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1981 Italian Grand Prix

The 1981 Italian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Monza on 13 September 1981.[1]

1981 Italian Grand Prix
Race 13 of 15 in the 1981 Formula One World Championship
Monza 1976.jpg
Race details
Date 13 September 1981
Official name LII Gran Premio d'Italia
Location Autodromo Nazionale Monza
Monza, Lombardy, Italy
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 5.8 km (3.604 mi)
Distance 52 laps, 301.6 km (187.406 mi)
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

Formula One returned to the Monza circuit after a year's absence; the year previous's Italian Grand Prix had been held at the Imola circuit.

Coming into Italy, both Nelson Piquet and Carlos Reutemann were tied on points in the Drivers' Championship; Reutemann would eventually leave with the lead. Alain Prost was also becoming a challenger for the world title, having been challenging both leaders in the recent races.

The race would be known for the first time a Toleman-Hart qualified and finished in a race with Brian Henton qualifying the car in 23rd place.

Contents

RaceEdit

When the race started, pole-man René Arnoux fell back to third while Prost and Reutemann battled for the lead. Behind, Didier Pironi was fourth after overtaking four cars on the run up to the first chicane. Pironi continued his charge with Reutemann and Arnoux soon behind him. As his opponents dropped behind, Prost increased his lead and would keep it for the rest of the race. Jacques Laffite also made an excellent start, and was running third when he retired from the race with a puncture on lap 11.

One Lap 19, John Watson lost control of his car at the Lesmo and smashed into the barriers at high speed, igniting a small fire at the back of the car. His McLaren's engine tub broke off from the car and debris littered the track. Michele Alboreto, who was behind Watson, crashed into the broken off engine, while Carlos Reutemann took to the grass and brushed a barrier whilst avoiding the accident, losing a place and sustaining minor damage. Watson escaped unharmed.

As the race reached the halfway point, the standings stood as: Prost, Jones, Piquet, Reutemann and de Angelis. In an incredible case of misfortune, Piquet's engine blew on the last lap, promoting Reutemann into third and turning the tables for title hopes of the two. The Brazilian, however, was able to score a point as the sixth driver to have covered the entire race distance. Andrea de Cesaris, suffered a puncture on the last lap.

ClassificationEdit

QualifyingEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 16   René Arnoux Renault 1:33.467
2 2   Carlos Reutemann Williams-Ford 1:34.140 +0.673
3 15   Alain Prost Renault 1:34.374 +0.907
4 26   Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra 1:35.062 +1.575
5 1   Alan Jones Williams-Ford 1:35.359 +1.892
6 5   Nelson Piquet Brabham-Ford 1:35.449 +1.982
7 7   John Watson McLaren-Ford 1:35.557 +2.090
8 28   Didier Pironi Ferrari 1:35.596 +2.129
9 27   Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari 1:35.627 +2.160
10 23   Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo 1:35.946 +2.479
11 11   Elio de Angelis Lotus-Ford 1.36.158 +2.691
12 12   Nigel Mansell Lotus-Ford 1:36.210 +2.743
13 22   Mario Andretti Alfa Romeo 1:36.296 +2.829
14 6   Héctor Rebaque Brabham-Ford 1:36.472 +3.005
15 25   Patrick Tambay Ligier-Matra 1:36.515 +3.048
16 8   Andrea de Cesaris McLaren-Ford 1:37.019 +3.552
17 3   Eddie Cheever Tyrrell-Ford 1:37.160 +3.693
18 32   Jean-Pierre Jarier Osella-Ford 1:37.264 +3.797
19 17   Derek Daly March-Ford 1:37.309 +3.842
20 29   Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Ford 1:37.355 +3.888
21 9   Slim Borgudd ATS-Ford 1:37.807 +4.340
22 4   Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Ford 1:37.912 +4.445
23 35   Brian Henton Toleman-Hart 1:38.012 +4.545
24 14   Eliseo Salazar Ensign-Ford 1:38.053 +4.586
DNQ 33   Marc Surer Theodore-Ford 1:38.114 +4.647
DNQ 31   Beppe Gabbiani Osella-Ford 1:38.474 +5.007
DNQ 36   Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart 1:39.279 +5.812
DNQ 30   Siegfried Stohr Arrows-Ford 1:39.713 +6.246
DNQ 20   Keke Rosberg Fittipaldi-Ford 1:40.345 +6.878
DNQ 21   Chico Serra Fittipaldi-Ford 1:40.437 +6.970

RaceEdit

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

NotesEdit

  • Haunted by the trauma of nearly killing mechanic Dave Luckett in a previous race, Siegfried Stohr crashed his Arrows during the qualifying session. He ultimately decided to stop racing and started a successful motor racing academy.
  • Nelson Piquet was running 3rd when his engine expired on the next to last lap.
  • John Watson had a huge accident at the Lesmo curves when he went wide coming out of the second Lesmo curve, touched the grass and spun across the track, and his carbon-fibre McLaren slammed backwards violently into the Armco barrier, exploded and tore the car in half and strew bits of the car across the track, which caused Michele Alboreto to crash, who escaped with only a few bruises. But Watson walked away unhurt- proving the strength of the McLaren's carbon fibre construction.[3][4]

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. ^ "1981 Italian Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 16 May 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  3. ^ "John Watson Accidente en Monza, GP Italia 1981". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-06-16.
  4. ^ "Grand Prix Results: Italian GP, 1981". Grandprix.com. Retrieved 16 June 2012.


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