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USAflagsmall  1983 United States Grand Prix West
Race details
Race 2 of 15 in the 1983 Formula One season
Long Beach 1983
Date March 27, 1983
Official name 8th United States Grand Prix West
Location Long Beach, California
Course Temporary street course
3.275 km (2.034 mi)</td></tr>
Distance 75 laps, 245.505 km (152.55 mi)</td></tr>
Weather Sunny, warm
Pole position
Driver 22px-Flag of France Patrick Tambay Ferrari
Time 1:26.117
Fastest lap
Driver 22px-Flag of Austria Niki Lauda McLaren-Ford
Time 1:28.330 on lap 42
Podium
First 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom John Watson McLaren-Ford
Second 22px-Flag of Austria Niki Lauda McLaren-Ford
Third 22px-Flag of France René Arnoux Ferrari

The 1983 United States Grand Prix West was a Formula One race held on March 27, 1983 at Long Beach, California.


SummaryEdit

After struggling greatly in qualifying, the McLaren team found their way on race day, as John Watson and Niki Lauda climbed from positions 22 and 23 on the grid to finish first and second in the final United States Grand Prix West at Long Beach.

Once again, the circuit had been slightly modified, primarily to free up Ocean Boulevard, one of the city's main thoroughfares. Since the alternate route on Seaside Way included a tunnel under the Long Beach convention center, the pits were moved to the long, curving Shoreline Drive section, where the Start and Finish lines were reunited for the first time since 1977.

As practice began on Friday, two bumps where the circuit rejoined the old layout at the end of the Seaside Way straight were causing problems. Some teams were concerned that the suspension on their cars would not last more than a few laps under race conditions. René Arnoux (1:26.935) led Alain Prost, Patrick Tambay and Riccardo Patrese on the day's timing chart, while Nelson Piquet, Lauda and Watson found their Michelin qualifying tires virtually useless and set poor times.

Overnight repair work smoothed the problematic bumps. Tambay grabbed his first pole with a lap of 1:26.117, the only lap to beat teammate Arnoux's Friday time; Keke Rosberg took third with 1:27.145, ahead of teammate Jacques Laffite. American Danny Sullivan, in his only season of Formula One, managed ninth in the Tyrrell. Eddie Cheever was fifteenth in a Renault RE30C, without the new Renault RE40 chassis now available for teammate Prost, who was eighth. The McLarens of Watson and Lauda were never able to arrive at a balanced setup, and they would start in 22nd and 23rd position.

The race took place in warm and sunny conditions. Tambay held the lead at the first corner. Rosberg, immediately behind him, tried to squeeze through the middle of the all-Ferrari front row. He touched Arnoux's right front with his left rear as he swung wide, but both continued, with Rosberg in second, followed by Laffite and Arnoux. Rosberg spun later in the lap while attempting to overtake, but continued without damage.

After one lap, Sullivan was up to sixth, behind Arnoux, and Cheever was ninth, immediately behind Prost. Sullivan was passed by Patrese on the second lap, and then by Prost and Cheever on lap three. Before long, however, Prost began dropping back with a misfire that had been plaguing him recurrently all weekend, and he finally pitted on lap 16. Cheever was able to get by Arnoux and Patrese when Arnoux began to lose grip from his Goodyears, and was up into fifth place. When Cheever entered the Renault pit for a new set of tires, however, he found the crew still working on Prost's car; he was forced to continue. Prost's problem was eventually solved and he continued, albeit three laps down.

Meanwhile, Rosberg had regained second place behind Tambay and, by lap 20, was again looking for a way by. The top six cars were all running very close together, and Rosberg soon found himself under increasing pressure from Laffite, who was in turn being hounded by Jean-Pierre Jarier's Ligier and Patrese's Brabham.

On lap 26, Rosberg attempted to take the lead again, but collided with Tambay, who spun and stalled. Rosberg continued again, driving around the outside of the disabled car. As he entered the chicane before the start/finish line, he found his teammate Laffite alongside and Jarier almost touching his gearbox behind. The two Williams cars touched briefly, and Jarier ran into the back of Rosberg, who hit the wall, bounced off, and hit it again before sliding to a stop. Jarier continued, but only briefly, as a damaged front wing had spoiled his handling, and he retired in the pits.

Laffite was now in the lead, with Patrese in second. By lap 28, the McLarens were lying third and fourth, having passed Marc Surer, Sullivan and Johnny Cecotto. When Watson got by Lauda at the end of Shoreline Drive, he was 20 seconds behind the two leaders. With Watson closing the gap to the front and Laffite's tires going off quickly, Patrese challenged Laffite for the lead. He slid wide, and Watson and Lauda both passed before he rejoined the track. Soon after, the McLarens passed Laffite as well, and, from 22nd and 23rd on the grid, were now first and second.

With Laffite still struggling with his tires, Patrese was able to catch him up again and took third on lap 52. Arnoux was coming back through the field after a second tire stop, and was waging battle with Cheever for fifth place when they came upon Laffite on lap 67, again at the end of Shoreline Drive. At the hairpin, the Williams and Ferrari swapped places around Cheever, as Arnoux went from sixth to fourth in one corner. On the next lap, however, Cheever lost fifth place when he pulled off with a broken gearbox. With just three laps to go, Patrese retired from third place when his distributor broke.

Lauda, suffering from a worsening cramp in his right leg, could not challenge Watson in the later stages, and the Ulsterman came home nearly half a minute ahead for his fifth victory. It was the farthest back from which a modern Grand Prix driver had ever come to win a race. Arnoux came through for third, and Laffite hung on for fourth, ahead of Surer and Cecotto, who scored a point in his second F1 race. It was the first ever points for a Venezuelan driver, and the last until Pastor Maldonado finished tenth in the 2011 Belgian Grand Prix.

Rumors persisted all weekend that race organizer Chris Pook, the main figure in the attempt to create a "Monte Carlo of the United States" in Long Beach, had decided that Formula One was too expensive and risky, and, indeed, after the race, he announced that he planned to run a CART race at Long Beach in 1984 instead of F1. Despite tremendous success since the race's inception in 1976, and the observable impact of the global exposure it brought to the city, the organizers believed that the less expensive and more popular (in the United States at least) CART championship, dominated by American drivers, would be a more promising investment.

ClassificationEdit

Qualifying Edit

Pos No Driver Constructor Q1 Q2 Gap
1 27 22px-Flag of France Patrick Tambay Ferrari 1:28.598 1:26.117
2 28 22px-Flag of France René Arnoux Ferrari 1:26.935 1:27.628 +0.818
3 1 22px-Flag of Finland Keke Rosberg Williams-Ford 1:29.577 1:27.145 +1.028
4 2 22px-Flag of France Jacques Laffite Williams-Ford 1:30.529 1:27.818 +1.701
5 11 22px-Flag of Italy Elio de Angelis Lotus-Renault 1:31.624 1:27.982 +1.865
6 35 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart 1:28.130 +2.013
7 3 22px-Flag of Italy Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Ford 1:29.066 1:28.425 +2.308
8 15 22px-Flag of France Alain Prost Renault 1:28.558 1:29.765 +2.441
9 4 USAflagsmall Danny Sullivan Tyrrell-Ford 1:31.271 1:28.833 +2.716
10 25 22px-Flag of France Jean-Pierre Jarier Ligier-Ford 1:29.600 1:28.913 +2.796
11 6 22px-Flag of Italy Riccardo Patrese Brabham-BMW 1:28.958 1:29.467 +2.841
12 30 25px-AustraliaFLAG Alan Jones Arrows-Ford 1:30.451 1:29.112 +2.995
13 12 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Lotus-Ford 1:31.728 1:29.167 +3.050
14 36 22px-Flag of Italy Bruno Giacomelli Toleman-Hart 1:29.266 +3.149
15 16 USAflagsmall Eddie Cheever Renault 1:30.597 1:29.422 +3.305
16 29 20px-Flag of Switzerland Marc Surer Arrows-Ford 1:30.067 1:29.521 +3.404
17 34 22px-Flag of Venezuela Johnny Cecotto Theodore-Ford 1:29.559 1:30.258 +3.442
18 33 22px-Flag of Colombia Roberto Guerrero Theodore-Ford 1:29.585 1:28.528† +3.468
19 22 22px-Flag of Italy Andrea de Cesaris Alfa Romeo 1:33.336 1:29.603 +3.486
20 5 25px-Brazilflag Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW 1:30.173 1:30.034 +3.917
21 23 22px-Flag of Italy Mauro Baldi Alfa Romeo 1:31.924 1:30.070 +3.953
22 7 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom John Watson McLaren-Ford 1:32.439 1:30.100 +3.983
23 8 22px-Flag of Austria Niki Lauda McLaren-Ford 1:30.262 1:30.188 +4.071
24 9 Flag of Germany Manfred Winkelhock ATS-BMW 1:31.599 1:30.220 +4.103
25 17 22px-Flag of Chile Eliseo Salazar RAM-Ford 1:32.597 1:31.126 +5.009
26 26 25px-Brazilflag Raul Boesel Ligier-Ford 1:31.759 1:31.765 +6.642
27 31 22px-Flag of Italy Corrado Fabi Osella-Ford 1:33.896 1:31.901 +6.784
28 32 22px-Flag of Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani Osella-Ford 1:32.182 +7.065
Source:[1]
  • † — time disallowed

Race Edit

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 7 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom John Watson McLaren-Ford 75 1:53:34.889 22 9
2 8 22px-Flag of Austria Niki Lauda McLaren-Ford 75 + 27.993 23 6
3 28 22px-Flag of France René Arnoux Ferrari 75 + 1:13.638 2 4
4 2 22px-Flag of France Jacques Laffite Williams-Ford 74 + 1 Lap 4 3
5 29 20px-Flag of Switzerland Marc Surer Arrows-Ford 74 + 1 Lap 16 2
6 34 22px-Flag of Venezuela Johnny Cecotto Theodore-Ford 74 + 1 Lap 17 1
7 26 25px-Brazilflag Raul Boesel Ligier-Ford 73 + 2 Laps 26  
8 4 USAflagsmall Danny Sullivan Tyrrell-Ford 73 + 2 Laps 9  
9 3 22px-Flag of Italy Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Ford 73 + 2 Laps 7  
10 6 22px-Flag of Italy Riccardo Patrese Brabham-BMW 72 Distributor 11  
11 15 22px-Flag of France Alain Prost Renault 72 + 3 Laps 8  
12 12 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Lotus-Ford 72 + 3 Laps 13  
13 16 USAflagsmall Eddie Cheever Renault 67 Gearbox 15  
Ret 30 25px-AustraliaFLAG Alan Jones Arrows-Ford 58 Driver Unwell 12  
Ret 5 25px-Brazilflag Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW 51 Throttle 20  
Ret 22 22px-Flag of Italy Andrea de Cesaris Alfa Romeo 48 Gearbox 19  
Ret 11 22px-Flag of Italy Elio de Angelis Lotus-Renault 29 Handling 5  
Ret 33 22px-Flag of Colombia Roberto Guerrero Theodore-Ford 27 Gearbox 18  
Ret 25 22px-Flag of France Jean-Pierre Jarier Ligier-Ford 26 Collision 10  
Ret 36 22px-Flag of Italy Bruno Giacomelli Toleman-Hart 26 Battery 14  
Ret 23 22px-Flag of Italy Mauro Baldi Alfa Romeo 26 Spun Off 21  
Ret 27 22px-Flag of France Patrick Tambay Ferrari 25 Collision 1  
Ret 1 22px-Flag of Finland Keke Rosberg Williams-Ford 25 Collision 3  
Ret 17 22px-Flag of Chile Eliseo Salazar RAM-Ford 25 Gearbox 25  
Ret 35 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart 11 Spun Off 6  
Ret 9 Flag of Germany Manfred Winkelhock ATS-BMW 3 Spun Off 24  
DNQ 31 22px-Flag of Italy Corrado Fabi Osella-Ford      
DNQ 32 22px-Flag of Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani Osella-Ford      

Standings after the raceEdit

Drivers' Championship standings
Pos Driver Points
1 22px-Flag of Austria Niki Lauda 10
2= 25px-Brazilflag Nelson Piquet 9
2= 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom John Watson 9
4 22px-Flag of France Jacques Laffite 6
5 22px-Flag of France René Arnoux 4
Constructors' Championship standings
Pos Constructor Points
1 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom McLaren-Ford 19
2 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Brabham-BMW 9
3= 22px-Flag of Italy Ferrari 6
3= 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Williams-Ford 6
5 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Arrows-Ford 3
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Hamilton, Maurice (ed.) (1983). AUTOCOURSE 1983–84. Hazleton Publishing Ltd. pp. 106. 
  • Rob Walker (July, 1983). "8th United States Grand Prix West: Whiz Kids". Road & Track, 144-149.
  • Mike S. Lang (1992). Grand Prix!: Race-by-race account of Formula 1 World Championship motor racing. Volume 4: 1981 to 1984. Haynes Publishing Group. ISBN 0-85429-733-2


Previous race:
1983 Brazilian Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1983 season
Next race:
1983 French Grand Prix
Previous race:
1982 United States Grand Prix West
United States Grand Prix West Next race:
None

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