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The 1978 Swedish Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 17 June 1978 at the Scandinavian Raceway. It was the eighth race of the 1978 World Championship of F1 Drivers and the 1978 International Cup for F1 Constructors.

1978 Swedish Grand Prix
Race 8 of 16 in the 1978 Formula One season
Scandinavian Raceway 1978.svg
Race details
Date 17 June 1978
Official name IX Swedish Grand Prix
Location Scandinavian Raceway, Anderstorp, Sweden
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 4.031[1] km (2.505 mi)
Distance 70 laps, 282.170 km (175.332 mi)
Weather Sunny and warm
Pole position
Driver Lotus-Ford
Time 1:22.058
Fastest lap
Driver Austria Niki Lauda Brabham-Alfa Romeo
Time 1:24.836 on lap 5[1]
Podium
First Brabham-Alfa Romeo
Second Arrows-Ford
Third Lotus-Ford
The Brabham BT46B "fan car" at the 2001 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The 70-lap race was the only race to feature the Brabham BT46B "fan car", with which Niki Lauda took a commanding victory. Riccardo Patrese finished second in an Arrows, with Ronnie Peterson third in a Lotus.

Contents

Race summaryEdit

Responsible for the Brabham win was clever thinking by Brabham's Gordon Murray, who was trying to eclipse Colin Chapman's ground effect invention on the Lotus 79, the skirted car that had swept the front row since its debut at Zolder. Center of the new Brabham BT46B concept was a large fan which drew air through the engine water radiator which was mounted horizontally over the engine. The fan also took ground effect to a higher level (at least engineering-wise) by sucking air from under the car, creating a partial vacuum and creating an enormous amount of downforce. The car appeared to contravene a rule which stated that moving aerodynamic devices were not allowed, but Brabham argued that the rules had been worded to ban devices whose primary function was aerodynamic. As the fan also cooled the engine, Brabham claimed that this, not aerodynamics, was its primary function.

Its legality was soon protested, but it was allowed to race, John Watson and Niki Lauda qualifying 2nd and 3rd behind the Lotus 79 of Mario Andretti (the two drivers did this as to not draw attention to the remarkable advantage that the fan would provide, qualifying on full tanks and in the words of Lauda 'doing our best to avoid pole').[citation needed]

At the start Andretti retained the first place, while Lauda got ahead of Watson; on the second lap he was passed by a fast Riccardo Patrese in the Arrows, and on the third he was passed by the other Lotus of Ronnie Peterson too; the Swede also passed Patrese, but had later to back off due to a tyre puncture. The order then remained the same until lap 20, when Watson was forced to retire by a throttle problem.

At the front, Lauda and Andretti were battling for first place, until the American made an error and was forced to let the Austrian through, and eventually dropped out due to a broken valve on his engine. Once a back-marker dropped oil onto the track, the Brabham was in a race of its own, seemingly unaffected by the slippery surface. In Lauda's biography, To Hell And Back, he wrote that whilst other cars had to reduce speed to drive carefully over the oil, the Brabhams could simply accelerate (as the fan was activated by the gearbox to get around regulations, this meant that higher speed produced much higher grip) through the affected parts of the track. Lauda went on to win by a huge 34.6 seconds despite according to Lauda 'trying not to show how dominant the car really was', followed by Patrese and Peterson in a close finish; the remaining points went to Patrick Tambay, Clay Regazzoni and Emerson Fittipaldi.

After the race, the stewards deemed the car legal. Later, the FIA investigated the car, and corroborated Brabham's claim that the fan's primary effect was to cool the car, meeting the letter, if not the spirit, of the rules. The car was judged to have been legal as raced and the Brabham victory stood, but the car never raced again. It is popularly thought that it was banned, but it was actually voluntarily withdrawn by Brabham. This was arguably done by team owner Bernie Ecclestone to avoid a conflict with the other privately-owned teams, whose support he needed. 1978 was the year that Ecclestone became chief executive of the Formula One Constructors' Association and led it through the FISA–FOCA war that would lead to the downfall of FISA and give FOCA the right to negotiate television contracts for the Grands Prix, effectively giving Ecclestone commercial control of Formula One which continued for several decades.

ClassificationEdit

QualifyingEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap Grid
1 5   Mario Andretti Lotus-Ford 1:22.058 1
2 2   John Watson Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1:22.737 +0.679 2
3 1   Niki Lauda Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1:22.783 +0.725 3
4 6   Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford 1:23.120 +1.062 4
5 35   Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Ford 1:23.369 +1.311 5
6 20   Jody Scheckter Wolf-Ford 1:23.621 +1.563 6
7 12   Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari 1:23.730 +1.672 7
8 11   Carlos Reutemann Ferrari 1:23.737 +1.679 8
9 27   Alan Jones Williams-Ford 1:23.951 +1.893 9
10 15   Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault 1:23.963 +1.905 10
11 26   Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra 1:24.030 +1.972 11
12 4   Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Ford 1:24.203 +2.145 12
13 14   Emerson Fittipaldi Fittipaldi-Ford 1:24.274 +2.216 13
14 7   James Hunt McLaren-Ford 1:24.761 +2.703 14
15 8   Patrick Tambay McLaren-Ford 1:24.986 +2.928 15
16 17   Clay Regazzoni Shadow-Ford 1:25.007 +2.949 16
17 3   Didier Pironi Tyrrell-Ford 1:25.813 +3.755 17
18 19   Vittorio Brambilla Surtees-Ford 1:26.618 +4.560 18
19 9   Jochen Mass ATS-Ford 1:26.787 +4.729 19
20 16   Hans-Joachim Stuck Shadow-Ford 1:27.011 +4.953 20
21 25   Héctor Rebaque Lotus-Ford 1:27.139 +5.081 21
22 37   Arturo Merzario Merzario-Ford 1:27.479 +5.421 22
23 10   Keke Rosberg ATS-Ford 1:27.560 +5.502 23
24 36   Rolf Stommelen Arrows-Ford 1:27.812 +5.754 24
25 18   Rupert Keegan Surtees-Ford 1:28.282 +6.224 DNQ1
26 30   Brett Lunger McLaren-Ford 1:28.388 +6.330 DNQ1
27 22   Jacky Ickx Ensign-Ford 1:28.400 +6.342 DNQ1
Source: [2]

RaceEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1   Niki Lauda Brabham-Alfa Romeo 70 1:41:00.606 3 9
2 35   Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Ford 70 + 34.019 5 6
3 6   Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford 70 + 34.105 4 4
4 8   Patrick Tambay McLaren-Ford 69 + 1 Lap 15 3
5 17   Clay Regazzoni Shadow-Ford 69 + 1 Lap 16 2
6 14   Emerson Fittipaldi Fittipaldi-Ford 69 + 1 Lap 13 1
7 26   Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra 69 + 1 Lap 11
8 7   James Hunt McLaren-Ford 69 + 1 Lap 14
9 12   Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari 69 + 1 Lap 7
10 11   Carlos Reutemann Ferrari 69 + 1 Lap 8
11 16   Hans-Joachim Stuck Shadow-Ford 68 + 2 Laps 20
12 25   Héctor Rebaque Lotus-Ford 68 + 2 Laps 21
13 9   Jochen Mass ATS-Ford 68 + 2 Laps 19
14 36   Rolf Stommelen Arrows-Ford 67 + 3 Laps 24
15 10   Keke Rosberg ATS-Ford 63 + 7 Laps 23
NC 37   Arturo Merzario Merzario-Ford 62 + 8 Laps 22
Ret 5   Mario Andretti Lotus-Ford 46 Engine 1
Ret 27   Alan Jones Williams-Ford 46 Wheel 9
Ret 4   Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Ford 42 Suspension 12
Ret 15   Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault 28 Engine 10
Ret 2   John Watson Brabham-Alfa Romeo 19 Spun Off/Throttle 2
Ret 20   Jody Scheckter Wolf-Ford 16 Overheating 6
Ret 3   Didier Pironi Tyrrell-Ford 8 Accident 17
Ret 19   Vittorio Brambilla Surtees-Ford 7 Accident 18
DNQ 18   Rupert Keegan Surtees-Ford
DNQ 30   Brett Lunger McLaren-Ford
DNQ 22   Jacky Ickx Ensign-Ford
Source:[3]

NotesEdit

Championship standings after the raceEdit

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

TriviaEdit

This was the first race at which Sid Watkins served as race doctor.[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "The Swedish Grand Prix". Motor Sport. London. July 1978. pp. 935–936. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Sweden 1978 - Qualifications • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  3. ^ "1978 Swedish Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Sweden 1978 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 2019-01-31.
  5. ^ "The importance of Sid Watkins". GrandPrix.com. Inside F1, Inc. 20 January 2005.


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1978 Spanish Grand Prix
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