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The 1981 Canadian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Circuit Île Notre-Dame, Montreal on 27 September 1981. It was the fourteenth race of the 1981 FIA Formula One World Championship.

1981 Canadian Grand Prix
Race 14 of 15 in the 1981 Formula One World Championship
Gilles Villeneuve Circuit Montreal (78-86).svg
Race details
Date 27 September 1981
Official name XX Grand Prix du Canada
Location Circuit Île Notre-Dame
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Course Temporary street circuit
Course length 4.410 km (2.740 mi)
Distance 63 laps, 277.830 km (172.636 mi)
Scheduled distance 70 laps, 308.700 km (191.817 mi)
Weather Wet and cold with temperatures up to 20 °C (68 °F); wind speeds up to 15 kilometres per hour (9.3 mph)[1]
Pole position
Driver Brabham-Ford
Time 1:29.211
Fastest lap
Driver United Kingdom John Watson McLaren-Ford
Time 1:49.475 on lap 43
Podium
First Ligier-Matra
Second McLaren-Ford
Third Ferrari

The race was run in wet conditions, and ended after 63 of the scheduled 70 laps due to the two-hour time limit.[2] Frenchman Jacques Laffite won in a Ligier-Matra, with Northern Ireland's John Watson second in a McLaren-Ford and local hero Gilles Villeneuve third in a Ferrari. Brazilian Nelson Piquet finished fifth in his Brabham-Ford, having started from pole position, while Drivers' Championship rival, Argentine Carlos Reutemann, could only manage tenth in his Williams-Ford. Piquet thus moved within one point of Reutemann with one race to go, while the win gave Laffite an outside chance of the title. Despite both Reutemann and Australian teammate Alan Jones failing to score, Williams clinched the Constructors' Championship.

This would turn out to be Laffite's final F1 victory, as well as the last for the Ligier team for fifteen years, until the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix. It was also the last time the Canadian Grand Prix was held in the fall, as the race would move to June the following year.

Contents

Pre-raceEdit

Prior to the race, Alan Jones announced that he was retiring from the sport after clinching the title the previous year. Rumors were also spreading around in paddock that Niki Lauda had tested for McLaren at Donington Park and that he was planning a comeback.

QualifyingEdit

Nelson Piquet clinched pole with a time of 1:29.221, with rival Carlos Reutemann alongside him on the front row. The top ten were completed by: Jones, Prost, Mansell, Rebaque, de Angelis, Arnoux, Watson and Laffite respectively.

RaceEdit

The race start was marred with bad weather. Immediately after the start, Jones took the lead after a minor collision with Reutemann which left Reutemann behind. Toward the middle of the pack, Arnoux and Pironi had a collision with resulted in Arnoux spinning out of the race. On lap 7, Jones spun and Piquet had to take evasive action, resulting in both drivers dropping down the pecking order. Prost took the lead with Laffite, who had climbed from tenth, second. Prost's lead did not last long, as Laffite overtook him on lap 13, and kept the lead to the end of the race.

Villeneuve had a minor accident that damaged his front wing. The wing flew up only to be stuck up in the air, blocking Villeneuve's race-line vision. With his forward vision impaired, he used his peripheral vision to navigate using the yellow track markers as reference. After racing this way for minutes he used vibration on the ribbed curbing, to the point it flew off the car. This way he managed to keep control until the end of the race, without a front wing and under the rain.[3]

Prost was eventually overtaken by Villeneuve and Watson, before retiring with an accident on lap 48. Watson was able to catch and pass Villeneuve a few laps later and the two finished second and third respectively, with Villeneuve clinching his third and last podium of the year on home soil. Bruno Giacomelli of Alfa Romeo, who had started fifteenth, came home fourth, with pole-man Piquet coming in behind him.

ClassificationEdit

QualifyingEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 5   Nelson Piquet Brabham-Ford 1:29.211 -
2 2   Carlos Reutemann Williams-Ford 1:29.359 +0.148
3 1   Alan Jones Williams-Ford 1:29.728 +0.517
4 15   Alain Prost Renault 1:29.908 +0.697
5 12   Nigel Mansell Lotus-Ford 1:29.997 +0.786
6 6   Héctor Rebaque Brabham-Ford 1:30.182 +0.971
7 11   Elio de Angelis Lotus-Ford 1:30.231 +1.020
8 16   René Arnoux Renault 1:30.232 +1.021
9 7   John Watson McLaren-Ford 1:30.566 +1.355
10 26   Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra 1:30.705 +1.494
11 27   Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari 1:31.115 +1.904
12 28   Didier Pironi Ferrari 1:31.350 +2.139
13 8   Andrea de Cesaris McLaren-Ford 1:31.507 +2.296
14 3   Eddie Cheever Tyrrell-Ford 1:31.547 +2.336
15 23   Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo 1:31.600 +2.389
16 22   Mario Andretti Alfa Romeo 1:31.740 +2.529
17 25   Patrick Tambay Ligier-Matra 1:31.747 +2.536
18 29   Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Ford 1:31.969 +2.758
19 33   Marc Surer Theodore-Ford 1:32.253 +3.042
20 17   Derek Daly March-Ford 1:32.305 +3.094
21 9   Slim Borgudd ATS-Ford 1:32.652 +3.441
22 4   Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Ford 1:32.709 +3.498
23 32   Jean-Pierre Jarier Osella-Ford 1:33.432 +4.221
24 14   Eliseo Salazar Ensign-Ford 1:33.848 +4.637
DNQ 20   Keke Rosberg Fittipaldi-Ford 1:34.310 +5.099
DNQ 21   Chico Serra Fittipaldi-Ford 1:36.546 +7.335
DNQ 35   Brian Henton Toleman-Hart 1:36.648 +7.437
DNQ 30   Jacques Villeneuve Arrows-Ford 1:36.729 +7.518
DNQ 36   Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart 1:36.999 +7.788
DNQ 31   Beppe Gabbiani Osella-Ford 1:37.493 +8.282

RaceEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 26   Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra 63 2:01:25.20 10 9
2 7   John Watson McLaren-Ford 63 + 6.23 9 6
3 27   Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari 63 + 1:50.27 11 4
4 23   Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo 62 + 1 Lap 15 3
5 5   Nelson Piquet Brabham-Ford 62 + 1 Lap 1 2
6 11   Elio de Angelis Lotus-Ford 62 + 1 Lap 7 1
7 22   Mario Andretti Alfa Romeo 62 + 1 Lap 16  
8 17   Derek Daly March-Ford 61 + 2 Laps 20  
9 33   Marc Surer Theodore-Ford 61 + 2 Laps 19  
10 2   Carlos Reutemann Williams-Ford 60 + 3 Laps 2  
11 4   Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Ford 59 + 4 Laps 22  
12 3   Eddie Cheever Tyrrell-Ford 56 Engine 14  
Ret 8   Andrea de Cesaris McLaren-Ford 51 Spun Off 13  
Ret 15   Alain Prost Renault 48 Collision 4  
Ret 12   Nigel Mansell Lotus-Ford 45 Collision 5  
Ret 9   Slim Borgudd ATS-Ford 40 Spun Off 21  
Ret 6   Héctor Rebaque Brabham-Ford 35 Spun Off 6  
Ret 32   Jean-Pierre Jarier Osella-Ford 26 Collision 23  
Ret 1   Alan Jones Williams-Ford 24 Handling 3  
Ret 28   Didier Pironi Ferrari 24 Ignition 12  
Ret 14   Eliseo Salazar Ensign-Ford 8 Spun Off 24  
Ret 25   Patrick Tambay Ligier-Matra 6 Spun Off 17  
Ret 29   Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Ford 6 Spun Off 18  
Ret 16   René Arnoux Renault 0 Collision 8  
DNQ 20   Keke Rosberg Fittipaldi-Ford    
DNQ 21   Chico Serra Fittipaldi-Ford    
DNQ 35   Brian Henton Toleman-Hart    
DNQ 30   Jacques Villeneuve Arrows-Ford    
DNQ 36   Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart    
DNQ 31   Beppe Gabbiani Osella-Ford        
Source:[4]

Championship standings after the raceEdit

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

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Weather information for the "1981 Canadian Grand Prix"". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Jenkinson, Denis (November 1981). "The Canadian Grand Prix: Heroes all". Motor Sport. p. 72. Retrieved 17 February 2018. 
  3. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quVzsvnK9MQ
  4. ^ "1981 Canadian Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 12 June 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2015. 


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