1978 Austrian Grand Prix

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1978 Austrian Grand Prix
Race 12 of 16 in the 1978 Formula One season
Österreichring 1977-1987.svg
Race details
Date August 13, 1978
Location Österreichring
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 5.941 km (3.692 mi)
Distance 54 laps, 320.814 km (199.368 mi)
Weather Wet
Pole position
Driver Lotus-Ford
Time 1:37.71
Fastest lap
Driver Sweden Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford
Time 1:43.12
First Lotus-Ford
Second Tyrrell-Ford
Third Ferrari

The 1978 Austrian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 13 August 1978 at Österreichring.


The crowds for the Austrian GP were full of Niki Lauda fans; but however for them Lauda qualified only 12th as the Lotus cars again took the front row, with Ronnie Peterson on pole. The surprise in qualifying was Jean-Pierre Jabouille who qualified his turbocharged Renault third. The start saw Peterson lead into the first corner, with Carlos Reutemann snatching second from Mario Andretti. Andretti tried to get the place back later in the lap, but the two collided and Andretti retired after his car spun into the barriers while Reutemann lost a couple of places to Patrick Depailler and Jody Scheckter. On the fourth lap, a heavy rainshower hit the track and Reutemann spun off and was beached but the marshals push-started his car as it was in a dangerous position, while Scheckter crashed out, and the race was stopped.

The race restarted after the rain relented, and once again Peterson led followed by Depailler and Lauda. As the track began to dry, Peterson started to pull away, and behind, Reutemann was on a charge and passed Lauda for third but he was black-flagged for receiving outside assistance, and Lauda crashed out soon after, leaving Gilles Villeneuve third. The drivers changed to slicks but the top 3 remained the same and stayed so till the end; Peterson winning ahead of Depailler, with Villeneuve taking his first ever podium.


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 6 Sweden Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford 54 1:41:21.57 1 9
2 4 France Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Ford 54 +47.44 secs 13 6
3 12 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari 54 +1:39.76 11 4
4 14 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Fittipaldi-Ford 53 +1 Lap 6 3
5 26 France Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra 53 +1 Lap 5 2
6 19 Italy Vittorio Brambilla Surtees-Ford 53 +1 Lap 21 1
7 2 United Kingdom John Watson Brabham-Alfa Romeo 53 +1 lap 10
8 30 United States Brett Lunger McLaren-Ford 52 +2 Laps 17
9 31 France René Arnoux Martini-Ford 52 +2 Laps 26
NC 17 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Shadow-Ford 50 +4 Laps 22
NC 32 Finland Keke Rosberg Wolf-Ford 49 +5 Laps 25
DSQ 22 Republic of Ireland Derek Daly Ensign-Ford 41 Push start 19
Ret 8 France Patrick Tambay McLaren-Ford 40 Accident 14
Ret 16 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck Shadow-Ford 33 Accident 23
Ret 15 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault 31 Gearbox 3
DSQ 11 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Ferrari 28 Push start 4
Ret 1 Austria Niki Lauda Brabham-Alfa Romeo 27 Accident 12
Ret 3 France Didier Pironi Tyrrell-Ford 20 Accident 9
Ret 7 United Kingdom James Hunt McLaren-Ford 7 Accident 8
Ret 27 Australia Alan Jones Williams-Ford 7 Accident 15
Ret 35 Italy Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Ford 7 Accident 16
Ret 23 Austria Harald Ertl Ensign-Ford 7 Accident 24
Ret 25 Mexico Héctor Rebaque Lotus-Ford 4 Accident 18
Ret 29 Brazil Nelson Piquet McLaren-Ford 4 Accident 20
Ret 20 South Africa Jody Scheckter Wolf-Ford 3 Accident 7
Ret 5 United States Mario Andretti Lotus-Ford 0 Accident 2
DNQ 37 Italy Arturo Merzario Merzario-Ford
DNQ 9 West Germany Jochen Mass ATS-Ford
DNQ 18 United Kingdom Rupert Keegan Surtees-Ford
DNQ 10 Austria Hans Binder ATS-Ford
DNPQ 36 West Germany Rolf Stommelen Arrows-Ford
PO 18 United Kingdom Brian Henton Surtees-Ford Keegan's car


  • Lap leaders: Ronnie Peterson 44 laps (1–18, 29–54); Carlos Reutemann 4 laps (19–22); Gilles Villeneuve 6 laps (23–28).
  • This race was the tenth and last F1 victory for Ronnie Peterson, and as of the 2019 Italian Grand Prix, the last for a Swedish driver.
  • Gilles Villeneuve finished on the podium for the first time in F1
  • Lotus won the Constructor's Championship with four races left.
  • Of the 26 starters, 8 drivers had been, or would go on to be world champion. Also, of the 26 starters, 21 drivers had won, or would win a Grand Prix.

Championship standings after the race[edit]

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


  1. ^ "1978 Austrian Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Austria 1978 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 7 March 2019.

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1978 German Grand Prix
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