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1981 South African Grand Prix

The 1981 South African Grand Prix was a Formula Libre motor race held on 7 February 1981 at Kyalami.

1981 South African Grand Prix
Non-championship race in the 1981 Formula One season
Kyalami 1968layout.svg
Race details
Date 7 February 1981
Location Kyalami
Transvaal Province, South Africa
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 4.104 km (2.550 mi)
Distance 77 laps, 316.008 km (196.358 mi)
Weather Hot
Pole position
Driver Brabham-Ford
Time 1:12.78
Fastest lap
Driver Argentina Carlos Reutemann Williams-Ford
Time 1:13.61
First Williams-Ford
Second Brabham-Ford
Third Lotus-Ford

The race was originally scheduled to be the opening round of the 1981 FIA Formula One World Championship. However, the ongoing war between Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile (FISA) and the Formula One Constructors' Association (FOCA) resulted in FISA insisting on a date change which was not acceptable to the race organisers.[1] Approval was ultimately given for the race to go ahead on its original date, but as a Formula Libre race rather than as a round of the Formula One World Championship.[1] The downgraded race was supported by the teams affiliated with FOCA, but not by the manufacturer teams (Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Ligier and Renault) or by Italian team Osella, all of whom were aligned with FISA.[1] The eleven teams present all fielded cars fitted with sliding side skirts, aerodynamic devices which were illegal in Formula One for 1981 but acceptable under Formula Libre regulations.[1] The absence of the manufacturer teams meant that all 19 cars in the race were powered by Ford Cosworth engines.[1]

The race was eventually won by Carlos Reutemann, driving a Williams, with Nelson Piquet second in a Brabham and Elio de Angelis third in a Lotus.

Race resultEdit

Pos. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Qual
1   Carlos Reutemann Williams-Ford 77 1.44:54.03 2
2   Nelson Piquet Brabham-Ford 77 + 20.2 1
3   Elio de Angelis Lotus-Ford 77 + 1:06.03 5
4   Keke Rosberg Fittipaldi-Ford 76 + 1 Lap 4
5   John Watson McLaren-Ford 76 + 1 Lap 15
6   Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Ford 76 + 1 Lap 6
7   Eddie Cheever Tyrrell-Ford 76 + 1 Lap 12
8   Ricardo Zunino Brabham-Ford 75 + 2 Laps 7
9   Chico Serra Fittipaldi-Ford 75 + 2 Laps 13
10   Nigel Mansell Lotus-Ford 74 + 3 Laps 8
11   Derek Daly March-Ford 74 + 3 Laps 17
Ret   Alan Jones Williams-Ford 62 Skirt 3
Ret   Marc Surer Ensign-Ford 58 Battery 14
Ret   Andrea de Cesaris McLaren-Ford 54 Accident 9
Ret   Desiré Wilson Tyrrell-Ford 51 Accident 16
Ret   Eliseo Salazar March-Ford 32 Gearbox 19
Ret   Jan Lammers ATS-Ford 16 Brakes 10
Ret   Siegfried Stohr Arrows-Ford 12 Engine 11
Ret   Geoff Lees Theodore-Ford 11 Accident 18


  1. ^ a b c d e "The one that didn't count". Retrieved 12 February 2010.

External linksEdit