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The 1977 Dutch Grand Prix, otherwise known as the Dutch Grand Prix, was the thirteenth round of the 1977 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Circuit Park Zandvoort on the 28 August, 1977.[1] The race would see Niki Lauda dominate the final two thirds of the race, after an all out fight for the lead in the opening stages.[1]

Pole had gone to Mario Andretti and Lotus during qualifying, while Jacques Laffite caused a stir by putting the Ligier-Matra on the front row.[1] Lauda claimed third ahead of arch-rival James Hunt while Carlos Reutemann and Gunnar Nilsson shared the third row.[1]

It was Hunt who got the best start off the line, carving through into the lead while Andretti tried to challenge around the outside of Tarzan.[1] The Lotus would ultimately run out of room and run onto the grass, allowing Laffite through, while the rest of the field made it through with only minor bumping.[1]

It was an eventful opening tour, with John Watson smashing his car on a kerb, while Jochen Mass was sent into the air by Alan Jones.[1] The McLaren landed back on its wheels but was out with heavy suspension damage, while Jones survived with barely a mark.[1]

Back with the leaders and Andretti elbowed his way past Laffite on lap two, before going on to challenge Hunt at the end of lap five.[1] The pair would open the following lap side-by-side, with Andretti again on the outside of Tarzan.[1] However, Andretti refused to back off as they rounded the hairpin, resulting in a costly collision for both.[1]

Andretti recovered behind Laffite, Lauda and Reutemann, while Hunt would drag the McLaren back to the pits for repairs.[1] Unfortunately for the Brit, the damage was too extensive for his crew to fix, signalling the end of his title defence in 1977.[1]

Out front, Lauda began to challenge Laffite for the lead, while Andretti caught back onto the back of Reutemann to try and get back onto the podium.[1] Yet, the Lotus' Ford Cosworth was beginning to struggle having had a massive shock when colliding with Hunt, and duly expired on lap 14.[1]

The Laffite/Lauda fight ultimately came to its own conclusion on lap 20, with the Ferrari muscling its way past before disappearing off into the distance.[1] Laffite was left in a lonely second, while Reutemann had to fend off another Lotus challenge in the form of Nilsson, until the Swede miscalculated a dive on lap 34, sending both into the grass.[1]

Reutemann would rejoin and fight back to the points, while Nilsson was out on the spot.[1] Their accident promoted Patrick Tambay into third in his Ensign, only to run out of fuel on the penultimate lap and promote a lonely Jody Scheckter onto the podium.[1]

That would be the final modification to the order, with Lauda cruising home with fastest lap to claim his fifteenth victory and a commanding lead in the Championship.[1] Laffite was second a couple of seconds back and the only other man on the lead lap, with Scheckter third ahead of Emerson Fittipaldi.[1] Tambay was still classified in fifth despite stopping ast the side of the circuit, with Reutemann a frustrated sixth.[1]

BackgroundEdit

F1 would make its annual trip to the seaside for the thirteenth race of the 1977 Championship, arriving at the Circuit Park Zandvoort in the Netherlands. Tucked away amid the dunes on the North Sea, Zandvoort remained one of the fastest circuits on the calendar, despite recent revisions to reduce speeds.[2] In terms of the 1977 edition of the Dutch Grand Prix there would be no major revisions to either circuit or schedule, although only after a legal challenge had defeated the latter.[2]

The organisers of the Dutch Grand Prix had decided to hold a pre-qualifying session ahead of the race weekend, after receiving a 35 car entry list for the meeting.[2] As such, the nine non-F.O.C.A. members were to run on the Tuesday, the 23 August, prior to the first official practice on Friday.[2] That list would include the highly rated Arturo Merzario, who was back with his March, only for the Italian to protest against the session.[2]

Merzario would arrive on the first practice day with an FIA rule book and legal advice, arguing that the FIA's own rules forbade the holding of a pre-qualifying session.[2] Wilting under the Italian's legal backing the organisers were left to allow all of the entries to take part, despite the fact that the session had been staged.[2] In the confusion, Emilio de Villota, who had failed to pre-qualify, had left the venue, while Loris Kessel, who arrived late, spent the first official day of running trying to get RAM Racing boss John MacDonald arrested over wages from the previous season.[2]

Those who did take part in the pre-qualifying session included Brett Lunger in his McLaren, Hans Binder (ATS-Penske), Brian Henton (Boro) and Teddy Pilette in the BRM.[2] They had all "pre-qualified", while de Villota was technically joined by Ian Ashley in the third Hesketh and Michael Bleekemolen with a RAM March on the reserve list.[2] Yet, with the cancellation of the reserve list both Ashley and Bleekemolen would join the fray, giving them an outside shot of claiming a spot on the grid.[2]

Away from the mess surrounding pre-qualifying and the Zandvoort circuit was expected to suit the Lotus 78s of Mario Andretti and Gunnar Nilsson, which were designed to cope with sweeping curves such as those amid the dunes.[2] They arrived with two of the older examples of the 78 for the weekend, although both were sporting new Cosworth tuned engines.[2] A newer 78 was kept in reserve, although neither Nilsson nor Andretti planned to spend any time in it.[2]

Elsewhere, the works McLaren team arrived in hopes of securing a strong finish with their refined M26s, with both James Hunt and Jochen Mass happier with their chargers.[2] Mass, was given an additional boost by getting the newest M26 chassis to be constructed, although Hunt retained priority when it came to the team's special Cosworth engines.[2] Mass' old M26 became the spare, meaning the German's old M23 could finally be retired.[2]

Over at Ferrari were was little to note for Niki Lauda and Carlos Reutemann, with the team quietly going about things at the top of both Championships, despite lacking out-right pace.[2] In contrast, fellow F12 users Brabham-Alfa Romeo arrived with images of their new BT46 to show to the public, although the car itself was completing some rather punishing testing back in Italy at the Alfa Romeo test track.[2] As such, John Watson and Hans-Joachim Stuck were set to use their 1977-spec BT45Bs, although bother were satisfied with the speed.[2]

Into the French faction and Ligier-Matra were back with a "long-wheelbase" JS07 for lone driver Jacques Laffite, a feat achieved by placing a spacer between the engine and gearbox.[2] In contrast, the chassis of the Renault had gone untouched since its last appearance at the British Grand Prix, although the team believed that they had solved their turbocharger issues.[2] As such, Jean-Pierre Jabouille was confident of a strong result, with the turbocharger now mounted higher within its own air-intake.[2]

Wolf, meanwhile, would arrive with the two older Wolves for Jody Scheckter to try in Zandvoort, WR3 having been abandoned for the time being by the Canadian squad.[2] In contrast, Fittipaldi had brought their two newest F5s for Emerson Fittipaldi to drive, although the new car was not proving to be much of an improvement over the older design.[2] Completing the "manufacturer" entries would be the BRM in the hands of Pilette, which had caused a stir by actually making the cut in the pointless pre-qualifying session.[2]

Elsewhere, Shadow were back to fielding Riccardo Patrese and Alan Jones together again, with the Italian's sponsors also returning to the sides of the white cars.[2] Surtees were likewise unchanged from their now default pairing of Vittorio Brambilla and Vern Schuppan, as were Hesketh with Rupert Keegan and Héctor Rebaque.[2] Tyrrell were also back with their familiar duo of Ronnie Peterson and Patrick Depailler, who were beginning to tire with their P34Bs.[2] Ensign were also back with two cars, one works entry for Clay Regazzoni, complemented by the factory supported chassis of Patrick Tambay.[2]

Completing the entry would be a scattering of Marches, led by the new factory 771 in the hands of Ian Scheckter.[2] The new 771 was effectively an evolution of the current 761Bs, although the delays in its debut were a result of budget issues rather than extreme development.[2] That meant that there was little hope of the South African finding a lot of speed over teammate Alex Ribeiro, with the Brazilian's future seemingly based on the size of his wallet rather than talent.[2]

The other Marches were to be found at Williams Grand Prix Engineering, piloted by Patrick Nève, Team Merzario, and the RAM Racing pairing of Boy Hayje and Bleekemolen.[2] They joined the semi-works Hesketh of Ashley, the Boro of Henton, Lunger's McLaren and the two ATS-Penskes of Jean-Pierre Jarier and Binder on the final entry list.[2]

Into the Championship and while it was Jones who had celebrated his maiden victory in Austria, it was actually Lauda whom had been the real winner, for the Austrian had pulled sixteen points clear at the top of the Championship. Jody Scheckter was still in second but had lost ground to Lauda, and was instead being drawn in by the Austrian's teammate Reutemann. The Argentine had overtaken Andretti after his own podium spot, while Hunt's title defence was already effectively over with five races to go.

Like their driver it was Ferrari whom left Austria in the best position in the International Cup for Manufacturers, pulling 24 points ahead of their nearest challengers. That challenge now rested solely in the hands of Team Lotus-Ford Cosworth, although the ever fragile Loti were costing them as many points as the lone Wolf-Ford Cosworth entry in third. McLaren-Ford Cosworth, meanwhile, had inched closer to the top three with another score, while Shadow-Ford Cosworth were within sight of the top half of the table after their maiden victory.

Entry listEdit

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

No. Driver Entreat 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 312T2B Ferrari 015 3.0 F12 G
12 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312T2B Ferrari 015 3.0 F12 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 Australia Vern Schuppan 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 WR2 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 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 Mexico Héctor Rebaque United Kingdom Hesketh 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
29 Belgium Teddy Pilette United Kingdom Stanley BRM BRM P207 BRM P202 3.0 V12 G
30 United States Brett Lunger United States Chesterfield Racing McLaren M23 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
32 Netherlands Michael Bleekemolen United Kingdom RAM Racing/F&S Properties March 761 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
33 Netherlands Boy Hayje United Kingdom RAM Racing/F&S Properties March 761 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
35 Austria Hans Binder West Germany ATS Racing Team Penske PC4 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
36 Spain Emilio de Villota Spain Iberia Airlines McLaren M23 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
37 Italy Arturo Merzario Italy Team Merzario March 761B Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
38 United Kingdom Brian Henton Netherlands HB Bewaking Alarm Systems Boro 001 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
39 United Kingdom Ian Ashley United Kingdom Hesketh Racing Hesketh 308E Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
41 Switzerland Loris Kessel Switzerland Jolly Club Switzerland Apollon Fly Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
Source:[3]

Practice OverviewEdit

QualifyingEdit

Practice/qualifying were to be staged across Friday and Saturday, with the cancellation of pre-qualifying ensuring that there would be as many as 34 cars on track at the same time.[2] Those 34 drivers would be fighting to take one of the 26 grid slots on offer, with three "timed" sessions giving ample time to qualify, while an "untimed" period would allow for some race practice.[2] As for a target time the top drivers would be aiming to best the circuit record, a 1:20.29 set by Niki Lauda in 1975.[2]

Friday QualifyingEdit

Mario Andretti would dictate the pace during the first "timed" session of the race, weekend, the American smoothly shaving a few tenths off his effort with every lap.[2] Indeed, come sessions end the #5 Lotus had recorded a 1:18.85, a stunning time that ensured that Andretti headed into the rest of the weekend as favourite.[2] His closest challenger proved to be James Hunt, on a 1:19.70, while Carlos Reutemann was the only other driver to record a sub-1:20.00 time.[2]

Elsewhere, Lauda's efforts were hampered by a general dissatisfaction with his Ferrari, the Austrian monopolising the team's spare car to compare against his race car.[2] John Watson employed a similar tactic over at Brabham-Alfa Romeo, although the Ulsterman was instead setting up the spare to match his race car.[2] Elsewhere, the new Renault was stopped early on when a stone destroyed the turbine in its turbo, Riccardo Patrese was struggling with his updated Shadow, and local racer Michael Bleekemolen was forced to sit out completely after issues with his modified RAM March.[2]

Friday afternoon saw the outright pace slacken at the front of the field, with Gunnar Nilsson joining the sub-1:20.00 club in the #6 Lotus, the only man to break that particular barrier.[2] Andretti, meanwhile, would fail to get back into the 1:18.00s, but spent the entire afternoon in the 1:19.00s, much to the dismay of the rest of the field.[2] Otherwise the session followed much the same pattern as the morning session, albeit without the exploits of Patrick Nève who saw his engine expire right at the start.[2]

Saturday QualifyingEdit

Overnight rain reset conditions ahead of the final practice day, although with the single "untimed" session there was plenty of opportunity to get rubber back onto the circuit.[2] Indeed, it would prove to be a particularly busy session, with most of the drivers using spare cars if they had them to ensure they had a reliable car in reserve in case anything went wrong in the final hour of qualifying.[2] In terms of times it was Andretti who once again dominated the session, albeit according to the unofficial stop watch.[2]

After such a successful morning there was little surprise when Andretti went on to dominate the final hour of qualifying, the American duly slinging his Lotus around to claim a 1:18.65.[2] Such was Andretti's confidence in his car that the American rarely recorded a time over 1:20.00, despite the "cool-down laps" or need to find a gap in the traffic.[2] This was a stark contrast to teammate Nilsson, who went through two Loti almost in vain to record a comparatively slow 1:19.57.[2]

Elsewhere, Hunt improved to a 1:19.50 to secure himself in second, only for Jacques Laffite to come charging through at the end of the afternoon to claim a 1:19.27.[2] He was the leader of the 1:19.00 group, which sported the Ligier-Matra, Hunt's McLaren, the two Ferraris split by Nilsson, Ronnie Peterson, Watson and Clay Regazzoni, all of whom would improve that afternoon.[2] Next up was the Renault of Jean-Pierre Jabouille after the turbocharger was persuaded to last for more than a lap, with Patrick Depailler just behind.[2]

Indeed, it was incredibly tight behind the second Tyrrell, with just a tenth covering the Frenchman in eleventh and Jody Scheckter in fifteenth, with three drivers setting identical times.[2] Elsewhere, Jean-Pierre Jarier went for a spin in the ATS-Penske, causing Vittorio Brambilla to go charging into the barriers as the Italian tried to avoid him.[2] Brambilla somehow dragged the wounded Surtees back to the pits and swapped to the spare, just in time to avoid a spin for Watson, caused by a suspension failure.[2]

At the back of the field, meanwhile, Alex Ribeiro caused a stir by beating teammate Ian Scheckter, despite the South African using the new March 771, while Rupert Keggan snuck onto the grid in the closing stages.[2] The Brit's late improvement meant that Nève missed out, as did pre-qualifying protester Arturo Merzario in his custom March.[2] Also out were Vern Schuppan, Ian Ashley, Boy Hayje, Héctor Rebaque and Teddy Pilette, while Bleekemolen failed to run at all in the final session.[2]

Qualifying ResultsEdit

The full qualifying results for the 1977 Dutch 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 1:18.85 1:19.07 1:18.65
2 26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier-Matra 1:20.15 1:20.21 1:19.27 +0.62s
3 1 United Kingdom James Hunt United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:19.70 1:20.13 1:19.50 +0.85s
4 11 Austria Niki Lauda Italy Ferrari 1:20.26T 1:20.49 1:19.54T +0.89s
5 6 Sweden Gunnar Nilsson United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:20.13 1:19.98 1:19.57 +0.92s
6 12 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Italy Ferrari 1:19.74 1:20.82 1:19.66 +1.01s
7 3 Sweden Ronnie Peterson United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:20.66 1:20.64 1:19.85 +1.20s
8 7 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1:20.28 1:20.36 1:19.93 +1.28s
9 22 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni United Kingdom Ensign-Ford Cosworth 1:20.55 1:21.13 1:19.93T +1.28s
10 15 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille France Renault 1:26.96 1:23.89 1:20.13 +1.48s
11 4 France Patrick Depailler United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:20.86 1:20.92 1:20.14 +1.49s
12 23 France Patrick Tambay Hong Kong Ensign-Ford Cosworth 1:20.79 1:20.60 1:20.23 +1.58s
13 17 Australia Alan Jones United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 1:20.26 1:20.24 1:20.25 +1.59s
14 2 West Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:21.47T 1:21.30T 1:20.24 +1.59s
15 20 South Africa Jody Scheckter Canada Wolf-Ford Cosworth 1:21.11 1:20.88 1:20.24 +1.59s
16 16 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 1:21.24 1:21.12 1:20.43 +1.78s
17 28 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth 1:24.08 1:22.05 1:20.53 +1.88s
18 35 Austria Hans Binder West Germany Penske-Ford Cosworth 1:21.80 1:22.29 1:20.84 +2.19s
19 8 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1:20.86 1:20.86 1:20.94 +2.21s
20 30 United States Brett Lunger United States McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:23.00 1:21.77 1:20.87 +2.22s
21 34 France Jean-Pierre Jarier West Germany Penske-Ford Cosworth 1:21.06 1:21.47 1:21.63 +2.41s
22 19 Italy Vittorio Brambilla United Kingdom Surtees-Ford Cosworth 1:22.38 1:22.39 1:21.12T +2.47s
23 38 United Kingdom Brian Henton Netherlands Boro-Ford Cosworth 1:21.50 1:21.13 1:21.16 +2.48s
24 9 Brazil Alex Ribeiro United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 1:22.42 1:21.79 1:21.16 +2.51s
25 10 South Africa Ian Scheckter United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 1:21.33 1:21.52 1:21.19 +2.54s
26 24 United Kingdom Rupert Keegan United Kingdom Hesketh-Ford Cosworth 1:22.72 1:21.87 1:21.53 +2.88s
DNQ 27 Belgium Patrick Nève United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 1:23.32 1:21.67 +3.02s
DNQ 37 Italy Arturo Merzario Italy March-Ford Cosworth 1:22.82 1:23.03 1:21.79 +3.14s
DNQ 18 Australia Vern Schuppan United Kingdom Surtees-Ford Cosworth 1:22.83 1:23.01 1:21.80 +3.15s
DNQ 39 United Kingdom Ian Ashley United Kingdom Hesketh-Ford Cosworth 1:22.22 1:23.02 1:21.85 +3.20s
DNQ 33 Netherlands Boy Hayje United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 1:22.20 1:23.04 1:24.50 +3.55s
DNQ 25 Mexico Héctor Rebaque United Kingdom Hesketh-Ford Cosworth 1:23.87 1:24.36 1:22.49 +3.84s
DNQ 29 Belgium Teddy Pilette United Kingdom BRM 1:24.22 1:24.28 1:23.07 +4.42s
DNQ 32 Netherlands Michael Bleekemolen United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 1:26.68 +8.03s
WD 36 Spain Emilio de Villota Spain McLaren-Ford Cosworth Withdrawn
WD 41 Switzerland Loris Kessel Switzerland Apollon-Ford Cosworth Withdrawn
Source:[2][4]
  • Bold indicates a driver's best/qualifying time.
  • T Indicates a test/spare car.

GridEdit

Pos Pos
Driver Driver
______________
Row 1 ______________ 1
2 Mario Andretti
Jacques Laffite ______________
Row 2 ______________ 3
4 James Hunt
Niki Lauda ______________
Row 3 ______________ 5
6 Gunnar Nilsson
Carlos Reutemann ______________
Row 4 ______________ 7
8 Ronnie Peterson
John Watson ______________
Row 5 ______________ 9
10 Clay Regazzoni
Jean-Pierre Jabouille ______________
Row 6 ______________ 11
12 Patrick Depailler
Patrick Tambay ______________
Row 7 ______________ 13
14 Alan Jones
Jochen Mass ______________
Row 8 ______________ 15
16 Jody Scheckter
Riccardo Patrese ______________
Row 9 ______________ 17
18 Emerson Fittipaldi
Hans Binder ______________
Row 10 ______________ 19
20 Hans-Joachim Stuck
Brett Lunger ______________
Row 11 ______________ 21
22 Jean-Pierre Jarier
Vittorio Brambilla ______________
Row 12 ______________ 23
24 Brian Henton
Alex Ribeiro ______________
Row 13 ______________ 25
26 Ian Scheckter
Rupert Keegan ______________

RaceEdit

Local laws regarding morning noise "pollution" meant that it would be a quiet start to proceedings on raceday, with the warm-up session staged at the very late time on 1:15pm.[2] That was scheduled to last for half an hour, before the cars hit the circuit at 2:30pm ahead of the 3:00pm start time.[2] Weather-wise a strong headwind down the start-finish straight had developed, although the Circuit Park Zandvoort was otherwise enjoying a dry and warm afternoon.[2]

Warm-upEdit

It proved to be a rather hectic pre-race warm-up, with many teams opting to strip out and reduce the ratios of their final gears to account for the headwind.[2] On circuit, meanwhile, Jacques Laffite suffered a catastrophic oil leak in the stretched Ligier, forcing him to use the spare for the race, while Gunnar Nilsson made a late change to his spare after an engine failure.[2] Other engine issues would likewise cause Clay Regazzoni and Rupert Keegan to revert to their spares, while Vittorio Brambilla had his colours transferred to the now spare Surtees in spite of his own car being rebuilt after qualifying.[2]

ReportEdit

There was the briefest pause on the grid for the starter's lights to flash to green before the race got underway, with pole sitter Mario Andretti spinning his wheels having almost jumped the lights.[2] His smokey start allowed James Hunt to dive to inside of the Lotus on the run into Tarzan before the American could cover off the move, meaning they ran wheel-to-wheel into the corner.[2] Hunt duly ran Andretti wide to seize the lead, with Andretti also losing out to Laffite having lost traction on the sand that had gathered off the racing line.[2]

Dutch Grand Prix 1977

Alan Jones sends Jochen Mass towards orbit and, more importantly, into the catch fencing.

A similar fate would befall John Watson in the middle of the pack, with the Ulsterman's Brabham-Alfa Romeo run wide onto the exit kerb by a Ferrari.[2] That left Watson with a cracked oil sump, while his scrambling to maintain control knocked him further down the order.[2] He would carry on, albeit trailing a lot of blue smoke, unlike Jochen Mass who had his McLaren launched into the air by Alan Jones, only to crash back onto terra firma amid the crash fencing.[2]

Fortunately the rest of the opening lap was uneventful, with Hunt streaming across the line to complete the opening tour with a small lead over Laffite and Andretti.[2] They were followed by the two Ferraris and smokey Watson, while Ronnie Peterson fended off the attentions of Regazzoni's spare Ensign.[2] Next up were the two Patricks, Depailler and Tambay, while Nilsson was trying to climb up the order after his poor getaway.[2]

Indeed, it was the Swede who stole the show on the second lap, with the #6 Lotus carving its way past Depailler, Tambay and Regazzoni before latching onto the back of Peterson.[2] Further ahead, teammate Andretti was on the move, elbowing past Laffite, and was swiftly regaining the ground he had lost to Hunt on the opening tour.[2] Indeed, the American racer would be right on the back of the McLaren at the end of the third lap, although his first attack into Tarzan was easily swatted aside.[2]

Andretti would try another move on Hunt into Tarzan at the start of lap five, with the American again finding himself on the outside of the Brit as they rounded the hairpin.[2] The Lotus reluctantly ceded the position and followed the McLaren around for another lap, before trying an identical move, albeit a little bit further along the Brit as they entered Tarzan.[2] Again, Hunt moved to run Andretti out wide, only this time the Lotus was not going to back down.[2]

On the exit of the hairpin the front right of the Lotus was millimetres ahead of the left rear of the McLaren, with Andretti all over the kerb on the outside of the circuit.[2] Yet, Hunt would continue to squeeze the Lotus, and as he picked up traction, the left rear of his car duly ran over the front right of the Lotus, launching Hunt into the air.[2] After a brief flight the McLaren smashed down atop the kerb, destroying the water pump and suspension, while Andretti's Lotus was spinning off towards the inside of the circuit.[2]

Laffite, Niki Lauda and Carlos Reutemann flashed through the scene before Andretti recovered, the Lotus seemingly unharmed despite having a McLaren drive over its front right.[2] Hunt, meanwhile, would slide to a stop with steam shrouding his car, the Brit out on the spot and quickly out of the cockpit.[2] Indeed, it was only a few minutes before Hunt was seen launching a tirade at Lotus boss Colin Chapman about Andretti's antics, although his protests were waved away.[2]

Back on track and Andretti was soon closing back onto to the new lead group, with Reutemann his first victim on lap ten.[2] Behind, Andretti's teammate Nilsson had his progress checked by Peterson's increasingly wide Tyrrell, with the #3 having a queue form up behind it.[2] Indeed, Nilsson was joined by his earlier victims Regazzoni, Tambay and Depailler in the Tyrrell train, as well as a charging Alan Jones once the Australian racer had dealt with the rather quiet Jody Scheckter.[2]

Having dealt with Reutemann, Andretti's next task was to take the #11 Ferrari of Lauda, although his first attempt into Tarzan was easily swatted aside.[2] Again, at the start of lap 14 the Championship leader was not to be moved, with Andretti trying to find a gap to exploit as they disappeared out behind the dunes.[2] Yet, come the end of the lap, it would Reutemann in the mirrors of Lauda, with Andretti's Lotus coasting to a stop in the pits with smoke pouring from the exhausts.[2]

However, the Ferraris could hardly ease off the pace, for as one Lotus fell the other was coming to the fore.[2] Indeed, having elbowed his way past his compatriot, Nilsson was now rapidly closing onto the back of Reutemann, who was instructed to act as a rear-gunner for Lauda now that Andretti was no longer a factor.[2] That allowed the Austrian to go hunting after race leader Laffite, with the Frenchman's Ligier a few seconds up the road.[2]

Ultimately there would be no real fight for the lead, with Lauda using his momentum to cruise past Laffite before the Frenchman knew what was happening.[2] Teammate Reutemann, meanwhile, was still awaiting an attack from Nilsson, while Peterson disappeared from the fray with two ignition issues in two laps.[2] Depailler's Tyrrell would also disappear, albeit briefly, with a flat tyre, while Regazzoni's race came to a premature end of lap 18 with a connector broke on his throttle cable.[2]

The race began to settle down after the recent wave of retirements, for Nilsson, having dragged himself onto the back of Reutemann, found himself unable to launch an attack at the Ferrari.[2] His efforts were being hampered by a pack of backmarkers, with Reutemann just managing to keep a car in between himself and the Lotus.[2] Lauda, meanwhile, had established a healthy lead over Laffite, while Scheckter had the long list of retirements to thank for climbing up into sixth behind Tambay.[2] Indeed, there were so many early casualties that the Renault of Jean-Pierre Jabouille was in danger of scoring points, in spite of a near-miss when Jones' Shadow blew up in the Frenchman's face.[2]

Back to the Reutemann/Nilsson fight and, having cleared the back markers, the Lotus finally had enough room to size up a move on the Ferrari, and was right on the Argenine's tail as they disappeared out behind the paddock.[2] However, it would seem that the Swede was too close, for Nilsson ran straight into the back of Reutemann around the back of the circuit and buried himself in the sand.[2] Reutemann, meanwhile, would scramble clear and return to the pits with a damaged rear-wing, which was swiftly replaced.[2]

All that left Tambay in a shock third in his Ensign, Scheckter a lonely fourth, Emerson Fittipaldi fifth and Jabouille a stunning sixth for Renault.[2] Indeed, it seemed as if the new turbocharged effort had had its reliability issues successfully cured, for Jabouille cruised past half distance without any signs of trouble.[2] It was therefore unfortunate that the Frenchman's next action of note was a spin a few laps later, caused by a terminal case of broken suspension.[2]

With that the race became a very tame affair, although Laffite did manage to close onto the back of Lauda for the lead as the pair lapped the backmarkers.[2] Indeed, the only on-track pass to make a difference to the order would be made by Vittorio Brambilla, who slithered his Surtees past Fittipaldi for fifth just before getting lapped by the lead duo.[2] Unfortunately for the Italian his decision to sweep right back in behind the Ligier was to be a disastrous one, for the lack of undisturbed air over the front of his car caused him to fly into the barriers at the very next corner.[2]

With that the race was run, barring a last minute, and very cruel, retirement for Tambay, who ran out of fuel in the Teddy Yip funded Ensign.[2] The Frenchman was duly forced to walk back to the pits as Lauda cruised home a couple of seconds ahead of Laffite to claim victory, while Scheckter, a lap down, inherited the Frenchman's lost podium.[2] Fittipaldi was next ahead of Tambay, who retained fifth according to the timesheets, with Reutemann suddenly appearing in sixth after the last few retirements broke up the order ahead.[2]

ResultsEdit

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

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 11 Austria Niki Lauda Italy Ferrari 75 1:41:45.93 4 9
2 26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier-Matra 75 +1.89s 2 6
3 20 South Africa Jody Scheckter Canada Wolf-Ford Cosworth 74 +1 Lap 15 4
4 28 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth 74 +1 Lap 17 3
5* 23 France Patrick Tambay Hong Kong Ensign-Ford Cosworth 73 Out of fuel 12 2
6 12 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Italy Ferrari 73 +2 Laps 6 1
7 8 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 73 +2 Laps 19
8 35 Austria Hans Binder West Germany Penske-Ford Cosworth 73 +2 Laps 18
9 30 United States Brett Lunger United States McLaren-Ford Cosworth 73 +2 Laps 20
10 10 South Africa Ian Scheckter United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 73 +2 Laps 25
11 9 Brazil Alex Ribeiro United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 72 +3 Laps 24
12* 19 Italy Vittorio Brambilla United Kingdom Surtees-Ford Cosworth 67 Acident 22
13* 16 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 67 Fuel pump 16
DSQ 38 United Kingdom Brian Henton Netherlands Boro-Ford Cosworth 52 Disqualified 23
Ret 15 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille France Renault 39 Suspension 10
Ret 6 Sweden Gunnar Nilsson United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 34 Accident 5
Ret 17 Australia Alan Jones United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 32 Engine 13
Ret 4 France Patrick Depailler United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 31 Engine 11
Ret 3 Sweden Ronnie Peterson United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 18 Ignition 7
Ret 22 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni United Kingdom Ensign-Ford Cosworth 17 Throttle 9
Ret 5 United States Mario Andretti United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 14 Engine 1
Ret 24 United Kingdom Rupert Keegan United Kingdom Hesketh-Ford Cosworth 8 Accident 26
Ret 1 United Kingdom James Hunt United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 5 Accident 3
Ret 34 France Jean-Pierre Jarier West Germany Penske-Ford Cosworth 4 Engine 21
Ret 7 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 2 Crankcase 8
Ret 2 West Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 0 Accident 14
DNQ 27 Belgium Patrick Nève United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 37 Italy Arturo Merzario Italy March-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 18 Australia Vern Schuppan United Kingdom Surtees-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 39 United Kingdom Ian Ashley United Kingdom Hesketh-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 33 Netherlands Boy Hayje United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 25 Mexico Héctor Rebaque United Kingdom Hesketh-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 29 Belgium Teddy Pilette United Kingdom BRM
DNQ 32 Netherlands Michael Bleekemolen United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth
WD 36 Spain Emilio de Villota Spain McLaren-Ford Cosworth
WD 41 Switzerland Loris Kessel Switzerland Apollon-Ford Cosworth
Source:[5]
  • * Tambay, Brambilla and Patrese were all classified despite retiring as they had complete 90% of the race distance.[5]
  • Henton was disqualified for receiving a push start.[5]

MilestonesEdit

  • First entry for Michael Bleekemolen.[6]
  • Fifteenth career victory for Niki Lauda.[7]
  • 68th victory for Ferrari as both a constructor and entrant.[7]
  • Lauda claimed the 80th fastest lap to be set by a Ferrari chassis and engine.[7]
    • This was also the 100th hot lap recorded by a car using Goodyear tyres.[6]

StandingsEdit

Victory ensured that Niki Lauda would leave Zandvoort in near total command of the Championship, his advantage having grown to nineteen points over Jody Scheckter. The South African would need to win two races just to get back on terms with the Austrian before the end of the season, with those two the only pair with a realistic chance at the title. Carlos Reutemann, meanwhile, would move three points clear of Mario Andretti, while James Hunt's title defence was over in fifth.

In the International Cup for Constructors' the battle was almost won for Ferrari, for the Italian firm had a 33 point advantage with just 36 points left to fight for. They would win the title with just one podium visit between Italy and Japan, regardless of what the rest of the field could muster. Indeed, the only team that could deny them would be Lotus-Ford Cosworth, although it would require the Norfolk squad to have a miraculous u-turn in reliability to even consider challenge.

Drivers' World Championship
Pos. Driver Pts +/-
1 Austria Niki Lauda 63
2 South Africa Jody Scheckter 42
3 Argentina Carlos Reutemann 35
4 United States Mario Andretti 32
5 United Kingdom James Hunt 22
6 Sweden Gunnar Nilsson 20
7 West Germany Jochen Mass 18
8 France Jacques Laffite 16 ▲2
9 Australia Alan Jones 12 ▼1
10 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck 12 ▼1
11 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi 11 ▲2
12 France Patrick Depailler 9 ▼1
13 United Kingdom John Watson 8 ▼1
14 Brazil Carlos Pace 6
15 Sweden Ronnie Peterson 6
16 Italy Vittorio Brambilla 5
17 France Patrick Tambay 3 ▲3
18 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni 1 ▼1
19 Italy Renzo Zorzi 1 ▼1
20 France Jean-Pierre Jarier 1 ▼1
International Cup for Constructors
Pos. Team Pts +/-
1 Italy Ferrari 80 (82)
2 United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 47
3 Canada Wolf-Ford Cosworth 42
4 United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 35
5 United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 27
6 France Ligier-Matra 16 ▲2
7 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 16 ▼1
8 United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 13 ▼1
9 Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth 11
10 United Kingdom Surtees-Ford Cosworth 5
11 United Kingdom Ensign-Ford Cosworth 4
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 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 'DUTCH GP, 1977', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2015), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr293.html, (Accessed 15/05/2018)
  2. 2.000 2.001 2.002 2.003 2.004 2.005 2.006 2.007 2.008 2.009 2.010 2.011 2.012 2.013 2.014 2.015 2.016 2.017 2.018 2.019 2.020 2.021 2.022 2.023 2.024 2.025 2.026 2.027 2.028 2.029 2.030 2.031 2.032 2.033 2.034 2.035 2.036 2.037 2.038 2.039 2.040 2.041 2.042 2.043 2.044 2.045 2.046 2.047 2.048 2.049 2.050 2.051 2.052 2.053 2.054 2.055 2.056 2.057 2.058 2.059 2.060 2.061 2.062 2.063 2.064 2.065 2.066 2.067 2.068 2.069 2.070 2.071 2.072 2.073 2.074 2.075 2.076 2.077 2.078 2.079 2.080 2.081 2.082 2.083 2.084 2.085 2.086 2.087 2.088 2.089 2.090 2.091 2.092 2.093 2.094 2.095 2.096 2.097 2.098 2.099 2.100 2.101 2.102 2.103 2.104 2.105 2.106 2.107 2.108 2.109 2.110 2.111 2.112 2.113 2.114 2.115 2.116 2.117 D.S.J., 'The Dutch Grand Prix', motorsportmagazine.com, (Motor Sport, 01/10/1977), https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/october-1977/52/dutch-grand-prix, (Accessed 15/05/2018)
  3. 'Netherlands 1977: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1977/pays-bas/engages.aspx, (Accessed 15/05/2018)
  4. 'Netherlands 1977: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1977/pays-bas/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 16/05/2018)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 'Netherlands 1977: Results', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1977/pays-bas/classement.aspx, (Accessed 17/05/2018)
  6. 6.0 6.1 '1977 Dutch GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2018), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1977&gp=Dutch%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 15/05/2018)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 '13. Netherlands 1977', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1977/pays-bas.aspx, (Accessed 15/05/2018)
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 • Hoffman • Hoshino • Hunt • Ickx • Jabouille • Jarier • Jones • Keegan • Kessel • Kozarowitzky • Laffite • Lauda • Leoni • Lunger • Mass • McGuire • Merzario • Neve • 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 • Boro 001 • BRM P201 • BRM P207 • Ensign N177 • Ferrari 312T • Fittipaldi FD04 • Fittipaldi F5 • Hesketh 308 • Kojima KE009 • LEC CRP1 • Ligier JS7 • Lotus 78 • March 761 • March 771 • McGuire BM1 • McLaren M23 • McLaren M26 • Penske PC4 • Renault RS01 • Shadow DN5 • 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
V T E Netherlands Dutch Grand Prix
Circuits Zandvoort (1948-present)
CircuitZandvoort1980
Formula One Races 1952 • 1953 • 1954 • 1955 • 1956-1957 • 1958 • 1959 • 1960 • 1961 • 1962 • 1963 • 1964 • 1965 • 1966 • 1967 • 1968 • 1969 • 1970 • 1971 • 1972 • 1973 • 1974 • 1975 • 1976 • 1977 • 1978 • 1979 • 1980 • 1981 • 1982 • 1983 • 1984 • 1985 • 1986-2019 • 2020
Non-Championship Races 1948 • 1949 • 1950 • 1951
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