingdom Brian Henton Tyrrell-Ford 1:19.158 +3.449s
21 36 Italy Teo Fabi Toleman-Hart 1:19.308 +3.599s
22 29 Switzerland Marc Surer Arrows-Ford 1:19.592 +3.883s
23 20 Brazil Chico Serra Fittipaldi-Ford 1:19.606 +3.897s
24 18 Brazil Raul Boesel March-Ford 1:19.629 +3.920s
25 17 Germany Jochen Mass March-Ford 1:19.785 +4.076s
26 30 Italy Mauro Baldi Arrows-Ford 1:19.823 +4.114s
WD 28 France Didier Pironi Ferrari Withdrawn
DNS 27 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari Fatal accident
DNQ 14 Colombia Roberto Guerrero Ensign-Ford Did not qualify
DNQ 33 Netherlands Jan Lammers Theodore-Ford Did not qualify
DNPQ 32 Italy Riccardo Paletti Osella-Ford Did not pre-qualify
DNPQ 19 Italy Emilio de Villota March-Ford Did not pre-qualify

GridEdit

The starting grid for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix is displayed below


Pos Pos
Driver Driver
______________
Row 1 ______________ 1
2 Alain Prost
René Arnoux ______________
Row 2 ______________ 3
4 Keke Rosberg
Niki Lauda ______________
Row 3 ______________ 5
6 Michele Alboreto
Andrea de Cesaris ______________
Row 4 ______________ 7
8 Nigel Mansell
Nelson Piquet ______________
Row 5 ______________ 9
10 Riccardo Patrese
John Watson ______________
Row 6 ______________ 11
12 Elio de Angelis
Manfred Winkelhock ______________
Row 7 ______________ 13
14 Derek Daly
Eddie Cheever ______________
Row 8 ______________ 15
16 Bruno Giacomelli
Jean-Pierre Jarier ______________
Row 9 ______________ 17
18 Jacques Laffite
Eliseo Salazar ______________
Row 10 ______________ 19
20 Derek Warwick
Brian Henton ______________
Row 11 ______________ 21
22 Teo Fabi
Marc Surer ______________
Row 12 ______________ 23
24 Chico Serra
Raul Boesel ______________
Row 13 ______________ 25
26 Jochen Mass
Mauro Baldi ______________

RaceEdit

Ferrari's withdrawal promoted Jochen Mass (whose car was rebuilt overnight after the collision) and Mauro Baldi to the grid, a fact announced shortly before the start.[1]

ReportEdit

The race began in dramatic style, as Nigel Mansell stalled (caused by a clutch issue that would cause him to retire a few laps later), meaning the 18 cars behind him had to take avoiding action. Unsurprisingly, two cars went for the same gap around the Lotus, with Bruno Giacomelli and Eliseo Salazar coming together and retiring (Salazar's ATS team mate Manfred Winkelhock retired with a clutch issue further round the opening lap). At the front, meanwhile, Prost dropped from first to third, with Arnoux and Keke Rosberg jumping ahead.[1]

Rosberg proceeded to attack the Renault that led him, having fended off Prost's best attempts to get past on the first lap.[1] Prost beginning to drop back into the clutches of Niki Lauda and Andrea de Cesaris. Arnoux and Rosberg's duel lasted for first four laps, until the leading Renault lost turbo pressure, forcing Arnoux into retirement and Rosberg into the lead.[1] Prost, meanwhile, was tumbling down the field, as Niki Lauda and Andrea de Cesaris (again upsetting his critics with a strong performance) took the second Renault.[1] Prost would soon fall behind Riccardo Patrese, John Watson and Michele Alboreto before the tenth lap.[1]

A calm came over the leaders, with no changes until the 29th lap, when de Cesaris took advantage of the spinning back marker of Chico Serra who had spun to move ahead of Lauda and into second, while Alboreto retired with an engine failure (a similar problem would claim his fellow Tyrrell racer Brian Henton a few laps later).[1] More changes followed six laps later, as de Cesaris suffered a third mechanical failure in three races to retire, while Watson slid his McLaren ahead of Patrese to take third, beginning the task of reeling in his Austrian team mate.[1]

The race became a tactical battle over the following laps, as Rosberg's rear tyres suffered from his exuberant style, while Lauda was slowly being drawn in by Watson. Lauda having wrecked his tyres avoiding the spinning Serra. Watson caught and passed the Austrian on the 47th lap, before making big gains on the Williams ahead in the last third of the race.[1] While their battle developed, Prost finally dropped out of the race after a spin, while Eddie Cheever began his climb through the field to fourth.

The race entered a tense final couple of laps, as Rosberg's tyres entered the final throws of their life as Watson pulled smartly up behind him.[1] On the penultimate lap, Watson took the lead, with Rosberg sliding wide.[1] Watson crossed the line a couple of minutes later, with Rosberg an increasingly distant second.[1] Lauda came home third but was disqualified for being underweight, promoting American Eddie Cheever to the podium (for the first time in his career) and Chico Serra into the points.[1]

ResultsEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 7 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom McLaren-Ford 70 1:35:41.995 10 9
2 6 Finland Keke Rosberg United Kingdom Williams-Ford 70 +7.268s 3 6
DSQ 8 Austria Niki Lauda* United Kingdom McLaren-Ford 70 +8.137 4
3 25 United States Eddie Cheever France Ligier-Matra 69 +1 lap 14 4
4 11 Italy Elio de Angelis United Kingdom Lotus-Ford 68 +2 laps 11 3
5 1 Brazil Nelson Piquet United Kingdom Brabham-BMW 67 +3 laps 8 2
6 20 Brazil Chico Serra Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford 67 +3 laps 23 1
7 29 Switzerland Marc Surer United Kingdom Arrows-Ford 66 +4 laps 22
8 18 Brazil Raul Boesel United Kingdom March-Ford 66 +4 laps 24
9 26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier-Matra 66 +4 laps 17
Ret 5 Ireland Derek Daly United Kingdom Williams-Ford 60 Accident 13
Ret 17 Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom March-Ford 60 Engine 25
Ret 15 France Alain Prost France Renault 59 Spin 1
Ret 2 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Brabham-BMW 52 Accident 9
Ret 30 Italy Mauro Baldi United Kingdom Arrows-Ford 51 Throttle / Spin 26
Ret 31 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Italy Osella-Ford 37 Rear aerofoil 16
Ret 22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Italy Alfa Romeo 34 Gear linkage 6
Ret 4 United Kingdom Brian Henton United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 33 Engine 20
Ret 3 Italy Michele Alboreto United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 29 Engine 5
Ret 35 United Kingdom Derek Warwick United Kingdom Toleman-Hart 29 Drive shaft 19
Ret 36 Italy Teo Fabi United Kingdom Toleman-Hart 13 Brakes 21
Ret 12 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell United Kingdom Lotus-Ford 9 Clutch 7
Ret 16 France René Arnoux France Renault 7 Turbo compressor 2
Ret 9 Germany Manfred Winkelhock Germany ATS-Ford 0 Clutch 12
Ret 10 Chile Eliseo Salazar Germany ATS-Ford 0 Accident 18
Ret 23 Italy Bruno Giacomelli Italy Alfa Romeo 0 Accident 15
WD 28 France Didier Pironi Italy Ferrari
DNS 27 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Italy Ferrari
DNQ 14 Colombia Roberto Guerrero United Kingdom Ensign-Ford
DNQ 33 Netherlands Jan Lammers United Kingdom Theodore-Ford
DNPQ 32 Italy Riccardo Paletti Italy Osella-Ford
DNPQ 19 Spain Emilio de Villota United Kingdom March-Ford

* - Niki Lauda was disqualified for car underweight

MilestonesEdit

StandingsEdit

John Watson leapt up the table after his victory, but still found himself one point short of Alain Prost's tally for the season, despite the Frenchman failing to score in the last three races. Keke Rosberg now sat in third, ahead of Niki Lauda, while Didier Pironi dropped to fifth. Michele Alboreto sat level with Pironi still, while Carlos Reutemann and the late Gilles Villeneuve remained in the top eight. René Arnoux, Riccardo Patrese and Eddie Cheever were in joint eleventh, having had an identical record to this point.

Renault were finally toppled from the top spot in the Constructors Championship, as McLaren overhauled them with Watson's win. Williams and Ferrari swapped places, while Tyrrell clung onto the top five, only one point ahead of Team Lotus. Ligier found themselves ahead of Brabham through Cheever's podium, while Fittipaldi secured what would become their last ever point in Formula One.

1982 Drivers' World Championship
Pos. Driver Pts +/-
1 France Alain Prost 18
2 United Kingdom John Watson 17 ▲4
3 Finland Keke Rosberg 14 ▲2
4 Austria Niki Lauda 12 ▼2
5 France Didier Pironi 10 ▼2
6 Italy Michele Alboreto 10 ▼2
7 Argentina Carlos Reutemann 6
8 Canada Gilles Villeneuve 6
9 Italy Elio de Angelis 5 ▲4
10 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell 4 ▼1
=11 France René Arnoux 4 ▼1
=11 Italy Riccardo Patrese 4 ▼1
=11 United States Eddie Cheever 4 ▲5
14 France Jean-Pierre Jarier 3 ▼1
15 Brazil Nelson Piquet 2 ▲3
16 Chile Eliseo Salazar 2 ▼1
17 Germany Manfred Winkelhock 2 ▼1
18 Brazil Chico Serra 1 ▲1

Only point scoring drivers are shown.


1982 Constructors' World Championship
Pos. Team Pts +/-
1 United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 29 ▲1
2 France Renault 22 ▼1
3 United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 20 ▲1
4 Italy Ferrari 16 ▼1
5 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 10
6 United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 9
7 France Ligier-Matra 6 ▲3
8 United Kingdom Brabham-Ford Cosworth 4 ▼1
9 Germany ATS-Ford Cosworth 4 ▼1
10 Italy Osella-Ford Cosworth 3 ▼1
11 United Kingdom Brabham-BMW 2 ▲1
11 Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth 1 ▲1

Only point scoring constructors are shown.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 'GRAND PRIX RESULTS: BELGIAN GP, 1982', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 1999), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr362.html, (Accessed 27/07/2015)
  2. 2.0 2.1 '1982 Belgian Grand Prix', wikipedia.org, (WikiMedia, 20/06/2013), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1982_Belgian_Grand_Prix, (Accessed 27/07/2015)
  3. 'FORMULA ONE - RACECARD: Belgian Grand Prix Qualifying 1982', f1pulse.com, (F1PULSE.COM, 2015), http://f1pulse.com/racecard/Belgium_1982/3D413C/race_card_qualify.aspx, (Accessed 27/07/2015)
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