The 1978 Austrian Grand Prix was a Formula One race held on 13 August 1978 at Österreichring.


The crowds for the Austrian GP were full of Niki Lauda fans; but however for them Lauda qualified only 12th as the Lotus cars again took the front row, with Ronnie Peterson on pole. The surprise in qualifying was Jean-Pierre Jabouille who qualified his turbocharged Renault third. The start saw Peterson lead into the first corner, with Carlos Reutemann snatching second from Mario Andretti. Andretti tried to get the place back later in the lap, but the two collided and Andretti retired after his car spun into the barriers while Reutemann lost a couple of places to Patrick Depailler and Jody Scheckter. On the fourth lap, a heavy rainshower hit the track and Reutemann spun off and was beached but the marshals push-started his car as it was in a dangerous position, while Scheckter crashed out, and the race was stopped.

The race restarted after the rain relented, and once again Peterson led followed by Depailler and Lauda. As the track began to dry, Peterson started to pull away, and behind, Reutemann was on a charge and passed Lauda for third but he was black-flagged for receiving outside assistance, and Lauda crashed out soon after, leaving Gilles Villeneuve third. The drivers changed to slicks but the top 3 remained the same and stayed so till the end; Peterson winning ahead of Depailler, with Villeneuve taking his first ever podium.

Classification Edit

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 6 22px-Flag of Sweden Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford 54 1:41:21.57 1 9
2 4 22px-Flag of France Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Ford 54 +47.44 secs 14 6
3 12 25px-Canadaflag Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari 54 +1:39.76 11 4
4 14 25px-Brazilflag Emerson Fittipaldi Fittipaldi-Ford 53 +1 Lap 6 3
5 26 22px-Flag of France Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra 53 +1 Lap 5 2
6 19 22px-Flag of Italy Vittorio Brambilla Surtees-Ford 53 +1 Lap 21 1
7 2 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom John Watson Brabham-Alfa Romeo 53 +1 lap 10
8 30 USAflagsmall Brett Lunger McLaren-Ford 52 +2 Laps 17
9 31 22px-Flag of France René Arnoux Martini-Ford 52 +2 Laps 26
NC 17 20px-Flag of Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Shadow-Ford 50 +7 Laps 22
NC 32 22px-Flag of Finland Keke Rosberg Wolf-Ford 49 +7 Laps 25
DSQ 22 22px-Flag of Ireland Derek Daly Ensign-Ford 41 Push start 19
Ret 8 22px-Flag of France Patrick Tambay McLaren-Ford 40 Accident 14
Ret 16 Flag of Germany Hans Joachim Stuck Shadow-Ford 33 Accident 23
Ret 15 22px-Flag of France Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault 31 Gearbox 3
DSQ 11 25px-ARGENntina Carlos Reutemann Ferrari 28 Push start 4
Ret 1 22px-Flag of Austria Niki Lauda Brabham-Alfa Romeo 27 Accident 12
Ret 3 22px-Flag of France Didier Pironi Tyrrell-Ford 20 Accident 9
Ret 7 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom James Hunt McLaren-Ford 7 Accident 8
Ret 27 25px-AustraliaFLAG Alan Jones Williams-Ford 7 Accident 15
Ret 35 22px-Flag of Italy Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Ford 7 Accident 16
Ret 23 22px-Flag of Austria Harald Ertl Ensign-Ford 7 Accident 24
Ret 25 25px-Mexicoflag Hector Rebaque Lotus-Ford 4 Accident 18
Ret 29 25px-Brazilflag Nelson Piquet McLaren-Ford 4 Accident 20
Ret 20 22px-Flag of South Africa 1928 svg Jody Scheckter Wolf-Ford 3 Accident 7
Ret 5 USAflagsmall Mario Andretti Lotus-Ford 0 Accident 2
DNQ 37 22px-Flag of Italy Arturo Merzario Merzario-Ford
DNQ 9 Flag of Germany Jochen Mass ATS-Ford
DNQ 18 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Rupert Keegan Surtees-Ford
DNQ 10 22px-Flag of Austria Hans Binder ATS-Ford
DNPQ 36 Flag of Germany Rolf Stommelen Arrows-Ford

Notes Edit

  • Lap Leaders: Ronnie Peterson 44 laps (1-18, 29-54); Carlos Reutemann 4 laps (19-22); Gilles Villeneuve 6 laps (23-28).
  • This race was the tenth and last F1 victory for Ronnie Peterson
  • Gilles Villeneuve finished on the podium for the first time in F1
  • Lotus won the Constructor's Championship with four races left.
  • Of the 26 starters, 8 drivers had been, or would go on to be world champion. Also, of the 26 starters, 21 drivers had won, or would win a Grand Prix.

Standings after the raceEdit

Drivers' Championship standings
Pos Driver Points
1 USAflagsmall Mario Andretti 54
2 22px-Flag of Sweden Ronnie Peterson 45
3 22px-Flag of France Patrick Depailler 32
4 25px-ARGENntina Carlos Reutemann 31
5 22px-Flag of Austria Niki Lauda 31
Constructors' Championship standings
Pos Constructor Points
1 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Lotus-Ford 76
2 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 40
3 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 36
4 22px-Flag of Italy Ferrari 35
5 22px-Flag of France Ligier-Matra 16
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.

Previous race:
1978 German Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1978 season
Next race:
1978 Dutch Grand Prix
Previous race:
1977 Austrian Grand Prix
Austrian Grand Prix Next race:
1979 Austrian Grand Prix
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