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 The LXIX Grand Prix de France, better known as the 1983 French Grand Prix, was the third meeting of the 1983 Formula One Season.[1] The race was held in April, two months earlier than usual, mainly due to the fact that many of the drivers took part in the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch the weekend before.[1] Alain Prost took his first win since the 1982 Brazilian Grand Prix by taking victory for Renault, beating Nelson Piquet and team mate Eddie Cheever.[1]

BackgroundEdit

Niki Lauda came to the first European race of the year as championship leader, his tally of 10 keeping him ahead of Nelson Piquet and team mate John Watson (both on 9). McLaren were also on top in the constructor's championship, their one-two in the United States giving them a total of 19 points, 10 ahead of nearest challengers Brabham.

Chico Serra returned to Arrows after Alan Jones decided to think about his comeback once again (he would not be seen until 1985 as a driver), although the Arrows remained as blank as an ox.[1] Alfa Romeo, meanwhile, gave Mauro Baldi a new toy to play with, updating his car to the 183T chassis already used by Andrea de Cesaris.[1] RAM also brought a new car to the grid, partnering Eliseo Salazar with the debuting Jean-Louis Schlesser, bringing the number of entries up to 29.[1]

Entry ListEdit

The full entry list for the 1983 French 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
18 France Jean-Louis Schlesser 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 Brazil Chico Serra 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 FA1D Ford Cosworth DFV V8 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

The practice session showed that the Renaults of Eddie Cheever and Alain Prost were the cars to beat, with the pair the only cars to set times under 1:39.000s. Jean-Louis Schlesser had a quiet session in the second RAM, despite having only driven a Grand Prix car the week before in the Race of Champions.

QualifyingEdit

Prost was in a different league from everyone else in the main qualifying session, setting a time more than two seconds quicker than Cheever in second.[1] Riccardo Patrese and René Arnoux got their cars inbetween the Renaults and the Renault-engined Lotus of Elio de Angelis (whom had been third in pracice).[1] Nelson Piquet was fast enough to beat the two Alfa Romeos (which shared the fourth row), while Derek Warwick and Manfred Winkelhock ensured an all turbo top ten.[1]

Sadly, the decision by RAM to bring a second car backfired, with both Eliseo Salazar and Schlesser failing to qualify.[1] They were joined by the Osella of Piercarlo Ghinzani, as all of the non-turbo cars struggled.[1] It was Niki Lauda who claimed the best starting position for a Cosworth engined machine, taking twelfth but more than four seconds behind Prost.

Qualifying ResultsEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time[2]
Q1 Q2
1 15 France Alain Prost Renault 1:38.358 1:36.672
2 16 United States Eddie Cheever Renault 1:38.980 1:39.785
3 6 Italy Riccardo Patrese Brabham-BMW 1:41.095 1:39.104
4 28 FranceRené Arnoux Ferrari 1:40.027 1:39.115
5 11 Italy Elio de Angelis Lotus-Renault 1:39.512 1:39.312
6 5 Brazil Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW 1:39.601 1:39.746
7 22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Alfa Romeo 1:38.099* 1:39.611
8 23 Italy Mauro Baldi Alfa Romeo 1:41.215 1:39.618
9 35 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart 1:43.038 1:39.881
10 9 Germany Manfred Winkelhock ATS-BMW 1:40.233 1:44.997
11 27 France Patrick Tambay Ferrari 1:40.393 1:40.488
12 8 Austria Niki Lauda McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:41.065 1:41.492
13 36 Italy Bruno Giacomelli Toleman-Hart 1:42.219 1:41.775
14 7 United Kingdom John Watson McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:41.838 1:42.448
15 3 Italy Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:42.177 1:43.317
16 1 Finland Keke Rosberg Williams-Ford Cosworth 1:42.450 1:42.551
17 34 Venezuela Johnny Cecotto Theodore-Ford Cosworth 1:43.552 1:42.615
18 12 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:43.320 1:42.650
19 2 France Jacques Laffite Williams-Ford Cosworth 1:43.295 1:42.678
20 25 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Ligier-Ford Cosworth 1:42.808 1:42.737
21 29 Switzerland Marc Surer Arrows-Ford Cosworth 1:42.962 1:44.346
22 33 Colombia Roberto Guerrero Theodore-Ford Cosworth 1:43.367 1:43.602
23 31 Italy Corrado Fabi Osella-Ford Cosworth 1:45.638 1:43.411
24 4 United States Danny Sullivan Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:44.317 1:43.654
25 26 Brazil Raul Boesel Ligier-Ford Cosworth 1:44.470 1:44.905
26 30 Brazil Chico Serra Arrows-Ford Cosworth 1:44.778 1:45.859
DNQ 17 Chile Eliseo Salazar RAM-Ford Cosworth 1:45.073 2:02.335
DNQ 32 Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani Osella-Ford Cosworth 1:46.541 1:45.812
DNQ 18 France Jean-Louis Schlesser RAM-Ford Cosworth 1:45.866 1:46.102
Bold indicates a driver's fastest time.

* Andrea de Cesaris' time was disallowed.

RaceEdit

Alfa Romeo failed to have de Cesaris' time from practice reinstated (which would have seen him start from second), meaning he remained in seventh on the grid. There were no changes to the grid before the race,with the 26 cars set to battle around the Circuit Paul Ricard.

ReportEdit

From the start, Prost established a dominant lead over the pack, as Riccardo Patrese jumped Cheever, and Patrick Tambay leapt from eleventh to sixth after a poor qualifying session.[1] Elio de Angelis moved backwards from the start, falling behind Nelson Piquet, while the Williams and McLarens began their slow climb up the order.[1] By lap three, Cheever had got back to second and Piquet claimed third from his Italian team mate.[1]

Patrese and de Angelis were the first to fall by the wayside from the leading group (the three brits John Watson, Derek Warwick and Nigel Mansell had retired early on), as Piquet rushed past Cheever on the 18th lap.[1] By this stage, the attention turned to pitstops, with Prost only changing tyres and Piquet (now flying up behind the Frenchman) taking on fuel.[1] Despite this, the order remained unchanged, and the now fuel laiden Brabham began to fall away from the Renault.[1]

In the closing stages, the Williams duo of Keke Rosberg and Jacques Laffite (working together as the McLarens had done in the US a few weeks before) finally broke into the points, moving past Rene Arnoux on low fuel.[1] They would not progress any further, however, finishing fifth and sixth (the FInn ahead of the Frenchman) behind Tambay.[1] He finished well behind Cheever, who had begun to close the gap to Pqiuet (but was still some way off the Brazilian), while Prost ran away for another home victory.[1]

ResultsEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Pts
1 15 France Alain Prost Renault 54 1:34:13.913 1 9
2 5 Brazil Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW 54 +29.720 6 6
3 16 United States Eddie Cheever Renault 54 +40.232 2 4
4 27 France Patrick Tambay Ferrari 54 +1:06.880 11 3
5 1 Finland Keke Rosberg Williams-Ford Cosworth 53 +1 lap 16 2
6 2 France Jacques Laffite Williams-Ford Cosworth 53 +1 lap 19 1
7 28 FranceRené Arnoux Ferrari 53 +1 lap 4
8 3 Italy Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 53 +1 lap 15
9 25 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Ligier-Ford Cosworth 53 +1 lap 20
10 29 Switzerland Marc Surer Arrows-Ford Cosworth 53 +1 lap 21
11 34 Venezuela Johnny Cecotto Theodore-Ford Cosworth 52 +2 laps 17
12 22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Alfa Romeo 50 +4 laps 7
13 36 Italy Bruno Giacomellli* Toleman-Hart 49 Gearbox 13
Ret 26 Brazil Raul Boesel Ligier-Ford Cosworth 47 Engine 25
Ret 31 Italy Corrado Fabi Osella-Ford Cosworth 36 Engine 23
Ret 9 Germany Manfred Winkelhock ATS-BMW 36 Turbo 10
Ret 8 Austria Niki Lauda McLaren-Ford Cosworth 29 Wheel bearing 12
Ret 23 Italy Mauro Baldi Alfa Romeo 28 Spin 8
Ret 30 Brazil Chico Serra Arrows-Ford Cosworth 26 Gearbox 26
Ret 33 Colombia Roberto Guerrero Theodore-Ford Cosworth 23 Engine 22
Ret 4 United States Danny Sullivan Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 21 Clutch 24
Ret 11 Italy Elio de Angelis Lotus-Renault 20 Electrical 5
Ret 6 Italy Riccardo Patrese Brabham-BMW 19 Water leak 3
Ret 35 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart 14 Engine 9
Ret 12 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Lotus-Ford Cosworth 6 Fatigue 18
Ret 7 United Kingdom John Watson McLaren-Ford Cosworth 3 Engine 14

* Giacomelli was still classified as a finisher despite his gearbox failure.[1]

MilestonesEdit

  • First win for Alain Prost since the 1982 Brazilian Grand Prix.
    • Second home win in three years for Prost.
  • Third win a row for Renault in France.

Standings after raceEdit

1983 Drivers' World Championship
Pos. Driver Pts
1 Brazil Nelson Piquet 15
2 Austria Niki Lauda 10
3= France Alain Prost 9
3= United Kingdom John Watson 9
5 France Jacques Laffite 7

Only the top 5 drivers are displayed.

1983 Constructors' World Championship
Pos. Team Pts
1 United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 19
2 United Kingdom Brabham-BMW 15
3 France Renault 13
4= Italy Ferrari 9
4= United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 9

Only the top 5 constructors are displayed.

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 http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr376.html
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Wiki


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

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