The 1983 German Grand Prix, publicised as the XLII Großer Preis von Deutschland, was the tenth round of the 1983 Formula One World Championship, held at the Hockenheimring in West Germany. A fourth straight pole for Ferrari (going to Patrick Tambay) resulted in the sixth career victory for René Arnoux , after his team mate had fallen early on with an engine failure.
Also on the podium were Andrea de Cesaris and Riccardo Patrese, while championship leader Alain Prost extended his lead to nine points by finishing fourth. Niki Lauda finished fifth but was later disqualfied, promoting John Watson and Jacques Laffite into the points.
A three week gap between Silverstone and Hockenheim allowed many teams to test their creations. Williams handed a drive to a little known, but rising, talent named Ayrton Senna, giving the youngster a chance in a fully fledged Formula One car for the first time. Brabham were another team giving out drives, although their age pool included the rather older Stirling Moss among other potential drivers.
With no changes to the entry list, however, Germany would not witness a comeback for the British legend, although there were several rumours of changes to come. Patrick Tambay was thought to be out of favour at Ferrari, with Michele Alboreto the favourite to replace him for 1984. Arrows were also the focus of some discussion, with the era of the turbo beginning to reach the smaller teams causing some to speculate they would be fitting BMW engines in their cars the following year. At Spirit Racing, meanwhile, Honda had given permission for the team to compete in the second half of the season, despite their initial wishes to keep the development of their engine as secret as possible.
The Championship standings, on another note, saw Alain Prost bring a six point lead with him to the Geramn circuit, with Nelson Piquet and Tambay chasing him on 33 and 31 respectively. Keke Rosberg, defending World Champion, was a further six points back, but his chances of taking the title were looking thin at best, with René Arnoux slowly closing the gap to the leading Frenchman. The French were also on top in the Constructor's battle, with Renault's tally of 53 giving them a three point lead over the Italian Ferraris.
The full entry list for the 1983 German Grand Prix is shown below:
The legendary straights and fast layout of the Hockenheimring was expected, as it had been the year before, to give the turbo equipped cars an advantage, and one which was duly demonstrated in practice. It was an all Italian affair at the front, with Tambay topping Arnoux in the Ferraris, while Andrea de Cesaris set the third fastest time of the day for Alfa Romeo. Problems for Manfred Winkelhock, meanwhile, prevented him from setting a time at all in the ATS at his home race.
A wet qualifying session meant that the times from practice stood, handing Ferrari their fourth pole position in a row (and their second straight front-row lockout). De Cesaris was to start from an impressive third, with Alain Prost alongside him in fourth. Keke Rosberg was, once again, the best placed of the runners using a normally aspirated engine, while Stefan Johansson took the Spirit-Honda to thirteenth, one place behind the Finn.
Winkelhock's problems persisted into qualifying, meaning he failed to set at time (although his chances of qualifying, given the conditions, were probably non-existent), with Corrado Fabi and Kenny Acheson joining him. It was also a difficult day for John Watson, with the Brit well off the pace and starting from 23rd, although the last time the man from Northern Ireland had started there, he had won the race (that race being the 1983 United States Grand Prix West).
|Andrea de Cesaris||4|
|Elio de Angelis||12|
No changes were made to the starting order before the race, with the warm-up suggesting that the race would be a straight fight between the Ferraris.
Off the line, all was even between the scarlet cars, with Patrick Tambay holding onto the lead through the first lap. René Arnoux sat in second, but continued to threaten his team mate, while Andrea de Cesaris slotted into third. A bad start for Nelson Piquet (with temperature issues causing problems for the Brabham) saw him drop to fifth behind Alain Prost, while Roberto Guerrero's race ended before the end of the first lap after an engine failure.
Piquet was quick to recover, however, and was in third before the end of the lap, with de Cesaris now in the sights of Prost at the start of the second lap. A few laps later and the championship leader was past the Italian, before a rather more agressive manoeuver saw his team mate Eddie Cheever get past a lap later. While they were squabbling, Arnoux made a dive for the lead at the first chicane, emerging from the tight combination with the lead, Tambay dropping to second.
Arnoux was quick to build a gap to his team mate, which was helped by a developing problem for the number 27 which ultimately caused him to retire on lap 12. It was an engine failure for Tambay, with similar issues meaning he was joined by Elio de Angelis and the Spirit of Stefan Johansson in retirement on the same lap. Prost opted for an early stop at this point, hoping to close the distance to Piquet, with Arnoux stopping a few laps later.
Niki Lauda, meanwhile, showed a rare misjudgement at his stop, missing the garage by some distance. The Austrian quickly got the McLaren into reverse and into his pitbox, but this move was generally met with disqualification from the race. At the front, meanwhile, Piquet had stayed out, and his late stop meant he was closer to Arnoux than he had been before.
Piquet began to eat into Arnoux's lead, gaining steadily over ten laps. Then, with three laps to go and the Ferrari in sight, flames shot out of the back of the BMW engine, meaning the Brazilian was out of the race. It left Arnoux with a huge lead at the front with little more than 12 miles to go, with de Cesaris promoted to second and Riccardo Patrese, Piquet's team mate, now in third, the latter two having jumped Prost despite the Frenchman's early stop.
Untroubled, Arnoux swept across the line a few minutes later, taking his second victory in three races for Ferrari, with de Cesaris running out of fuel as he crossed the line for second. Patrese claimed third after a quiet afternoon (incredibly scoring points for the first time in 1983) with Prost fourth, Lauda in fifth and John Watson, from 23rd, in sixth. Lauda was, however, duly disqualified for having reversed in the pits, meaning Watson was classified in fifth, and Jacques Laffite, for Williams, was promoted to sixth.
* Piquet was still classifed despite retiring as he had completed 90% of the race distance.
Standings after raceEdit
Alain Prost extended his lead to nine points by finishing fourth, with Nelson Piquet failing to score. Patrick Tambay remained in third, although his team mate René Arnoux was the man with momentum behind him, climbing above Keke Rosberg to claim fourth, just three behind Tambay. John Watson closed in on the twenty point barrier for McLaren, but was well out of the title race on current form.
In the Constructor's championship, Ferrari overtook Renault courtesy of Arnoux's victory, now three points ahead of the Frenchmen. Brabham also moved up, with a three point swing in their favour in their battle with Williams thanks to Riccardo Patrese's podium. McLaren remained in a lonely fifth, seven points adrift of their British based rivals, and thirty behind the Italian team.
Only the top 5 drivers are displayed.
Only the top 5 constructors are displayed.
- ↑ 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/rr383.html
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_German_Grand_Prix
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP8-lIln9s8
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|German Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Nürburgring (1951–1954, 1956–1958, 1960–1969, 1970–1976, 1985, 2007–2013*), AVUS (1959), Hockenheimring (1970, 1977–1984, 1986–2006, 2007–2014*, 2016)|
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|* Nürburgring and Hockenheim alternated between each other during these years.|