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 The XL Grote Prijs van Belgie was the sixth round of the 1983 Formula One Season, which saw Formula One return, for the first time in thirteen years, to the magical Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.[1] The return to one of F1's spiritual homes almost threw up a surprise victor in Andrea de Cesaris, but a poor stop for the Italian handed Alain Prost the honour of becoming the first winner at Spa since Pedro Rodríguez in 1970.[1] De Cesaris went on to retire after a fuel injector failure, putting Patrick Tambay into second and Eddie Cheever onto the final step of the podium.[1]

BackgroundEdit

The Spa circuit had been massively improved, in terms of safety, since F1's last visit.[1] 1979 had seen the circuit length cut in half to seven kilometers, but the circuit's majestic setting in the heart of the Ardennes forest remained.[2] Although the fast, flowing (and often fatal) run from Burnenville to Stavelot had been cut out, the circuit still retained some of the original layout, including the stunning Eau Rouge/Raidillon section.[2] These changes were largely successful, with no further fatalities at the circuit in F1.[2] It was, perhaps, appropriate then that F1 returned there, almost a year after losing one of its biggest names, Gilles Villeneuve, in accident at the same event a year before.

This romantic return to an F1 favourite was not, however, enough to see Arrows retain Chico Serra for the weekend, as the team's search for sponsorship saw them hand a debut to Thierry Boutsen.[1] Otherwise, the entry list remained as it had been from a week earlier in Monaco, although with seven kilometres of circuit available, the number of grid slots returned to its usual figure of 26.[1]

The Monaco battle had seen Nelson Piquet pull out a two point lead over Alain Prost in the championship, with Prost a further two points ahead of Patrick Tambay. Keke Rosberg's win had seen him leap up into fourth, ahead of John Watson, whose season was beginning to unravel. In the Constructor's battle, Ferrari emerged from Monte Carlo in the lead, although they only had a two point cushion to Renault coming into Belgium. Brabham, Williams and McLaren were next, all tied on 21 points (just four behind the scarlet cars) all with one win apiece.

Entry ListEdit

The full entry list for the 1983 Belgian Grand Prix is shown below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
1 Finland Keke Rosberg United Kingdom TAG Williams Racing Team Williams FW08C Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
2 France Jacques Laffite United Kingdom TAG Williams Racing Team Williams FW08C Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
3 Italy Michele Alboreto United Kingdom Benetton Tyrrell Team Tyrrell 011B Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
4 United States Danny Sullivan United Kingdom Benetton Tyrrell Team Tyrrell 011B Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
5 Brazil Nelson Piquet United Kingdom Fila Sport Brabham BT52 BMW M12/13 L4t 1.5 M
6 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Fila Sport Brabham BT52 BMW M12/13 L4t 1.5 M
7 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom Marlboro McLaren International McLaren MP4/1C Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 M
8 Austria Niki Lauda United Kingdom Marlboro McLaren International McLaren MP4/1C Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 M
9 Germany Manfred Winkelhock Germany Team ATS ATS D6 BMW M12/13 L4t 1.5 G
11 Italy Elio de Angelis United Kingdom John Player Team Lotus Lotus 93T Renault EF1 V6t 1.5 P
12 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell United Kingdom John Player Team Lotus Lotus 92 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 P
15 France Alain Prost France Equipe Renault Elf Renault RE40 Renault EF1 V6t 1.5 M
16 United States Eddie Cheever France Equipe Renault Elf Renault RE40 Renault EF1 V6t 1.5 M
17 Chile Eliseo Salazar United Kingdom RAM Racing Team March RAM 01 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 P
22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Italy Marlboro Team Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo 183T Alfa Romeo 890T V8t 1.5 M
23 Italy Mauro Baldi Italy Marlboro Team Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo 183T Alfa Romeo 890T V8t 1.5 M
25 France Jean-Pierre Jarier France Equipe Ligier Gitanes Ligier JS21 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 M
26 Brazil Raul Boesel France Equipe Ligier Gitanes Ligier JS21 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 M
27 France Patrick Tambay Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 126C2B Ferrari 021 V6t 1.5 G
28 France René Arnoux Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 126C2B Ferrari 021 V6t 1.5 G
29 Switzerland Marc Surer United Kingdom Arrows Racing Team Arrows A6 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
30 Belgium Thierry Boutsen United Kingdom Arrows Racing Team Arrows A6 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
31 Italy Corrado Fabi Italy Osella Squadra Corse Osella FA1D Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 M
32 Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani Italy Osella Squadra Corse Osella FA1E Alfa Romeo 1260 V12 3.0 M
33 Colombia Roberto Guerrero United Kingdom Theodore Racing Team Theodore N183 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
34 Venezuela Johnny Cecotto United Kingdom Theodore Racing Team Theodore N183 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
35 United Kingdom Derek Warwick United Kingdom Candy Toleman Motorsport Toleman TG183B Hart 415T L4t 1.5 P
36 Italy Bruno Giacomelli United Kingdom Candy Toleman Motorsport Toleman TG183B Hart 415T L4t 1.5 P

Practice OverviewEdit

As in Monaco a week earlier, the driest session of the weekend proved to be practice, with all of the qualifying times being set in the session.[1] It was also clear that Spa, despite lacking the flat-out sections that had defined it's earlies use in F1, favoured the turbo, with the top eight cars all given a boost by turbo, leaving Keke Rosberg, as he had often been in 1983, the first of the normal cars in ninth.[1]

QualifyingEdit

As mentioned earlier, qualifying was another washout, meaning that the times from practice were to decide the grid.[1] Hence Prost took pole, with Tambay second, while Andrea de Cesaris took an impressive third and Manfred Winkelhock took the ATS to seventh in an excellent display.[1] McLaren learned from their mistake in Monaco, with both John Watson and Niki Lauda making it through, while Marc Surer was another to demonstrate his pace, taking tenth.[1]

Out of qualifying, once again, was the V12 Alfa Romeo engined Osella of Piercarlo Ghinzani, whose pace was starting to be questioned.[1] Eliseo Salazar was the other man to fail to qualify, although his five second gap to Ghinzani was down to the car, rather than driver.[1]

Qualifying ResultsEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time[3]
Q1 Q2
1 15 FranceAlain Prost Renault 2:04.615 2:34.212
2 27 France Patrick Tambay Ferrari 2:04.626 2:35.036
3 22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Alfa Romeo 2:04.840 No Time
4 5 Brazil Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW 2:05.628 3:01.465
5 28 FranceRené Arnoux Ferrari 2:05.737 2:30.961
6 6 Italy Riccardo Patrese Brabham-BMW 2:06.137 3:01.358
7 9 Germany Manfred Winkelhock ATS-BMW 2:06.264 2:44.663
8 16 United States Eddie Cheever Renault 2:07.294 2:25.700
9 1 Finland Keke Rosberg Williams-Ford Cosworth 2:07.975 2:30.151
10 29 Switzerland Marc Surer Arrows-Ford Cosworth 2:08.587 2:35.016
11 2 France Jacques Laffite Williams-Ford Cosworth 2:09.153 2:20.872
12 23 Italy Mauro Baldi Alfa Romeo 2:09.225 No TIme
13 11 Italy Elio de Angelis Lotus-Renault 2:09.310 2:30.478
14 33 Colombia Roberto Guerrero Theodore-Ford Cosworth 2:09.322 2:31.077
15 8 Austria Niki Lauda McLaren-Ford Cosworth 2:09.475 3:00.356
16 36 Italy Bruno Giacomelli Toleman-Hart 2:09.706 2:35.556
17 3 Italy Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 2:09.739 2:31.533
18 30 Belgium Thierry Boutsen Arrows-Ford Cosworth 2:09.876 2:35.832
19 12 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Lotus-Ford Cosworth 2:09.924 No TIme
20 7 United Kingdom John Watson McLaren-Ford Cosworth 2:10.318 No TIme
21 25 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Ligier-Ford Cosworth 2:11.354 2:49.311
22 35 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart 2:11.474 2:30.477
23 4 United States Danny Sullivan Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 2:11.683 2:38.284
24 31 Italy Corrado Fabi Osella-Ford Cosworth 2:11.734 2:41.895
25 34 Venezuela Johnny Cecotto Theodore-Ford Cosworth 2:11.860 2:43.780
26 26 Brazil Raul Boesel Ligier-Ford Cosworth 2:12.310 2:34.659
DNQ 32 Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani Osella-Alfa Romeo 2:13.738 No Time
DNQ 17 Chile Eliseo Salazar RAM-Ford Cosworth 2:18.696 No TIme
Bold indicates a driver's fastest lap


Pos Pos
Driver Driver
______________
Row 1 ______________ 1
2 Alain Prost
Patrick Tambay ______________
Row 2 ______________ 3
4 Andrea de Cesaris
Nelson Piquet ______________
Row 3 ______________ 5
6 René Arnoux
Riccardo Patrese ______________
Row 4 ______________ 7
8 Manfred Winkelhock
Eddie Cheever ______________
Row 5 ______________ 9
10 Keke Rosberg
Marc Surer ______________
Row 6 ______________ 11
12 Jacques Laffite
Mauro Baldi ______________
Row 7 ______________ 13
14 Elio de Angelis
Roberto Guerrero ______________
Row 8 ______________ 15
16 Niki Lauda
Bruno Giacomelli ______________
Row 9 ______________ 17
18 Michele Alboreto
Thierry Boutsen ______________
Row 10 ______________ 19
20 Nigel Mansell
John Watson ______________
Row 11 ______________ 21
22 Jean-Pierre Jarier
Derek Warwick ______________
Row 12 ______________ 23
24 Danny Sullivan
Corrado Fabi ______________
Row 13 ______________ 25
26 Johnny Cecotto
Raul Boesel ______________

RaceEdit

Before the race, Renault asked the FIA to change the starting position of the pole side, which was originally on the left hand side of the start/finish straight.[4] This would have placed Alain Prost on the outside of the track, on the racing line, for the La Source hairpin, which would, it was thought, give Patrick Tambay an advantage going into the first corner.[4] The FIA agreed, with Prost now starting on the right hand side, and Tambay on the left, with the even positioned cars now all on the outside, and odd placed cars next to the pits.[4] Other than this change, however, there were no further modifications to the starting order, although Michele Alboreto was to change his new Ford Cosworth DFY engine for the standard DFV engine after a spectacualr failure in the warm-up.[4]

ReportEdit

The start of the race was a scene of confusion, as the FIA opted to abort the start as the lights went out.[1] Although most of the drivers acknowledged the abortion, several started as if it were a normal start, with Andrea de Cesaris slithering around Prost to take the lead.[1] Prost set off after the Alfa (which had a new set of turbo chargers fitted for the weekend), although their private duel was quickly calmed down by the marshalls.[4] The field returned to the grid, as normal proceedure dictated, but the crews, whom were not meant to return, also gathered on the grid.[4] The FIA decided to do a full restart proceedure, with five minute countdown before the restart.[4]

16 drivers were to refuel during the race, so when the reformed grid lined up, fuel was the major concern.[4] Marc Surer came into the pits for a service, which meant he forfitted tenth place and would have to start from the pitlane.[4] After a second formation lap, the lights went out again, with de Cesaris having a carbon-copy start to take the lead.[1] Prost slid neatly into second, with Tambay calmly taking third, while a bad start for Nelson Piquet promoted René Arnoux into fourth.[4]

The top seven would run together until the start of the pitstops, with Manfred Winkelhock and de Cesaris putting up brilliant defences against Keke Rosberg and Prost respectively.[4] Riccardo Patrese lasted less than a lap with an engine failure, joined shortly afterwards by Mauro Baldi and debutant Thierry Boutsen with their own mechanical issues.[1] Furtherdown, Derek Warwick, another to be fitted with a new turbo charger having destroyed his old one in the warm-up, and John Watson were slowly climbing through the field from their lowly starts.[4]

Watson's race was only to last until lap nine, however, after contact with Jean-Pierre Jarier ended both of their races.[4] The race went quiet until the stops, when an issue for de Cesaris handed the lead to Prost leaving the Italian in third (Piquet having stayed out the longest).[4] His issue was no match for Winkelhock's however, whom lost his right rear wheel going through Pouhon, sending the ATS (which was in sixth) out of the race.[4] Prost stopped on lap 22, with de Cesaris only slightly behind as the Frenchman emerged, before the Alfa hit another problem.[1]

Arnoux pulled off on lap 23 with an engine failure, a fate shared Roberto Guerrero a lap later.[1] It was also the fate of de Cesaris, whom ground to a halt on lap 26, promoting Piquet to second and Tambay to third.[1] Eddie Cheever was now fourth, while Warwick was now in ninth, requiring a few more retirements to get what would have been a well deserved point.[4] Although Niki Lauda fell with an engine failure, and a late charge allowed him to take Elio de Angelis, Warwick would miss out on the points by 25 seconds, having started in 22nd.[1]

Prost swept home to take his second win of the season, with Piquet falling to Tambay and Cheever in the closing stages of the race.[1] Rosberg was left to finish in a lonely fifth, while Jacques Laffite claimed the final point in the second Williams, half a minute behind his team mate.[1] 

ResultsEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Pts
1 15 France Alain Prost Renault 40 1:27:11.502 1 9
2 27 France Patrick Tambay Ferrari 40 +23.182s 2 6
3 16 United States Eddie Cheever Renault 40 +39.869s 8 4
4 5 Brazil Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW 40 +42.295s 4 3
5 1 Finland Keke Rosberg Williams-Ford Cosworth 40 +50.480s 9 2
6 2 France Jacques Laffite Williams-Ford Cosworth 40 +1:33.107s 11 1
7 35 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart 40 +1:58.539s 22
8 36 Italy Bruno Giacomelli Toleman-Hart 39 +1 lap 16
9 11 Italy Elio de Angelis Lotus-Renault 39 +1 lap 13
10 34 Venezuela Johnny Ceccotto Theodore-Ford Cosworth 39 +1 lap 25
11 29 Switzerland Marc Surer Arrows-Ford Cosworth 39 +1 lap 10
12 4 United States Danny Sullivan Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 39 +1 lap 23
13 26 Brazil Raul Boesel Ligier-Ford Cosworth 39 +1 lap 26
14 3 Italy Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 38 +2 laps 17
Ret 8 Austria Niki Lauda McLaren-Ford Cosworth 33 Gearbox 15
Ret 12 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Lotus-Ford Cosworth 30 Gearbox 19
Ret 22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Alfa Romeo 25 Engine 3
Ret 33 Colombia Roberto Guerrero Theodore-Ford Cosworth 23 Engine 14
Ret 28 France René Arnoux Ferrari 22 Engine 5
Ret 31 Italy Corrado Fabi Osella-Ford Cosworth 19 Suspension 24
Ret 9 Germany Manfred Winkelhock ATS-BMW 18 Wheel 7
Ret 7 United Kingdom John Watson McLaren-Ford Cosworth 8 Accident 20
Ret 25 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Ligier-Ford Cosworth 8 Accident 21
Ret 30 Belgium Thierry Boutsen Arrows-Ford Cosworth 4 Suspension 18
Ret 23 Italy Mauro Baldi Alfa Romeo 3 Throttle 12
Ret 6 Italy Riccardo Patrese Brabham-BMW 0 Engine 6

MilestonesEdit

Standings after raceEdit

1983 Drivers' World Championship
Pos. Driver Pts
1 France Alain Prost 28
2 Brazil Nelson Piquet 24
3 France Patrick Tambay 23
4 Finland Keke Rosberg 16
5 United Kingdom John Watson 11

Only the top 5 drivers are displayed.

1983 Constructors' World Championship
Pos. Team Pts
1 France Renault 36
2 Italy Ferrari 31
3= United Kingdom Brabham-BMW 24
3= United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 24
5 United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 21

Only the top 5 constructors are displayed.

ReferencesEdit

v·d·e Nominate this page for Featured Article
V T E 1983 Formula One Season
Teams Williams • Tyrrell • Brabham • McLaren • ATS • Lotus • Renault • RAM • Alfa Romeo • Ligier • Ferrari • Arrows • Osella • Theodore • Toleman • Spirit
Engines Alfa Romeo • BMW • Ferrari • Ford • Hart • Honda • Renault • TAG
Drivers Rosberg • 2 Laffite • 42 Palmer • 3 Alboreto • 4 Sullivan • 5 Piquet • 6 Patrese • 7 Watson • 8 Lauda • 9 Winkelhock • 11 De Angelis • 12 Mansell • 15 Prost • 16 Cheever • 17 Salazar • 17 Villeneuve • 17 Acheson • 18 Schlesser • 22 De Cesaris • 23 Baldi • 25 Jarier • 26 Boesel • 27 Tambay • 28 Arnoux • 29 Surer • 30 Serra • 30 Jones • 30 Boutsen • 31 Fabi • 32 Ghinzani • 33 Guerrero • 34 Cecotto • 35 Warwick • 36 Giacomelli • 40 Johansson
Cars Ferrari 126C2B • Ferrari 126C3 • Renault RE30B • Renault RE30C • Renault RE40 • Brabham BT52 • Williams FW08C • Williams FW09 • McLaren MP4/1C • McLaren MP4/1E • Alfa Romeo 183T • Tyrrell 011B • Tyrrell 012 • Lotus 92 • Lotus 93T • Lotus 94T • Toleman TG183B • Arrows A6 • Theodore N183 • Ligier JS21 • Spirit 201 • ATS D6 • Osella FA1D • Osella FA1E • RAM 01
Tyres Goodyear • Michelin • Pirelli
Races Brazil • U.S. West • France • San Marino • Monaco • Belgium • Detroit • Canada • Britain • Germany • Austria • Netherlands • Italy • Europe • South Africa
See also 1982 Formula One Season • 1984 Formula One Season • Category
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
Races 1950 • 1951 • 1952 • 1953 • 1954 • 1955 • 1956 • 1958 • 1960 • 1961 • 1962 • 1963 • 1964 • 1965 • 1966 • 1967 • 1968 • 1969 • 1970 • 1972 • 1973 • 1974 • 1975 • 1976 • 1977 • 1978 • 1979 • 1980 • 1981 • 1982 • 1983 • 1984 • 1985 • 1986 • 1987 • 1988 • 1989 • 1990 • 1991 • 1992 • 1993 • 1994 • 1995 • 1996 • 1997 • 1998 • 1999 • 2000 • 2001 • 2002 • 2004 • 2005 • 2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016 • 2017

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