1981 Italian Grand Prix

The 1981 Italian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Monza on 13 September 1981.[1] It was the thirteenth race of the 1981 Formula One World Championship.

1981 Italian Grand Prix
Race 13 of 15 in the 1981 Formula One World Championship
Monza 1976-1993.png
Race details
Date 13 September 1981
Official name LII Gran Premio d'Italia
Location Autodromo Nazionale di Monza
Monza, Lombardy, Italy
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 5.8 km (3.604 miles)
Distance 52 laps, 301.6 km (187.406 miles)
Weather Dry and sunny
Pole position
Driver Renault
Time 1:33.467
Fastest lap
Driver Argentina Carlos Reutemann Williams-Ford
Time 1:37.528 on lap 48
Podium
First Renault
Second Williams-Ford
Third Williams-Ford
Lap leaders

Formula One returned to Monza after the previous year's Italian Grand Prix had been held at Imola. The 52-lap race was won by Frenchman Alain Prost, who led every lap in his Renault after starting from third position. Australian Alan Jones finished second in a Williams-Ford, some 22 seconds behind, with Argentine teammate Carlos Reutemann third.

Reutemann came into the race tied on points at the top of the Drivers' Championship with Brazilian Nelson Piquet, driving a Brabham-Ford. Piquet suffered a last-lap engine failure which dropped him from third to sixth, giving Reutemann a three-point lead in the championship with two races remaining.

Qualifying reportEdit

Qualifying saw René Arnoux take pole position in his Renault by 0.67 seconds from Carlos Reutemann's Williams. It was Arnoux's fourth pole position of the season and the sixth in succession for the Renault team. Alain Prost was third in the other Renault, with Jacques Laffite in the Ligier alongside him on the second row of the grid. Alan Jones in the other Williams and Nelson Piquet in the Brabham made up the third row, and the top ten was completed by John Watson in the McLaren, Didier Pironi and Gilles Villeneuve in the two Ferraris, and Bruno Giacomelli in the Alfa Romeo.

For the first time, the Toleman team qualified for a race, with Brian Henton taking 23rd. Teammate Derek Warwick failed to qualify along with Marc Surer in the Theodore, Beppe Gabbiani in the Osella, Siegfried Stohr in the Arrows, and Keke Rosberg and Chico Serra in the two Fittipaldis. Stohr crashed heavily during the qualifying session; already haunted by the trauma of nearly killing mechanic Dave Luckett in Belgium earlier in the season, he ultimately decided to stop racing and start a successful motor racing academy.

Qualifying classificationEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Q1 Q2 Gap
1 16   René Arnoux Renault 1:34.042 1:33.467
2 2   Carlos Reutemann Williams-Ford 1:35.153 1:34.140 +0.673
3 15   Alain Prost Renault 1:34.492 1:34.374 +0.907
4 26   Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra 1:36.529 1:35.062 +1.575
5 1   Alan Jones Williams-Ford 1:35.983 1:35.359 +1.892
6 5   Nelson Piquet Brabham-Ford 1:35.449 1:35.484 +1.982
7 7   John Watson McLaren-Ford 1:35.795 1:35.557 +2.090
8 28   Didier Pironi Ferrari 1:35.977 1:35.596 +2.129
9 27   Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari 1:35.627 1:55.012 +2.160
10 23   Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo 1:38.617 1:35.946 +2.479
11 11   Elio de Angelis Lotus-Ford 1:36.158 1:36.309 +2.691
12 12   Nigel Mansell Lotus-Ford 1:38.100 1:36.210 +2.743
13 22   Mario Andretti Alfa Romeo 1:37.166 1:36.296 +2.829
14 6   Héctor Rebaque Brabham-Ford 1:37.131 1:36.472 +3.005
15 25   Patrick Tambay Ligier-Matra 1:36.515 1:36.545 +3.048
16 8   Andrea de Cesaris McLaren-Ford no time 1:37.019 +3.552
17 3   Eddie Cheever Tyrrell-Ford 1:38.736 1:37.160 +3.693
18 32   Jean-Pierre Jarier Osella-Ford 1:38.167 1:37.264 +3.797
19 17   Derek Daly March-Ford 1:38.852 1:37.303 +3.836
20 29   Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Ford 1:37.355 1:37.552 +3.888
21 9   Slim Borgudd ATS-Ford 1:39.106 1:37.807 +4.340
22 4   Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Ford 1:38.411 1:37.912 +4.445
23 35   Brian Henton Toleman-Hart 1:41.369 1:38.012 +4.545
24 14   Eliseo Salazar Ensign-Ford 1:39.033 1:38.053 +4.586
DNQ 33   Marc Surer Theodore-Ford 1:38.778 1:38.114 +4.647
DNQ 31   Beppe Gabbiani Osella-Ford 1:40.930 1:38.474 +5.007
DNQ 36   Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart 1:39.936 1:39.279 +5.812
DNQ 30   Siegfried Stohr Arrows-Ford 1:39.713 1:39.776 +6.246
DNQ 20   Keke Rosberg Fittipaldi-Ford 1:42.229 1:40.345 +6.878
DNQ 21   Chico Serra Fittipaldi-Ford 1:41.185 1:40.437 +6.970
Source: [2]

Race reportEdit

On the run-up to the first chicane, Prost passed both Reutemann and teammate Arnoux to take the lead, while Pironi jumped from eighth to fourth. Reutemann then overtook Arnoux at the Curva Grande, before Pironi overtook both to run second by the end of the lap. As Prost opened up a lead, Arnoux re-passed Reutemann on lap 2 and Pironi on lap 5. Laffite, having already passed Reutemann, then overtook Pironi for third on lap 6, as Villeneuve retired with an engine failure.

On lap 12, Laffite dropped out with a puncture, by which point Pironi had dropped back behind Reutemann and Jones. As rain started to fall, Jones passed teammate Reutemann for third. At the end of the lap, Eddie Cheever spun his Tyrrell out at the Parabolica; on the next lap, Arnoux himself spun out after swerving to avoid Cheever's abandoned car, leaving Prost comfortably clear of Jones. Reutemann, struggling as the track started to dry again, soon fell to eighth behind Giacomelli, Patrick Tambay in the second Ligier (who had only started 15th), Piquet, Pironi and Watson.

On lap 20, Watson lost control exiting the second Lesmo bend and smashed into the barriers at high speed. The McLaren was torn in two, with the gearbox and rear wheels going across the track and clipping the second Tyrrell of Michele Alboreto, who also retired. Watson escaped unharmed.[3][4]

On lap 23 Tambay, like teammate Laffite, retired with a puncture, before Giacomelli pulled into the pits with a jammed gearbox on lap 26. Piquet was thus promoted to third with Pironi fourth and Reutemann fifth, followed by Mario Andretti in the second Alfa Romeo, Elio de Angelis in the Lotus and Andrea de Cesaris in the second McLaren. Reutemann soon passed Pironi again, before Andretti suffered an engine failure on lap 41.

As Prost cruised to victory, ultimately finishing some 22 seconds ahead of Jones, Piquet looked set to hold off championship rival Reutemann for third, until his engine blew on the last lap. Reutemann duly went past, as did de Angelis and Pironi. Piquet was classified sixth ahead of de Cesaris, who himself suffered a puncture on the last lap. The only other finishers were Giacomelli, Jean-Pierre Jarier in the second Osella, and Henton.

Reutemann thus led the Drivers' Championship by three points from Piquet with two races remaining, with Prost, Jones and Laffite all retaining outside chances of the title. The Williams team, meanwhile, needed just two more points to secure their second consecutive Constructors' Championship.

Race classificationEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Tyre Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 15   Alain Prost Renault M 52 1:26:36.897 3 9
2 1   Alan Jones Williams-Ford G 52 + 22.175 5 6
3 2   Carlos Reutemann Williams-Ford G 52 + 50.587 2 4
4 11   Elio de Angelis Lotus-Ford G 52 + 1:32.902 11 3
5 28   Didier Pironi Ferrari M 52 + 1:34.522 8 2
6 5   Nelson Piquet Brabham-Ford G 51 Engine 6 1
7 8   Andrea de Cesaris McLaren-Ford M 51 Puncture 16  
8 23   Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo M 50 + 2 laps 10  
9 32   Jean-Pierre Jarier Osella-Ford M 50 + 2 laps 18  
10 35   Brian Henton Toleman-Hart P 49 + 3 laps 23  
Ret 22   Mario Andretti Alfa Romeo M 40 Engine 13  
Ret 17   Derek Daly March-Ford A 36 Gearbox 19  
Ret 25   Patrick Tambay Ligier-Matra M 22 Puncture 15  
Ret 12   Nigel Mansell Lotus-Ford G 21 Suspension 12  
Ret 7   John Watson McLaren-Ford M 19 Accident 7  
Ret 29   Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Ford P 18 Gearbox 20  
Ret 4   Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Ford G 17 Accident 22  
Ret 14   Eliseo Salazar Ensign-Ford A 13 Spun off 24  
Ret 16   René Arnoux Renault M 12 Spun off 1  
Ret 26   Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra M 11 Puncture 4  
Ret 3   Eddie Cheever Tyrrell-Ford G 11 Spun off 17  
Ret 9   Slim Borgudd ATS-Ford A 10 Spun off 21  
Ret 27   Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari M 5 Engine 9  
Ret 6   Héctor Rebaque Brabham-Ford G 1 Electrical 14  
DNQ 33   Marc Surer Theodore-Ford A    
DNQ 31   Beppe Gabbiani Osella-Ford M    
DNQ 36   Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart P    
DNQ 30   Siegfried Stohr Arrows-Ford P    
DNQ 20   Keke Rosberg Fittipaldi-Ford P    
DNQ 21   Chico Serra Fittipaldi-Ford P        
Source:[5][6]

Championship standings after the raceEdit

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

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "1981 Italian Grand Prix Entry list".
  2. ^ Hamilton, Maurice, ed. (1981). AUTOCOURSE 1981–82. Hazleton Publishing Ltd. p. 206. ISBN 0-905138-17-1.
  3. ^ "John Watson Accidente en Monza, GP Italia 1981". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-22. Retrieved 2012-06-16.
  4. ^ "Grand Prix Results: Italian GP, 1981". Grandprix.com. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  5. ^ "1981 Italian Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 16 May 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  6. ^ "1981 Italian Grand Prix - Race Results & History - GP Archive". GPArchive.com. 13 September 1981. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Italy 1981 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 18 March 2019.


Previous race:
1981 Dutch Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1981 season
Next race:
1981 Canadian Grand Prix
Previous race:
1980 Italian Grand Prix
Italian Grand Prix Next race:
1982 Italian Grand Prix