#399 1984 German Grand Prix

2021-09-13 00:00

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#1984, Fulvio Conti,

#399 1984 German Grand Prix

Why doesn't Ferrari win anymore? Is Alboreto truly strong, or is he a mediocre driver? These are the recurring questions that the majority of Formula


Why doesn't Ferrari win anymore? Is Alboreto truly strong, or is he a mediocre driver? These are the recurring questions that the majority of Formula 1 fans have been asking after each Grand Prix for some time now. The team from Maranello, for better or worse, is always at the center of attention, and the drivers are merely a complementary factor. Gilles Villeneuve had managed to break this strange relationship in the past, while Alboreto, for now, must align his image with that of the car. Nevertheless, the Italian driver has proven at the right moment that his class, courage, and desire to win cannot be questioned. Enzo Ferrari, to cut short certain controversies, reconfirms him along with Arnoux for 1985. The discussion about Italian drivers in Formula 1 inevitably leads to talking about Elio De Angelis, who is currently in third place in the World Championship standings behind Alain Prost and Niki Lauda. The Italian Lotus driver is experiencing the best season of his already long career (at 26 years old) that began in the Argentine Grand Prix in 1979. Since the beginning of this World Championship, he has achieved nine placements among the top six in ten races. He is the first Italian who can realistically aim for the world title since Alberto Ascari.


"I only miss the victory, which should not be long in coming. In that case, I could be an alternative to Prost and Lauda, entering a challenge that is still open. Our car is competitive in terms of performance. We need to work to make another leap forward, especially with the tires. Goodyear is making a significant effort to develop their radial tires".


De Angelis (who always wears an old torn suit for good luck) does not complain. He has made his own way and is highly regarded in the Formula 1 community. He has succeeded as an emigrant in motorsports, not an easy feat after unsuccessfully trying to join an Italian team. Some, endowed with a particular sense of humor, say in the Formula 1 environment that they don't know if the Italian driver is lucky to always reach the finish line or unlucky to only achieve placements. Elio responds:


"Luck counts little in this activity. Experience, driving ability, the ability to assess the course of a race moment by moment are important. Unfortunately, our team currently does not have the means like McLaren, Ferrari, Brabham, and Renault".


It is to be hoped for him that Renault, having failed in their glory pursuits, intensifies efforts to supply engines to the English team. Elio De Angelis thus presents himself as the third force in the battle between Prost and Lauda. His chances are not few because the duel between the two McLaren drivers will certainly claim at least one victim. Not to mention that the Frenchman is currently in the sights of an important figure like Bernie Ecclestone. The Brabham manager is furious because Alain Prost blamed him on Sunday for repeating the start of the British Grand Prix as his driver, Nelson Piquet, was struggling. A sign of nervousness that could even lead to an irreversible crisis. Meanwhile, in the days leading up to the German Grand Prix, the fever rises among German Formula 1 fans. The organizers of this eleventh race of the World Championship are preparing for a record crowd on Sunday, August 5, 1984. Why? Just read the newspapers to understand. Everyone here talks about a probable, very possible German derby between Porsche and BMW. And it doesn't matter that the teams involved in this clash are English and called McLaren and Brabham. Only the engines count, expressions of two different and rival schools in a challenge between Stuttgart and Munich. In fact, after what happened in the last two races, it is not clear what alternatives the German Grand Prix can offer. Scheduled for Sunday at the fast Hockenheim circuit, a facility that, in its central area, looks like a football stadium. The superiority of McLaren-Porsche and Brabham-BMW has been all too evident. It seems really difficult, although not impossible, for some rival to enter the top fight. However, human factors also come into play in the technical dispute. If it is true that Nelson Piquet is alone battling against two direct rivals, it is also certain that there is no tranquility within the McLaren team. The race could definitively close the rivalry between Alain Prost and Niki Lauda. With the Austrian in a psychologically advantageous position, at least, over the Frenchman, who, however, is never a driver to underestimate. In the qualifications scheduled for Friday, August 3, 1984, an answer must also be obtained, at least in terms of speed performance, from the Goodyear-shod cars. 


The American tires, which have shown positive results in the recent Zandvoort test, are affecting top teams like Lotus, Williams, and Ferrari. The team led by Ducarouge knows it has a very valid car, and Elio De Angelis can still be a contender in the title race only if he is not betrayed by the tires themselves. The same goes, although a bit more complicated, for Ferrari. It is an exaggeration to say that perhaps the race at Hockenheim can be the last chance for the Maranello team to get back into the race for the World Championship victory, but if the efforts made in recent days do not have a positive result, it will be necessary to say goodbye to dreams of glory, at least for this year. Four cars come out of the Fiorano track, tested at the beginning of the week by Arnoux and Alboreto. Two are substantially modified compared to those at Brands Hatch. New rear suspension and, at the back, a new fairing in the lower part of the car. This solution should increase ground effect and allow loading the wing less to reduce air resistance. Ferrari arrives in Germany with two vans. Four cars are unloaded from one, while the other remains hermetically sealed for the moment, sparking the imagination of those present at the circuit. Does the Maranello team have another secret weapon? There is talk of one or two more different cars. The other teams, on the other hand, have adapted to the very fast track and the high temperatures expected for the weekend, with larger air intakes, pumps spraying water on the heat exchangers, and various devices. Last year there were several breakdowns. 


And Ferrari had won with Arnoux. Some fear that history will repeat itself, and others hope for a repeat, or even a triple, since in 1982 it was Tambay who brought a Maranello car first to the finish line. On Friday, July 3, 1984, mixes the cards a bit, and the game becomes more interesting. At least apparently. McLaren-Porsche and Brabham-BMW were expected to be in the spotlight. Instead, Renault engines emerge in the first qualifying session of the German Grand Prix: Elio De Angelis, with the Lotus powered by the French six-cylinder, is the fastest of all ahead of Warwick with the Renault. Piquet, Lauda, the ever-surprising Senna with the Toleman, and a slightly troubled Prost follow. Then come the two Ferraris, with Alboreto and Arnoux in seventh and ninth positions, separated by Andrea De Cesaris (Ligier-Renault). The times from this day of testing are quite indecipherable but give an idea of the difficulties Ferrari is facing. Here are the data to analyze: De Angelis laps in 1'48.033 with the Goodyear-shod Lotus. The next five cars have Michelin tires. Last year, the Italian driver was about six seconds slower. Everyone else improves compared to 1983 with variations ranging from a few tenths to 2-3 seconds. Ferrari, on the other hand, after winning the pole position in 1983 thanks to Tambay with a time of 1'49.328, slows down. Michele Alboreto laps in 1'49.782, which is 0.454s more than last year. Far from progress. It is pointless to talk about obscure maladies. There is evidently a technical impasse. One wonders: how does Lotus, with the same tires, manage to stand out? There is only one doubt left: what would De Angelis have done if he had had Michelin tires?


"My car is fabulous, I would say perfect. I am convinced that with French tires, I could have done even better, much better. I would be curious to try. In any case, we haven't solved all the problems. Our race tires don't seem very reliable. Let's not make too many illusions. For now, I can only enjoy a possible pole position".


It must be said that, for a couple of races now, given the results, Goodyear has slightly shifted its focus. Ferrari was initially considered the leading team, but now efforts are focused on Lotus. A choice that does not please the Maranello team. In any case, it cannot be argued that Ferrari's current situation is solely attributable to the tires. There are obviously problems, difficulties in making technical choices, because the enormous amount of work done does not yield positive results. The new cars, modified in the rear suspension and with a new fairing, do not show appreciable results. So much so that to set the times, the cars used at Brands Hatch are used. Mauro Forghieri says:


"We need to develop them further".


For the rest, there are no shocking news: Tyrrell participates in the race but will be excluded from the score, Alfa Romeo continues to stay in low positions, Osella stops its climb due to a turbine failure but has the opportunity to make up for it in Saturday's qualification. Rosberg, with the Williams-Honda, sets the worst time of all due to engine problems, despite being the fastest overall at the finish line with a top speed of 257 km/h. On Saturday, August 4, 1984, twenty minutes of sunshine and a dry track, after a morning of rain that had suggested the impossibility of improving the times set on Friday, trigger an incredible brawl in the second qualifying session of the German Grand Prix. And from the battle on the edge of hundredths of a second, like a devil, Alain Prost with his McLaren-Porsche emerges. The French driver manages to dispel the psychological crisis that seemed to have gripped him following Niki Lauda's victory at Brands Hatch. The tenacious McLaren driver manages to show that he is not going through a negative period, that the chances of a final victory remain intact.


"On Sunday, I aim to come first because the car is perfect, the engine runs very well, and the driver is in good shape. In this race, the whole season could be decided".


To give more credibility to his words, Prost puts on a show on the track. In his best lap (1'47.012, averaging 228.658 km/h, a new absolute record for the circuit), Alain races like a fury, attacking every meter of the track and exiting the curve leading to the pits literally clinging to the car's wheels, on the verge of a skid. De Angelis does the same to defend the pole position obtained the day before. However, the Italian driver, with a slightly tired engine and due to the traffic ahead, cannot defend himself to the maximum. He improves his time but is beaten by just 0.053 seconds, a negligible difference over almost two minutes required to complete a lap. Niki Lauda also attempts the impossible, risking to the limit. But this time, the Austrian is not lucky. Instead, he incurs in a terrible spin from which he escapes without damage thanks to his exceptional skill.


"I was stupid. I made a mistake because I didn't wait for the tires to reach temperature. Then the engine broke, and I couldn't do anything more. In any case, I am confident enough for the race. I think I can achieve a good placement".


Lauda, indeed, starts in seventh position, preceded not only by his teammate but also by De Angelis, Warwick, Tambay, Piquet, and Alboreto in that order. The Austrian has a stratagem ready: he asked McLaren to mount a very small wing for him, to have less air resistance. He might have less grip in the turns, but he will be very fast for making impossible overtakes against rivals. Behind the two Renaults, positioned in the second row alongside Piquet, who remains one of the possible winners, there is Alboreto with Ferrari, in sixth place. While Arnoux slips to the tenth position, the Italian driver of Ferrari advances by one position. It's not much, but it's still a positive sign, even though the gap from the leader has further increased.


"We chose both cars in the previous configuration for reliability, as the one with the new solutions still needs development. I don't feel like making a prediction for the race. Much depends on the tire choice we will make this morning since yesterday, with the wet track, we couldn't work much".


As seen, these are not very committed statements. Moreover, even more clichéd are the words of Marco Piccinini:


"We have improved our times, but the others have also gone faster".


When things are not going very well, it is difficult, after all, to find interesting topics. Certainly, at this moment, the battle between Porsche and BMW, in an environment of completely German dominance, offers more valid insights. 


In a meeting held in the days before the Grand Prix, the FISA appoints a permanent Drivers' Council that will work alongside the Formula 1 Executive Committee to resolve all technical and safety issues affecting the world of motorsport. Niki Lauda, who is already the highest representative of the GPDA, is appointed president. The first set of problems that the drivers bring up concerns a new regulation regarding the wings, which should be reduced in size. FISA engineer Gabriele Gadringher will contact the drivers themselves to study the topic, and in a meeting in Zeltweg, the first decisions will be made. The drivers support the FISA project regarding the new chassis structures while waiting for a longer-term system to be implemented to place the feet behind the front wheels, unlike in current single-seaters where the pedal controls are placed in front of the tires. On Sunday, August 5, 1985, before the start of the German Grand Prix, Alain Prost was forced to get into the reserve car, which had been prepared for Lauda, due to an oil pump issue that occurred on the Porsche engine. At the start, the French driver cautiously took off and was overtaken by Elio De Angelis but managed to defend against Derek Warwick's attack. During the first lap, Alain Prost tried to regain the lead by attacking Elio De Angelis, while a mistake by Derek Warwick allowed Nelson Piquet to move into third place. Following were Patrick Tambay, Ayrton Senna, Michele Alboreto, and Niki Lauda. During the second lap, Ayrton Senna overtook Patrick Tambay, who was slowed down by an engine problem in his Renault. Shortly after, Michele Alboreto lost two positions to Niki Lauda and Teo Fabi. In the fourth lap, Niki Lauda gained another position by passing Patrick Tambay. Meanwhile, Ayrton Senna's race ended as the front wing of his Toleman flew off, causing him to go off the track at Ostkurve. In the eighth lap, Elio De Angelis also retired due to a piston failure. Meanwhile, Alain Prost took the lead, but Nelson Piquet passed the French driver at the third chicane. In the meantime, Michele Alboreto had to make a long pit stop due to a fuel pick-up problem. During the ninth lap, Niki Lauda passed Derek Warwick, securing the third position. Renault driver was soon overtaken by Keke Rosberg. However, the Finnish driver of Williams had to abandon the race shortly after due to an electrical issue. The leaderboard still showed Nelson Piquet in the lead, followed by the two McLaren drivers, Alain Prost and Niki Lauda, then Derek Warwick, Teo Fabi, Patrick Tambay, Nigel Mansell, and René Arnoux. 


Suddenly, in the 22nd lap, a gearbox problem forced Nelson Piquet to slow down, allowing the two McLaren drivers to pass him. In the following lap, the Brazilian was forced to retire. In the 27th lap, René Arnoux, with the only remaining Ferrari in the race, entered the pits and changed the tires. Upon returning to the track, the French driver maintained the seventh position. In the 29th lap, the other Brabham driver, Teo Fabi, also retired. In the following laps, Prost increased his lead over Niki Lauda to 6 seconds. However, the French driver was concerned that a piece of polyethylene lodged in the front of his car might damage the air intake. In the 34th lap, Nigel Mansell passed Patrick Tambay, while three laps later, a driving error by François Hesnault allowed his teammate, Andrea De Cesaris, to take seventh place. The Frenchman, however, regained the lost position in the 38th lap before conceding it again to his teammate in the 41st lap. It was a memorable day for German motorsport at the Hockenheim Motordrom. Two McLarens with Porsche engines contested, after a good family fight, the German Grand Prix. It had never happened before that two engines from the Stuttgart-based manufacturer achieved such a result in Formula 1, a sports, technical, and commercial showcase without equal. Practically unrivaled. Alain Prost and Niki Lauda engaged in a solitary duel that ultimately rewarded the French driver, securing his fourth victory of the season after Brazil, San Marino, and Monaco. With this win, Prost solidified his position as the leader of the World Championship, although the Austrian, with his second place, narrowed the gap to 4.5 points. The internal battle at McLarcn-Porsche, therefore, remained wide open. While Ferry Porsche, the top executive of the prestigious Stuttgart brand, probably rejoiced in his residence in Weissach, where the company's experimental center is also located, 83-year-old Enzo Ferrari must have felt bitterness and disappointment in front of the screen at Fiorano. His red cars, once again in this unfortunate season, struggled on the track. The balance at Hockenheim was meager for the Scuderia. René Arnoux secured sixth place, one point behind the two race dominators, finishing ahead of Derek Warwick's Renault, Nigel Mansell's Lotus, and Patrick Tambay's other Renault. Michele Alboreto was forced to retire after a few laps. But what left more than a few fans of the Maranello team, present in Hockenheim, stunned was the absolute lack of competitiveness of the Italian cars. 


Arnoux was lapped by Prost and Lauda, more than seven kilometers, an abyss. And it must be said that in the end, the Frenchman even appeared a bit humiliated. It is true that once again the Grand Prix was a showcase for cars using Michelin tires. The French tires secured the top three positions on the podium. But it is equally undeniable that Ferrari cannot even claim to be the best among the cars using Goodyear products. The Maranello team is in a deep crisis, there is no doubt. In Formula 1, many things can change from one race to another. However, it seems logical now that Ferrari must think about the future, the next championship, and plan a different car that could be tested in the final stages of the season. Regarding the duel between Prost and Lauda, any doubts seem to have been dispelled. It is indeed the dominant theme of this year, a head-to-head clash. Elio De Angelis and Nelson Piquet did their best to counter the two rivals but were both forced to retire. Unlike Ferrari, they abandoned due to mechanical failures while they were in contention and boldly battling against the McLaren drivers. Alain Prost finally found his smile. The Frenchman was saddened after the British Grand Prix as he was forced to retire, and Niki Lauda won. At Hockenheim, the driver from St. Chamond immediately took a satisfying revenge. And in the end, on the podium, he embraced all rivals, from Jean-Marie Balestre, FISA president, to Niki Lauda, dispensing kisses and pats on the back to each. The reasons for Prost's happiness are evident: he firmly regained the lead in the World Championship standings, increasing his advantage, but above all, he gained the trust of his team. With this victory, Prost achieved a dual purpose and was also a protagonist of a race that was quite challenging due to the problems he had with the car:


"It's true, I didn't know this car. Honestly, we don't have a spare car; it's a real single-seater race car. But this time, it was Niki's turn, and it was set up for him. The mechanics were excellent at adapting it to my requirements in a short time. No other problems".


Then he made a teasing remark about his teammate:


"You always write that Lauda is a computer. No one can deny it. But have you also seen that when we have identical cars, he can't catch up with me".


Lauda's response was calm and composed, fairly satisfied overall with the result. There was also some self-criticism from the Austrian driver:


"I set up the car wrong; I removed the wing to be faster than Prost, but I only realized during the race, because I couldn't do thorough tests, that I had a lot of oversteer. My McLaren, therefore, was difficult to handle and also slower than Alain's. I tried to attack him; he responded. Towards the end, I thought, better six points than nothing. For the championship, the fight between us should be limited now".


Everything was fine in the McLaren team, as expected. Everything was bad at Ferrari, where, at this point, there was no knowing what to say anymore. René Arnoux admits:


"I also had an electrical problem, perhaps due to the battery. This caused a drop in engine power and pressure. At low speed, I was confused by a lineup that was not clear. I had to reverse to align myself, and then at the start, I wasn't ready enough. In any case, it wasn't possible to do more. I had also broken the air intake for the right front brake, so I was absolutely inferior to the others".


As for Alboreto, the issue is identified as a probable electrical problem. However, it is not excluded that there may also be some engine trouble. On Monday, the car will be disassembled, and an attempt will be made to trace the origin of the problem. Elio De Angelis, who hoped to achieve a good result in this race, was also bitter:


"It was really the right time because we also had competitive tires. I attacked immediately, taking advantage of Prost's slow start. I thought I could go on like this, especially because the car was very easy to drive. But then the breakdown came suddenly. I had kept the turbo pressure recommended by Renault, and this race was perfect for us. Unfortunately, it is evident that when you try to force it, it is difficult to get results. Anyway, it was useless for me to aim for another placement. Only victories can help me stay in the race for the World Championship".


A glimpse of happiness is also evident at Renault, which is starting to see positive results with Warwick's third place and Tambay's fifth. The English driver says:


"It was absolutely unthinkable to be able to compete with the McLarens. They had a race of their own, we pretended to be in a different category".


Nelson Piquet is a real joker. Despite the intense competitiveness that always reigns in races, while his fellow drivers argue, celebrate, or despair when things go well or badly, the Brazilian always finds a way, even in the most difficult moments, to create a more serene atmosphere. When Piquet retired, he managed to play an incredible prank on his mechanics. When his car visibly slowed down while leading, he returned to the pits like a fury. From the cockpit, he signaled to his team to quickly change all the tires. They hurried to perform the operation in record time. As soon as the operation was completed, Piquet turned off the engine, unfastened his seat belts, and got out of the car to the general amazement, heading inside the pit. Only after removing his helmet did he confess, smiling, that he had broken the gearbox and had asked for a tire change just to see how good the mechanics were at replacing them quickly. The prank was received by everyone with a great sense of humor and confirmed the relaxed atmosphere in the Brabham team, unlike other teams. With seven wins out of eleven races, the McLaren-Porsche is heading towards a record-breaking season in Formula 1. Not only is the Anglo-German team leading its drivers, Prost and Lauda, to a family fight for the world title, but it also has the chance to break the absolute record of victories in a single championship from 1950 to the present. The limit belongs to Lotus, which achieved it in 1978 with eight wins. It is not difficult to predict that, with five races still to go, McLaren has significant chances of becoming the team with the most first places in a year. Behind these figures, which already speak for themselves, lies a technical and competitive supremacy that seems to have thwarted the ambitions of all opponents. 


The big loser of the German Grand Prix was BMW, which not only failed in the engine challenge with the national brand (all five cars powered by the Munich engine retired) but also put its top man, Nelson Piquet, in difficulty. He now appears clearly behind in the World Championship standings, in seventh place with 18 points, while Alain Prost is at 43.5 points. Ferrari is also fully disappointed. At this point, it's not so much the modest results (Arnoux's sixth place, Alboreto's retirement, who has only finished among the top six twice this season) of the Ferrari team that negatively impresses, but the lack of competitiveness. With equal tires in the race, the cars seemed much slower than the Lotuses and the Williams. There is no point in setting up trials now, wondering what the dark evil is. We just have to wait for measures to be taken, to somehow rediscover the qualities that led to victory in Zolder. Therefore, the World Championship can only live on the fight for the title, which sees two teammates, two drivers profoundly different in character and image but very close to each other in performance, facing each other. Suffice it to say that at Hockenheim, in 44 laps, Prost and Lauda were each faster than the other 23 times in direct time comparison, as can be seen from the valuable data provided by Olivetti. The decisive advantage, purely in terms of numbers, Alain obtained in the first five laps when Niki had to climb from seventh place on the grid to the third position. This explains what the difference is between the two McLaren drivers. The Frenchman is still slightly faster than the Austrian, and this is his main advantage. Lauda himself explains once again the reason for this supremacy, which he acknowledges:


"Alain has more experience with turbo engines. Since he went to Renault in 1981, he has always driven single-seaters powered by turbocharged engines. I, on the other hand, have only fifteen races under my belt. Gradually I am catching up, and I think that in the next race at Zeltweg, on a track that I know very well, I will be able to be on par with him".


Prost remains unfazed. The victory in Germany has given him confidence again. The Frenchman is not a driver who receives much sympathy from colleagues in Formula 1. All in all, he is a lone man, without friends. A bit because of the malice displayed on the track, a bit because of always putting teammates at a disadvantage by demanding preferential treatment. Standing just over 1.60 meters, not exactly attractive and charming, rather unlucky, Alain Prost is still gaining popularity as a courageous, skillful, determined driver.


"I want to become the first Frenchman to win the world title. I am 29 years old, I feel mature for this undertaking. I don't say this out of a spirit of revenge against the team I left at the end of last season, but only for myself. Niki Lauda is now the only obstacle standing between me and final success. Beating the Austrian automatically means winning the world title".


The answer is up to Niki Lauda. While the World Championship continues in the sign of McLaren, the driver and technician market for the next season is moving underground. According to the first information, there could be several changes, some of which are sensational. Let's see, however, in reference to the top teams, the current situation and future prospects based on the rumors circulating in the environment. At Ferrari, Michele Alboreto and René Arnoux have already been officially confirmed for 1985. However, some do not exclude that there may be surprises. In the past, signed contracts have been unilaterally invalidated by the team or the driver. If this were to happen, candidates for a possible replacement for one of the drivers could be Keke Rosberg, Niki Lauda, or Andrea De Cesaris. It should not be forgotten that the Maranello team seems to have suffered lately from the lack of a driver who knows how to be a good tester, with great experience. The situation at the McLaren team depends on the outcome of the fight for the world title. Lauda is asking for a lot of money, but it is not excluded that he will stay together with Alain Prost. Regarding Renault, Derek Warwick has already renewed his agreement for the next championship. It seems that the Englishman has obtained a salary close to one million pounds. The French team is awaiting a response from Tambay. Renault is also interested in Niki Lauda for the same reason as Ferrari, as they are looking for a driver who can also fine-tune cars and engines well. According to a fairly reliable rumor, a radical change at the top is not excluded. Gerard Ducarouge could arrive from Lotus in place of Gerard Larrousse, contested by part of the management staff. In case Ducarouge takes on this new role, he could bring with him either Elio De Angelis or Andrea De Cesaris. 


But it is also said that Ducarouge is a candidate to move to the top of Williams. Uncertainty reigns at Lotus. They should have completed the signing of the emerging star of Formula 1, the Brazilian Ayrton Senna, who will give an answer next week. The replacement technician for Gérard Ducarouge could be Patrick Head, who would have disagreements with Frank Williams. As for the drivers, if Elio De Angelis wants to stay, there would be no problems. Alfa Romeo, on the other hand, is looking for a complete relaunch. While the new technician Tonto is planning a four-cylinder engine, they are looking for a designer for the car. Names like Patrick Head and even Gordon Murray have been mentioned, although he is unlikely to leave Brabham. Riccardo Patrese already has a contract for 1985, Eddie Cheever is interested in Williams, but would also like to stay put if there are guarantees of progress. In Brabham, Nelson Piquet is immovable unless Gordon Murray leaves. In this case, the Brazilian would follow the technician. Teo Fabi is unsure about anything. If not reconfirmed and if he does not find a top team, he could also leave the activity. Given Jacques Laffite's certain departure, Keke Rosberg's stay at Williams is conditioned by the prospects the team will have. In any case, there are efforts to take Eddie Cheever and also the Italian Piercarlo Ghinzani, who enjoys the trust of many people in the environment for his seriousness and preparation. Unless Gérard Ducarouge arrives. If Ayrton Senna slips away, Toleman could take German Manfred Winkelhock, provided he brings the BMW engine. At the moment, to eventually replace the unlucky Johnny Cecotto, there is a line of aspirants: Pierluigi Martini, Paolo Barilla, Corrado Fabi, only among the Italians.


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