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 The 1982 French Grand Prix, hosted at the Circuit Paul Ricard, was the eleventh race in the 1982 Formula One Season.[1] The attendance in Paul Ricard was expected to be high, with Didier Pironi leading the Championship, Renault having what was widely regarded as the fastest car, and two French drivers in Ferrari (Pironi and the popular Patrick Tambay).

The race was won, from pole, by René Arnoux, with fellow Frenchmen Alain Prost and Didier Pironi completing the podium.[1] Arnoux and Prost would fall out after the race, with Prost pushing the fact that Arnoux should have allowed him past due to the title battle, a fact that Arnoux denied.

BackgroundEdit

The single week between the British and French Grand Prix saw only one change on the driver front, as Nigel Mansell declined his Lotus seat in France due to his wrist injury (originally sustained in Canada).[1] Geoff Lees (whom had already driven for Theodore that year) took over the #12 John Player Special at France, in what would be the last race of his F1 career.[1]

Championship wise, the tide had turned in favour of Didier Pironi, who now led the title fight by five points, and had the benefit of a reliable car and turbo power. His lead over Alain Prost and Riccardo Patrese (the next turbo powered cars) was almost two race wins, with the calender appearing to favour turbocharged cars for the foreseeable future. John Watson and Niki Lauda were the closest to Pironi in points terms, but their McLaren MP4-1s were equipped with the less powerful Ford Cosworth engine.

But, McLaren remained in the lead of the Constructors Championship, still nine points away from Ferrari. Williams also found themselves in the top three, ahead of the second major turbo team (Renault). Brabham-BMW found themselves down in seventh, yet to beat their tally from their campaigning with the Ford Cosworth engine earlier in the season.

Entry ListEdit


The full entry list for the 1982 French Grand Prix is displayed below

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
1 Brazil Nelson Piquet United Kingdom Parmalat Racing Team Brabham BT50 BMW M12/13 L4t 1.5 G
2 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Parmalat Racing Team Brabham BT50 BMW M12/13 L4t 1.5 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 Geoff Lees 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 P
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 A
18 Brazil Raul Boesel United Kingdom Rothmans March Grand Prix Team March 821 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 A
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 France Patrick Tambay 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
33 Netherlands Jan Lammers Hong Kong Theodore Racing Team Theodore TY02 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
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

Practice revealed that the expected dominance of the turbo was to be confirmed, as the Renaults, Ferraris and Brabhams dominated the time sheets.[1] The Tolemans were also going well with their Hart built turbocharged engines, but were hampered by chassis issues which had plagued the car since its debut.

QualifyingEdit

This display would be shown in qualifying, as the first six grid slots were filled by turbocharged cars (only the second time this had happened, the first being in South Africa at the start of the season).[1] As expected, the Renault team triumphed, with Arnoux claiming pole ahead of Prost, with Pironi (in the Ferrari) beating Riccardo Patrese (Brabham-BMW) for third.[1] The turbo group was completed by Patrick Tambay and Nelson Piquet, with the V12 engined Alfa Romeos of Andrea de Cesaris and Bruno Giacomelli lining up on the fourth row as best of the rest.[1]

The failures of qualifying included Jan Lammers, Colombian Roberto Guerrero and the two Brazilians Chico Serra and Raul Boesel.[1] They were almost joined by Lees, whom proved that a driver had to be fully fit to drive a Formula One car in 1982, scraping through in 23rd.

Qualifying ResultsEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time[2] Gap
1 16 FranceRené Arnoux Renault 1:34.406
2 15 France Alain Prost Renault 1:34.688 +0.282s
3 28 France Didier Pironi Ferrari 1:35.790 +1.384s
4 2 Italy Riccardo Patrese Brabham-BMW 1:35.811 +1.405s
5 27 France Patrick Tambay Ferrari 1:35.905 +1.499s
6 1 Brazil Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW 1:36.359 +1.953s
7 22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Alfa Romeo 1:37.573 +3.167s
8 23 Italy Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo 1:37.705 +3.299s
9 8 Austria Niki Lauda McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:37.778 +3.372s
10 6 Finland Keke Rosberg Williams-Ford Cosworth 1:37.780 +3.374s
11 5 Ireland Derek Daly Williams-Ford Cosworth 1:38.767 +4.361s
12 7 United Kingdom John Watson McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:38.944 +4.538s
13 11 Italy Elio de Angelis Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:39.118 +4.712s
14 35 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart 1:39.306 +4.900s
15 3 Italy Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:39.330 +4.924s
16 26 France Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra 1:39.605 +5.199s
17 31 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Osella-Ford Cosworth 1:39.909 +5.503s
18 9 Germany Manfred Winkelhock ATS-Ford Cosworth 1:39.917 +5.511s
19 25 United States Eddie Cheever Ligier-Matra 1:40.187 +5.781s
20 29 Switzerland Marc Surer Arrows-Ford Cosworth 1:40.335 +5.929s
21 36 Italy Teo Fabi Toleman-Hart 1:40.421 +6.015s
22 10 Chile Eliseo Salazar ATS-Ford Cosworth 1:40.673 +6.267s
23 4 United Kingdom Brian Henton Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:40.852 +6.446s
24 12 United Kingdom Geoff Lees Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:40.974 +6.568s
25 30 Italy Mauro Baldi Arrows-Ford Cosworth 1:40.997 +6.591s
26 17 Germany Jochen Mass March-Ford Cosworth 1:41.579 +7.173s
DNQ 33 Netherlands Jan Lammers Theodore-Ford Cosworth 1:41.714 +7.308s
DNQ 14 Colombia Roberto Guerrero Ensign-Ford Cosworth 1:42.270 +7.864s
DNQ 20 Brazil Chico Serra Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth 1:42.414 +8.008s
DNQ 18 Brazil Raul Boesel March-Ford Cosworth 1:43.099 +8.693s

GridEdit

The Grid order for the 1982 French Grand Prix is shown below:

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

RaceEdit

Ahead of the race, rumours arose that Arnoux and Prost had made an agreement, whereby Arnoux, should he be leading Prost in the closing stages for the win, would allow Prost (whom had a better points tally) to overtake, giving him maximum points.[1] This rumour would become a key focus of not only the race, but of the future their Renault careers.

ReportEdit

The Renault's got off the line in grid order, pulling smartly ahead of the rest of the field over the first lap, Arnoux just keeping ahead of Prost.[1] Brabham, however, had other ideas, their lighter cars (using a pitstop strategy they had wanted to use in Britain) catching the Renaults in the early stages of the race.[1] Riccardo Patrese and Nelson Piquet worked together to pass Prost, with Patrese claiming the lead on the fourth lap (Piquet joining him a lap later).[1] Patrese's lead was short lived, however, as he fell victim to engine failure, leaving Piquet to fight alone.[1]

The Signes corner would, however, became a major talking point in the race, when it witnessed a huge crash on the 11th lap.[1] Jochen Mass and Mauro Baldi came together at the right hander at the end of the back straight, sending Mass into the barrier.[1] The force of his car hitting the armco sent his March over it, with Mass landing upside-down in a spectator area.[1] In a miracle that no one was killed, Mass' car caught fire as he emerged from it, with only minor injuries incurred by both spectators and driver.[1]

The race settled down, running in virtually the same order for the rest of the distance.[1] The only other major incidents to occur involved Piquet and John Watson, whom both retired through mechanical issues).[1] Piquet's demise handed victory on a plate to Renault, as Arnoux and Prost built a lead over the chasing Ferraris.[1]

At the line, Arnoux held a 17 second lead over his younger team mate, although Prost was furious that he had not been allowed past to claim victory,[1] Arnoux was adamant that he had not been ordered to do so (eerily similar to the Ferrari fallout earlier on in the season between Pironi and Gilles Villeneuve), with the two remaining at odds for the rest of the year.[1] Pironi had a quiet drive to third, while Patrick Tambay ensured a French 1-2-3-4 with another promising display in the second 'Fezza'.[1]

ResultsEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 16 FranceRené Arnoux Renault 54 1:33:33.217 1 9
2 15 France Alain Prost Renault 54 +17.308s 2 6
3 28 France Didier Pironi Ferrari 54 +42.128s 3 4
4 27 France Patrick Tambay Ferrari 54 +1:16.241 5 3
5 6 Finland Keke Rosberg Williams-Ford Cosworth 54 +1:30.994 10 2
6 3 Italy Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 54 +1:32.339 15 1
7 5 Ireland Derek Daly Williams-Ford Cosworth 53 +1 lap 11
8 8 Austria Niki Lauda McLaren-Ford Cosworth 53 +1 lap 9
9 23 Italy Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo 53 +1 lap 8
10 4 United Kingdom Brian Henton Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 53 +1 lap 23
11 9 Germany Manfred Winkelhock ATS-Ford Cosworth 52 +2 laps 18
12 12 United Kingdom Geoff Lees Lotus-Ford Cosworth 52 +2 laps 24
13 29 Switzerland Marc Surer Arrows-Ford Cosworth 52 +2 laps 20
14 26 France Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra 51 +3 laps 16
15 35 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart 50 +4 laps 14
16 25 United States Eddie Cheever Ligier-Matra 49 +5 laps 19
Ret 22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Alfa Romeo 25 Spin 7
Ret 1 Brazil Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW 23 Engine 6
Ret 11 Italy Elio de Angelis Lotus-Ford Cosworth 17 Fuel system 13
Ret 7 United Kingdom John Watson McLaren-Ford Cosworth 13 Electrical 12
Ret 17 Germany Jochen Mass March-Ford Cosworth 10 Accident 26
Ret 30 Italy Mauro Baldi Arrows-Ford Cosworth 10 Accident 25
Ret 2 Italy Riccardo Patrese Brabham-BMW 8 Engine 4
Ret 10 Chile Eliseo Salazar ATS-Ford Cosworth 2 Spin 22
Ret 31 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Osella-Ford Cosworth 0 Half shaft 17
Ret 36 Italy Teo Fabi Toleman-Hart 0 Electrical 21
DNQ 33 Netherlands Jan Lammers Theodore-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 14 Colombia Roberto Guerrero Ensign-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 20 Brazil Chico Serra Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 18 Brazil Raul Boesel March-Ford Cosworth

MilestonesEdit

StandingsEdit

Didier Pironi now looked to be in command of the Championship after his home race, nine ahead of John Watson and with a handy looking Patrick Tambay looking set to help his title bid. That said, Alain Prost was now back in the fight, fourteen behind, and with René Arnoux demonstrating that Renault had overcome some of their fragility, there was still a potential fight to be had. Niki Lauda and Keke Rosberg would have to rely on the inherent turbocharger frailty (as would Watson) if they were to win the title, with the manufacturers now coming on strong.

McLaren just held onto their lead after the French Grand Prix, now just two points ahead of Ferrari. Renault had finally climbed back into the top three after their one-two, but still had a sixteen point gap to overcome before they could hope to be crowned Constructors Champions. They were also under serious threat from Williams (whom they overtook), as the top four looked to be breaking away from the rest. Tyrrell were the only other team to score in France, although Michele Alboreto's single point did little to adjust the standings.

1982 Drivers' World Championship
Pos. Driver Pts +/-
1 France Didier Pironi 39
2 United Kingdom John Watson 30
3 France Alain Prost 25 ▲2
4 Austria Niki Lauda 24 ▼1
5 Finland Keke Rosberg 23 ▼1
6 Italy Riccardo Patrese 19
7 Brazil Nelson Piquet 17
8 France René Arnoux 13 ▲9
9 Italy Elio de Angelis 13 ▼1
10 Italy Michele Alboreto 11
11 United States Eddie Cheever 10 ▼1
12 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell 7 ▼1
13 France Patrick Tambay 7 ▲3
14 Ireland Derek Daly 7 ▼2
15 Canada Gilles Villeneuve 6 ▼2
16 Argentina Carlos Reutemann 6 ▼2
17 Italy Andrea de Cesaris 5 ▼2
18 France Jean-Pierre Jarier 3
19 Switzerland Marc Surer 2
20 Chile Eliseo Salazar 2
21 Germany Manfred Winkelhock 2
22 Italy Mauro Baldi 1
23 France Jacques Laffite 1
24 Brazil Chico Serra 1

Only point scoring drivers are shown.


1982 Constructors' World Championship
Pos. Team Pts +/-
1 United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 54
2 Italy Ferrari 52
3 France Renault 38 ▲1
4 United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 36 ▼1
5 United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 20
6 United Kingdom Brabham-Ford Cosworth 19
7 United Kingdom Brabham-BMW 17
8 France Ligier-Matra 13
9 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 11
10 Italy Alfa Romeo 5
11 Germany ATS-Ford Cosworth 4
12 Italy Osella-Ford Cosworth 3
13 United Kingdom Arrows-Ford Cosworth 3
14 Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth 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 'GRAND PRIX RESULTS: FRENCH GP, 1982', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 1999), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr368.html, (Accessed 29/07/2015)
  2. '1982 French Grand Prix: Qualifying', manipef1.com, (Manipe F1, 2004), http://www.manipef1.com/results/1982/france/qualifying/, (Accessed 29/07/2015)
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