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The 1977 Canadian Grand Prix, otherwise officially known as the XVI Labatt's Grand Prix of Canada, was the sixteenth and penultimate round of the 1977 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at Mosport Park, Canada, on the 9 October, 1977. The race would be remembered as a victory for Canada's most successful F1 constructor Wolf, although only after the pre-race favourite's race was ruined in the closing stages.

Indeed, it was Mario Andretti whom had dominated qualifying, claiming pole for Lotus with six tenths of a second in arrears.[1] Second went to James Hunt ahead of Ronnie Peterson, while the Wolf of Jody Scheckter was down in ninth.[1] New World Champion Niki Lauda, meanwhile, was absent from the race having quit Ferrari after the US Grand Prix.[1]

However, while Andretti had set a stunning pace in qualifying, many would question the safety of Mosport, for there had been a series of accidents during qualifying.[1] The most dramatic had seen Ian Ashley somersault over the low barriers, leaving him with career ending injuries, while Jochen Mass wiped out an entire section of Armco with a relatively low-speed spin.[1]

Regardless, the race would get underway on Sunday with Andretti taking an instant lead, chased by Hunt and teammate Mass.[1] The rest of the field chased after them headed by Peterson, while Clay Regazzoni went crashing out of the race after getting spun into the barriers.[1]

The race quickly developed into a procession, with Andretti and Hunt sprinting clear, while Scheckter climbed into a safe secure fourth, well behind Mass.[1] Indeed, the only changes to the order would come via retirements, until the lead duo came to lap Mass on lap 60.[1]

Indeed, as Andretti came to lap Hunt's teammate, who was still running in third, the Brit managed to get his McLaren past the Lotus, catching Andretti unawares.[1] However, Hunt would barely lead for a lap before he and Mass tangled, putting Hunt out of the race and Mass down behind Patrick Depailler in fourth.[1]

Andretti snuck back through to regain a now huge lead over the field, and seemed destined for victory.[1] Yet, just three laps from the chequered flag, the American's engine expired in the Esses, with oil spraying onto the circuit as Andretti limped back to the pits.[1] That would lead to Riccardo Patrese, Rupert Keegan and Vittorio Brambilla all crashing into the barriers, while Danny Ongais and Gilles Villeneuve just managed to spin back into action.[1]

All that gifted victory to Scheckter, who cruised his Wolf across the line to claim a rather shock victory for the home team.[1] Depailler was second ahead of Mass, on the verge of receiving a punch from teammate Hunt, while Alan Jones, Patrick Tambay and Brambilla, still in the barriers, completed the points.[1]

BackgroundEdit

The Canadian Grand Prix of 1977 effectively started at the fall of the flag of the United States Grand Prix, for teams had to race up to Bowmanville, Ontario in less than two days.[2] Indeed, with just a week separating the US and Canadian Grand Prix the pressure was on to get drivers, cars and spares into Mosport Park by Wednesday, so that the Thursday before the race could be spent repairing damage sustained at Watkins Glen.[2] As such, the entry would be largely unchanged from the battle of the Glen, although there would be one significant absentee.[2]

Indeed, just two days after winning his second World Championship title, Ferrari lead driver decided to leave the team, citing the various political fights within the Scuderia as his reason to quit.[2] These issues had come to the fore in the US, with Lauda's chief engineer Ermanno Cuoghi banned from the pitwall halfway through the weekend, before Gilles Villeneuve was given a seat for his home race in Canada.[2] Having won the Championship, and tired of the manoeuvring going on around him, including the addition Villeneuve to the team, Lauda decided to skip the final two rounds and instead prepare for 1978.[2]

That put Ferrari back into their usual position of three cars prepared for two drivers, with Villeneuve entered as #21, partnering Carlos Reutemann.[2] The young Canadian duly became the main attraction for the entire event, particularly after his debut for McLaren at Silverstone.[2] Reutemann, meanwhile, would use his usual car away from the attention focused on Villeneuve, knowing that he had already secured his seat for 1978.[2]

Elsewhere, there would be some emergency changes at March, whom had to ship over a development version of the 771 monocoque for Ian Scheckter to use after his race car was destroyed at the Glen.[2] His car therefore became a hybrid of parts of 771s, while Alex Ribeiro would race his familiar 761B.[2] The third March in the field was that owned by Williams Grand Prix Engineering and was, as ever, entrusted to Patrick Nève.[2]

Shadow were less drastic in their solutions, having brought along enough spares to rebuild Alan Jones' car around one of Riccardo Patrese's old monocoques.[2] The Italian himself had rejoined the team for the Canadian race, leaving Jean-Pierre Jarier to hope that a late bid to ship his Penske across the Canada would come through.[2] Another team having a rebuild were Brabham-Alfa Romeo, although they ultimately had to put Hans-Joachim Stuck in the spare car and hope that neither he, nor teammate John Watson, would need it during the weekend.[2]

Into the stable section of the field and Lotus raced as they had done in the US, with Mario Andretti and Gunnar Nilsson expected to challenge throughout the weekend, after the latter had had a new right front corner added to his 78.[2] Likewise, the two McLarens had come through unscathed at the Glen, meaning James Hunt and Jochen Mass would race as usual, barring an engine change for the German.[2] Tyrrell likewise had only minor maintenance to carryout for Ronnie Peterson and Patrick Depailler, as did Ligier-Matra for Jacques Laffite.[2]

Renault also made the trip north with Jean-Pierre Jabouille at the wheel, although given that they only had two engines left for the RS01 they had to have a trouble free run until race day to stand any chance of starting.[2] Surtees, meanwhile, had bent the front of Vittorio Brambilla's nose back into shape ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, while Hans Binder's car was unmarked bar some minor excursions during the race at the Glen.[2] Ensign had also had to effect some minor repairs to Clay Regazzoni's crash damaged car, while Patrick Tambay's car was in a better state then most given he had failed to qualify for the wet race in New York State.[2]

Over at Hesketh it had been an unusually quiet week's work, meaning there were no issues for either Rupert Keegan or Ian Ashley.[2] Emerson Fittipaldi and the Fittipaldi team also enjoyed a quiet build-up to proceedings, as did Brett Lunger with his two privately owned McLaren M23s.[2] Joining them would be Danny Ongais in his rebuilt Penske, which arrived sporting a hastily repaired front end after his visit to the barriers in his home race.[2]

Completing the entry list would be the Canadian Wolf team, which had high hopes despite a recent loss of pace.[2] Indeed, having lost the title at the Glen, lone driver Jody Scheckter arrived determined to prove that he could have won the title, with Wolf providing two battle hardened cars for him to try.[2] Indeed, other than Lunger and Laffite, the Wolf squad were the only team to bring a complete spare car for the weekend, although it came as a surprise that Walter Wolf had not hired a second driver for their home race.[2]

However, while the teams were busy on Thursday repairing their chargers, the drivers were on the war-path completing a track inspection.[2] Indeed, the famously bumpy Mosport circuit seemed to have got worse during the winter, while the barriers received a hammering when the drivers all agreed that they were poorly installed, and the spectator fencing less than secure.[2] However, with the G.P.D.A. effectively disbanded there was no official protest, while the C.S.I. deemed the track safe after their own inspection.[2]

Furthermore, there seemed to be little point in updating the circuit to "Grand Prix" standards due to the fact that a new venue was being proposed for 1978.[2] Indeed, a street circuit was set to be established on the man made Île de Notre-Dame in Montreal for 1978, weaving past the remaining sights of the 1967 International Expo.[3] Another potential venue was a street circuit close to the Canadian National Exhibition Centre in Toronto, around 70 miles from Mosport Park.[2]

Into the Championship and, as mentioned above, fourth place in New York State had proved enough for Lauda to earn his second Championship crown, for Scheckter had failed to win the race. Furthermore, as Andretti had claimed second on the day it meant that it was the Italian-American, not the South African, that led the chase to be runner-up, with the former seeming to have an advantage in terms of equipment. They were joined in the fight for second by Reutemann and Hunt, although Hunt would need two wins just to overhaul Andretti, if Andretti failed to score.

Elsewhere, Ferrari had arrived in the United States as the International Cup for Constructors Champions, so the fight for second had taken precedent at the Glen. In this case, it was Team Lotus-Ford Cosworth that had the advantage, the Norfolk squad all but sealing their position in second with 62 points. McLaren-Ford Cosworth, meanwhile, had moved up to second, fifteen points away, overtaking Wolf-Ford Cosworth ahead of the latter's home race.

Entry listEdit

The full entry list for the 1977 Canadian Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
1 United Kingdom James Hunt United Kingdom Marlboro Team McLaren McLaren M26 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
2 West Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom Marlboro Team McLaren McLaren M26 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
3 Sweden Ronnie Peterson United Kingdom Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell P34B Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
4 France Patrick Depailler United Kingdom Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell P34B Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
5 United States Mario Andretti United Kingdom John Player Team Lotus Lotus 78 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
6 Sweden Gunnar Nilsson United Kingdom John Player Team Lotus Lotus 78 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
7 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom Martini Racing Brabham BT45B Alfa Romeo 115-12 3.0 F12 G
8 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck United Kingdom Martini Racing Brabham BT45B Alfa Romeo 115-12 3.0 F12 G
9 Brazil Alex Ribeiro United Kingdom Hollywood March Racing March 761B Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
10 South Africa Ian Scheckter United Kingdom Team Rothmans International March 771 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
11 Austria Niki Lauda Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312T2 Ferrari 015 3.0 F12 G
12 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312T2 Ferrari 015 3.0 F12 G
14 United States Danny Ongais United States Interscope Racing Penske PC4 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
15 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille France Equipe Renault Elf Renault RS01 Renault EF1 1.5 V6t M
16 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Shadow Racing Team Shadow DN8 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
17 Australia Alan Jones United Kingdom Shadow Racing Team Shadow DN8 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
18 Austria Hans Binder United Kingdom Team Surtees Surtees TS19 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
19 Italy Vittorio Brambilla United Kingdom Beta Team Surtees Surtees TS19 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
20 South Africa Jody Scheckter Canada Walter Wolf Racing Wolf WR1 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
21 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312T2 Ferrari 015 3.0 F12 G
22 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni United Kingdom Team Tissot Ensign with Castrol Ensign N177 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
23 France Patrick Tambay Hong Kong Theodore Racing Hong Kong Ensign N177 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
24 United Kingdom Rupert Keegan United Kingdom Penthouse Rizla Racing Hesketh 308E Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
25 United Kingdom Ian Ashley United Kingdom Penthouse Rizla Racing Hesketh 308E Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier Gitanes Ligier JS7 Matra MS76 3.0 V12 G
27 Belgium Patrick Nève United Kingdom Williams Grand Prix Engineering March 761 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
28 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Brazil Copersucar-Fittipaldi Fittipaldi F5 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
30 United States Brett Lunger United States Chesterfield Racing McLaren M23 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
34 France Jean-Pierre Jarier West Germany ATS Racing Team Penske PC4 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
Source:[2][4]

Practice OverviewEdit

QualifyingEdit

Practice/qualifying would be staged across two days in Canada, although with heavy rain scheduled for Saturday it was in doubt as to whether anyone would run during the latter.[2] Regardless, the sessions would be split into their normal pattern of three "timed" periods and a single "untimed" run, with Friday hosting two of the former.[2] In terms of a target time, the aces would be aiming for a 1:12.389, which had been enough for James Hunt to claim pole back in 1976.[2]

Friday QualifyingEdit

Mario Andretti dominated a cool morning session on Friday, with the American dancing his Lotus around the circuit from the moment the first period started.[2] Come sessions end, the #5 Lotus had recorded a 1:11.58, almost a full second faster than the next best effort, set by James Hunt.[2] Indeed, even Hunt was in a league of his own, for the closest driver to him come the end of the morning would be John Watson, whose Brabham-Alfa Romeo had been persuaded to record a 1:13.50.[2]

Yet, while the pace from the top two, and Andretti in particular, was nothing short of stunning, the story of the first session was not about super fast times.[2] Instead, the session would effectively be the death of Mosport Park as host of the Canadian Grand Prix, as a huge accident for Ian Ashley highlighted the failures of the circuit's safety.[2]

Having come onto the start/finish straight, Ashley's Hesketh was just cresting the hill when he hit a bump with enough momentum to pitch the nose of the car up into the air.[2] That was enough for the Brit to get properly airborne, with more air getting under the car, causing it to somersault three times before crashing back onto terra firma into a television tower.[2] The tower, effectively a scaffold structure, was completely wiped out on impact, while Ashley was trapped in his cockpit with a broken ankle and a pair of broken wrists.[2]

Fortunately the tower had been unoccupied at the time, meaning the marshals, when they did arrive, only had to focus on Ashley.[2] After forty minutes the Brit was finally pulled from his ruined Hesketh, which lacked an engine and wheels, and was duly whisked away to hospital via ambulance.[2] This would cause another argument as the circuit lacked a helicopter to carry injured drivers to hospital, with murmurs of a strike growing louder until the organisers sourced a "chopper" for the rest of the weekend.[2]

Into the second Friday session and, again, the safety credentials of Mosport Park would be found to be lacking, for Jochen Mass managed to wipe out an entire section of barriers at the first corner.[2] The German, having just set a personal best of 1:13.116, was on a slow down lap when he sent himself spinning, before smacking into the Armcos at a relatively slow speed.[2] He fortunately escaped uninjured, but, rather than replace the damaged barriers, the marshals simply bent the barrier back to something vaguely upright, prompting more disconsolation from the drivers.[2]

As that wreckage was, partially, cleared up, the session carried on with Hunt inching closer to Andretti's morning mark, ending a mid-session run with a 1:11.942.[2] Andretti, however, was in no mood to be challenged, and as Hunt pulled into the pits with a broken exhaust, the Lotus flashed across the line to claim a 1:11.385 and pole position.[2] Indeed, by the end of the session, no one bar Hunt, whose running was curtailed by his damaged exhaust, was within a second of the #5 Lotus, meaning Andretti held provisional pole overnight.[2]

Elsewhere, Patrick Depailler went for a series of spins for Tyrrell, but was still a relatively strong fifth behind Ronnie Peterson and Gunnar Nilsson, who were the only other drivers to record sub-1:13.000 times.[2] Others, such as Ferrari debutante Gilles Villeneuve, struggled to get their cars setup at all, with the young Canadian racer ultimately ending the day among the catch fencing at the hairpin.[2] Others with issues included Emerson Fittipaldi, Hans Binder and Jean-Pierre Jabouille saw their afternoons ruined by engine failures, with the latter the man set to drop out overnight after his spare Renault engine was found to have a fault early on.[2]

Saturday QualifyingEdit

There would be almost no running during either of Saturday's sessions, with heavy rain ensuring that Mosport Park was soaked in time for the final "timed" period.[3] That meant that Jabouille, having just had his new engine fitted, would top the times, although his lack of running on Friday had ultimately done the damage as he failed to qualify.[2] Only a handful of other drivers would take to the track that afternoon, although none could match Jabouille's 1:47.613.[2]

Qualifying ResultsEdit

The full qualifying results for the 1977 Canadian Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time Gap
Q1* Q2 Q3
1 5 United States Mario Andretti United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:11.85 1:11.385
2 1 United Kingdom James Hunt United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:12.55 1:11.942 +0.557s
3 3 Sweden Ronnie Peterson United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:13.58 1:12.752 +1.367s
4 6 Sweden Gunnar Nilsson United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:14.07 1:12.975 +1.590s
5 2 West Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:13.48 1:13.116 +1.731s
6 4 France Patrick Depailler United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:15.88 1:13.207 +1.822s
7 17 Australia Alan Jones United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 1:13.94 1:13.347 +1.962s
8 16 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 1:14.44 1:13.435 +2.050s
9 20 South Africa Jody Scheckter Canada Wolf-Ford Cosworth 1:14.30T 1:13.497 +2.112s
10 7 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1:13.50 1:13.724 +2.115s
11 26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier-Matra 1:14.15 1:13.739 2:19.271 +2.354s
12 12 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Italy Ferrari 1:14.12 1:13.890 1:59.568 +2.505s
13 8 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1:14.83 1:13.953 +2.568s
14 22 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni United Kingdom Ensign-Ford Cosworth 1:14.06 1:13.999 +2.614s
15 19 Italy Vittorio Brambilla United Kingdom Surtees-Ford Cosworth 1:14.95 1:14.229 1:48.339 +2.844s
16 23 France Patrick Tambay Hong Kong Ensign-Ford Cosworth 1:15.43 1:14.464 +3.079s
17 21 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Italy Ferrari 1:15.18 1:14.465 1:54.624 +3.080s
18 10 South Africa Ian Scheckter United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 1:15.97 1:14.855 +3.470s
19 28 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth 1:19.90 1:14.857 1:51.871 +3.472s
20 30 United States Brett Lunger United States McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:14.93 1:15.359 +3.545s
21 27 Belgium Patrick Nève United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 1:16.32 1:15.510 +4.125s
22 14 United States Danny Ongais United States Penske-Ford Cosworth 1:17.05 1:15.599 +4.214s
23 9 Brazil Alex Ribeiro United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 1:16.03 1:15.770 +4.385s
24 18 Austria Hans Binder United Kingdom Surtees-Ford Cosworth 1:40.92 1:16.568 1:58.077 +5.183s
25 25 United Kingdom Ian Ashley United Kingdom Hesketh-Ford Cosworth 1:16.64 +5.255s
26 24 United Kingdom Rupert Keegan United Kingdom Hesketh-Ford Cosworth 1:17.00 1:18.014 1:54.468 +5.615s
DNQ 15 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille France Renault 1:46.70 1:18.999 1:47.613 +7.614s
WD 11 Austria Niki Lauda Italy Ferrari Withdrawn
WD 34 France Jean-Pierre Jarier West Germany Penske-Ford Cosworth Withdrawn
Source:[2][5]
  • Bold indicates a driver's best/qualifying time.
  • T Indicates a test/spare car.
  • * Times were only given to the nearest hundredth during Friday morning's session.[2]
  • Ashley was unable to start the race after his career ending accident in practice.[2]

GridEdit

Pos Pos
Driver Driver
______________
Row 1 ______________ 1
2 Mario Andretti
James Hunt ______________
Row 2 ______________ 3
4 Ronnie Peterson
Gunnar Nilsson ______________
Row 3 ______________ 5
6 Jochen Mass
Patrick Depailler ______________
Row 4 ______________ 7
8 Alan Jones
Riccardo Patrese ______________
Row 5 ______________ 9
10 Jody Scheckter
John Watson ______________
Row 6 ______________ 11
12 Jacques Laffite
Carlos Reutemann ______________
Row 7 ______________ 13
14 Hans-Joachim Stuck
Clay Regazzoni ______________
Row 8 ______________ 15
16 Vittorio Brambilla
Patrick Tambay ______________
Row 9 ______________ 17
18 Gilles Villeneuve
Ian Scheckter ______________
Row 10 ______________ 19
20 Emerson Fittipaldi
Brett Lunger ______________
Row 11 ______________ 21
22 Patrick Nève
Danny Ongais ______________
Row 12 ______________ 23
24 Alex Ribeiro
Hans Binder ______________
Row 13 ______________ 25
26 Rupert Keegan
Ian Ashley* ______________
  • * Ashley was unable to start due to injuries sustained in practice.[2]

RaceEdit

Raceday dawned in the midst of a downpour, with the circuit soaked during an otherwise trouble free pre-race warm-up session.[3] Fortunately, the rain stopped soon after, and by the time the field assembled on the grid for the start, with twenty-five of the twenty-six qualifiers lining up, the circuit was all but dry.[3] Indeed, with Ian Ashley injured and Jean-Pierre Jabouille out of engines there would be a reduced field for the start, which would be staged in marginally damp conditions.[3]

ReportEdit

Pole sitter Mario Andretti made an excellent getaway from the grid to claim an early lead, leaving James Hunt to fend off the attentions of Gunnar Nilsson into turn one.[3] The Swede himself had been unmolested off the line, for compatriot Ronnie Peterson had completely messed up his start from third, meaning he tumbled down the order.[3] Jochen Mass and Riccardo Patrese were ahead before the field passed the start line, with Peterson slipping behind Patrick Depailler into the first corner.[3]

A few seconds later and Mass was past Nilsson for third, charging past the #6 Lotus on the brakes into turn two.[3] Behind, Jody Scheckter and Alan Jones rubbed against one another as they got caught behind the now up-to-speed Peterson, causing both to suddenly skid across the circuit.[3] Clay Regazzoni tried to take advantage but ultimately had to take avoiding action, with the Ensign getting onto the wet grass for a slide into the barriers.[3]

Regazzoni was left with a shattered front end in the catch fencing, and, despite a brief effort to escape, was left to climb out of his cockpit having covered a few hundred metres.[3] Out front, meanwhile, Andretti came charging across the start/finish line to complete the opening tour a few car lengths clear of Hunt, with Mass still in third ahead of Nilsson.[3] Indeed, the German was already beginning to lose ground to lead duo, and now had a long queue of cars behind him heading through the first corner.[3]

The race would soon settle down after that, barring an accident for John Watson after the Ulsterman bravely tried to take on Peterson around the outside of one corner, only to glance off the side of the Swede.[3] Much like Regazzoni's accident, Watson was unable to stop the moment his Brabham-Alfa Romeo hit the grass, meaning he slid right into the barriers and retired.[3] Out front, meanwhile, Andretti and Hunt seemed to be streaking clear of third placed Mass, who was under attack from Nilsson at almost every corner.[3]

Indeed, over the following laps there would be very little on track action, with Hunt and Andretti disappearing up the road, while Mass, Depailler and Nilsson formed the next group.[3] Next up was Scheckter, who elbowed his way past Patrese and Peterson, while Carlos Reutemann moved past Alan Jones.[3] The latter bunch was over twenty seconds behind Mass and co. by lap ten, with Mass' trio a further twelve seconds behind the leaders.[3]

Reutemann would make more progress over the following laps, taking Peterson and Patrese, before sprinting off with Scheckter to catch Nilsson and Depailler.[3] Those two would be steadily dropped by Mass, while Peterson, having got back ahead of Patrese, sent himself spinning on lap fourteen.[3] He rejoined down in fourteenth, although he would soon make up a place as Nilsson disappeared into the catch fencing when his throttle jammed on lap eighteen.[3]

Indeed, Nilsson's accident would signal the start of a wave of retirements, with Reutemann coming into the pits a couple of laps later with a fuel issue.[3] Hans-Joachim Stuck was next to fall by the wayside when his Alfa Romeo engine expired, while Jacques Laffite had stopped early with a transmission failure.[3] Ian Scheckter was next when his March detonated its Ford Cosworth engine, while Emerson Fittipaldi decided to end his race early at the back of the field after suddenly losing power.[3]

Moments later and a spectacular accident would eliminate Hans Binder and Rupert Keegan, a collision caused by the sudden appearance of Brett Lunger and the aforementioned Keegan in the Austrian's mirrors.[2] Indeed, having seen the approaching Lunger in the mirrors, Binder moved his Surtees aside, only to cut back across into the path of Keegan, whose Hesketh was lurking behind the McLaren.[2] The Austrian and the Brit duly tangle wheels, with Keegan's car catapulted into the air before landing in time to smash into the barriers.[2] Fortunately, Keegan was able to escape uninjured, while Binder had to stop a few yards on with smashed suspension.[2]

After that, the race settled down once again, with Andretti and Hunt just over a second apart despite carving their way through backmarkers.[2] Those backmarkers soon became the mid-field and then the top ten, and, as lap 60 and three quarter distance loomed, the pair were within sight of third placed Mass.[2] Yet, as fate would have it, it would be the third placed, and totally outpaced, McLaren that ultimately decided the fate of the race.[2]

Indeed, Andretti, trying to deal with Hunt's teammate before the German could affect their duel for the lead, decided to throw his Lotus up the inside of the McLaren into the hairpin, only to get out of shape on the dust.[2] Mass therefore stayed ahead, while Hunt managed to scramble around the outside of the Lotus to snatch the lead, and was now right behind teammate Mass.[2] Indeed, it almost seemed as if the move had been planned as Hunt charged across the line with the lead, although the truth was to be revealed just seconds later.[2]

Indeed, as the McLarens plus Andretti came through turn three, Mass, sensing his job was done, moved to the outside of the corner, opening the door for Hunt to pass through the medium speed sweep.[2] Unfortunately for him Hunt, rather impatiently, had decided to go for the same piece of tarmac, causing the two to inevitably collide.[2] Hunt was forced onto the grass and duly speared into the barriers, destroying the front of his McLaren, while Mass rejoined in fourth.[2]

A now furious Hunt climbed out of his cockpit on the warpath, ultimately resulting in a $2,000 fine for pushing a marshal, who tried to stop the Brit from crossing the live race track.[2] Out front, meanwhile, Andretti was now cruising to one of the most dominant victories in recent memory, a lap clear of the now second placed Scheckter.[2] Indeed, so confident was the American of seeing the chequered flag that he had his Cosworth engine barely ticking over, and was staying well away from the potentially puncture causing kerbs.[2]

Yet, with four laps to go, Andretti's nursing efforts were found to be in vain, for his Cosworth engine dramatically expired on the run out of the hairpin.[2] A despondent Andretti limped the car back to the pits, with oil trailing out from underneath the car all the way from turn seven to pit entry.[2] Unaware of this, Andretti climbed out of his cockpit and walked away, leaving Scheckter to pick-up a not entirely deserved lead.[2]

However, as Andretti came to a stop, the result of his cost to the pits would be revealed on track, for Patrese hit the American's slick at turn nine and duly went spinning into Keegan's wrecked Hesketh.[2] The Italian, sensing the danger around him, quickly jumped out of the cockpit, just in time to see Vittorio Brambilla wipe out both cars with his Surtees on lap 78.[2] Gilles Villeneuve was next on the scene and spun without hitting anything, only for his driveshaft to fail as he pulled away.[2]

Fortunately the sight of three trashed cars at the side of the road was enough to tell the remaining drivers to reduce their speed at turn nine, meaning the final couple of laps were fairly quiet.[2] All that was left was for Scheckter to cruise home to claim victory for Wolf on home turf, six seconds clear of Depailler whom had run reliably if unspectacularly.[2] Mass was next ahead of Jones and Patrick Tambay, while Brambilla completed the point scorers in spite of his accident.[2]

ResultsEdit

The full race results for the 1977 Canadian Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 20 South Africa Jody Scheckter Canada Wolf-Ford Cosworth 80 1:40:00.00 9 9
2 4 France Patrick Depailler United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 80 +6.77s 6 6
3 2 West Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 80 +15.76s 5 4
4 17 Australia Alan Jones United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 80 +46.69s 7 3
5 23 France Patrick Tambay Hong Kong Ensign-Ford Cosworth 80 +1:03.26 16 2
6* 19 Italy Vittorio Brambilla United Kingdom Surtees-Ford Cosworth 78 Accident 15 1
7 14 United States Danny Ongais United States Penske-Ford Cosworth 78 +2 Laps 22
8 9 Brazil Alex Ribeiro United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 78 +2 Laps 23
9* 5 United States Mario Andretti United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 77 Engine 1
10* 16 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 76 Accident 8
11* 30 United States Brett Lunger United States McLaren-Ford Cosworth 76 Engine 20
12* 21 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Italy Ferrari 76 Accident 17
Ret 1 United Kingdom James Hunt United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 61 Accident 2
Ret 27 Belgium Patrick Nève United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 56 Oil pressure 21
Ret 3 Sweden Ronnie Peterson United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 34 Fuel leak 3
Ret 24 United Kingdom Rupert Keegan United Kingdom Hesketh-Ford Cosworth 32 Accident 25
Ret 18 Austria Hans Binder United Kingdom Surtees-Ford Cosworth 31 Accident 24
Ret 28 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth 29 Engine 19
Ret 10 South Africa Ian Scheckter United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 29 Engine 18
Ret 12 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Italy Ferrari 20 Fuel pressure 12
Ret 8 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 19 Engine 13
Ret 6 Sweden Gunnar Nilsson United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 17 Accident 4
Ret 26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier-Matra 12 Transmission 11
Ret 7 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1 Accident 10
Ret 22 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni United Kingdom Ensign-Ford Cosworth 0 Accident 14
DNS 25 United Kingdom Ian Ashley United Kingdom Hesketh-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 15 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille France Renault
WD 11 Austria Niki Lauda Italy Ferrari
WD 34 France Jean-Pierre Jarier West Germany Penske-Ford Cosworth
Source:[6]
  • * Brambilla, Andretti, Patrese, Lunger and Villeneuve were all still classified despite retiring as they had completed 90% of the race distance.[6]
  • Ashley was unable to start due to injuries sustained in practice.[2]

MilestonesEdit

StandingsEdit

With Niki Lauda already declared as World Champion all of the interest in Canada had been placed on the fight for second, which would go on to the final round in Japan. However, victory for Jody Scheckter meant that he had an eight point advantage over Mario Andretti heading across the Pacific, meaning the American would have to win just to move ahead. Even then, Scheckter only had to finish fifth to secure the runner-up spot, although the mixed pace of the Wolf in the second half of the season meant anything was possible.

In the International Cup for Constructors, there had been a change for third, with Wolf-Ford Cosworth overtaking McLaren-Ford Cosworth, leaving the latter squad out of the fight for second. Indeed, it was now between the Canadian constructor and the Norfolk based Lotus-Ford Cosworth efforts as to who would finish the season as runner-up, with Lotus holding a seven point advantage. Wolf therefore needed a victory in Japan to claim second in the debut season, while Lotus only needed to have one of their drivers finish fifth or higher.

Drivers' World Championship
Pos. Driver Pts. +/-
1 Austria Niki Lauda 72
2 South Africa Jody Scheckter 55 ▲1
3 United States Mario Andretti 47 ▼1
4 Argentina Carlos Reutemann 36
5 United Kingdom James Hunt 31
6 West Germany Jochen Mass 25
7 Sweden Gunnar Nilsson 20
8 Australia Alan Jones 19 ▲1
9 France Jacques Laffite 16 ▼1
10 France Patrick Depailler 16 ▲2
11 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck 12 ▼1
12 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi 11 ▼1
13 United Kingdom John Watson 9
14 Sweden Ronnie Peterson 7
15 Brazil Carlos Pace 6
16 Italy Vittorio Brambilla 6
17 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni 5
18 France Patrick Tambay 5
19 Italy Renzo Zorzi 1
20 France Jean-Pierre Jarier 1
International Cup for Constructors
Pos. Team Pts. +/-
1 Italy Ferrari 89 (91)
2 United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 62
3 Canada Wolf-Ford Cosworth 55 ▲1
4 United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 51 ▼1
5 United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 27
6 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 23 ▲1
7 United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 20 ▼1
8 France Ligier-Matra 16
9 Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth 11
10 United Kingdom Ensign-Ford Cosworth 10
11 United Kingdom Surtees-Ford Cosworth 6
12 United States Penske-Ford Cosworth 1
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.

ReferencesEdit

Images and Videos:

References:

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 'Canadian GP, 1977', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2015), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr296.html, (Accessed 01/06/2018)
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34 2.35 2.36 2.37 2.38 2.39 2.40 2.41 2.42 2.43 2.44 2.45 2.46 2.47 2.48 2.49 2.50 2.51 2.52 2.53 2.54 2.55 2.56 2.57 2.58 2.59 2.60 2.61 2.62 2.63 2.64 2.65 2.66 2.67 2.68 2.69 2.70 2.71 2.72 2.73 2.74 2.75 2.76 2.77 2.78 2.79 2.80 2.81 2.82 2.83 2.84 2.85 2.86 2.87 A.H., 'The Canadian Grand Prix: Dramas favour Scheckter', motorsportmagazine.com, (Motor Sport, 01/11/1977), https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/november-1977/23/canadian-grand-prix, (Accessed 01/06/2018)
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 3.30 '16. Canada 1977', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1977/canada.aspx, (Accessed 01/06/2018)
  4. 'Canada 1977: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1977/canada/engages.aspx, (Accessed 01/06/2018)
  5. 'Canada 1977: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1977/canada/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 02/06/2018)
  6. 6.0 6.1 'Canada 1977: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1977/canada/classement.aspx, (Accessed 03/06/2018)
  7. '1977 Canadian Grand Prix', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2018), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1977&gp=Canadian%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 01/06/2018)
V T E Canada Canadian Grand Prix
Circuits Mosport Park (1967, 1969, 1971–1974, 1976–1977), Mont-Tremblant (1968, 1970), Montreal (1978–1986, 1988–2008, 2010–present)
CircuitGillesVilleneuve
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V T E 1977 Formula One Season
Teams Apollon • Brabham • Boro • BRM • Ensign • Ferrari • Fittipaldi • Hesketh • Kojima • LEC • Ligier • Lotus • March • McGuire • McLaren • Penske • Renault • Shadow • Surtees • Tyrrell • Wolf
Engines Alfa Romeo • BRM • Ferrari • Ford Cosworth • Matra • Renault
Drivers Andersson • Andretti • Ashley • Binder • Bleekemolen • Brambilla • Depailler • de Dryver • Edwards • Ertl • Fittipaldi • Francia • Giacomelli • Hayje • Henton • Heyer • Hoffmann • Hoshino • Hunt • Ickx • Jabouille • Jarier • Jones • Keegan • Kessel • Kozarowitzky • Laffite • Lauda • Leoni • Lunger • Mass • McGuire • Merzario • Nève • Nilsson • Oliver • Ongais • Pace • Patrese • Perkins • Peterson • Pilette • Purley • Pryce • Rebaque • Regazzoni • Reutemann • Ribeiro • I. Scheckter • J. Scheckter • Schuppan • Stuck • Sutcliffe • Takahashi • Takahara • Tambay • Trimmer • Villeneuve • de Villota • Watson • Zorzi
Cars Apollon Fly • Brabham BT45 • Brabham BT45B • Boro 001 • BRM P201B • BRM P207 • Ensign N177 • Ferrari 312T2B • Fittipaldi FD04 • Fittipaldi F5 • Hesketh 308E • Kojima KE009 • LEC CRP1 • Ligier JS7 • Lotus 78 • March 761 • March 761B • March 771 • McGuire BM1 • McLaren M23 • McLaren M26 • Penske PC4 • Renault RS01 • Shadow DN5B • Shadow DN8 • Surtees TS19 • Tyrrell 007 • Tyrrell P34 • Wolf WR1 • Wolf WR2 • Wolf WR3
Tyres Bridgestone • Dunlop • Goodyear • Michelin
Races Argentina • Brazil • South Africa • United States West • Spain • Monaco • Belgium • Sweden • France • Britain • Germany • Austria • Netherlands • Italy • United States • Canada • Japan
Non-championship Races Race of Champions
See also 1976 Formula One Season • 1978 Formula One Season • Category
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