#383 1983 German Grand Prix

2022-08-27 01:00

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#1983, Fulvio Conti,

#383 1983 German Grand Prix

Roughly a year after the terrible accident that likely prevented him from clinching the Formula 1 World Championship title, Didier Pironi takes his fi


Roughly a year after the terrible accident that likely prevented him from clinching the Formula 1 World Championship title, Didier Pironi takes his first steps without crutches. The French driver, almost certainly, will attend the German Grand Prix scheduled for Sunday, August 7, 1983:


"I have to go cheer for Ferrari, and at the same time, I want to reconnect with my environment. As for the return to racing, we'll see: only if I am one hundred percent, I will get back behind the wheel".


Pironi's presence could be a boost for the Maranello team. The bitter memory of a very difficult moment is mixed with the sweeter one of Patrick Tambay's victory on this same track, fast but not too much, in the previous season. A circuit where the Italian team dominated without rivals. But there were the skirts (minigonne), and conventional tires gave exclusive advantages for radial tires. Today the situation is different; after what was seen at Silverstone, every race can become a lottery. If Michelin confirms its superiority (apparently, the French manufacturer has brought new tires here that are more than a second per lap faster than those used in England), it will be challenging to stop Renault and Brabham. It will be difficult to prevent Prost and Piquet from turning a three-way battle into a head-to-head duel. In short, we are at the decisive turning point of the World Championship, and everyone is ready to play their reserve aces. Ferrari theoretically has many to throw on the table. But it remains to be seen how the game will be conducted. It depends on the weather: the cold of these last hours would certainly not be unwelcome; on the tire tests that will take place on Friday, August 5, and Saturday, August 6, 1983; on the latest adjustments developed in Maranello to make the 126 C3 more competitive. Regarding the tires, Goodyear brings both the brand-new radials and the usual conventional ones. One driver will test the first, the other the latter. Perhaps it would be fair for Arnoux to do the experiments, while Tambay should be left alone, given his position in the standings. The Maranello team, however, maintains tight secrecy about this choice. On the cars, meanwhile, several modifications and innovations are noticeable. The bodywork is no longer makeshift, put together with the exchange of parts between the previous model and the latest one, patched together with putty, but all perfect, constructed in carbon fiber. This allows for a significant weight saving. 


Then there's a small air intake on the side panels to cool the control units. The delicate instrument that controls the injection has been changed, with an incorporated microprocessor, more sophisticated and technologically advanced at the electronic circuit level. Everything possible has been done to prepare for an attacking race, which would stop Prost in particular. A placement would serve little if the Renault professor were to achieve another success. Ferrari must win; there are few alternatives. It may also happen that Ferrari fails to win the Formula 1 World Championship this year, but it has certainly already won a title. That of the queen of qualifications. Also on Friday, in the first qualifying session of the German Grand Prix, the Maranello team beats all opponents. Patrick Tambay has the best time, René Arnoux is second. The third in the provisional ranking is Andrea De Cesaris with Alfa Romeo (three Italian cars in the top three positions, a rare occurrence), but the Roman is more than 1.5 seconds behind. All the others, Piquet, Prost, Cheever, Baldi, Patrese, Warwick, Giacomelli, the best in order, are significantly further behind. The Toleman's Brescia driver, who is tenth, exceeds five seconds per lap. An abyss that means a 10 km/h difference in average speed. But between the tests and the race (Silverstone and other recent occasions teach), there is often a reversal of positions. That's why at Ferrari, despite being very satisfied with the results, they play it cautiously: much depends on the tires. It seems that the long and fast Hockenheim circuit (6797 meters) but interrupted by three tight chicanes and twisty in the inner part of the Motodrom does not allow radial tires to have great advantages. However, there are still doubts that only the race can dispel. Ferrari tests, as expected, the new Goodyear radials that, for the moment, are one second slower than the conventional ones. It's useless to seek immediate judgments: there seems to be a grip problem on the front wheels. Tambay says, who completes only four laps with the radials, as the initial development work is done by Arnoux:


"We are in the experimental phase, and I hope the new tires will be useful for the upcoming races. Currently, I hope to be able to race with the old ones because they work very well in cool weather. My 126 C3 car is extraordinary. I only had a problem in an overtaking with Lauda, who made a sudden move and made me lose a fast lap".


But there is no controversy. The Austrian explains that he was driving at the limit of his and McLaren's capabilities and did not want to hinder the Ferrari driver at all. Niki Lauda says:


"They have 300 HP more than us, and in certain parts of the circuit, they are 50 km/h faster. We, without turbos, are in a lower category".


Even on this occasion, the first eleven positions are occupied by as many cars with turbocharged engines. The first aspirated is Rosberg. And it should be considered that Winckelhock could not test because BMW made some modified engines available to its teams that should have more power at low revs. However, there were problems because Piquet broke two on his Brabham, while ATS couldn't even get on the track. Renault (almost two seconds behind Ferrari) complains about setup problems that should be resolved on Saturday. De Angelis, on the other hand, does very little testing because he goes off the track in the morning and almost destroys his Lotus. Alfa Romeo, on the other hand, seems to be progressing well. On Friday, the temperature is 17 °C; if it should increase, as expected, it will be difficult to repeat exceptional times like Tambay's result, truly extraordinary. It is just 1.4 seconds faster than the record Pironi set last year, turning in 1'47"947. There will be the usual refueling during the race. It is learned that McLaren, in a test carried out in England, destroyed the car due to the wrong fuel pressure. It is one more proof of its danger. Meanwhile, the driver market is in full swing, although it is difficult to evaluate the truthfulness of all rumors. Nelson Piquet remains with Ferrari for a long time, and immediately there is talk of the Brazilian's move to the Maranello team, but it could be tactics to get an increase in salary from Ecclestone. The only certain thing is that Arnoux and Tambay would like to stay where they are. Patrick Tambay says with a metaphor:


"I am well with my wife, but if she left me suddenly, I would be forced to find a remedy".


On Saturday, August 6, 1983, nothing changes: the rain, which falls abundantly all day, freezes the starting grid for the German Grand Prix at the times obtained on Friday. So Ferrari can confidently celebrate its hundredth pole position since the beginning of the Formula 1 World Championship. As happened in Silverstone, the Maranello team positions two cars on the front row but in reverse order, with Tambay ahead of Arnoux. Behind, they place with high hopes the Alfa Romeo of Andrea De Cesaris. A situation almost similar to that of the British Grand Prix, but theoretically with different prospects. Meanwhile, there is the threat of rain that could continue with its already autumnal pace. If the track were to be wet, Goodyear's radial tires, ready for a long time and tested several times, should be up to Michelin's. Not for nothing, under the downpour, Arnoux sets the best time in both free and timed practice. Patrick Tambay says:


"Honestly, I would prefer to race in the rain because I would have more advantages. Nothing can be seen in the wake. If René and I can make a good start, we can immediately distance our rivals. I don't have the right to ask anything of my teammate or the team. But I believe that if there is an opportunity, we will act with common sense, looking at Ferrari's interests".


The interest of the Maranello team is obviously the victory of the World Championship title. The French driver - astute and diplomatic - performs well in the wet (he won an epic Formula 3 duel with Arnoux) and has the morale to try to repeat last year's victory. Engineer Forghieri, however, claims that there are already many problems on the horizon to think about a possible strategy. If the weather were to change, the difficult choice of tires would condition every decision. 


The German Grand Prix, as mentioned, will be followed with keen eyes on the Ferrari pits, those of Didier Pironi, who, on the anniversary of his accident, returns to the environment to directly attend a race for the first time. The popular French driver, still on crutches for greater safety, is greeted with great affection both by Ferrari and by other industry professionals. Pironi also holds a press conference. The French driver reconstructs the dynamics of the accident and talks about all the memories of this difficult year. If the tests say nothing technically, some drivers think of enlivening the day with more or less questionable enterprises. De Cesaris, Winkelhock, and Cheever are protagonists of black chronicle episodes, albeit in different situations. Who risks the most is the Roman driver of Alfa Romeo, who stays about an hour at the circuit's internal police station to explain why he forced the block at a door. He gets away with a 10.000-dollar sports fine, plus a 15.000-dollar deposit paid to the police with the threat of a possible civil lawsuit. De Cesaris, without the special pass to enter with the car (he claims it was stolen from him), is stopped at a door by a guard who doesn't let him pass. It may also be that the behavior of the service man is vexatious and stubborn, but young Andrea once again loses his temper too easily. The entrance attendant claims to have been thrown to the ground before being taken to the hospital for an examination, and later he files a complaint with the police. Cheever, on the other hand, for not having obeyed precise instructions while trying to leave the circuit's hotel with the car, is chased by the police who, gun in hand, take him to the police station. He gets away with a scolding. On Sunday, August 7, 1983, the competitors in one of the many supporting races damage the catch-fences in places so the Formula One half-hour warm-up is delayed from 11:30 a.m. to mid-day, while repairs are effected. From midday for the next 30 minutes you have never seen so much concentrated trouble among the teams. Before it is over Tambay is out in his old C2 Ferrari while eight Ferrari mechanics set to work removing the engine from his C3 Ferrari as it has suffered mechanical damage inside, and it is a brand new one only installed the previous evening. In the Renault pits the engine in Prosts car is being removed as it has started to overheat violently, and another new one is being installed. 


Team (Shambles) Lotus are no better off as the 94T of Mansell has blown all its water and a lot of its oil out, all over the Spirit-Honda which has been following, and the 94T of de Angelis has stopped abruptly when the electronics for the fuel- injection has failed. While this in itself is not disastrous it means that the oil pumps suddenly cease their flow and with the turbocharger turbines running at over 100.000 RPM it speal disaster for the central bearings on the turbine/compressor shafts. By the end of this warm-up period the Brabham pits look like a major disaster area with all three cars torn apart and bits everywhere. Formula One regulations stipulate that there must be 21/2 hours between the end of warm-up and the race starting, unless everyone is ready before that period of time and are agreed to shorten the gap. On the face of it the start should have been delayed until 3:00 p.m., but the television is dangling from his satellite in anticipation of a 2:30 p.m. start, as advertised in the programme. The pit lane should open at 2:00 p.m. to let the cars set off on their lap round to the starting grid, and many of the teams like Toleman, Tyrrell, Arrows and Williams are all ready to go. While the television moguls bit their nails the army of mechanics do wonders and at 2:10 p.m. everyone is ready, or as ready as they could hope to be. Tambays C3 Ferrari is ready, Piquet has chosen the spare car from his two Brabhams, Rosberg is in his regular race-car number 07, but Mansell is forced to take the 93T Lotus, rather than his Silverstone 94T. On his way round to the grid Prost finds out his new engine is overheating badly, suggesting an installation fault somewhere, and he goes back into the pit lane and transfers to the spare Renault. By 2:30 p.m. they are all on the grid, where they should seat for the regulation 20 minutes while pre-race formalities are concluded, but by mutual consent and everyone being ready this time factor is halved which reduces the overall delay to manageable proportions. The 26 cars go off on the parade lap with the two red Ferraris leading, watched by a packed stadium of people and in the pits is Didier Pironi, still on crutches, but looking remarkably fit, this being his first public appearance since his awful accident at the Hockenheimring exactly 52 weeks ago. The group of cars wounds its way back through the twists and turns of the stadium and lines up on the starting grid, are given the green light and all 26 drivers stamp hard down on the accelerator pedals. 


There have been a feeling that de Cesaris might do another screaming start, as he has done in the Belgian GP, and takes the lead from the two Fermis, but it is not to be and when the field returns to the stadium the order is Ferrari, Ferrari, Brabham-BMW. Tambay led from Arnoux, Piquet, de Cesaris, Prost, Cheever, Baldi, Patrese, Johansson, Rosberg and Warwick, but already Guerrero has stopped with a blown-up Cosworth engine in the Theodore and on the next lap the Renault engine in Mansells old Lotus expires. Tambay is all for choosing a pace that would not stress his car or his tyres and yet keep the two Ferraris just out of reach of Piquets Brabham, but Amoux has other ideas and on lap three bludgeons his way by his team- mate and goes off into a commanding lead, much to Tambays consternation as he sees Arnoux kerb-jumping and working his tyres unmercifully. Alboreto pulls his blown-up Tyrrell off onto the grass and the second Lotus runs into engine trouble, and then the second-place Ferrari goes sick. An unheard of engine failure sees Tambay completing a slow lap and disappearing into the pits. He does one more slow lap and then retires with suspected valve trouble in the Ferrari engine. This leaves Arnoux with a commanding lead over Piquet, and really there is no one else seriously in the race. Prost, Cheever, Patrese and de Cesaris follow in line-astern formation, but too far back to be of any real significance and then comes Warwick leading Baldi in the second Alfa Romeo. Johansson is hanging on to the end of the turbocharged trail and looking quite encouraging for a new project, and Niki Lauda is showing what he is really made of by leading all the Cosworth powered cars. While Warwick is holding his own with the tail-end of the turbocharged cars his team-mate Giacomelli is in trouble with a failing turbocharger and only sufficient boost to allow him to keep station with the lesser Cosworth- powered cars. The Honda has expired and then when we think Warwick might be stopping early for new tyres and more fuel he is actually stopping for good with engine trouble. Prost is the first to make a routine pit stop, pulling out of third place to turn into the pit lane. He is far from happy for his gearbox is continually jumping out of top gear and first gear has broken on the start line, so after a refill and new tyres he is forced to make a slow start in second gear. 


Not long after rejoining the race top gear breaks and he is limited to peak RPM in fourth gear, which holds his speed down on the fast straights, and after rejoining the race in sixth place he can make no further progress up the field. Nearly a lap behind, Rosberg is also far from happy for he has chosen a different type of Goodyear tyre to Laffite and finds out he cannot keep up. He makes his routine pit stop and sets off on a different type of tyre, but it does not seem to make much difference and time lost in getting into gear after his stop puts him a lap behind the leading Ferrari. We are now at half distance and as Arnoux stops, Piquet and Cheever go by, temporarily, but Cheever stops on the next lap which means that Arnoux is now in second place, but not too worried for Piquet has yet to stop. The Alfa Romeos, the McLarens and Laffite all make their routine stops, with Lauda showing how not to do it by sliding past his pit with his front wheels locked up. He reverses back and is subsequently disqualified for the action. At the end of lap 28 Patrese pulls into the pit lane, having gone eight laps further than Prost. The Brabham mechanics excell themselves and Patreses car is stationary for a 9s, during which time all four wheels are changed and petrol is pressured into the tank. This is nearly two seconds quicker than the best of the opposition and nearly four seconds quicker than most teams. Piquet continues to circulate until lap 30, a full 10 laps more than the first Renault that stops and seven more than Amouxs Ferrari. Apart from Prost being in trouble with his Renault gearbox it is back to square one after all the stops, with Arnoux ahead of Piquet, with Cheever third, Prost fourth, de Cesaris fifth and Patrese sixth. Everyone else is a lap or more behind and being led by Lauda, followed by Watson, Laffite, Surer, Jarier, Boutsen and Rosberg. Prost falls back behind de Cesaris and then Patrese, and Arnoux begins to ease up as the end is in sight. On lap 39 Cheevers excellent third place goes out of the window when his Renault engine dies on him due to the throttle mechanism breaking. With only three laps to go misfortune (and luck) hits Piquets Brabham when a fuel line bursts and the pumps filled the engine compartment with neat petrol which ignites in a merry blaze. Piquet does a crash stop and nipps out hurriedly as fire marshals move in and douse the flames, but his race is run. 


A delighted de Cesaris finds himself in second place with the demise of the Renault and the Brabham and it is joy day for Italy as Ferrari finishes first and Alfa Romeo second. Arnoux wins and is happy. De Cesaris arrives second at the finish line and is satisfied. Riccardo Patrese is third and, smiling like the famous actor Buster Keaton - that is, without actually smiling - accepts the placement. Niki Lauda, on the other hand, finishes fifth but gets disqualified. The success of Ferrari also brought him joy, but he was the first among the naturally aspirated engine drivers and had a great race, just like in the old days, pushing himself to the limit. In the end, he is content with the sweat on his face and sore hands.


"It's like having won a race for the effort I put in. We should start with a one-lap advantage to be on equal terms with the turbo. Instead, there we are at the start, already knowing that we'll only get crumbs. That's why the suffering is twofold".


For the Austrian champion, today's result is comparable to a great victory. However, right after the race, Frank Williams files a complaint because during refueling, the McLaren driver stopped five meters ahead of the designated spot in his box and was manually pushed back by the mechanics, a move prohibited by the regulations. The English constructor is quick to take advantage of the situation, and with the protest immediately accepted by the judges, rightfully so according to the rules, Laffite slips from seventh to sixth place, while Watson moves from sixth to fifth, replacing teammate Lauda. These things happen in races, as they did with Rosberg for other incidents in Brazil. But Lauda does not accept this penalty so easily.


"It's not just about the fifth place but the fact that the decision is absolutely undeserved. Mr. Williams is always capable of acting in this way, and this time he is also on the right side. I can't say anything except consider myself morally tranquil. But I give everyone a warning: remember that in a few days, I will have a turbo engine, the Porsche. We will debut with this engine in Zandvoort. I don't know if things will go well immediately, but as soon as the engine works as I hope, I will enjoy overtaking the Williams. You'll see the Lauda of old, capable of winning a Grand Prix. I certainly haven't hung up my helmet and am ready to battle everyone. So yesterday's episode in the German Grand Prix has given me a psychological boost that I may not have had before. I warn everyone, beware of Lauda".


Alain Prost is getting closer to winning the World Championship. With five races left in the season, the Frenchman has a nine-point lead over Piquet. The margin over Tambay is even more significant.


"I admit that this time I was lucky. But don't think that I didn't suffer. I was always on the verge of going off the track, struggled a lot, and I believe I earned this fourth place. As for the world title, I'm definitely not out of danger. There are still many points available, and I will have to fight, I believe, until the end. My rivals are strong, and today they must acknowledge that they were stopped when they could have achieved very interesting placements".


An honest admission from the Frenchman, who nevertheless has good reasons to be cheerful. Nelson Piquet, on the other hand, looks much darker as, three laps from the end, he saw at least the second place slip away.


"It was a real problem, with the fuel catching fire. Anyway, I don't think everything is lost, and I'll have time to make up for it".


Finally, a smile on Riccardo Patrese's face, third after not being able to finish a race since the beginning of the year.


"It's little consolation for me. But let's accept even this. On this occasion too, I feared not being able to reach the finish line. From the beginning of the race, there was no turbo pressure, and I had 1500 fewer revs in the engine. A red light was on, and for forty laps, practically, I feared having to stop once again. I'm sorry for Piquet, who could have scored valuable points. I would have liked to help him by taking placements from Prost, but unfortunately, I nibbled away at him little. It is clear that my goal for the season is to win at least one race".


There are two different faces at Ferrari. The happy one of Arnoux, the gloomy one of Tambay. In the Maranello team, it's clear that everyone is very happy for René's success, but it must also be acknowledged that Patrick's negative result disappoints everyone. Arnoux climbs onto the podium, sprays everyone with champagne, and rejoices for his second victory with Ferrari, the sixth since he started in Formula 1.


"I am happy for this success, but also and above all because the nine points I got brought me back among the leaders in the title race. It wasn't a difficult race; I never had particularly tough moments, just vibrations in the tires after the pit stop, probably because I lost a wheel balancing weight. When Piquet got too close, I increased the speed, and everything went smoothly. At this moment, I don't yet know if I will stay at Ferrari. I like the environment a lot; people work with love, the fans are fantastic. I feel good, and I will try to do my duty thinking above all about the current championship".


Arnoux does not declare it officially and openly, but it is quite clear that he is thinking about winning the World Championship and believes he still has many chances to achieve it. Tambay, on the other hand, does not complain about what happened but at the same time does not hide his disappointment.


"So are the races; not everything is compromised. Unfortunately, I had a lot of problems and was left on foot. It could have been a double for us, and I would have been satisfied even with second place. Arnoux initially passed me, risking perhaps a bit too much. This means that I have to reassess things. Like at the beginning of the World Championship when I considered him a rival".


A very calm controversy, if it can be called that, dictated perhaps by the current situation. Arnoux responds:


"It is clear that a driver always wants to win, and it is equally clear that if I had been in the lead, and Patrick had been second, I would not have let him pass. I am willing to help my teammate but only for placements. If I were second, and he was third, I would let him pass. When it comes to winning, it's difficult to take your foot off the accelerator".


On Sunday in Hockenheim, someone saw an epic duel between Ferrari and Alfa Romeo. The past was remembered, the names of Fangio, Ascari, Farina, and other champions who were protagonists between 1950 and 1951 in exciting challenges between the two Italian teams were invoked. Certainly, Andrea De Cesaris's second place in the Euroracing-Alfa car is a dream. But it is also necessary to point out that the Roman driver and the Frenchman from the Maranello team have never been seen on the track, so much so that his car finished more than a minute behind the winner. Everyone hopes that this much-awaited direct confrontation will happen soon. However, to avoid creating excessive illusions, it must be said that De Cesaris's result was also determined by many retirements in the leading ranks (Piquet, Tambay, Cheever, and also De Angelis, who was making a comeback). This, without taking anything away from the merits of the car and the driver who had secured third place in qualifying, demonstrating competitiveness. At the same time, the positive placement offers a breath of fresh air to the Milanese team, which, if it confirms progress in the upcoming races, will have already earned its season. 


It is not for everyone to rise to the top in the first year of experience in Formula 1 as Euroraclng is doing, even with the advantage of benefiting from the experience and considerable technical knowledge of the carmaker providing their engines. As for De Cesaris, the situation is complicated. The young Roman (just 24 years old) has built an excellent reputation as a fast driver, perhaps one of the best in Formula 1. Behind the wheel, he has courage and talent. However, his professionalism is undermined by an excessively fiery, uncontrolled behavior that has often made him the protagonist of unpleasant incidents. De Cesaris complains:


"I'm targeted; I can't do anything without being attacked. Ferrari is right not to take Italian drivers: they would be subjected to too much pressure. Anyway, they target me in a particular way. De Angelis on Sunday battered an elderly English journalist, and no one wrote anything. As for the dispute with the Hockenheim policeman, the GPDA intervened in my favor".


Nobody denies De Cesaris the extenuating circumstances. But if he intends to make people believe that the policeman threw himself under his car for no reason, he is on the wrong track. Everyone is ready to help him and rejoice if he wins a Grand Prix soon, maybe even beating Ferrari. However, it would be better if De Cesaris took a moment for self-reflection to see if the criticisms he received are entirely unjustified. Often, to be champions in sports, it is essential to be champions in everyday life as well. The curse of Hockenheim has struck again. Tradition has it that on the German circuit, in eight races held from 1970 onwards for the Formula 1 World Championship, no driver has managed to win twice. This tradition was promptly respected on Sunday with Nelson Piquet (first in 1981) and Patrick Tambay (winner last year). The Brazilian retired three laps from the end, and the Ferrari driver at the beginning of the race. However, neither of the two could have attacked Arnoux. In one fell swoop, the Frenchman achieved two goals: he won his second race with Ferrari and re-launched himself in the fight for the World Championship. The world title, with five races to go in the World Championship, is now a matter of four with Prost, Piquet, Tambay, and Arnoux in that order. A battle that is becoming increasingly exciting, even though it is regrettable that exceptional drivers like Rosberg and Lauda are eliminated from the competition, not because of their fault but due to the lack of turbo engines. The German Grand Prix, however, has increased the number of contenders for the championship and provided useful insights for an analysis of the situation. The 126 C3 has adequately replaced the previous model. Two races, two pole positions, two placements at Silverstone, and a victory in Germany. Some may wonder why the tires, which caused many problems in England, turned out to be excellent in Germany. 


There are six reasons, as explained by Mauro Forghieri, that led to the reversal of the result: the different layout of the track, with a slower part; a new type of tires hastily prepared by Goodyear; the track surface with more granular and abrasive asphalt; a different setup developed on the cars; the lower external temperature; the adoption of a larger rear wing that increased the cars' grip. This, of course, is true for Hockenheim. In Zeltweg, the situation might change in favor of Michelin. After the race, the two Ferrari drivers, one happy and the other deeply disappointed, made statements that perhaps gave rise to somewhat exaggerated interpretations. There is a sports rivalry between the two, as always happens between two riders of equal caliber, but no malice. It is clear that it will be up to Ferrari to manage the best opportunities for its men. A difficult task, but, given Marco Piccinini's diplomatic skills, not impossible. Having both drivers in the running for the title can be a double-edged sword. Advantageous if, at a certain point, team play can also come into play, negative if one were to steal points from the other. Meanwhile, Alain Prost is leading the standings and is the number one candidate for the final victory. At this point, it will be truly difficult to oust him from the top of Formula 1. The Renault professor has demonstrated his worth not so much for the successes achieved when everything went well but for the placements obtained. Alain Prost has built his race-by-race advantage, always reaching the finish line, racing intelligently, suffering in silence when he had problems. Like on Sunday at Hockenheim, where he raced with a gearbox progressively deteriorating until he was reduced to using only the first three gears in the final laps. It is evident that all of Renault's efforts are focused on him, just as Brabham works particularly for Piquet. The teammates of Prost and the Brazilian (Cheever and Patrese, respectively) rightly complain, but this is the law of Formula 1 and many other sports. 


You have to hang on and gradually prove that you deserve such attention. Although almost never captured by television, Niki Lauda has had one of his best races since returning to Formula 1. Commitment, determination, skill - Lauda displayed his entire repertoire to achieve a hard-earned fifth place. He made only a small mistake in so much perfection. He overshot by five meters during the pit stop. They had to push him back to his box, and this immediately triggered the complaint from the observant Frank Williams, who couldn't believe his luck to make Laffite gain a point thanks to Lauda's disqualification. Now Niki is seeking revenge. He says he will take revenge on everyone starting from Zandvoort when the turbo Tag-Porsche engine will be installed on his McLaren. Knowing him, it is to be believed that Prost, Piquet, Tambay, and Arnoux will have to deal with a real obstacle if they want to win races. Also because Porsche (albeit unofficially) does not have the habit of stepping forward without ambitions. We are therefore heading towards an exciting end to the season.


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