1979 Italian Grand Prix

The 1979 Italian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 9 September 1979 at Monza. It was the thirteenth race of the 1979 World Championship of F1 Drivers and the 1979 International Cup for F1 Constructors.

1979 Italian Grand Prix
Race 13 of 15 in the 1979 Formula One season
Monza 1976.jpg
Race details
Date 9 September 1979
Official name 50o Gran Premio d'Italia[1]
Location Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 5.800 km (3.60 mi)
Distance 50 laps, 290.000 km (180.20 mi)
Weather Dry and sunny
Pole position
Driver Renault
Time 1:34.580
Fastest lap
Driver Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Williams-Ford
Time 1:35.60 on lap 46
First Ferrari
Second Ferrari
Third Williams-Ford

The 50-lap race was won by South African Jody Scheckter, driving a Ferrari, with Canadian team-mate Gilles Villeneuve second and Swiss Clay Regazzoni third in a Williams-Ford. Scheckter claimed the Drivers' Championship in the process, while Ferrari clinched the Constructors' Championship.

This race marked Scuderia Ferrari's 300th start in a World Championship event as a team.[2]



Monza was revamped for 1979, with the track re-surfaced and run-off areas added to the Curva Grande and the Lesmo curves.

The entry list was enlarged by the return of the Alfa Romeo team, which had participated in the Belgian and French Grands Prix earlier in the season. Alfa Romeo fielded two cars: a new 179 chassis for Bruno Giacomelli, and the old 177 for Vittorio Brambilla, back in action for the first time since the crash in the previous year's race at Monza that had claimed the life of Ronnie Peterson. Meanwhile, Mexican Héctor Rebaque had his HR100 chassis ready for the first time, while Switzerland's Marc Surer, having won the Formula Two championship the previous month, made his first Formula One appearance as Ensign took him on in place of Patrick Gaillard.


The turbo-powered Renaults were quick in qualifying and filled the front row of the grid, with Jean-Pierre Jabouille ahead of René Arnoux. It was Jabouille's fourth pole position of the season, and Renault's sixth. Scheckter and Alan Jones in the Williams made up the second row, while on the third were their respective teammates, Gilles Villeneuve and Clay Regazzoni. The top ten was completed by Jacques Laffite in the Ligier, the Brabhams of Nelson Piquet and Niki Lauda, and Mario Andretti in the Lotus.


The Renaults were slow off the start line and so Scheckter took the lead, with Arnoux holding on to second. Jones also made a poor start and dropped to the back of the field, putting Villeneuve third and the fast-starting Laffite fourth. On lap 2, Arnoux passed Scheckter for the lead, while Piquet crashed out after tangling with Regazzoni. Regazzoni was slow out of Curva Grande and Piquet took an outside line to keep his speed. Regazzoni moved across, possibly unaware Piquet was there, and sent the Brazilian heavily into the barriers, with the Brabham ending in two halves either side of the track. Fortunately Piquet was unhurt, and Regazzoni continued in the race.

For the next eleven laps Arnoux, Scheckter, Villeneuve, Laffite and Jabouille ran nose-to-tail, with Regazzoni a distant sixth. Then, on lap 13, Arnoux's engine began to misfire, leading to his retirement. Scheckter thus regained the lead, with Villeneuve dutifully following him. Later in the race, Laffite and Jabouille also suffered engine failures, promoting Regazzoni to third.

Scheckter eventually took the chequered flag half a second ahead of Villeneuve and, with it, the Drivers' Championship. This one-two finish for Ferrari in their home race also secured them the Constructors' Championship. Regazzoni finished four seconds behind Villeneuve and 50 ahead of Lauda, with the final points going to Andretti and Jean-Pierre Jarier in the Tyrrell.


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 11   Jody Scheckter Ferrari 50 1:22:00.22 3 9
2 12   Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari 50 + 0.46 5 6
3 28   Clay Regazzoni Williams-Ford 50 + 4.78 6 4
4 5   Niki Lauda Brabham-Alfa Romeo 50 + 54.40 9 3
5 1   Mario Andretti Lotus-Ford 50 + 59.70 10 2
6 4   Jean-Pierre Jarier Tyrrell-Ford 50 + 1:01.55 16 1
7 2   Carlos Reutemann Lotus-Ford 50 + 1:24.14 13
8 14   Emerson Fittipaldi Fittipaldi-Ford 49 + 1 Lap 20
9 27   Alan Jones Williams-Ford 49 + 1 Lap 4
10 3   Didier Pironi Tyrrell-Ford 49 + 1 Lap 12
11 9   Hans-Joachim Stuck ATS-Ford 49 + 1 Lap 15
12 36   Vittorio Brambilla Alfa Romeo 49 + 1 Lap 22
13 29   Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Ford 47 + 3 Laps 17
14 15   Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault 45 Engine 1
Ret 26   Jacques Laffite Ligier-Ford 41 Engine 7
Ret 20   Keke Rosberg Wolf-Ford 41 Engine 23
Ret 25   Jacky Ickx Ligier-Ford 40 Engine 11
Ret 18   Elio de Angelis Shadow-Ford 33 Clutch 24
Ret 35   Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo 28 Spun Off 18
Ret 16   René Arnoux Renault 13 Engine 2
Ret 7   John Watson McLaren-Ford 13 Accident 19
Ret 8   Patrick Tambay McLaren-Ford 3 Engine 14
Ret 30   Jochen Mass Arrows-Ford 3 Suspension 21
Ret 6   Nelson Piquet Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1 Accident 8
DNQ 17   Jan Lammers Shadow-Ford
DNQ 22   Marc Surer Ensign-Ford
DNQ 24   Arturo Merzario Merzario-Ford
DNQ 31   Héctor Rebaque Rebaque-Ford

Championship standings after the raceEdit

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. Only the best 4 results from the first 7 races and the best 4 results from the last 8 races counted towards the Drivers' Championship. Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.


  1. ^ "Motor Racing Programme Covers: 1979". The Programme Covers Project. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  2. ^ Scuderia Ferrari did not participate in the 1950 French Grand Prix; Peter Whitehead's privateer entry in this race does not count towards the team's participation tally.
  3. ^ "1979 Italian Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Italy 1979 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 18 March 2019.

Previous race:
1979 Dutch Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1979 season
Next race:
1979 Canadian Grand Prix
Previous race:
1978 Italian Grand Prix
Italian Grand Prix Next race:
1980 Italian Grand Prix
Preceded by
1978 British Grand Prix
Formula One Promotional Trophy
for Race Promoter

Succeeded by
1980 Italian Grand Prix