1981 Canadian Grand Prix

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Canada  1981 Canadian Grand Prix
Race details
Race 14 of 15 in the 1981 Formula One season
Montreal 1979.jpg
Date September 27, 1981
Official name XXI Grand Prix du Canada
Location Circuit Île Notre-Dame, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Course Temporary Street Circuit
4.410 km (2.740 mi)
Distance 63 laps, 277.83 km (172.62 mi)
Weather Wet and cold with temperatures up to 20 °C (68 °F); wind speeds up to 15 kilometres per hour (9.3 mph)[1]
Pole position
Driver Brazil Nelson Piquet Brabham-Ford
Time 1:29.211
Fastest lap
Driver United Kingdom John Watson McLaren-Ford
Time 1:49.475 on lap 43
Podium
First France Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra
Second United Kingdom John Watson McLaren-Ford
Third Canada Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari

The 1981 Canadian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on September 27, 1981, at Montreal. Jacques Laffite won the race driving for Ligier. It would prove to be Ligier's last race win for fifteen years, until the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix. Williams clinched the 1981 Constructors' Championship with one race left, as the two points scored by the Brabham team were not sufficient to allow them to catch Williams in the final race. This was also the last time the Canadian Grand Prix was held at the near-end of the season.

Pre-race[edit]

Prior to the race, Alan Jones announced that he was retiring from the sport after clinching the title the previous year. Rumors were also spreading around in paddock that Niki Lauda had tested for McLaren at Donington Park and that he was planning a comeback.

Qualifying[edit]

Nelson Piquet clinched pole with a time of 1:29.221, with rival Carlos Reutemann alongside him on the front row. The top ten were completed by: Jones, Prost, Mansell, Rebaque, de Angelis, Arnoux, Watson and Laffite respectively.

Race[edit]

The race start was marred with bad weather. Immediately after the start, Jones took the lead after a minor collision with Reutemann which left Reutemann behind. Toward the middle of the pack, Arnoux and Pironi had a collision with resulted in Arnoux spinning out of the race. On lap 7, Jones spun and Piquet had to take evasive action, resulting in both drivers dropping down the pecking order. Prost took the lead with Laffite, who had climbed from tenth, second. Prost's lead did not last long, as Laffite overtook him on lap 13, and kept the lead to the end of the race. Villeneuve had a minor accident which damaged his front wing to the point it flew off the car: yet he managed to keep control until the end of the race, without a front wing and under the rain. Prost was eventually overtaken by Villeneuve and Watson, before retiring with an accident on lap 48. Watson was able to catch and pass Villeneuve a few laps later and the two finished second and third respectively, with Villeneuve clinching his third and last podium of the year on home soil. Bruno Giacomelli of Alfa Romeo, who had started fifteenth, came home fourth, with pole-man Piquet coming in behind him.

Classification[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 5 Brazil Nelson Piquet Brabham-Ford 1:29.211 -
2 2 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Williams-Ford 1:29.359 +0.148
3 1 Australia Alan Jones Williams-Ford 1:29.728 +0.517
4 15 France Alain Prost Renault 1:29.908 +0.697
5 12 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Lotus-Ford 1:29.997 +0.786
6 6 Mexico Hector Rebaque Brabham-Ford 1:30.182 +0.971
7 11 Italy Elio de Angelis Lotus-Ford 1:30.231 +1.020
8 16 France René Arnoux Renault 1:30.232 +1.021
9 7 United Kingdom John Watson McLaren-Ford 1:30.566 +1.355
10 26 France Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra 1:30.705 +1.494
11 27 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari 1:31.115 +1.904
12 28 France Didier Pironi Ferrari 1:31.350 +2.139
13 8 Italy Andrea de Cesaris McLaren-Ford 1:31.507 +2.296
14 3 United States Eddie Cheever Tyrrell-Ford 1:31.547 +2.336
15 23 Italy Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo 1:31.600 +2.389
16 22 United States Mario Andretti Alfa Romeo 1:31.740 +2.529
17 25 France Patrick Tambay Ligier-Matra 1:31.747 +2.536
18 29 Italy Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Ford 1:31.969 +2.758
19 33 Switzerland Marc Surer Theodore-Ford 1:32.253 +3.042
20 17 Republic of Ireland Derek Daly March-Ford 1:32.305 +3.094
21 9 Sweden Slim Borgudd ATS-Ford 1:32.652 +3.441
22 4 Italy Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Ford 1:32.709 +3.498
23 32 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Osella-Ford 1:33.432 +4.221
24 14 Chile Eliseo Salazar Ensign-Ford 1:33.848 +4.637
DNQ 20 Finland Keke Rosberg Fittipaldi-Ford 1:34.310 +5.099
DNQ 21 Brazil Chico Serra Fittipaldi-Ford 1:36.546 +7.335
DNQ 35 United Kingdom Brian Henton Toleman-Hart 1:36.648 +7.437
DNQ 30 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Arrows-Ford 1:36.729 +7.518
DNQ 36 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart 1:36.999 +7.788
DNQ 31 Italy Beppe Gabbiani Osella-Ford 1:37.493 +8.282

Race[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 26 France Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra 63 2:01:25.20 10 9
2 7 United Kingdom John Watson McLaren-Ford 63 + 6.23 9 6
3 27 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari 63 + 1:50.27 11 4
4 23 Italy Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo 62 + 1 Lap 15 3
5 5 Brazil Nelson Piquet Brabham-Ford 62 + 1 Lap 1 2
6 11 Italy Elio de Angelis Lotus-Ford 62 + 1 Lap 7 1
7 22 United States Mario Andretti Alfa Romeo 62 + 1 Lap 16  
8 17 Republic of Ireland Derek Daly March-Ford 61 + 2 Laps 20  
9 33 Switzerland Marc Surer Theodore-Ford 61 + 2 Laps 19  
10 2 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Williams-Ford 60 + 3 Laps 2  
11 4 Italy Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Ford 59 + 4 Laps 22  
12 3 United States Eddie Cheever Tyrrell-Ford 56 Engine 14  
Ret 8 Italy Andrea de Cesaris McLaren-Ford 51 Spun Off 13  
Ret 15 France Alain Prost Renault 48 Collision 4  
Ret 12 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Lotus-Ford 45 Collision 5  
Ret 9 Sweden Slim Borgudd ATS-Ford 40 Spun Off 21  
Ret 6 Mexico Hector Rebaque Brabham-Ford 35 Spun Off 6  
Ret 32 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Osella-Ford 26 Collision 23  
Ret 1 Australia Alan Jones Williams-Ford 24 Handling 3  
Ret 28 France Didier Pironi Ferrari 24 Ignition 12  
Ret 14 Chile Eliseo Salazar Ensign-Ford 8 Spun Off 24  
Ret 25 France Patrick Tambay Ligier-Matra 6 Spun Off 17  
Ret 29 Italy Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Ford 6 Spun Off 18  
Ret 16 France René Arnoux Renault 0 Collision 8  
DNQ 20 Finland Keke Rosberg Fittipaldi-Ford    
DNQ 21 Brazil Chico Serra Fittipaldi-Ford    
DNQ 35 United Kingdom Brian Henton Toleman-Hart    
DNQ 30 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Arrows-Ford    
DNQ 36 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart    
DNQ 31 Italy Beppe Gabbiani Osella-Ford        

Standings after the race[edit]

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Weather information for the "1981 Canadian Grand Prix"". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2014-09-08. 

Unless otherwise indicated, all race results are taken from "The Official Formula 1 website". Retrieved 2007-06-16. 


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1981 Italian Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
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