The 1977 Italian Grand Prix, otherwise known as the XLVIII Gran Premio d'Italia, was the fourteenth round of the 1977 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza on the 11 September, 1977. The race, which was the last of the season to be staged in Europe, would see Ferrari secure their third straight International Cup for Constructors' victory.
James Hunt would start the weekend in the strongest position, claiming pole position from Ferrari racer Carlos Reutemann after a two day fight. Jody Scheckter claimed third ahead of Mario Andretti, while Championship leader Niki Lauda, fresh from announcing his impending transfer to Brabham-Alfa Romeo, would start from fifth.
At the start it would be seventh place qualifier Clay Regazzoni who made the best getaway, the Swiss racer weaving his way up into second behind Scheckter. Unfortunately for the Swiss racer his Ensign was simply too slow after Curva Grande to keep Hunt and Andretti at bay, and so fell back behind them before the end of the opening tour.
The early phase of the race would see Andretti cruise past Hunt with ease before sprinting off after Scheckter, the Lotus performing a lot better in race trim. Behind, Regazzoni fell behind Reutemann, Lauda, Jochen Mass and Hans-Joachim Stuck, with the German duo fighting amongst themselves.
It was on lap ten that the Italian crowd were finally given cause to cheer, with Andretti pulling a remarkable move around the outside of Scheckter to claim the lead. The Italian-American racer duly disappeared into the distance to establish a healthy lead, while Scheckter's Wolf slowly drifted into the sights of Hunt.
Ultimately there would be no serious fighting at the front of the field, for Scheckter and Hunt disappeared with mechanical failures, while Lauda blasted past Reutemann without any resistance. Indeed, once ahead of his teammate, the Austrian decided to settle for second, reasoning that Andretti had to be cruising given his huge advantage.
Andretti would indeed spend most of the afternoon cruising, knowing that his Lotus 78 was a particularly fragile beast. Elsewhere, Reutemann got caught behind debutante Bruno Giacomelli when the Italian's engine failed right in the Argentine's face, forcing him into the barriers as he tried to avoid it, leaving Alan Jones, Mass and Reutemann to fight over the final podium spot.
With that the race was run, with Andretti nursing his Lotus home to claim victory in front of his semi-home fans, although the tifosi were instead celebrating the efforts of Lauda. Indeed, by finishing second the Austrian ensured that their beloved Ferrari won their third straight International Cup for Constructors' crown on home soil, the only thing spoiling the day being that neither of their cars topped the podium.
F1 headed to an old favourite for its final European round of the 1977 season, setting up camp at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza for the fastest race of the year. As ever, the Italian Grand Prix came with a barrage of rumours about its future, although the changes to the circuit made in 1976 were deemed sufficient for Monza to continue hosting the race. Regardless, another healthy entry list containing 36 drivers was submitted, all set to fight for one of 24 grid slots.
Naturally, given that the ever-loyal tifosi were heading to Monza in their droves, it was Ferrari which took centre stage at their home race, particularly as the team could collect their third straight International Cup for Constructors crown. Yet, while speculation of a third entry quickly died, news that Championship leader and ex-Ferrari Champion Niki Lauda would be leaving at the end of the season sent shock waves all the way to Maranello. The Austrian racer revealed that he was to drive for Brabham-Alfa Romeo in 1978, a betrayal that would leave Ferrari to look for another talisman to place alongside Carlos Reutemann.
Regardless, Lauda would race for the Italian team at Monza, creating an interesting dichotomy for the tifosi who knew that the Austrian represented their best hopes of victory. Furthermore, despite deciding against fielding a third driver, the Scuderia would arrive in full fighting condition, with the three newest 312T2Bs on offer for Lauda and Reutemann. Of these, Lauda was given preference for the spare car, although it was up to Austrian as to whether or not he chose to use it.
Elsewhere, Lauda's future employers Brabham were having their own internal battles, having signed a sponsorship deal with largely unknown Italian food company Parmalat, at the cost of losing current backers Martini. Indeed, it had become a common sight in the paddocks of 1977 to see a Parmalat truck catering to the bosses of the major F1 teams, with Bernie Ecclestone ultimately the man to take their courting to the next level. Their arrival, which was thought to have bankrolled the impending Lauda transfer, signalled the end of the team's deal with Martini, who subsequently engaged themselves with finding a team to sponsor in 1978.
Regardless, that was a change for the future, with Brabham keeping themselves busy in the present by adding a third entry to their garage at the behest of engine suppliers Alfa Romeo. Indeed, joining regular runners John Watson and Hans-Joachim Stuck would be Giorgio Francia, a local racer who had been racing for Alfa Romeo in other Championships. The Italian rookie was handed the spare BT45B, although only until one of the regulars required it.
Another team adding a third car to their ranks would be McLaren, although their decision to field Formula 2 "ace" Bruno Giacomelli came as a surprise given the impressive debut of Gilles Villeneuve earlier in the season. Indeed, Giacomelli's addition caused the young Canadian to cancel his contract with the team, leaving them without a contracted reserve driver for the immediate future. Regardless, Giacomelli would race the same M23 that Villeneuve had used in Britain, while full race drivers James Hunt and Jochen Mass continued to use their M26s.
Over at Lotus, meanwhile, it would be business as usual, with Italian-American racer Mario Andretti again partnered by Gunnar Nilsson in their 78s. Likewise, there were no changes over at Wolf, whom had brought their two oldest WRs for sole driver Jody Scheckter, who needed a strong result to keep his title hopes alive. Completing the "favourites" list would be Ronnie Peterson and Patrick Depailler with their Tyrrells, although recent form suggested that it would be another difficult weekend for Ken Tyrrell's six-wheelers.
Elsewhere there was a change at Surtees, with Vittorio Brambilla set to be partnered by another Italian youth in the form of Lamberto Leoni, leaving Vern Schuppan without a seat. Over at Ensign there were no changes, with the popular Clay Regazzoni continuing to use the factory car, while Patrick Tambay retained the Hong Kong backed effort. The third lightly modified Ensign of Boro also made an appearance, with Brian Henton hoping to qualify it for the second race in succession.
A similarly modified car, albeit one based off an ancient Williams FW03, appeared in the hands of Loris Kessel, causing quite a stir with its bright yellow bodywork. Indeed, Kessel's Apollon Fly studio had done extensive work on the old FW03, with new bodywork, remounted radiators (in front of the rear axle), and a distinctive elongated nose. Time would tell as to whether the Fly would make the cut, or indeed arrive having so far failed to appear at all in the four previous races in which it had entered.
March arrived with a surprisingly unchanged line-up of Ian Scheckter and Alex Ribeiro, still using their mismatched cars. Additional Marches were to be found in the hands of Patrick Nève, run by Frank Williams and Williams Grand Prix Engineering, as well as Arturo Merzario's self run effort. Both of the customer cars were becoming increasingly alien compared to the factory pairing, with revised front wings on both.
Elsewhere, Ligier-Matra had reverted their long-wheel base JS7 back to short-wheel base form, before handing that plus a spare to Jacques Laffite. In contrast, the other French effort of Renault appeared with just a single car for Jean-Pierre Jabouille, knowing that their turbocharger was to be put to the ultimate test by Monza's flat out layout. Completing the non-Cosworth contingent would be BRM, although their V12 powered creation was, as ever, expected to fall short in the hands of Teddy Pilette.
Shadow were unchanged heading to Monza, with Riccardo Patrese and Alan Jones representing their interests once again. Hesketh, meanwhile, had had a shuffle around, partnering Ian Ashley and Rupert Keegan together in the factory team, while Héctor Rebaque was tentatively listed in the semi-works car. Fittipaldi had no such luxury and had just the single car for Emerson Fittipaldi, while the ATS-Penskes were again piloted by Jean-Pierre Jarier and Hans Binder. Completing the entry list would be the two ex-factory McLarens entered for Brett Lunger and Emilio de Villota.
Into the Championship and victory last time out in the Netherlands had ensured that Lauda was in near total command of the title hunt, his advantage having grown to 21 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. In contrast, Lauda would take the title if he claimed victory in Italy, with Scheckter failing to score.
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.
The full entry list for the 1977 Italian Grand Prix is outlined below:
Practice/qualifying were to be staged across Friday and Saturday, with no mention of a pre-qualifying session after Arturo Merzario's protest in Zandvoort. Friday's running would be divided into two "timed" periods, while Saturday was, as usual, to be split into a morning "untimed" session, before a final "timed" session to complete the grid once and for all. As for a target time it would be a case of beating the circuit record set in 1976, when Jacques Laffite had recorded a 1:41.35 to claim pole.
Ferrari had arrived in Monza with a singular purpose ahead of practice, so there was little surprise that Niki Lauda dominated the timesheets from the start of Friday's running. Indeed, the Austrian racer would spend most of the morning lapping under the 1:40.00 mark, ultimately settling for a 1:38.97 set just before the break. His teammate Carlos Reutemann was a little less consistent but near enough on ultimate pace, the Argentine ending the morning second fastest on a 1:39.18.
Indeed, it seemed as if a driver would require an Italian built engine to get to the top of the time sheets, for John Watson had a promising start to the weekend with his Brabham-Alfa Romeo. The Ulsterman was third fastest with a 1:39.21, while teammate Hans-Joachim Stuck would also end the morning with a sub-1:40.00 time. Indeed, the only other men to record "ace" times would be Mario Andretti and Jody Scheckter, although they were both using special Ford Cosworth V8s to do so.
Elsewhere, Zandvoort protester Merzario decided to back up shop at the start of the day, his complaints regarding his garage, or rather lack of, ultimately falling on deaf ears. Due to the rather bloated entry list, the Italian was among a number of owner/drivers who had to use a gazebo and a patch of grass to prepare their cars, with the F.O.C.A. teams getting priority in the pit complex. While this issue certainly hampered the likes of Loris Kessel and Emilio de Villota, there was little surprise that they found themselves in the drop zone at the end of the first session.
Into the afternoon session and the Ferraris opted not to show their hand, meaning it was Andretti who topped the session with a 1:39.54, securing himself in fourth on the provisional gird overnight. Stuck also ran well in the afternoon to claim second fastest, a 1:39.61 the reward, while James Hunt also improved, although his 1:39.87 still left him shy of Scheckter's morning effort. The Brit was still in a better position than regular teammate Jochen Mass, who was outpaced by youngster Bruno Giacomelli in an old McLaren M23, while Brabham's third driver Giorgio Francia was told the vacate their spare car after issues for Stuck early on.
Indeed, young Francia's effective withdrawal ensured that he was already out of the fight to qualify, as was Kessel who was fighting a variety of issues in his customised Williams FW03. Also in danger of missing out on a grid slot before the final session were Brian Henton in the Boro, Teddy Pilette's jaded BRM, and the two private McLarens of de Villota and Brett Lunger. Elsewhere, Jean-Pierre Jabouille sat out the session after his Renault chewed up his engine, although he was relatively safe with a time in the 1:40.00s, while Alan Jones spent the day helping the marshals to break bits of his Shadow as he clipped kerbs and spun into the gravel several times.
The "untimed" session on Saturday was brought to a temporary halt after a huge accident for Patrick Tambay, whose Ensign ended up upside down in the middle of the Lesmo section. The Frenchman had suffered a suspension failure while changing gear in the first Lesmo corner, which duly pitched the car into the barriers at and angle that caused it to roll. Several drivers stopped to aid the Frenchman, fearing the worst, although Tambay would ultimately escape completely unmarked before the marshals got to him.
Once the session restarted there was a lot of on-track action, although that was no excuse for Lauda as he threw his Ferrari into the barriers at the Parabolica while using some special Goodyear tyres. The Austrian walked back to the pits to report some rear-suspension damage, prompting the Scuderia to quickly swap around the rear-end on his race car for that on Reutemann's. That, somewhat unfairly, left Reutemann with the "muletta" for the final qualifying session, although with the express promise that his race car would be restored in time for the race.
Into the final hour of qualifying itself and the scene quickly evolved into one akin to battlefield, with tyre and engine smoke signalling just how hard drivers were pushing to take pole. Leading the charge were the two scarlet-white Ferraris, joined by Andretti, Hunt and Scheckter, who all managed to get under the 1:40.00 mark in the opening minutes. They would all then proceed to smash past Lauda's Friday effort and on towards the 1:38.00 mark, although with ten minutes to go it seemed as if Reutemann had sealed pole with a 1:38.15.
Indeed, the Ferrari team believed that Reutemann had taken pole with time to spare, for the Argentine was instructed to switch off his car and climb out. As such, it came as a huge shock to the tifosi when Hunt charged across the line with seconds to spare to record a 1:38.08 claiming pole by just seven hundredths of a second. Lauda was on course for revenge until a misfire on his warm-up lap ended his bid, leaving him on a suddenly vulnerable 1:38.54.
The Austria's time was duly bettered by both Scheckter and Andretti, although they were mutually disappointed not to get onto the front row. Behind, Riccardo Patrese caused some surprise by appearing in sixth once the final standings were released, appearing in a dead heat with Clay Regazzoni in the new Ensign. Indeed, their times were officially revised to 1:38.683 and 1:38.684 respectively on the official timesheets, with just two and a half seconds covering the entire field.
The sudden increase in pace during the final session ultimately cost several drivers a spot on the grid, with many improving but not by enough. Out therefore went Alex Ribeiro and a miserable Emerson Fittipaldi, as well as the debuting Lamberto Leoni in his Surtees. Henton, de Villota, Ian Ashley, Pilette and Binder joined them on the sidelines, while Kessel and Francia were no where to be found when the final times were published.
The full qualifying results for the 1977 Italian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||1||James Hunt||McLaren-Ford Cosworth||1:40.11||1:39.87T||1:38.08||—|
|3||20||Jody Scheckter||Wolf-Ford Cosworth||1:39.70||1:40.91||1:38.29||+0.21s|
|4||5||Mario Andretti||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||1:39.62||1:39.54||1:38.37||+0.29s|
|6||16||Riccardo Patrese||Shadow-Ford Cosworth||1:41.95||1:41.89||1:38.68||+0.60s|
|7||22||Clay Regazzoni||Ensign-Ford Cosworth||1:41.28||1:40.70||1:38.68||+0.60s|
|9||2||Jochen Mass||McLaren-Ford Cosworth||1:40.83||1:40.77||1:38.86||+0.78s|
|10||19||Vittorio Brambilla||Surtees-Ford Cosworth||1:40.22||1:41.91||1:38.92||+0.84s|
|11||8||Hans-Joachim Stuck||Brabham-Alfa Romeo||1:39.96||1:39.61||1:39.05||+0.97s|
|12||3||Ronnie Peterson||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:40.50||1:40.70||1:39.17||+1.09s|
|13||4||Patrick Depailler||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:42.00||1:40.12||1:39.18||+1.10s|
|14||7||John Watson||Brabham-Alfa Romeo||1:39.21||1:40.10||1:39.81||+1.13s|
|15||14||Bruno Giacomelli||McLaren-Ford Cosworth||1:40.59||1:41.23||1:39.42||+1.34s|
|16||17||Alan Jones||Shadow-Ford Cosworth||1:40.63||1:41.50||1:39.50||+1.42s|
|17||10||Ian Scheckter||March-Ford Cosworth||1:41.00||1:41.37||1:39.62||+1.54s|
|18||34||Jean-Pierre Jarier||Penske-Ford Cosworth||1:41.16||1:41.61||1:39.63||+1.55s|
|19||6||Gunnar Nilsson||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||1:41.54||1:41.22||1:39.85||+1.77s|
|21||23||Patrick Tambay||Ensign-Ford Cosworth||1:40.19||1:40.83||1:41.67T||+2.11s|
|22||30||Brett Lunger||McLaren-Ford Cosworth||1:44.19||1:43.26T||1:40.26||+2.18s|
|23||24||Rupert Keegan||Hesketh-Ford Cosworth||1:42.72||1:42.99||1:40.28||+2.20s|
|24||27||Patrick Nève||March-Ford Cosworth||1:42.92||1:42.73||1:40.51||+2.43s|
|DNQ||9||Alex Ribeiro||March-Ford Cosworth||—||1:43.75||1:40.79||+2.71s|
|DNQ||28||Emerson Fittipaldi||Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth||1:42.67||1:43.15||1:40.97||+2.89s|
|DNQ||18||Lamberto Leoni||Surtees-Ford Cosworth||1:41.94||1:42.70||1:41.03||+2.95s|
|DNQ||38||Brian Henton||Boro-Ford Cosworth||1:42.80||2:05.30||1:41.13||+3.05s|
|DNQ||36||Emilio de Villota||McLaren-Ford Cosworth||1:46.26||1:44.43||1:41.21||+3.13s|
|DNQ||25||Ian Ashley||Hesketh-Ford Cosworth||1:43.32||1:42.85||1:41.22||+3.14s|
|DNQ||33||Hans Binder||Penske-Ford Cosworth||1:43.21||1:43.80||1:43.10||+5.02s|
|DNQ||41||Loris Kessel||Apollon-Ford Cosworth||1:46.68||—||1:49.95||+8.60s|
|DNQ||21||Giorgio Francia||Brabham-Alfa Romeo||1:49.67||—||—||+11.59s|
|WD||37||Arturo Merzario||March-Ford Cosworth||Withdrawn|
|WD||39||Héctor Rebaque||Hesketh-Ford Cosworth||Withdrawn|
- Bold indicates a driver's best/qualifying time.
- T Indicates a test/spare car.
Unfortunately the pre-race build-up would be marred by an accident during an Alfa Sud race, with a spectator killed after an advertising hoarding collapsed under the weight of people perching themselves upon it. That sad event overshadowed the events of the pre-race warm-up, where Vittorio Brambilla wrote off his Surtees, forcing the Italian to take over the now spare car of Lamberto Leoni for the race. He would, however, manage to make it onto the grid for the start, with all 24 qualifiers awaiting the switch of the starter's lights from red to green.
The lights flashed to green right on the 3:30pm start time, with front row starters James Hunt and Carlos Reutemann making a seemingly good getaway. That was, until Jody Scheckter and Niki Lauda formed a pincer movement around them, while Clay Regazzoni shot into the middle of the group. They were joined by Mario Andretti on the brakes into the Rettifilo chicane, although it was Scheckter's Wolf that emerged with the lead, followed by Hunt, Regazzoni, Andretti, Reutemann and Lauda.
The rest of the opening tour would be less dramatic, although Jean-Pierre Jabouille picked up some nose damage after rear-ending someone at the second chicane. Jacques Laffite, meanwhile, had been left behind at the side of the grid after stalling, the Ligier-Matra having overheated while waiting for the lights. He got underway a few seconds after the rest of the field dived through Curva Grande, before stopping in the pits at the end of the lap for a top-up of water.
By the end of the opening tour Scheckter had established a comfortable two second advantage over Hunt, having gained time throughout the rest of the first lap. Andretti was next having slithered inside Regazzoni through Parabolica, leaving the Ensign to defend from the two Ferraris. Jochen Mass had made a strong start to run in seventh ahead of Vittorio Brambilla, while Jabouille was jousting with Gunnar Nilsson in the middle of the pack with his wounded Renault.
The second lap would see Andretti shuffle past Hunt, although the Italian-American racer would have to push hard to catch Scheckter, who was setting an incredible pace outfront. Hunt, meanwhile, was left to fend off the two scarlet Ferraris of Reutemann and Lauda, which had dealt with Regazzoni on the start/finish straight. John Watson, meanwhile, would throw a desperate move on Regazzoni and Mass into the Rettifilo at the start of the second tour, only to misjudge his breaking point and smash into the kerbs, shattering an engine casting.
It took Andretti a few laps to get up to Scheckter's speed, although by lap five it was clear that the Lotus was inching closer to the back of the Wolf. By lap nine Andretti was in striking distance, and duly drove right around Scheckter through Parabolica towards the end of lap ten to grab the lead. Scheckter tried to return the favour and duly glued himself to the back of the Lotus, although after a few laps of desperate tow-breaking weaving by Andretti, the Wolf slowly slipped away.
With Andretti now running clear out front, and Scheckter an increasingly lonely second, all of the attention was focused on the fight for third, with the tifosi roaring on the efforts of Reutemann and Lauda against Hunt. Indeed, the McLaren racer was putting up a ferocious defence against the scarlet threat, particularly given that his car was suffering from some major balance issues. These issues could be traced back to McLaren's decision to use a harder compound on the front left tyre, after finding excessive wear on that corner during the morning warm-up.
Regardless, Hunt seemed to have just enough of an edge to keep the Ferraris at bay, until he came across a slow moving Jean-Pierre Jarier at the start of lap twelve. Reutemann, sensing an opportunity, pulled alongside the McLaren as they headed towards the Rettifilo, boxing Hunt in behind the Penske. Hunt, however, decided to try and find his way past the Frenchman, only to lose control as he hit the brakes and go spinning across the chicane. Reutemann and Lauda scrambled through in third and fourth, accompanied by a roar from the tifosi, while Hunt scrambled back into action behind Mass.
Hunt's race was over from that point on, for a second spin at Ascari, having just passed Mass, signified a catastrophic brake issue. The Brit came in and ordered a full examination of his car, although with no obvious issues to be seen Hunt rejoined several laps down. He would go on to complete another lap accompanied by a third pirouette, before ultimately calling it a day on lap 26.
As Hunt's series of spins went on there would be a major change at the front of the field, as Scheckter suffered an engine failure on lap 24, having just begun to re-close the gap to Andretti. The smoking Wolf therefore ended any real chance of the Italian-American being beaten, for Reutemann and Lauda were more than a quarter of a minute back. Indeed, the race seemed to be as much about attrition as it was about on-track action, with numerous drivers falling foul of engine failures.
Just moments before Scheckter's failure, Jabouille's Renault had rolled to a stop with its own issues, although this failure was not caused by its turbo for a change. He had joined a list that had started on lap five, when Brett Lunger's engine had been, literally, chopped apart by a connecting rod, a lap before Brambilla's race was effectively ended by overheating. Patrick Tambay was another early faller with severe engine fatigue, while Hans-Joachim Stuck saw a healthy fourth place evaporate in his mirrors as his Alfa Romeo F12 failed.
Alan Jones duly inherited Stuck's fourth place in his Shadow, with Mass and Regazzoni jousting with Ronnie Peterson. Ahead, meanwhile, Reutemann's F12 Ferrari engine was beginning to struggle with the strain, meaning the Argentine had to wave teammate Lauda past to ensure one of them got onto the podium. It proved to be a wise decision by the experienced Argentine, for his race would come to an end just a few laps later.
Indeed, the scarlet duo had just come up to lap the debuting Bruno Giacomelli when the Italian rookie's Ford Cosworth expired on the start/finish straight, dumping oil all the way from Parabolica into the Rettifilo. Lauda spotted the fluid and moved to one side, while Reutemann, unsighted by his teammate, carried on on the slick and duly spun at the chicane. He joined Giacomelli in the dirt, the Italian having spun on his own oil, before Riccardo Patrese arrived into the fray, taking out a marshal as his Shadow came to a stop.
Fortunately no one was seriously injured in the incident, although it did effectively end any hopes of action on circuit. As such, all that was left was for Andretti to cruise through the thirteen remaining laps to claim a handsome victory for Lauda, whose second place ensured that Ferrari triumphed in the Constructors' Cup. Jones came home a solid third ahead of Mass, Regazzoni and Peterson, while Patrick Nève, Laffite and Rupert Keegan were the only other finishers.
The full race results for the 1977 Italian Grand Prix are outlined below:
- Ferrari claim their third straight International Cup for Constructors' Crown.
- 197th and final entry made by BRM.
- First (and only) appearance for Apollon as a constructor.
- It would also be the first time that a Swiss built car appeared at a World Championship event.
- 100th start for Clay Regazzoni.
- Debut race for Bruno Giacomelli.
- First entries submitted for Giorgio Francia and Lamberto Leoni.
- Sixth career victory for Mario Andretti.
- Lotus claimed their 63rd win as a constructor.
- Alan Jones secured the seventh and final podium visit for Shadow.
Yet another podium finish for Niki Lauda ensured that the Austrian racer was just a point away from his second World Championship, leaving Italy with a 27 point lead. Indeed, the only man who could mathematically deny the Austrian the crown would be Jody Scheckter, although that would only be if the South African could secure three wins in the final three races, with Lauda failing to score at all. Elsewhere, Mario Andretti won the battle but lost the war, a result of his fragile Lotus, while Jochen Mass pulled to within a point of teammate James Hunt after the Brit's miserable season.
It was all over in the International Cup for Constructors' hunt, with Ferrari leaving Italy with an unassailable 30 point lead over Team Lotus-Ford Cosworth. Indeed, like their lead driver Andretti, the Norfolk squad were left to rue their delicate Lotus 78, which was undoubtedly the quickest car in the field. In contrast, Ferrari had won the battle by virtue of their reliability and consistent development, meaning they could put all their efforts in securing the Drivers' crown for Lauda, in spite of his impending betrayal.
Images and Videos:
- 'ITALIAN GP, 1977', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2015), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr294.html, (Accessed 18/03/2018)
- A.H., 'The Italian Grand Prix: An Anglo-Italian victory', motorsportmagazine.com, (Motor Sport, 01/10/1977), https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/october-1977/23/italian-grand-prix, (Accessed 18/05/2018)
- D.S.J., 'Monza Reflections', motorsportmagazine.com, (Motor Sport, 01/10/1977), https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/october-1977/26/monza-reflections, (Accessed 18/05/2018)
- 'Italy 1977: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1977/italie/engages.aspx, (Accessed 18/05/2018)
- 'Italy 1977: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1977/italie/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 18/05/2018)
- 'Italy 1977: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1977/italie/classement.aspx, (Accessed 19/05/2018)
- '14. Italy 1977', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1977/italie.aspx, (Accessed 18/05/2018)
- '1977 Italian GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2018), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1977&gp=Italian%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 18/05/2018)
|V T E||Italian Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Monza (1950 - 1979, 1981 - Present), Imola (1980)|
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