1983 - Piquet: talent, turbo and tactics!
With FISA new regulations defined (flat underbodies) the teams have to abandoned wing-cars. providing downforce with a perfect aerodynamic body project. Also meny teams adopted turbocharged engines, but the costs were getting higher and higher!
1 – BRAZIL
In a year that would be dominated by turbocharged cars, at least in the practices Rosberg surprised eveyone with the pole. But in the race, he could lead only six laps, as Piquet overtook him exactly in front an amazing crowd and went to victory. Rosberg had a big frightening momentum during his refueling. His car was envolved in flames, but immediately the marshals controled it. Rosberg, who had jumped out of the car, decided to be back to race and was pushed by the marshals. Because of that he would be desqualified of a brilliant 2nd place. But the unimaginable happened: FIA decided there would be no 2nd place! So, Piquet won, with a ghost in 2nd, Lauda (McLaren-Ford) 3rd, Laffite (Williams-Ford) 4th, Tambey (Ferrari Turbo) 5th and Surer (Arrows-Ford) 6th.
2 – USA-WEST
Tambay and Arnoux (now with Ferrari) dominated the qualifying, followed by Williams team-mates. In the race, Tambay started in the front and in the final of the back straight, Rosberg went inside, blocking his tyres, making a 360º! Somehow he even did not collected Tambay, as managed to stay in track, losing place only to Laffite. But the finn was resolute to win, retaking his 2nd place and attacking Tambay. In lap 25 he tried to pass in the hairpin, touching wheels with the french, knoking him out. But in the end of the straight, himself had to abandon with a broken suspension. Laffite led until slow, and ceded the lead to...Watson! The irish started from 22nd and was driving a incredible race, but not only him. Also his team-mate, Lauda, who started 23rd and also took Laffite for 2nd. Arnoux , had changed tyres three times, also passed Laffite, who finished 4th, with Surer (Arrows-Ford) 5th and a surprising Cecotto (Theodore-Ford) 6th. Great battles during the race between, like Arnoux-Cheever (Renault), Laffite-Rosberg-Jarier (Ligier-Ford), besides Tambay-Rosberg.
3 – FRENCH
A perfect week-end for Prost and Renault. Pole, with 2´312 ahead his team-mate Cheever(!), led from the start and only lost it when came to pit. Piquet led 3 laps, went to pit and Prost retook it, winning with almost 30 seconds ahead of the brazilian. Cheever, Tambay and both Williams completed the points.
4 – SAN MARINO
What a great race for the tiffosi! Tambay won when it looks like he wouldn´t, as Patrese recovering from a bad pti-stop, overtook him just after Tosa curve. But immediately after Acqua-Minerale chicane he lost control of his car and hit the barriers...the italian crowd got crazy and celebrated, for his and everyone surprise!...but the crowd prefer a Ferrari winning than an italian driver with another car! Great recovering for Piquet, who let engine off in the start, getting 5th place until had a broken engine. Prost 2nd and Arnoux 3rd.
5 – MONACO
Running in the streets Rosberg could shown his class again and won. In wet track, but with no rain, everyone besides Rosberg, Laffite, Surer and Warwick (Toleman-Hart), started with grooved tyres. Even in wet track, the finn overtook Prost and led to the end. Prost also lost 2nd place for Piquet. Warwick and Surer were fighting for 4th place, when the british made a wrong manouvre, that put them out of race. Tambay finished 4th, with Sullivan (Tyrrell-Ford) and Baldi (Alfa Romeo) getting their first ever points in F1. A week-end to forget for McLaren as both drivers failed to qualify for the race.
6 – BELGIUM
Staring from second row, Andrea De Cesaris (Alfa Romeo V8-Turbo) took the led immediately and pooled away, making all the team dream with his victory. But when he came to refuel and tyres change, the team made a very long pit, so Andrea lost 1st place to Prost. Back to the track he was recovering very fast, when at six laps from the flag, his engine failed. Piquet inherited second, but lost fifth gear and had to slow, what allowed Tambay and Cheever to take advantage. But besides De Cesaris briliant driving, another driver must be cited: Keke Rosberg. It was absolutely amazing the way he crossed “Eau the Rouge”, sliding the car demonstrating all his incredible talent.
7 – USA-EST
Nine laps! Only nine laps to the end, when a puncture in left tyre annihilated Piquet tatics to victory! He and Murray decided for a non-stopping race, but...At the light, Tambay´s engine went off and he abandoned. Piquet led until Arnoux overtook him, but when the french went to pit, the brazilian restored the order until tyre problem. Alboreto, who started from 6th place, received a well deserved gift and won the race. Detroit is Ford headquarter, so what could be better than have nine cars into twelve who finished the race? Only what Ford achieved! They equiped all drivers in the podium: Alboreto, Roberg, Watson! The others to finish were: Piquet 4th, Laffite 5th, Mansell 6th.
Points standings until here: Prost, 28 where group by Piquet, 27 where group by Tambay 23 where group by Rosberg, 22 and Arnoux, 8.
8 – CANADA
Almost from lights to flag, Arnoux took his first victory driving for Maranello team. He only lost place when in refuel. Besides that, Patrese and Piquet put some pressure over him, but the french driver was perfect. Both Brabham-BMW broken, so Prost extended his championship lead with his poor, but valiable 5th place. Excelent 2nd for Cheever, Tambay 3rd.
9 - GREAT-BRITAIN
New things on the grid: Lotus 94T-Renault, Ferrari 126C3 and many evolutions in Brabham, Renault and Alfa Romeo. But Maranello team dominated all the practices and Arnoux marked a new pole record for Silverstone: more than 151mph (almost 245kmh)! In the race, otherwise, his team-mate, Tambay dominated until Prost and Piquet passed him. Mansell made the crowd happiness coming from 18th to 4th in the final. Arnoux finished only 5th and Lauda 6th. Debut for Spirit-Honda with Johansson, getting a strong 14th place on the grid, but had pump failure with 5 laps in race.
10 – GERMANY
Tambay and Arnoux took the front row again. Tambay led the first lap, but Arnoux drove another strong race and took the front until the end. It seemed that Piquet was following Arnoux to make a final attack. But when he smashed Arnoux´s advantage, his engine blew-up with just three laps remainning. So, De Cesaris found himself in second and hold it to the final. With Piquet and Tambay (broken engine) out, fourth place was a good result for Prost. Lauda was desqualified because when he came to pit, he overshooted his garage and reversed the car, what is prohibited by rules.
11 – AUSTRIA
Again Ferrari were in the front row. Tambay led until that a latecomer Jarier simply ignored him. First Arnoux and immediately after Piquet passed him, who became furious with his country man, but some laps later his engine blew-up again...Arnoux and Piquet fight for the lead, following not far from Prost. After the pits, Piquet led and managed Arnoux´s attack, when he came from boxes with cool tyres. But soon his engine began to lose power and he had to slow. Arnoux took the lead, but missed 5th gear, what gave Prost the victory, extending his points leadership.
12 – NETHERLANDS
What is this, Prost? That probably was the thinking of Nelson Piquet after being eliminated by the french in a unpropicious manouvre at Tarzan curve. Piquet started from pole and led until Prost getting closer. But the brazilian sustained the front, because he was a little quicker than Prost in the last two corners just before the main straight. It seemed that Prost missjudged the braking point, colliding heavily the brazilian, knocking him out. But he also payed for this, as in the same lap, he crashed the barriers. Better for Ferrari team, because Arnoux inherited the lead, with Tambay in 2nd, marking the first one-two since San Marino´82. This race also marked: debut for new McLaren Porsche Turbo V6 (Lauda), the first points for Toleman-Hart team, with Warwick in 4th and also the first race that Spirit-Honda completed, with Johansson in 7th.
13 – ITALY
Patrese marked the pole and led the first two laps. Then his engine blew-up, letting Piquet free for an easy win. Arnoux made his best, but it was impossible to catch Brabham. Tambay had some engine problems and arrived in 4th, but the good news for the brazilian was the abandon of Prost. Championship standings: Prost, 51 where group by Arnoux, 49 where group by Piquet, 46 where group by Tambay, 40.
14 – EUROPE
Big surprise on the practice: De Angelis (pole), Mansell (3rd), both with Lotus-Renault and Pirelli tyres. Patrese, 2nd, Piquet 4th, Arnoux 5th, Tambay 6th and Prost 8th. In the race, De Angelis started in the lead, but Patrese overtook him yet in the first lap. The Lotus driver did not give up and in the 10th lap forced to pass and touched wheels with Patrese. Both went off track, what gave the lead to Piquet. He would lead to the final without any pressure. Even a bad pit team-work with 19´6 seconds, did not put his victory in risk. Prost got 2nd place, but Tambay had brake failure and hit the barriers at Druids, not only getting him out of the race, but also for the championship battle! Worst then Tambay, team-mate Arnoux made a mistake and spun off in Southbank corner, dropping to 19th place! He recovered to finished 9th. Now Prost had 57 points, Piquet 55 and Arnoux 49.
15 – SOUTH AFRICA
Tambay made another pole, but Piquet 2nd, Arnoux 4th and Prost 5th had all the atentions. Immediatly from the start Piquet jumped to the front, with Patrese in 2nd. Arnoux couldn´t run more than nine laps to have a broken engine. Prost at least could run more. He sustained some laps in 4th place, behind Piquet, Patrese and De Cesaris, but lost it to Lauda. At 28th lap, Piquet came to pit to refuel, unveilling their strategy of starting with less fuel. He came back still leading. Then at 35 lap Prost went to the pit and pulled out of the car. He had a turbo broken. Now, all french team would be cheering for some kind of problems with Piquet. But he just reduced the turbo pressure, let Patrese take the lead. Also some laps ahead, Lauda overtook him, but had his engine blew-up. Piquet, now saw De Cesaris arriving and let the italian pass, just to guarantee the points he needed to be champion for the second time. Big party for Brabham-BMW-Michelin. The first title for a turbocharged car.
* In Netherlands, after being knocked out by Prost´s mistake, Piquet joked each time Patrese passed in front of the pits. Patrese was in trouble and in a very slow speed, so Piquet was “showing his legs asking for a ride...”. When asked if he was not angry with Prost, he declared: “Well, he made a big mistake, he also lost points, so...”. Prost confirmed: “It was absolutly my fault!”.
* After won Europe GP, Piquet said: “I´m telling, if we won´t have any problems, nobody can stop us!”. What a confidence!
* Bu a very unsure Prost: “We are still in the lead...”.
* In South Africa, Williams debuted new FW09 with Honda turbo engine, and finished 5th place with Rosberg.
* After winning his second title, Piquet: “I wanted this championship for me, not for the team, not for the mechanics, but for me!...And I still young, I want to race many years yet, so I want to win more...”
* Ferrari team won their second consecutive constructors championship, ahead Renault and Brabham.
* Drivers: D.Sullivan, M.Baldi, T.Boutsen.