1982 United States Grand Prix West

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United States  1982 United States Grand Prix West
Race details
Race 3 of 16 in the 1982 Formula One season
Long Beach 1982.jpg
Date April 4, 1982
Official name 7th Toyota United States Grand Prix West
Location Long Beach, California
Course Temporary street course
3.428 km (2.13 mi)
Distance 75.5 laps, 258.815 km (160.82 mi)
Weather Clear, warm
Pole position
Driver Italy Andrea de Cesaris Alfa Romeo
Time 1:27.316
Fastest lap
Driver Austria Niki Lauda McLaren-Ford
Time 1:30.831 on lap 12
Podium
First Austria Niki Lauda McLaren-Ford
Second Finland Keke Rosberg Williams-Ford
Third Italy Riccardo Patrese Brabham-Ford

The 1982 United States Grand Prix West was a Formula One race held on April 4, 1982 at the temporary street circuit at Long Beach, California.

Summary[edit]

In his third race since returning from a self-imposed two-year "retirement," Austrian Niki Lauda won the seventh United States Grand Prix West at Long Beach, ahead of Keke Rosberg. It was the 18th victory of Lauda's career, and his first for McLaren. Canada's Gilles Villeneuve crossed the line in third, but he was disqualified after the race when a protest of his Ferrari's rear wing was upheld by the officials.

Just five days after the previous race in Brazil, Carlos Reutemann had shocked his boss Frank Williams, and everyone else in the paddock, by announcing his retirement! When former World Champion (for Williams) Alan Jones insisted he was not available, Williams contacted another former Champion, American Mario Andretti. His commitment to the Patrick Indy racing team posed no conflicts, so he agreed to drive the second Williams for the weekend, saying, "I had nothing else to do, so I accepted."

Significant changes had been made to the course since the previous year's race. The Queen's Hairpin at the end of Shoreline Drive had been transformed into a right-angle turn that led into a new section of track with several demanding corners, leading up to Ocean Boulevard. On the other end of the course, the short straight at the bottom of the hill from Linden Avenue had been lengthened and a chicane had been inserted near the beginning of the curving Shoreline Drive "straight," in anticipation of the pits being moved there from Ocean Boulevard. The changes increased the length of the lap only slightly, but added about ten seconds to the previous year's times as the drivers became acclimated to the new layout.

In Saturday's qualifying, the cars running on Michelin tires had a decided advantage over the Goodyear teams, though the Michelin men had all learned from Lauda's times on Friday that their harder race tires were faster than the qualifiers. Seeing this development, Lauda intentionally used only one set and kept a brand new set for Sunday's race. Lauda topped the charts through almost the entire session, but, after crashing into a wall early on, Andrea de Cesaris threw his Alfa Romeo around in 1:27.316 to beat Lauda's time by .012 of a second, three minutes before the session ended! It was the Italian's first pole position (his only pole in 208 career starts), and he was ecstatic. Lauda, meanwhile, knew he had a fresh set of rubber for the race, while de Cesaris did not. Defending World Champion Nelson Piquet was the fastest Goodyear runner, in sixth position on the grid. The two American drivers were together in Row 7 as Eddie Cheever recovered from an early collision with the wall to put his Talbot Ligier in the thirteenth spot, while Andretti was still getting used to the Williams and ended up alongside Cheever in fourteenth.

Sunday was clear, warm and gorgeous with a crowd of 82,000. As the cars formed on the grid for the start, Lotus driver Elio de Angelis lined up on the wrong side (he claimed he was waved into the wrong place). He quickly backed out of the spot, bumping his teammate Nigel Mansell behind him. When Mansell put his car into reverse, thinking that de Angelis was coming back further, the green light came on! As a result, Mansell claims to be the only driver to have started a race in reverse! Everyone got away cleanly, though Mansell naturally found himself near the back of the field. At the front, de Cesaris made an excellent start, jumping into the lead ahead of Lauda and René Arnoux.

At the end of the first lap, de Cesaris led by two seconds, followed by Arnoux, Lauda, Bruno Giacomelli, Villeneuve, Alain Prost, Didier Pironi, Rosberg, Piquet, Michele Alboreto, John Watson, Cheever and Andretti. On lap six, with the Italian beginning to stretch his lead slightly, his Alfa Romeo teammate Giacomelli closed up on Lauda, who was right behind Arnoux. As the three cars approached the hairpin, Giacomelli made a run down the inside of Lauda, locked up his brakes and slid into the back of Arnoux's Renault. Both cars were out, and de Cesaris now led Lauda by 5.7 seconds, with Villeneuve in third.

Lauda now began to cut into de Cesaris' lead, setting the race's fastest lap in the process. On lap 15, de Cesaris was held up by Raul Boesel's March in the chicane entering Shoreline Drive as he came up to lap him. This gave Lauda the momentum he needed to sweep by into the lead at the end of the straight, and the Austrian immediately began to pull away.

At the same time, Rosberg and Villeneuve were in the middle of a smashing battle over fourth place, behind John Watson. Over several laps, Rosberg closed the gap to Villeneuve until, on lap 19, he was right on the Ferrari's tail. On the next lap, the Williams edged briefly ahead between the hairpin and the new chicane, but the Ferrari's horsepower advantage allowed Villeneuve to retake the position down the Shoreline Drive straight. Rosberg repeated his pass in the same spot on the following lap, and this time was able to fight off Villeneuve's attempt to outbrake him into the right-hander at the end of the straight. Villeneuve, in fact, overshot the corner and slid up the escape road. Piquet was just about to slip by when Villeneuve jumped back on the track in front of him and salvaged his hold on fifth place.

Meanwhile, Andretti had advanced from fourteenth on the grid to ninth in the second Williams, with a best lap faster than teammate Rosberg's. On lap 19, however, he lost it in the "marbles" of tire rubber that were collecting off-line and damaged his suspension against the wall in Turn 4. Rosberg continued, his eyes now on Watson's McLaren. Watson had jumped from eleventh on the grid to third in just eight laps, taking advantage of the softer Michelin tire compound he had chosen. For six laps, the two cars were nose to tail, until Watson had to give way on lap 27 as his softer tires went off. Rosberg quickly pulled away and Watson stopped for new rubber just two laps later.

At the front, Lauda suddenly increased his lead over de Cesaris from five seconds to 10 around lap 30, when the Alfa developed brake trouble. Apparently content now with second place, but possibly distracted by smoke from an engine fire, the Italian lost concentration and shockingly flew off the road into the Turn Five wall on lap 34, ripping off two wheels and the left sidepod. This left Lauda almost a full minute ahead of Rosberg, with only Villeneuve, Alboreto and Cheever also on the lead lap.

After a tire stop, Cheever retired from a fine drive in the Talbot Ligier with gearbox failure. On lap 59, Riccardo Patrese took fourth from Alboreto, who was struggling with damage from a battle with Villeneuve. This became third in the books when the stewards accepted Tyrrell's protest of Ferrari's staggered, two-part rear wing, aimed at circumventing the 110 cm limit on its width, and Villeneuve was disqualified.

Lauda came home nearly 15 seconds ahead for his second win in the United States, along with the 1975 Watkins Glen race, and Rosberg secured a fine second place. For the only time, this would be one of three American races in the same season, with the inaugural Detroit race and the Championship clincher in Las Vegas still to come.

Classification[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 8 Austria Niki Lauda McLaren-Ford 75 1:58:25.318 2 9
2 6 Finland Keke Rosberg Williams-Ford 75 + 14.660 8 6
3 2 Italy Riccardo Patrese Brabham-Ford 75 + 1:19.143 18 4
4 3 Italy Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Ford 75 + 1:20.947 12 3
5 11 Italy Elio de Angelis Lotus-Ford 74 + 1 Lap 16 2
6 7 United Kingdom John Watson McLaren-Ford 74 + 1 Lap 11 1
7 12 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Lotus-Ford 73 + 2 Laps 17  
8 17 West Germany Jochen Mass March-Ford 73 + 2 Laps 21  
9 18 Brazil Raul Boesel March-Ford 70 + 5 Laps 23  
10 4 Sweden Slim Borgudd Tyrrell-Ford 68 + 7 Laps 24  
DSQ 27 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari 75 Illegal Rear Wing 7  
Ret 25 United States Eddie Cheever Ligier-Matra 59 Gearbox 13  
Ret 22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Alfa Romeo 33 Spun Off 1  
Ret 29 United Kingdom Brian Henton Arrows-Ford 32 Spun Off 20  
Ret 14 Colombia Roberto Guerrero Ensign-Ford 27 Spun Off 19  
Ret 26 France Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra 26 Spun Off 15  
Ret 31 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Osella-Ford 26 Transmission 10  
Ret 1 Brazil Nelson Piquet Brabham-Ford 25 Spun Off 6  
Ret 33 Republic of Ireland Derek Daly Theodore-Ford 23 Spun Off 22  
Ret 5 United States Mario Andretti Williams-Ford 19 Collision 14  
Ret 15 France Alain Prost Renault 10 Spun Off 4  
Ret 28 France Didier Pironi Ferrari 6 Spun Off 9  
Ret 16 France René Arnoux Renault 5 Collision 3  
Ret 23 Italy Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo 5 Collision 5  
Ret 10 Chile Eliseo Salazar ATS-Ford 3 Collision 26  
Ret 9 West Germany Manfred Winkelhock ATS-Ford 1 Collision 25  
DNQ 36 Italy Teo Fabi Toleman-Hart      
DNQ 32 Italy Riccardo Paletti Osella-Ford      
DNQ 20 Brazil Chico Serra Fittipaldi-Ford      
DNQ 30 Italy Mauro Baldi Arrows-Ford      
DNPQ 35 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart      

Standings after the race[edit]

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

References[edit]

  • Rob Walker (July, 1982). "7th United States Grand Prix West: Three Is A Charm". Road & Track, 96-100.
  • Mike S. Lang (1992). Grand Prix!: Race-by-race account of Formula 1 World Championship motor racing. Volume 4: 1981 to 1984. Haynes Publishing Group. ISBN 0-85429-733-2


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1982 Brazilian Grand Prix
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