1982 Belgian Grand Prix

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Belgium  1982 Belgian Grand Prix
Race details
Race 5 of 16 in the 1982 Formula One season
Circuit zolder.png
Date May 9, 1982
Official name XL Grote Prijs van Belgie
Location Circuit Zolder
Heusden-Zolder, Limburg, Belgium
Course Permanent racing facility
4.262 km (2.648 mi)
Distance 70 laps, 298.340 km (185.380 mi)
Pole position
Driver France Alain Prost Renault
Time 1:15.701
Fastest lap
Driver United Kingdom John Watson McLaren-Ford
Time 1:20.214 on lap 67
Podium
First United Kingdom John Watson McLaren-Ford
Second Finland Keke Rosberg Williams-Ford
Third United States Eddie Cheever Ligier-Matra

The 1982 Belgian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Zolder on May 9, 1982. It was the fifth round of the 1982 Formula One season.

Qualifying[edit]

Canadian driver Gilles Villeneuve was killed in an accident during the final qualifying session. At the time of the crash, his team-mate Didier Pironi had set a time 0.1s faster than Villeneuve for sixth place. Contemporary and more recent writers say that he was attempting to improve his time on his final lap. Some suggest that he was specifically aiming to beat Pironi due to bitterness at being passed by him two weeks earlier in the closing stages of San Marino, when Villeneuve believed Pironi had been ordered to remain behind him.[1][2] Villeneuve's biographer Gerald Donaldson quotes Ferrari race engineer Mauro Forghieri as saying that the Canadian, although pressing on in his usual fashion, was returning to the pits on his last set of qualifying tyres when the accident occurred.[3] If so, he would not have set a time on that lap.

With eight minutes of the session left, Villeneuve came over the rise after the first chicane and found Jochen Mass travelling much more slowly through Butte, the left-handed bend before the Terlamenbocht corner. Mass saw Villeneuve approaching at high speed and moved to the right to let him through on the racing line. At the same instant Villeneuve also moved right to pass the slower car. The Ferrari hit the back of Mass' car and was launched into the air at a speed estimated at 200–225 km/h (120–140 mph). It was airborne for over 100 m before nosediving into the ground and disintegrating as it somersaulted along the edge of the track. Villeneuve, still strapped to his seat, but without his helmet, was thrown a further 50 m from the wreckage into the catch fencing on the outside edge of the Terlamenbocht corner.[3][4]

Several drivers stopped and rushed to the scene. John Watson and Derek Warwick pulled Villeneuve, his face blue, from the catch fence.[5] The first doctor arrived on the scene within 35 seconds to find that Villeneuve was not breathing, although his pulse continued throughout; he was intubated and ventilated before being transferred to the circuit medical centre and then by helicopter to University St Raphael Hospital where a fatal fracture of the neck was diagnosed.[6] Villeneuve was kept alive on life support while his wife travelled to the hospital and the doctors consulted with specialists worldwide. He died at 9:12 that evening.[3]

The Ferrari team withdrew from the race after the accident and left the circuit. The final eight minutes of the qualifying were run after the debris from the accident had been cleaned up. No drivers improved their times, leaving the Renaults of Alain Prost and René Arnoux on the front row of the grid.[7]

Race[edit]

The race was won by Watson from Keke Rosberg and Eddie Cheever. Niki Lauda finished third on the road, but was disqualified when his car was found to be underweight in post-race scrutineering.[7]

Classification[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 7 United Kingdom John Watson McLaren-Ford 70 1:35:41.995 10 9
2 6 Finland Keke Rosberg Williams-Ford 70 + 7.268 3 6
3 25 United States Eddie Cheever Ligier-Matra 69 + 1 Lap 14 4
4 11 Italy Elio de Angelis Lotus-Ford 68 + 2 Laps 11 3
5 1 Brazil Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW 67 + 3 Laps 8 2
6 20 Brazil Chico Serra Fittipaldi-Ford 67 + 3 Laps 23 1
7 29 Switzerland Marc Surer Arrows-Ford 66 + 4 Laps 22  
8 18 Brazil Raul Boesel March-Ford 66 + 4 Laps 24  
9 26 France Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra 66 + 4 Laps 17  
DSQ 8 Austria Niki Lauda McLaren-Ford 70 Disqualified 4  
Ret 5 Republic of Ireland Derek Daly Williams-Ford 60 Spun Off 13  
Ret 17 Germany Jochen Mass March-Ford 60 Engine 25  
Ret 15 France Alain Prost Renault 59 Spun Off 1  
Ret 2 Italy Riccardo Patrese Brabham-BMW 52 Spun Off 9  
Ret 30 Italy Mauro Baldi Arrows-Ford 51 Throttle 26  
Ret 31 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Osella-Ford 37 Broken Wing 16  
Ret 22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Alfa Romeo 34 Gearbox 6  
Ret 4 United Kingdom Brian Henton Tyrrell-Ford 33 Engine 20  
Ret 3 Italy Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Ford 29 Engine 5  
Ret 35 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart 29 Transmission 19  
Ret 36 Italy Teo Fabi Toleman-Hart 13 Brakes 21  
Ret 12 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Lotus-Ford 9 Clutch 7  
Ret 16 France René Arnoux Renault 7 Turbo 2  
Ret 9 Germany Manfred Winkelhock ATS-Ford 0 Clutch 12  
Ret 23 Italy Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo 0 Collision 15  
Ret 10 Chile Eliseo Salazar ATS-Ford 0 Collision 18  
DNS 28 France Didier Pironi Ferrari   Withdrew  
DNS 27 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari   Fatal accident  
DNQ 14 Colombia Roberto Guerrero Ensign-Ford    
DNQ 33 Netherlands Jan Lammers Theodore-Ford    
DNPQ 32 Italy Riccardo Paletti Osella-Ford    
DNPQ 19 Spain Emilio de Villota March-Ford        

Notes[edit]

  • Didier Pironi and the whole Ferrari team withdrew and did not compete in the race. Pironi would be the only Ferrari driver to take part in the subsequent Monaco, Detroit (USA) and Canada rounds.
  • This race marked the first and only points finish for Chico Serra.

Standings after the race[edit]

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

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ 06:44 GMT (2012-07-04). "BBC Sport - Formula 1's greatest drivers. Number 12: Gilles Villeneuve". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-21. 
  2. ^ Bamsey (1983) p.50, Lang (1992) pp.96–97, Watkins (1997) p.98 and Fearnley (May, 2007) all write that Villeneuve was attempting to beat Pironi. Jenkinson (June 1982) writes only that he "was in the middle of a last desperate bid to improve his grid position."
  3. ^ a b c Donaldson (2003) pp.296–298
  4. ^ Lang (1992) p.97
  5. ^ Fearnley (May, 2007)
  6. ^ Watkins (1997) pp.96–98
  7. ^ a b Lang (1992) pp.95 99

References[edit]

Books
  • Bamsey, Ian (1983). Automobile Sport 82-83. City: Haynes Manuals. ISBN 0-946321-01-9. 
  • Donaldson, Gerald (2003). Gilles Villeneuve. London: Virgin. ISBN 0-7535-0747-1. 
  • Lang, Mike (1992). Grand Prix! vol.4. Sparkford: Foulis. ISBN 0-85429-733-2. 
  • Roebuck, Nigel (1986). Grand Prix Greats. Cambridge: P. Stephens. ISBN 0-85059-792-7. 
  • Roebuck, Nigel (1999). Chasing the Title. City: Haynes Publications. ISBN 1-85960-604-0. 
  • Watkins, Sid (1997). Life at the Limit: Triumph and Tragedy in Formula One. City: Pan Books. ISBN 0-330-35139-7. 
Magazines
  • Fearnley, Paul (May 2007). "It's war. Absolutely war". Motor Sport (Haymarket). pp. 52–61. 

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


Previous race:
1982 San Marino Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1982 season
Next race:
1982 Monaco Grand Prix
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1981 Belgian Grand Prix
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1983 Belgian Grand Prix