1978 South African Grand Prix
|Race 3 of 16 in the 1978 Formula One season|
|Date||4 March 1978|
Gauteng, South Africa
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
|Course length||4.104 km (2.550 mi)|
|Distance||78 laps, 320.112 km (198.908 mi)|
|Time||1:17.09 on lap 2|
The 1978 South African Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 4 March 1978 at Kyalami. It was the third round of the 1978 Formula One season and the 300th World Championship Grand Prix held since the championship began in 1950. This was the debut race of the future world champion Keke Rosberg.
Ronnie Peterson, in the Lotus 78 with its Colin Chapman-inspired ground effect aerodynamics, battled Patrick Depailler in his Tyrrell on the last lap to take a dramatic victory. John Watson finished third for Brabham. Young Italian, Riccardo Patrese got his Arrows into the lead before retiring with a blown engine. Pole sitter and reigning world champion Niki Lauda, in his first season with Brabham, retired with engine failure and the Ferraris of Carlos Reutemann and Gilles Villeneuve exited on lap 55. James Hunt, who had qualified third on the grid in his McLaren M26, only lasted five laps whilst his new team mate Patrick Tambay, who qualified fourth, crashed out mid race.
- Lap Leaders: Mario Andretti 20 laps (1-20); Jody Scheckter 6 laps (21-26); Riccardo Patrese 37 laps (27-63); Patrick Depailler 14 laps (64-77); Ronnie Peterson 1 lap (78).
- Last Pole: Niki Lauda
Championship standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
1978 Brazilian Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1978 United States Grand Prix West
1977 South African Grand Prix
|South African Grand Prix||Next race:
1979 South African Grand Prix