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The 1978 Brazilian Grand Prix, otherwise known as the VII Grande Prêmio do Brasil, was the second round of the 1978 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the new Jacarepaguá circuit on 29 January, 1978.[1] The race would see Carlos Reutemann go on to dominate for Ferrari, although it was the efforts of the man in second that ultimately stole the show.

Qualifying at the new circuit in downtown Rio de Janeiro would see Ronnie Peterson claim pole position, the first of his return to Lotus.[1] James Hunt was next ahead of Peterson's teammate, while the aforementioned Reutemann would start from fourth.[1] Behind them would be Patrick Tambay and Gilles Villeneuve, while two time Brazilian Champion Emerson Fittipaldi would start from seventh.[1]

Ultimately, the fight for victory would be decided at the start, for Reutemann went streaking past Peterson and Hunt to claim the lead off the line, aided by his soft Michelin tyres.[1] Peterson then led the chase behind with Hunt and Andretti on his tail, and would duly slip behind those two early on.[1]

Elsewhere, Riccardo Patrese, debuting the new Arrows, was broadsided by John Watson, putting the latter in the pits with a puncture.[1] A few laps later and Rupert Keegan would go sliding into the barriers for Surtees, while Patrick Depailler suffered a brake failure.

Out front, however, there would be no stopping Reutemann's Ferrari, which pulled further and further ahead on its Michelins.[1] Hunt, meanwhile, would run in a solid second ahead of Andretti, only to burn through his soft Goodyear tyres.[1] He stopped after twenty laps, before suffering an accident shortly before half distance.[1]

Andretti would therefore run in a secure second, and was on target to finish there until his Lotus jammed in fourth gear in the closing stages.[1] That allowed Fittipaldi and Lauda to pass a couple of laps from the end, with the rest of the field a lap behind race leading Reutemann.[1]

With that the race was run, with Reutemann cruising home to claim a dominant victory, 50 seconds clear of home hero Fittipaldi in his Brazilian built car.[1] Lauda was third with Andretti just staying on the lead lap in fourth, while Clay Regazzoni and Didier Pironi survived well to complete the scorers.[1]

BackgroundEdit

The Brazilian Grand Prix would return for the 1978 F1 tour, although, unlike its six previous appearances, the 1978 edition would take place in the town of Jacarepaguá, on the impressively named Curcuit Internacional do Rio de Janeiro.[2] The circuit, which had been carved out around the remains of the Barra da Tijuca road course, was a fairly flat affair, with the defining trait being the long back straight, earning the remark that it was "a flat version of Jarama".[2] Indeed, the circuit was a stark contrast to the flowing Autódromo José Carlos Pace which had hosted every Brazilian Grand Prix since 1973, with many questioning why there was a need to change.[2]

Into the entry list and there was a new addition to the field after the Argentine Grand Prix, with the new Arrows team making their debut.[2] Indeed, after a high-profile fallout with Shadow, Franco Ambrosio, Alan Rees, Jackie Oliver, Dave Wass and Tony Southgate had formed their own team, hiring highly rated drivers Riccardo Patrese and Gunnar Nilsson for the season.[2] Unfortunately, Nilsson would not be in Rio to make his debut, recovering from a winter operation, meaning Patrese was the man to debut their new car.[2]

Indeed, the Arrow FA1 was a nearly new design from Southgate, albeit built around the conventional Ford Cosworth engine-Hewland gearbox combination.[2] Featuring a nose mounted radiator, thin front wings and side-pod mounted intakes, the FA1 looked very close to the Shadow DN9, a car in development for Shadow when Southgate and co. left the team.[2] Furthermore, in their haste to get the car racing, the Arrows squad had forgone any form of testing, with the Milton Keynes squad completing an impromptu "shakedown" at Rio's airport the day before first practice.[2]

As for Shadow themselves it would be as they were in Argentina, with the DN9 not ready to debut according to Don Nicolas.[2] They therefore fielded Hans-Joachim Stuck and Clay Regazzoni in their pair of DN8s which had survived unharmed from the race in Buenos Aires.[2] It was, however, unclear as to whether an official protest would be launched against the Arrows team.[2]

Elsewhere, Wolf had spent the fortnight since the opening round downgrading their WR1 back to its 1977 spec, with Jody Scheckter unhappy with the new WR4.[2] In contrast, Tyrrell had pressed ahead with their new 008 design, updating Didier Pironi's suspension to match that of teammate Patrick Depailler.[2] Ensign had also been busy with upgrades, fitting new oil coolers to the noses of Danny Ongais and Lamberto Leoni's cars.[2]

Lotus, meanwhile, had reworked the customised gearbox in Ronnie Peterson's car, with reinforced components in the selector mechanism after the failure in Argentina.[2] Mario Andretti, meanwhile, would use the six-speed Hewland box that was used by everyone else bar Ferrari, with his 78 only requiring a clean after claiming victory in Buenos Aires.[2] As such, many tipped the American racer to be victorious in Rio, although the layout of the circuit was not to his liking.[2]

Otherwise the field was largely unchanged from as it had been in Buenos Aires, with Ferrari fielding Carlos Reutemann and Gilles Villeneuve on a harder compound of Michelin tyres.[2] McLaren, meanwhile, added some extra ducting to their cars to cool key components, with James Hunt and Patrick Tambay getting small water pipes to feed cool water into their race suits.[2] Brabham-Alfa Romeo were less dramatic with their early cooling solutions for Niki Lauda and John Watson, instead arriving in Rio with enlarged brake ducts.[2]

ATS arrived unchanged with Jochen Mass and Jean-Pierre Jarier at the wheel, as were Surtees with Rupert Keegan and Vittorio Brambilla.[2] Williams, meanwhile, had stripped and rebuilt their fuel system to hopefully cure Alan Jones' issues in Argentina, while Theodore had obtained a new engine for Eddie Cheever.[2] Indeed, those two looked likely to fight to qualify with Héctor Rebaque and his privately run Lotus, and the Merzario piloted by its owner Arturo.[2] The other member of that fight would be Divina Galica in her rebuilt Hesketh.[2]

Completing the entry list would be home hero Emerson Fittipaldi, once again using the Brazilian built F5A.[2] Yet, the former double Champion would get a new car for the second round of the season, with his brother Wilson working hard to ensure Emerson got to start their home race.[2] The team also had Ingo Hoffmann on standby, although there was little prospect of the Brazilian racer getting a drive.[2]

Victory at the season opening race ensured that Mario Andretti led the title hunt in 1978, three points clear of defending Champion Niki Lauda. Patrick Depailler was an early third ahead of James Hunt, while Ronnie Peterson underlined the inherent pace of the Lotus 78 with fifth. Patrick Tambay completed the early scorers list.

In the International Cup for Constructors it was, unsurprisingly, Lotus-Ford Cosworth who led the way, holding a three point lead over Brabham-Alfa Romeo. Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth were next ahead of McLaren-Ford Cosworth, while Ferrari were a de facto fifth after failing to score at the opening round.

Entry ListEdit

The full entry list for the 1978 Brazilian Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
1 Austria Niki Lauda United Kingdom Parmalat Racing Team Brabham BT45C Alfa Romeo 115-12 3.0 F12 G
2 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom Parmalat Racing Team Brabham BT45C Alfa Romeo 115-12 3.0 F12 G
3 France Didier Pironi United Kingdom Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 008 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
4 France Patrick Depailler United Kingdom Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 008 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 Ronnie Peterson United Kingdom John Player Team Lotus Lotus 78 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
7 United Kingdom James Hunt United Kingdom Marlboro Team McLaren McLaren M26 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
8 France Patrick Tambay United Kingdom Marlboro Team McLaren McLaren M26 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
9 Germany Jochen Mass Germany ATS Racing Team ATS HS1 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
10 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Germany ATS Racing Team ATS HS1 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
11 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312T2 Ferrari 015 3.0 F12 M
12 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312T2 Ferrari 015 3.0 F12 M
14 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Brazil Fittipaldi Automotive Fittipaldi F5A Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
16 Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck United Kingdom Shadow Racing Team Shadow DN8 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
17 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni United Kingdom Shadow Racing Team Shadow DN8 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
18 United Kingdom Rupert Keegan United Kingdom Durex 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
22 United States Danny Ongais United Kingdom Team Tissot Ensign Ensign N177 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
23 Italy Lamberto Leoni United Kingdom Team Tissot Ensign Ensign N177 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
24 United Kingdom Divina Galica United Kingdom Olympus Cameras/Hesketh Racing Hesketh 308E Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
25 Mexico Héctor Rebaque Mexico Team Rebaque Lotus 78 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier Gitanes Ligier JS7 Matra MS76 3.0 V12 G
27 Australia Alan Jones United Kingdom Williams Grand Prix Engineering Williams FW06 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
30 United States Brett Lunger United Kingdom Liggett Group/BS Fabrications McLaren M23 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
32 United States Eddie Cheever Hong Kong Theodore Racing Hong Kong Theodore TR1 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
36 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Arrows Racing Team Arrows FA1 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
37 Italy Arturo Merzario Italy Team Merzario Merzario A1 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
Source:[3]

Practice OverviewEdit

QualifyingEdit

Qualifying for the second race of the 1978 campaign would see the drivers complete three timed, and a lone untimed session, staged across the Friday and Saturday ahead of the race.[2] Both of Friday's sessions would be given over to qualifying, while Saturday morning's run was to be used for race practice ahead of a final quali-blast in the afternoon.[2] As for a target time there was no real reference for the new Jacarepaguá circuit, with F1 making its first visit to Rio de Janeiro.[2]

Friday QualifyingEdit

Incredibly hot conditions greeted the field ahead of the first qualifying session of the weekend, with Mario Andretti the pre-session favourite after the pre-race test in Thursday.[2] The teams were initially busy countering the heat, however, during the first season, with McLaren running ice-cooled water from the top of the rear bodywork to a water jacket worn by their drivers.[2] Most others would focus on keeping their equipment cool, with widened brake ducts abound, with special attention also placed around the fuel pumps on the Ford Cosworth contingent.[2]

Once the field did hit the circuit in anger, however, there was little concern about the heat, with Andretti dancing his Lotus around the flat circuit to record a 1:41.14.[2] In truth, both the American, and James Hunt in the #7 McLaren would use the softest Goodyear tyres available too them, with the Michelin equipped Ferraris third and fourth at the end of the session.[2] Indeed, the French tyre manufacturer had decided to be braver in Rio, bringing along a series of softer compounds for their sole customers.[2]

The intense heat carried over into the second session of Friday, with the pace generally on the rise as set-ups were perfected during the second hour and a half of running.[2] Again, Andretti emerged with the fastest lap at the end of the session, although the American ace could only shave a few hundredths off his earlier time.[2] Hunt was a seemingly secure second, ending the afternoon with a 1:41.27, while Carlos Reutemann and Gilles Villeneuve in the Michelin shod Ferrari's were stunned to be beaten by ex-Champion Emerson Fittipaldi to third.[2]

Indeed, a stunning lap from the local racer, in the Brazilian built Fittipaldi, saw Fittipaldi claim a 1:41.50, beating Reutemann by two tenths on the provisional grid.[2] Villeneuve was next ahead of Ronnie Peterson in the second Lotus, the Swede having been the last man to break into the 1:41.00s, with Jody Scheckter burning through several sets of tyres only to miss the mark by a few hundredths.[2] Otherwise there was very little action, with everyone bar Arrows encountering only minor mechanical issues, all due to the excessive heat.[2]

Saturday QualifyingEdit

The "untimed" period on Saturday provided little action of note, although Héctor Rebaque's weekend looked to be in danger after an engine failure just before the final qualifying session left him on the sidelines.[2] Indeed, the marginally cooler conditions on Saturday afternoon saw the Mexican racer steadily tumble down the field, with four of the 28 strong field set to missout on a grid slot.[2] Yet, the Mexican racer would, ultimately, make the grade with his Friday time, with issues affecting those behind.[2]

Arguably the biggest name to drop out would be Vittorio Brambilla, whose hastily rebuilt Surtees seemed to have something substantially wrong in Rio.[2] Divina Galica also missed out, in spite of her best efforts and a flawless run for the Hesketh, as did young Eddie Cheever in the Theodore.[2] However, the most unlucky driver would be Arturo Merzario, whose 1:44.20 was identical to that of Rupert Keegan in 24th, but was, crucially, set a matter of moments after the Brit's time.[2] That meant that Merzario failed to qualify, while Keegan snuck through to start last on the grid.

At the head of the field, meanwhile, Peterson made massive improvements overnight to streak to pole, beating Andretti to pole with a 1:40.45.[2] Hunt then found a few extra hundredths to split the two Loti at the head of the field, a 1:40.53 the reward for his efforts, with Reutemann and Villeneuve only a fraction further behind the #5 Lotus with their Michelins.[2] Behind them came Fittipaldi, whose Saturday progress was all but ended by a driveshaft failure, with Alan Jones in the new Williams fighting both exhaustion and a malfunctioning gearbox claiming eighth.[2]

Other highlights, or rather low lights, would see Hunt rip the nose off his McLaren mid-session, although the Brit did drag the car back to the pits without his helmet.[2] The Brabhams, meanwhile, were struggling to cope with the heat, and therefore had to put some 1977 bodywork on Niki Lauda's car to improve cooling, while John Watson was told to grin and bear it.[2] The Ulsterman was eventually given a ten minute run in Lauda's car, at the Austrian's request, although the unfamiliar set-up meant that Watson was still off the pace.[2]

Elsewhere Riccardo Patrese managed to qualify the Arrows, the British squad finally getting their heads around a fuel system issue, before Patrese pushed the car hard enough to create some chassis concerns.[2] They therefore solicited the attentions of Brett Lunger's team operator Bob Sparshott to help end their issues, with Sparshott's own racer safe with a 1:42.65.[2] Lamberto Leoni, meanwhile, seemed to be within inches of an accident throughout in both Ensigns, but made it through, while Scheckter raised concerns about the longevity of his Goodyear tyres after another punishing run.[2]

Qualifying ResultsEdit

The full qualifying results for the 1978 Brazilian Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time Gap
Q1 Q2 Q3
1 6 Sweden Ronnie Peterson United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:44.32 1:41.86 1:40.45
2 7 United Kingdom James Hunt United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:41.59 1:41.27 1:40.53 +0.08s
3 5 United States Mario Andretti United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:41.19 1:41.14 1:40.62 +0.17s
4 11 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Italy Ferrari 1:41.86 1:41.70 1:40.73 +0.28s
5 8 France Patrick Tambay United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:42.70 1:42.51 1:40.94 +0.49s
6 12 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Italy Ferrari 1:42.44 1:41.74 1:40.97 +0.52s
7 14 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth 1:42.39T 1:41.50 1:41.85T +1.05s
8 27 Australia Alan Jones United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 1:45.60 1:42.81 1:41.87 +1.42s
9 16 Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 1:44.49 1:43.67 1:42.07 +1.62s
10 1 Austria Niki Lauda United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1:43.54 1:42.54 1:42.08 +1.63s
11 4 France Patrick Depailler United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:45.42 1:43.10 1:42.10 +1.65s
12 20 South Africa Jody Scheckter Canada Wolf-Ford Cosworth 1:42.96 1:42.11 1:42.32 +1.66s
13 30 United States Brett Lunger United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:45.56 1:44.00 1:42.65 +2.20s
14 26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier-Matra 1:43.78 1:42.71T 1:43.81T +2.26s
15 17 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 1:44.38 1:43.40 1:42.80 +2.35s
16* 10 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Germany ATS-Ford Cosworth 1:44.25 1:43.13 1:42.91 +2.46s
17 23 Italy Lamberto Leoni United Kingdom Ensign-Ford Cosworth 1:45.94 1:45.49 1:43.19 +2.74s
18 36 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Arrows-Ford Cosworth 1:46.67 1:46.29 1:43.19 +2.74s
19 3 France Didier Pironi United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:45.89 1:45.66 1:43.55 +3.10s
20 9 Germany Jochen Mass Germany ATS-Ford Cosworth 1:45.42 1:44.95 1:43.74 +3.29s
21 2 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1:45.26 1:43.86 1:43.75T +3.30s
22 25 Mexico Héctor Rebaque Mexico Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:43.86 1:44.02 +3.41s
23 22 United States Danny Ongais United Kingdom Ensign-Ford Cosworth 1:45.77 1:45.07 1:43.94 +3.49s
24 18 United Kingdom Rupert Keegan United Kingdom Surtees-Ford Cosworth 1:46.12 1:46.43 1:44.20 +3.75s
DNQ 37 Italy Arturo Merzario Italy Merzario-Ford Cosworth 1:50.16 1:48.10 1:44.20 +3.75s
DNQ 32 United States Eddie Cheever Hong Kong Theodore-Ford Cosworth 1:46.18 1:46.09 1:44.28 +3.83s
DNQ 19 Italy Vittorio Brambilla United Kingdom Surtees-Ford Cosworth 1:46.22 1:45.17 1:44.66 +4.21s
DNQ 24 United Kingdom Divina Galica United Kingdom Hesketh-Ford Cosworth 1:49.57 1:49.14 1:46.79 +6.34s
Source:[2][4]
  • Bold indicates a driver's best/qualifying time.
  • T Indicates a test/spare car.
  • * Mass took over Jarier's car ahead of the race meaning the Frenchman could not start.
  • Leoni was unable to start the race as he suffered a transmission failure after the pre-race warm-up.

GridEdit

Pos Pos
Driver Driver
______________
Row 1 ______________ 1
2 Ronnie Peterson
James Hunt ______________
Row 2 ______________ 3
4 Mario Andretti
Carlos Reutemann ______________
Row 3 ______________ 5
6 Patrick Tambay
Gilles Villeneuve ______________
Row 4 ______________ 7
8 Emerson Fittipaldi
Alan Jones ______________
Row 5 ______________ 9
10 Hans-Joachim Stuck
Niki Lauda ______________
Row 6 ______________ 11
12 Patrick Depailler
Jody Scheckter ______________
Row 7 ______________ 13
14 Brett Lunger
Jacques Laffite ______________
Row 8 ______________ 15
16 Clay Regazzoni
Jean-Pierre Jarier* ______________
Row 9 ______________ 17
18 Lamberto Leoni
Riccardo Patrese ______________
Row 10 ______________ 19
20 Didier Pironi
Jochen Mass ______________
Row 11 ______________ 21
22 John Watson
Héctor Rebaque ______________
Row 12 ______________ 23
24 Danny Ongais
Rupert Keegan ______________
  • * Mass took over Jarier's car ahead of the race meaning the Frenchman could not start.
  • Leoni was unable to start the race as he suffered a transmission failure after the pre-race warm-up.

RaceEdit

Raceday dawned as another hot, muggy, affair, with temperature related issues plaguing the pre-race warm-up for most teams, although the majority of these issues were cured.[2] The most serious would, however, eliminate Jean-Pierre Jarier and Lamberto Leoni, the latter with a driveshaft failure on the parade lap, while the former was forced to hand his car over to teammate Jochen Mass after the German encountered a fuel leak.[2] Elsewhere, Emerson Fittipaldi was forced into his less competitive spare car after a starter failure, while Brett Lunger had to swap to an older McLaren after as his fuel system failed.[2]

ReportEdit

Having led the field onto the grid from pole, Ronnie Peterson made a mistake at the start, spinning up his rear wheels for a fraction longer than he intended.[2] The compromised the Swede's start, gifting James Hunt the lead, only for Carlos Reutemann to suddenly charge through from fourth after hooking up his getaway perfectly.[2] The Argentine then cut across Hunt to claim the lead through turn one, with Peterson managing to jump back ahead of the McLaren to secure second.[2]

Reutemann established his hard fought lead through the rest of the opening tour, the Ferrari noticeably pulling clear of Peterson's Lotus down the back straight.[2] The scarlet car also seemed to be pulling clear around the corners, suggesting that his Michelin tyres were also performing well compared to the black-gold car's Goodyears.[2] Indeed, Peterson would end the opening tour with Hunt crawling all over the back of him, with the Brit ultimately scything past the Lotus at the end of the long back straight during the second lap.[2]

Yet, Hunt was powerless to prevent Reutemann's continued flight out front, the Argentine leading by over six seconds come the end of the second tour.[2] Elsewhere Riccardo Patrese misjudged an attempt to block John Watson when the Ulsterman dived inside the Arrows on lap three, causing both to spin to the back of the pack.[2] Watson and Patrese would limp back to the pits to have damage repaired, as Rupert Keegan spectacularly exited the proceedings by skating into the barriers at high speed.[2]

Patrick Depailler was another early casualty, his Tyrrell smashing its brake system apart when the Frenchman spun into the barriers having run onto the dust off the racing line.[2] Peterson, meanwhile, looked to be in serious trouble with his tyres, the Swede having fallen behind teammate Mario Andretti in third with a badly blistered front right.[2] Hunt too was also struggling, and duly stopped at the end of lap seven to have his Goodyears changed, leaving Reutemann to tour around with a huge margin.[2]

However, while Reutemann looked to have already sewn up the race win, the home fans were getting loud, for home hero Fittipaldi was on the warpath.[2] Indeed, the Brazilian hunted down and passed the second Ferrari of Gilles Villeneuve for fourth shortly after Hunt's stop, before pouncing on the limping Peterson for third.[2] Villeneuve then tried to follow the Brazilian through, only for Peterson to move his Lotus across the nose of the Ferrari, pitching both cars into a spin.[2]

Both would limp back to the pits for repairs and fresh tyres, with Villeneuve rejoining moments before Peterson slithered out of the pits.[2] However, the Swede would only make it around two more corners before his suspension failed, a legacy of limping back to the pits too quickly with a flat rear tyre.[2] Regardless, their demise had allowed Hans-Joachim Stuck into fourth ahead of Niki Lauda, with the Austrian almost getting hit by a wheel weight that flew off the German's car.[2] Indeed, the small weight missed Lauda's head by millimetres, and duly lodged itself in the Brabham's rear wing.[2]

Behind them, Jody Scheckter removed himself from the proceedings by hitting the back of Patrick Tambay while fighting for sixth, breaking his steering.[2] The Frenchman was soon promoted to fifth as Stuck's race came to an early conclusion with a fuel pump failure, a demise that promoted Clay Regazzoni into the top six.[2] Out front, meanwhile, Reutemann was still pulling clear of Andretti without pushing, while Fittipaldi began to loom closer in the Lotus' mirrors in third.[2]

Hunt, meanwhile, was about to be completely removed from the race when he came across Patrese, who managed to force the Brit into a race ending spin while defending from the charging McLaren.[2] The Italian would subsequently plummet to the back of the pack when he pitted for fresh tyres, but would steadily climb back up the order in the closing stages.[2] Regazzoni, meanwhile, would pressure Tambay into a race ending spin on lap 35, the Frenchman ultimately giving up due to heat exhaustion, moments before Villeneuve went out of the race by smashing through the catch fencing at the end of the back straight.[2]

Into the closing stages and Andretti was in serious trouble, the Lotus dramatically losing pace as the American fought with a troublesome gear selection issue.[2] That gave Fittipaldi a perfect opportunity to take second and, with seven laps to go, a huge cheer from the Brazilian crowd signalled that the yellow car was ahead.[2] Andretti, meanwhile, would continue on desperately trying to keep his car going, ultimately falling prey to Lauda with a handful more laps to go.[2]

Out front, meanwhile, Reutemann cruised home to record a crushing victory for Ferrari and Michelin, the French firm's tyres showing none of the damage that the surviving Goodyear runners had sustained.[2] Fittipaldi was, unsurprisingly, a popular second ahead of Lauda, while Andretti just stayed on the lead lap in fourth.[2] Regazzoni was a lonely fifth ahead of Didier Pironi, while Patrese claimed tenth in the Arrows on its debut, in spite of a catastrophic fuel system failure in the closing stages.[2]

ResultsEdit

The full qualifying results for the 1978 Brazilian Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 11 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Italy Ferrari 63 1:49:59.86 4 9
2 14 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth 63 +49.13s 7 6
3 1 Austria Niki Lauda United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 63 +57.02s 10 4
4 5 United States Mario Andretti United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 63 +1:33.12 3 3
5 17 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 62 +1 Lap 15 2
6 3 France Didier Pironi United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 62 +1 Lap 19 1
7 9 West Germany Jochen Mass West Germany ATS-Ford Cosworth 62 +1 Lap 20
8 2 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 61 +2 Laps 21
9 26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier-Matra 61 +2 Laps 14
10 36 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Arrows-Ford Cosworth 59 +4 Laps 18
11 27 Australia Alan Jones United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 58 +5 Laps 8
Ret 25 Mexico Héctor Rebaque Mexico Lotus-Ford Cosworth 40 Exhausted 22
Ret 12 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Italy Ferrari 35 Spin 6
Ret 8 France Patrick Tambay United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 34 Spin 5
Ret 16 Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 25 Fuel pump 9
Ret 7 United Kingdom James Hunt United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 25 Spin 2
Ret 20 South Africa Jody Scheckter Canada Wolf-Ford Cosworth 16 Collision 12
Ret 6 Sweden Ronnie Peterson United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 15 Collision 1
Ret 22 United States Danny Ongais United Kingdom Ensign-Ford Cosworth 13 Brakes 23
Ret 30 United States Brett Lunger United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 9 Overheating 13
Ret 4 France Patrick Depailler United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 8 Accident 11
Ret 18 United Kingdom Rupert Keegan United Kingdom Surtees-Ford Cosworth 6 Accident 24
DNS* 10 France Jean-Pierre Jarier West Germany ATS-Ford Cosworth
DNS 23 Italy Lamberto Leoni United Kingdom Ensign-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 37 Italy Arturo Merzario Italy Merzario-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 32 United States Eddie Cheever Hong Kong Theodore-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 19 Italy Vittorio Brambilla United Kingdom Surtees-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 24 United Kingdom Divina Galica United Kingdom Hesketh-Ford Cosworth
Source:[5]
  • * Mass took over Jarier's car ahead of the race meaning the Frenchman could not start.
  • Leoni was unable to start the race as he suffered a transmission failure.

MilestonesEdit

StandingsEdit

Victory would propel Carlos Reutemann into the top three in the Championship after two rounds, a single point behind former teammate Niki Lauda. Mario Andretti, meanwhile, continued to lead the way after finishing fourth, while Emerson Fittipaldi took that spot in the Championship by claiming his first podium in over two years. Patrick Depailler completed the early top five, while Didier Pironi rounded out the scorers list with Patrick Tambay.

In the International Cup for Constructors it was still Lotus-Ford Cosworth that led the way, leaving South America two points ahead of Brabham-Alfa Romeo. Behind the latter would be Ferrari, courtesy of Reutemann's victory, while Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth sat in fourth thanks to the aforementioned Emerson. Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth were next ahead of McLaren-Ford Cosworth, while Shadow-Ford Cosworth completed the list of scorers.

Drivers' World Championship
Pos. Driver Pts. +/-
1 United States Mario Andretti 12
2 Austria Niki Lauda 10
3 Argentina Carlos Reutemann 9 ▲4
4 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi 6 ▲5
5 France Patrick Depailler 4 ▼2
6 United Kingdom James Hunt 3 ▼2
7 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni 2 ▲8
8 Sweden Ronnie Peterson 2 ▼3
9 France Didier Pironi 1 ▲5
10 France Patrick Tambay 1 ▼4
International Cup for Constructors
Pos. Team Pts. +/-
1 United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 12
2 United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 10
3 Italy Ferrari 9 ▲2
4 Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth 6 ▲2
5 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 5 ▼2
6 United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 3 ▼2
7 United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 2 ▲2

ReferencesEdit

Images and Videos:

1978 Brazilian Grand Prix (Full race)

1978 Brazilian Grand Prix (Full race)

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 'Brazilian GP, 1978', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2015), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr299.html, (Accessed 10/06/2018)
  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 2.88 2.89 2.90 2.91 2.92 A.H., 'The Brazilian Grand Prix goes to Rio', motorsportmagazine.com, (Motor Sport, 01/03/1978), https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/march-1978/76/brazilian-grand-prix-goes-rio, (Accessed 12/06/2018)
  3. 'Brazil 1978: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1978/bresil/engages.aspx, (Accessed 10/06/2018)
  4. 'Brazil 1978: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1978/bresil/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 10/06/2018)
  5. 'Brazil 1978: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1978/bresil/classement.aspx, (Accessed 10/06/2018)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 '1978 Brazilian GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2018), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1978&gp=Brazilian%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 10/06/2018)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 '2. Brazil 1978', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1978/bresil.aspx, (Accessed 10/06/2018)
V T E 1978 Formula One Season
Teams Arrows • ATS • Brabham • Ensign • Ferrari • Fittipaldi • Hesketh • Ligier • Lotus • March • Martini • McLaren • Merzario • Renault • Shadow • Theodore • Tyrrell • Williams • Wolf
Engines Alfa Romeo • Ferrari • Ford Cosworth • Matra • Renault
Drivers Andretti • Arnoux • Binder • Bleekemolen • Brambilla • Cheever • Colombo • Daly • Depailler • de Dryver • Ertl • Fittipaldi • Gabbiani • Galica • Giacomelli • Gimax • Hunt • Ickx • Jabouille • Jarier • Jones • Keegan • Laffite • Lauda • Lees • Leoni • Lunger • Mass • Merzario • Nève • Ongais • Patrese • Peterson • Piquet • Pironi • Rahal • Rebaque • Regazzoni • Reutemann • Rosberg • Scheckter • Stommelen • Stuck • Tambay • Trimmer • Villeneuve • Watson
Cars Arrows A1 • Arrows FA1 • ATS D1 • ATS HS1 • Brabham BT45C • Brabham BT46 • Brabham BT46B • Brabham BT46C • Ensign N175 • Ensign N177 • Ferrari 312T2 • Ferrari 312T3 • Fittipaldi F5A • Hesketh 308E • Ligier JS7 • Ligier JS7/9 • Ligier JS9 • Lotus 78 • Lotus 79 • March 781S • Martini MK23 • McLaren M23 • McLaren M26 • Merzario A1 • Renault RS01 • Shadow DN8 • Shadow DN9 • Theodore TR1 • Tyrrell 008 • Williams FW06 • Wolf WR1 • Wolf WR3 • Wolf WR4 • Wolf WR5 • Wolf WR6
Tyres Goodyear • Michelin
Races Argentina • Brazil • South Africa • United States West • Monaco • Belgium • Spain • Sweden • France • Britain • Germany • Austria • Netherlands • Italy • United States • Canada
Non-championship Races International Trophy
See also 1977 Formula One Season • 1979 Formula One Season • Category
V T E Brazil Brazilian Grand Prix
Circuits Interlagos (1972 - 1977, 1979 - 1980, 1990 - Present), Jacarepaguá (1978, 1981 - 1989)
Interlagos1990
Races 1973 • 1974 • 1975 • 1976 • 1977 • 1978 • 1979 • 1980 • 1981 • 1982 • 1983 • 1984 • 1985 • 1986 • 1987 • 1988 • 1989 • 1990 • 1991 • 1992 • 1993 • 1994 • 1995 • 1996 • 1997 • 1998 • 1999 • 2000 • 2001 • 2002 • 2003 • 2004 • 2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016 • 2017 • 2018 • 2019
Non-Championship Race 1972
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