1984 South African Grand Prix
|Race 2 of 16 in the 1984 Formula One season|
|Date||7 April 1984|
|Official name||XVIII National Panasonic Grand Prix of South Africa|
Transvaal Province, South Africa
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
|Course length||4.104 km (2.55 mi)|
|Distance||75 laps, 308.8 km (191.248 mi)|
|Time||1:08.877 on lap 64|
The 1984 South African Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Kyalami on 7 April 1984. The race, contested over 75 laps, was the second race of the 1984 Formula One season and was won by Niki Lauda, driving a McLaren-TAG, with team-mate Alain Prost second and Derek Warwick third in a Renault.
Nelson Piquet confirmed what most already knew, that the combination of himself and the Gordon Murray designed Brabham-BMW was the fastest when he took pole position. On the long front straight, the Brabhams were easily the fastest clocking 325 km/h (202 mph), compared to the 2nd placed Williams-Honda of Keke Rosberg who topped out at just 310 km/h (193 mph) and the McLarens at 305 km/h (190 mph). The top 5 drivers on the grid were covered by less than half a second.
Ferrari were in trouble during qualifying. Both Michele Alboreto and René Arnoux were forced to run a lot of wing on their cars due to a lack of grip and aerodynamics that saw the 126C4's want to lift at high speed. The amount of wing they were forced to run just to keep the scarlet cars on the road limited them to just 300 km/h (186 mph) on the straights.
In the Sunday morning warm-up session Piercarlo Ghinzani, who had qualified 20th in his Osella, crashed heavily at the fast left-hand Jukskei Sweep, the car bursting into flames. Ghinzani escaped with minor burns on his hands, and subsequently withdrew from the race.
Ghinzani's crash actually helped McLaren. Just before the crash, Niki Lauda suffered ignition failure in his McLaren's TAG-Porsche engine. The extra time it took for the Osella to be removed and the track cleaned saw to it that McLaren were able to fix Lauda's problem. This was a lucky break for team mate Alain Prost who's car suffered fuel pump failure on the warm up lap. With Lauda able to drive his own car, that gave Prost the spare for the race which he started from pit lane. Had there not been extra time to fix his car, Lauda would have raced the spare MP4/2 and Prost would have been a spectator.
Rosberg won the start while Piquet almost stalled on the grid for the second race in a row and was passed by about 6 cars, though such was the speed of the Brabham that by the time they got to Crowthorne Corner (turn 1) he was back in second place. It mattered little though as both Piquet and team mate Teo Fabi would suffer turbo failure in what would become a recurring nightmare for Brabham in the first half of the season.
From there, Lauda controlled the race and went on to win easily, with Prost over a minute behind in second and the only other driver on the lead lap. Derek Warwick gained his first Formula One podium by finishing third in his Renault, while completing the top six were Riccardo Patrese (Alfa Romeo), Andrea de Cesaris (Ligier-Renault) and, gaining his first ever World Championship point, Ayrton Senna in his Toleman-Hart.
|7||11||Elio de Angelis||Lotus-Renault||1:05.953||+1.082|
|14||26||Andrea de Cesaris||Ligier-Renault||1:07.245||+2.374|
|16||23||Eddie Cheever||Alfa Romeo||1:07.704||+2.833|
|18||22||Riccardo Patrese||Alfa Romeo||1:08.042||+3.171|
|DNS||24||Piercarlo Ghinzani||Osella-Alfa Romeo||1:09.609||+4.738|
|2||7||Alain Prost||McLaren-TAG||75||+ 1:05.950||5||6|
|3||16||Derek Warwick||Renault||74||+ 1 Lap||9||4|
|4||22||Riccardo Patrese||Alfa Romeo||73||+ 2 Laps||18||3|
|5||26||Andrea de Cesaris||Ligier-Renault||73||+ 2 Laps||14||2|
|6||19||Ayrton Senna||Toleman-Hart||72||+ 3 Laps||13||1|
|7||11||Elio de Angelis||Lotus-Renault||71||+ 4 Laps||7|
|8||21||Mauro Baldi||Spirit-Hart||71||+ 4 Laps||20|
|9||17||Marc Surer||Arrows-Ford||71||+ 4 Laps||23|
|10||25||François Hesnault||Ligier-Renault||71||+ 4 Laps||17|
|12||18||Thierry Boutsen||Arrows-Ford||70||+ 5 Laps||26|
|Ret||15||Patrick Tambay||Renault||66||Out of Fuel||4|
|Ret||23||Eddie Cheever||Alfa Romeo||4||Radiator||16|
|DNS||24||Piercarlo Ghinzani||Osella-Alfa Romeo||Accident in practice|
Championship standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. Points accurate at final declaration of results. Tyrrell and its drivers were subsequently disqualified and their points reallocated.
1984 Brazilian Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1984 Belgian Grand Prix
1983 South African Grand Prix
|South African Grand Prix||Next race:
1985 South African Grand Prix