22px-Flag of South Africa 1928 svg  1981 South African Grand Prix
Race details
Non-Championship Race in the 1981 Formula One season
Kyalami 1968layout.svg
Date 7 February 1981
Location Kyalami
Gauteng, South Africa
Course Permanent racing facility
4.104 km (2.550 mi)</td></tr>
Distance 60 laps, 316.008 km (196.358 mi)</td></tr>
Weather Hot
Pole position
Driver 25px-Brazilflag Nelson Piquet Brabham-Ford
Time 1:12.78
Fastest lap
Driver 25px-ARGENntina Carlos Reutemann Williams-Ford
Time 1:13.61
First 25px-ARGENntina Carlos Reutemann Williams
Second 25px-Brazilflag Nelson Piquet Brabham-Ford
Third 22px-Flag of Italy Elio de Angelis Lotus-Ford

The 1981 South African Grand Prix was a Formula Libre motor race held on 7 February 1981 at Kyalami.

The race was originally scheduled to be the opening round of the 1981 FIA Formula One World Championship. However, the ongoing FISA-FOCA war resulted in Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile (FISA) insisting on a date change which was not acceptable to the race organisers.[1] Approval was ultimately given for the race to go ahead on its original date but as a Formula Libre race rather than as a round of the Formula One World Championship.[1] The downgraded race was supported by the Formula One Constructors Association (FOCA) aligned teams but not by the teams of the manufacturers, whose allegiances lay with FISA.[1] Every team present fielded cars which were fitted with sliding side skirts, aerodynamic devices which were illegal in Formula One for 1981 but acceptable under Formula Libre regulations.[1] The absence of the manufacturer teams meant that all 19 cars in the race were powered by Ford Cosworth engines.[1]

Race resultEdit

Pos Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Qual
1 25px-ARGENntina Carlos Reutemann Williams-Ford 77 1.44:54.03 2
2 25px-Brazilflag Nelson Piquet Brabham-Ford 77 + 20.2 1
3 22px-Flag of Italy Elio de Angelis Lotus-Ford 77 + 1:06.03 5
4 22px-Flag of Finland Keke Rosberg Fittipaldi-Ford 76 + 1 lap 4
5 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom John Watson McLaren-Ford 76 + 1 lap 15
6 22px-Flag of Italy Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Ford 76 + 1 lap 6
7 USAflagsmall Eddie Cheever Tyrrell-Ford 76 + 1 lap 12
8 25px-ARGENntina Ricardo Zunino Brabham-Ford 75 + 2 laps 7
9 25px-Brazilflag Chico Serra Fittipaldi-Ford 75 + 2 laps 13
10 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Lotus-Ford 74 + 3 laps 8
11 22px-Flag of Ireland Derek Daly March-Ford 74 + 3 laps 17
Ret 25px-AustraliaFLAG Alan Jones Williams-Ford 62 Skirt 3
Ret 20px-Flag of Switzerland Marc Surer Ensign-Ford 58 Battery 14
Ret 22px-Flag of Italy Andrea de Cesaris McLaren-Ford 54 Accident 9
Ret 22px-Flag of South Africa 1928 svg Desiré Wilson Tyrrell-Ford 51 Accident 16
Ret 22px-Flag of Chile Eliseo Salazar March-Ford 32 Gearbox 19
Ret 22px-Flag of the Netherlands Jan Lammers ATS-Ford 16 Brakes 10
Ret 22px-Flag of Italy Siegfried Stohr Arrows-Ford 12 Engine 11
Ret 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Geoff Lees Theodore-Ford 11 Accident 18


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 The one that didn't count Retrieved from on 12 February 2010

External linksEdit

Previous race:
1980 Spanish Grand Prix
Formula One Non-Championship races
1981 season
Next race:
1983 Race of Champions
Previous race:
1980 South African Grand Prix
South African Grand Prix Next race:
1982 South African Grand Prix
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