1977 Japanese Grand Prix
|Race 17 of 17 in the 1977 Formula One season|
|Date||23 October 1977|
Oyama, Shizuoka, Japan
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
|Course length||4.359 km (2.709 mi)|
|Distance||73 laps, 318.207 km (197.757 mi)|
|Time||1:14.30 on lap 71|
The 1977 Japanese Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 23 October 1977 at Fuji. At the time, this was the last Japanese Grand Prix due to traveling and financial issues, and safety concerns with the Fuji circuit. The race would return in 1987, held at the better spectated and safer Suzuka Circuit.
Mario Andretti and James Hunt continued their late-season battle, with the American pipping Hunt to the pole, with John Watson heading the second row. Hunt took the lead at the start, and Jody Scheckter and Jochen Mass jumped up to second and third, whereas Andretti had a terrible start and was at the tail of the top ten. On the second lap, Andretti was involved in a collision while trying to gain places, putting him out. With Andretti out, Hunt had no challengers left and he built a large gap, with teammate Mass second and Watson passing Scheckter for third. However, both Mass and Watson had to retire within one lap of each other with engine and gearbox failures, and with Scheckter dropping back, Carlos Reutemann was second until he was passed by Jacques Laffite. Hunt went on and capped off the season with a comfortable win, whereas Laffite ran of fuel on the last lap, handing over second to Reutemann and allowing Patrick Depailler to complete the podium.
A marshal and photographer were killed by debris following a collision involving Gilles Villeneuve's Ferrari and Ronnie Peterson's Tyrrell P34 on lap five. They had both been standing in a prohibited area of the track when the accident occurred.
After the race concluded, both Hunt and Reutemann left the circuit immediately to catch a flight home, leaving Depailler and his engineer on the podium. Rules changed shortly thereafter making the podium celebration mandatory.
|2||12||Carlos Reutemann||Ferrari||73||+ 1:02.45||7||6|
|3||4||Patrick Depailler||Tyrrell-Ford||73||+ 1:06.39||15||4|
|4||17||Alan Jones||Shadow-Ford||73||+ 1:06.61||12||3|
|5||26||Jacques Laffite||Ligier-Matra||72||Out of Fuel||5||2|
|6||16||Riccardo Patrese||Shadow-Ford||72||+ 1 Lap||13||1|
|7||8||Hans-Joachim Stuck||Brabham-Alfa Romeo||72||+ 1 Lap||4|
|8||19||Vittorio Brambilla||Surtees-Ford||71||+ 2 Laps||9|
|9||50||Kunimitsu Takahashi||Tyrrell-Ford||71||+ 2 Laps||22|
|10||20||Jody Scheckter||Wolf-Ford||71||+ 2 Laps||6|
|11||52||Kazuyoshi Hoshino||Kojima-Ford||71||+ 2 Laps||11|
|12||9||Alex Ribeiro||March-Ford||69||+ 4 Laps||23|
|Ret||7||John Watson||Brabham-Alfa Romeo||29||Gearbox||3|
- Lap leaders: James Hunt 73 laps (1–73).
- This race was the tenth and final win for James Hunt.
- This race was the final race of Gunnar Nilsson's career, before his death from cancer in 1978.
- First point for Riccardo Patrese.
- This was the last Formula One World Championship race to feature a car that used Dunlop tyres, namely Kunimitsu Takahashi's privately-entered Tyrrell.
- Team Lotus used a special red livery for this race, promoting parent company Imperial Tobacco instead of usual sponsor John Player Special.
Championship standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. Only the best 8 results from the first 9 races and the best 7 results from the remaining 8 races were retained. Numbers without parentheses are retained points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.
1977 Canadian Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1978 Argentine Grand Prix
1976 Japanese Grand Prix
|Japanese Grand Prix||Next race:
1987 Japanese Grand Prix