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The 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at the Jacarepaguá Circuit in Rio de Janeiro on 25 March 1984. It was race 1 of 16 in the 1984 Formula One World Championship. The 61-lap race was won by Alain Prost, driving a McLaren-TAG, with Keke Rosberg second in a Williams-Honda and Elio de Angelis third in a Lotus-Renault, having started from pole position.

1984 Brazilian Grand Prix
Race 1 of 16 in the 1984 Formula One World Championship
Circuit Jacarepagua.png
Race details
Date 25 March 1984
Official name X Grande Prêmio do Brasil
Location Jacarepaguá Circuit
Jacarepaguá, Rio de Janeiro
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 5.031 km (3.126 mi)
Distance 61 laps, 306.891 km (190.693 mi)
Weather Dry
Pole position
Driver Lotus-Renault
Time 1:28.392
Fastest lap
Driver France Alain Prost McLaren-TAG
Time 1:36.499 on lap 42
First McLaren-TAG
Second Williams-Honda
Third Lotus-Renault

The race was the first in which the FISA-mandated 220-litre fuel limit was imposed, after the refueling of 1983 had been banned. Many of the drivers correctly predicted that this would turn Grand Prix racing into fuel economy runs rather than actual races. It was also the first Formula One race for future triple World Champion Ayrton Senna.



Elio de Angelis claimed the first pole position of the season in his Lotus-Renault from the Ferrari of Michele Alboreto in his first race for the Prancing Horse. Derek Warwick, in his first race for Renault, was 3rd on the grid with the McLaren-TAG of Alain Prost 4th, Prost returning to the team he started his career with after three seasons with Renault. Reigning World Champion (and local favourite) Nelson Piquet qualified 7th in his Brabham-BMW, while another Brazilian, a Formula One rookie by the name of Ayrton Senna qualified 17th for his first ever Grand Prix in his Toleman-Hart.


With only 220 litres of fuel allowed, many teams on the grid tried various ways to save fuel from evaporating in the Rio heat. McLaren covered their cars in tin foil while others such as Lotus and Renault attempted to freeze their fuel in order to actually fit more in. The Renault team also had a sophisticated (for 1984) electronic fuel monitoring system which they hoped would give them an advantage over their rivals.

Alboreto got the jump at the start and led early from Warwick and de Angelis, with the McLarens of Niki Lauda 4th and Prost fighting back from a bad start. The Frenchman had bogged down at the green light with too few revs and was only 10th at the end of the first lap (Piquet also made a bad start after almost stalling at the green light and much to the agony of the crowd, was only in 23rd halfway through the first lap). Not having done a practice start in the car, during the warm-up Prost had asked Lauda what revs to use at the start. Lauda told him no less than 10,000 but on the grid Prost felt this was too high and dropped to 8,000 only to find Lauda had been correct. Despite this he was beginning to show the superior race speed which would become the story of the season. Lauda quickly passed de Angelis and when he passed Warwick for 2nd at the end of the back straight on lap 10, the McLaren's right rear hit the Renault's left front tyre. The hit damaged Warwick's suspension, leading to suspension failure for the Renault driver late in the race when running second.

Senna was the first retirement of the 1984 season with turbo failure on lap 8.

Alboreto's race was ruined by a loose bolt in his car's right front brake caliper which released all the brake fluid and caused the brake to overheat, resulting in a couple of spins and a pit stop where buckets of water were thrown over the brakes in a vain attempt at cooling it. Lauda was leading by some 40 seconds on lap 34 when the wires to his McLaren's battery came loose causing electrical failure. After almost stalling his Brabham-BMW at the start, Piquet finished an unhappy race on lap 32 when the BMW engine failed coming onto the pit straight.

After passing Warwick for the lead, Prost, who was in the pits for a tyre change when Lauda coasted in to retire, lost the lead back to the Englishman when he made his second stop for tyres. He regained the lead for good following Warwick's retirement and ran out the winner by 40 seconds from the Williams-Honda of Keke Rosberg and the Lotus of de Angelis. For Rosberg it was his third successive second place in the Brazilian Grand Prix, though it was the only one in which he was not disqualified. Eddie Cheever finish 4th in the Alfa Romeo, while Renault's Patrick Tambay was classified in 6th after running out of fuel on the last lap, losing 5th to another F1 rookie, Martin Brundle in his Tyrrell-Ford.

Brundle, and the Tyrrell team, would later be disqualified from the season for technical infringements. This promoted Tambay to 5th and the Arrows-Ford of Thierry Boutsen to 6th.



Pos No Driver Constructor Qual Gap
1 11   Elio de Angelis Lotus-Renault 1:28.392
2 27   Michele Alboreto Ferrari 1:28.898 +0.506
3 16   Derek Warwick Renault 1:29.025 +0.633
4 7   Alain Prost McLaren-TAG 1:29.330 +0.938
5 12   Nigel Mansell Lotus-Renault 1:29.364 +0.972
6 8   Niki Lauda McLaren-TAG 1:29.854 +1.462
7 1   Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW 1:30.149 +1.757
8 15   Patrick Tambay Renault 1:30.554 +2.162
9 6   Keke Rosberg Williams-Honda 1:30.611 +2.219
10 28   René Arnoux Ferrari 1:30.695 +2.303
11 22   Riccardo Patrese Alfa Romeo 1:30.973 +2.581
12 23   Eddie Cheever Alfa Romeo 1:31.282 +2.890
13 5   Jacques Laffite Williams-Honda 1:31.548 +3.156
14 26   Andrea de Cesaris Ligier-Renault 1:32.895 +4.503
15 14   Manfred Winkelhock ATS-BMW 1:32.997 +4.253
16 2   Teo Fabi Brabham-BMW 1:33.227 +4.835
17 19   Ayrton Senna Toleman-Hart 1:33.525 +5.133
18 20   Johnny Cecotto Toleman-Hart 1:35.300 +6.908
19 3   Martin Brundle Tyrrell-Ford 1:36.081 +7.689
20 25   François Hesnault Ligier-Renault 1:36.238 +7.846
21 18   Thierry Boutsen Arrows-Ford 1:36.312 +7.920
22 24   Piercarlo Ghinzani Osella-Alfa Romeo 1:36.434 +8.042
23 4   Stefan Bellof Tyrrell-Ford 1:36.609 +8.217
24 21   Mauro Baldi Spirit-Hart 1:36.816 +8.424
25 17   Marc Surer Arrows-Ford 1:37.204 +8.812
26 9   Philippe Alliot RAM-Hart 1:37.709 +9.317
DNQ 10   Jonathan Palmer RAM-Hart 1:37.919 +9.527


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 7   Alain Prost McLaren-TAG 61 1:42:34.492 4 9
2 6   Keke Rosberg Williams-Honda 61 + 40.514 9 6
3 11   Elio de Angelis Lotus-Renault 61 + 59.128 1 4
4 23   Eddie Cheever Alfa Romeo 60 + 1 Lap 12 3
5 15   Patrick Tambay Renault 59 Out of Fuel 8 2
6 18   Thierry Boutsen Arrows-Ford 59 + 2 Laps 20 1
7 17   Marc Surer Arrows-Ford 59 + 2 Laps 24  
8 10   Jonathan Palmer RAM-Hart 58 + 3 Laps 26  
DSQ 3   Martin Brundle Tyrrell-Ford 60 Disqualified 18  
Ret 16   Derek Warwick Renault 51 Suspension 3  
Ret 26   Andrea de Cesaris Ligier-Renault 42 Gearbox 14  
Ret 22   Riccardo Patrese Alfa Romeo 41 Gearbox 11  
Ret 8   Niki Lauda McLaren-TAG 38 Electrical 6  
Ret 12   Nigel Mansell Lotus-Renault 35 Accident 5  
Ret 1   Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW 32 Engine 7  
Ret 2   Teo Fabi Brabham-BMW 32 Turbo 15  
Ret 28   René Arnoux Ferrari 30 Battery 10  
Ret 24   Piercarlo Ghinzani Osella-Alfa Romeo 28 Gearbox 21  
Ret 25   François Hesnault Ligier-Renault 25 Overheating 19  
Ret 9   Philippe Alliot RAM-Hart 24 Battery 25  
Ret 20   Johnny Cecotto Toleman-Hart 18 Turbo 17  
Ret 5   Jacques Laffite Williams-Honda 15 Electrical 13  
Ret 27   Michele Alboreto Ferrari 14 Brakes 2  
Ret 21   Mauro Baldi Spirit-Hart 12 Distributor 23  
DSQ 4   Stefan Bellof Tyrrell-Ford 11 Disqualified 22  
Ret 19   Ayrton Senna Toleman-Hart 8 Turbo 16  
EX 14   Manfred Winkelhock ATS-BMW 0 Excluded    

Lap leadersEdit

Championship standings after the raceEdit

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. Points accurate at final declaration of results. Tyrrell and its drivers were subsequently disqualified and their points reallocated.


  1. ^ "1984 Brazilian Grand Prix". Archived from the original on 4 November 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Brazil 1984 - Championship • STATS F1". Retrieved 13 March 2019.

External linksEdit