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The XVII Großer Preis von Österreich, otherwise known as the 1979 Austrian Grand Prix, was the eleventh round of the 1979 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Österreichring on the 12 August 1979.[1] The race would be remembered for an excellent duel in the opening stages between Alan Jones and Gilles Villeneuve for the lead, before the former streaked away to claim a second straight victory.[1]

Qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix had seen René Arnoux emerge as the class of the field for Renault, with their twin-turbo engine having an even greater power advantage due to Österreichring's home in the Styrian mountains.[1] He hence bested Jones to pole by two tenths of a second, while Villeneuve found himself starting in fifth.[1]

Yet, Villeneuve would start the race in stunning fashion, leaping into the lead to lead the field into the Hella Licht Chicane for the first time.[1] Jones would lead the counter-charge on the opening tour, Arnoux having slipped to fifth, while Jean-Pierre Jabouille tumbled to ninth as he limped off the line with a clutch issue.[1]

Villeneuve and Jones would begin squabbling at the end of the opening tour, with the pair also managing to pull clear of third placed Niki Lauda as they fought.[1] For three laps the Canadian's Ferrari would frustrate the Australian's Williams, before Jones finally managed to pull off a lunge into the Hella Licht Chicane and snatch the lead.[1]

With that Jones was off, the #27 simply pulling away from Villeneuve, who was about to be caught and passed by both Renaults.[1] Indeed, Jabouille, running without the use of his clutch, would fight his way through to second before the end of lap twelve, having followed teammate Arnoux through past Villeneuve's Ferrari.[1]

Unfortunately for Jabouille his race would end soon after, his clutch issue eventually causing enough damage to his transmission that he had to retire.[1] The order would hence remain static with Arnoux safely in second ahead of Villeneuve, until a fuel issue in the closing stages saw Arnoux's pace collapse.[1]

Jones, meanwhile, would complete a dominant victory at the head of the field, crossing the line almost forty seconds clear of Villeneuve.[1] They would be joined on the podium by Jacques Laffite, who mugged Jody Scheckter for third on the final tour, while Arnoux ended the race a lap down in sixth behind Clay Regazzoni.[1]

BackgroundEdit

The ever popular Österreichring was prepared to host the eleventh round of the 1979 campaign, with the fast, flowing circuit enjoyed by both drivers and fans alike.[2] Indeed, a near week long festival atmosphere would greet the field upon arrival at the circuit, with the stunning sights of the Styrian mountains further helping to draw a strong crowd.[2] Likewise a very familiar entry list was submitted for the weekend, with just one new car, and a single change in driver.[2]

The new car was to be found at ATS, who had had finally built a purely ground-effect based car, the D3.[2] Hans-Joachim Stuck's previous charger, the D2, had only had some minor ground-effect design elements retroactively added across the season.[2] The new car was therefore, unsurprisingly, vastly different from its predecessor, sporting a Lotus 79-esque body and rear suspension setup.[2] There had also been a change to the team management, with ex-F1 racer Vic Elford drafted in as Team Manager for the rest of the season.[2]

Elsewhere the new face in the field was to be found in the Tyrrell garage, where Derek Daly had been hired for a one-off drive, replacing Geoff Lees.[2] Ken Tyrrell was using the absence of the ill Jean-Pierre Jarier to test potential future employees, with both Jarier and Didier Pironi attracting interest from other teams.[2] In terms of equipment, however, the team's compliment of 009s were unchanged, with no news of a major update on the horizon.[2]

Over at Lotus, meanwhile, there would be an interesting modification made to two of their Lotus 79s, with elements of its successor, the Lotus 80 incorporated in a seemingly desperate search for pace.[2] Both Mario Andretti and Carlos Reutemann's cars would receive the Frankenstein treatment, with the majority of the Lotus 80's rear end, including the Lotus developed gearbox, bolted to the monocoque and front end of their Lotus 79s.[2] While this rather ruined the 79's previously sleek design, it was hoped that the 80's upgraded suspension geometry, as well as a switch to outboard brakes, would make up for the increased amount of drag.[2] Out of the cockpit, meanwhile there was a fall out between Andretti and Reutemann, with Andretti proclaiming that the Argentine was little more than a mercenary, at least in the words of a Swiss journalist.[3][2]

Williams, meanwhile, arrived with no changes to their trio of cars, knowing that the FW07 was, according to recent form, the fastest car in the field.[2] As such Alan Jones and Clay Regazzoni arrived at the Österreichring knowing they were among the favourites for victory, having taken a win apiece in the previous two races.[2] Furthermore, engine suppliers Ford Cosworth had decided to hand the team one of their newest evolutions of their DFV V8 engines, which was duly installed in Jones' car.[2]

Indeed, the only team that looked capable of defeating Williams in the Styrian Mountains looked to be Renault, whose twin-turbocharged V6s would have an even greater power advantage at the high altitude circuit.[2] The RS10s of Jean-Pierre Jabouille and René Arnoux were therefore, unsurprisingly, unchanged from their last appearance in Hockenheim, although there were some minor revisions made to the spare car.[2] Regardless, the weekend was set to be a battle between Renault power and Williams poise, with the rest of the field set to fight to be best of the rest.[2]

Elsewhere there were no changes at Ferrari, despite Jody Scheckter and Gilles Villeneuve shared concern that they were falling to far off the pace of Renault and Williams.[2] Ligier were in a similar position, Jacques Laffite and Jacky Ickx again piloting their cars, with rumours that the French government were considering withdrawing their funding from the team.[3] McLaren had also arrived in Austria with no changes for their two entries, John Watson and Patrick Tambay, while Alfa Romeo had reinforced the exhaust systems on Niki Lauda and Nelson Piquet's Brabhams.[2]

Shadow were down to three cars for Elio de Angelis and Jan Lammers, deciding that providing four DN9s for each race was restricting their development back at their base.[2] Rivals Arrows, meanwhile, were still waiting to finish their third A2, meaning Riccardo Patrese and Jochen Mass had to use an older A1B as a spare.[2] The Wolf squad, meanwhile, would have a similar mix of old and new for their lone entry of Keke Rosberg, with modifications made to the rear wing of the older WR8, while the Fittipaldi brought their old F5A back from Brazil to serve as a spare for Emerson Fittipaldi.[2]

Completing the field would be the Merzario of Arturo Merzario, the Italian having decided to abandon his newest creation, the A2, and Héctor Rebaque in his privately entered Lotus 79.[2]

Into the Championship and, in spite of a lack of overall pace, it was Scheckter who led the charge after the German Grand Prix, his consistent scoring proving to be more valuable than outright speed. Laffite, meanwhile, had moved back up into second at the Hockenheimring, seven behind the South African racer, with Villeneuve having slipped nine points behind his teammate in third. Elsewhere Regazzoni moved up into fourth, while German GP winner Jones had leapt into the top ten after his second F1 triumph.

Likewise, in spite of not having the fastest car in the field, Ferrari had managed to extend their lead in the International Cup for Constructors in Hockenheim, leaving Germany with a healthy 14 point advantage. Their closest challengers according to the points table still appeared to be Ligier-Ford Cosworth, although Williams-Ford Cosworth's recent form had seen them leap into third, having scored 24 points in two races. Their new tally of 38 had moved them a point ahead of pre-season favourites Team Lotus-Ford Cosworth, while Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth completed the top five.

Entry ListEdit

The full entry list for the 1979 Austrian Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
1 United States Mario Andretti United Kingdom Martini Racing Team Lotus Lotus 79 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
2 Argentina Carlos Reutemann United Kingdom Martini Racing Team Lotus Lotus 79 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
3 France Didier Pironi United Kingdom Candy Tyrrell Team Tyrrell 009 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
4 Ireland Derek Daly United Kingdom Candy Tyrrell Team Tyrrell 009 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
5 Austria Niki Lauda United Kingdom Parmalat Racing Team Brabham BT48 Alfa Romeo 1260 3.0 V12 G
6 Brazil Nelson Piquet United Kingdom Parmalat Racing Team Brabham BT48 Alfa Romeo 1260 3.0 V12 G
7 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom Marlboro Team McLaren McLaren M29 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
8 France Patrick Tambay United Kingdom Marlboro Team McLaren McLaren M29 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
9 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck West Germany ATS Wheels ATS D3 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
11 South Africa Jody Scheckter Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312T4 Ferrari 015 3.0 F12 M
12 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312T4 Ferrari 015 3.0 F12 M
14 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Brazil Fittipaldi Automotive Fittipaldi F6A Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
15 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille France Equipe Renault Elf Renault RS10 Renault EF1 1.5 V6t M
16 France René Arnoux France Equipe Renault Elf Renault RS10 Renault EF1 1.5 V6t M
17 Netherlands Jan Lammers United Kingdom Samson Shadow Racing Team Shadow DN9 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
18 Italy Elio de Angelis United Kingdom Interscope Shadow Racing Team Shadow DN9 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
20 Finland Keke Rosberg Canada Olympus Cameras Wolf Racing Wolf WR9 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
22 France Patrick Gaillard United Kingdom Team Ensign Ensign N179 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
24 Italy Arturo Merzario Italy Team Merzario Merzario A2 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
25 Belgium Jacky Ickx France Ligier Gitanes Ligier JS11 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier Gitanes Ligier JS11 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
27 Australia Alan Jones United Kingdom Albilad-Saudia Racing Team Williams FW07 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
28 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni United Kingdom Albilad-Saudia Racing Team Williams FW07 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
29 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Warsteiner Arrows Racing Team Arrows A2 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
30 West Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom Warsteiner Arrows Racing Team Arrows A2 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
31 Mexico Héctor Rebaque Mexico Team Rebaque Lotus 79 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
Source:[4]

Practice OverviewEdit

QualifyingEdit

Practice/qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix would follow the new-for-1979 format, with four sessions split evenly across Friday and Saturday prior to the race.[2] The morning sessions on each day would be reserved for race practice, leaving the two hour and a half long afternoon periods to be used to set the grid.[2] In terms of a target time the pole time from the 1978, a 1:37.71 set by Ronnie Peterson, was expected to be beaten by a fair margin, with most of the field expected to best it.[2]

Friday QualifyingEdit

Unfortunately the Styrian Mountains were to be coated in cloud when the circuit opened for practice on Friday morning, with the Österreichring more of a river than a Grand Prix circuit.[2] Conditions would improve throughout the session, with the rain stopping and the worst of the cloud drifting away.[2] Yet, that would not be enough to prevent a few high speed spins, the worst of which saw Nelson Piquet bend his suspension after pirouetting into the barriers.[2]

Fortunately for Piquet the Brabham crew would get his car repaired in time for the first qualifying session, by which stage the circuit was relatively dry.[2] Indeed, within a few minutes the entire field was on the track, and all pushing hard to record an early time in case the rain returned.[2] As such there was to be a intense ramp-up of pace throughout the session, with Williams and Renault exchanging impossibly quick times at the head of the field.[2]

First blood would go to the French squad, with Jean-Pierre Jabouille the first driver to dip under Peterson's old record, despite the fact that the circuit still had some damp patches.[2] Clay Regazzoni then dipped into the 1:36.00s, to be countered by René Arnoux with a series of laps in the 1:35.00s, before Jabouille again hit the front with a 1:34.45.[2] However, come the end of the session he would be pipped to provisional pole by Alan Jones, who used a set of ultra soft Goodyear tyres to record a 1:34.30.[2]

Into the less spectacular end of the field and Niki Lauda was running without the front wing on his car, deciding that the fins were only adding drag without enhancing the handling.[2] Jacques Laffite, meanwhile, was swapping between his and the spare Ligiers, without much progress, while the modified Loti were in their increasingly familiar midfield positions, with Mario Andretti just ahead of his former teammate's mark from 1978.[2] Likewise, Ferrari were well off the outright pace shown by Renault and Williams, finding themselves mixing with Brabham and Tyrrell.[2]

Elsewhere the Merzario and Ensign were stranded out on track, causing the session to be paused to remove them as Arturo Merzario and Patrick Gaillard had abandoned them in dangerous positions.[2] Elio de Angelis, meanwhile, would suffer a wheel failure, putting him in the spare Shadow, while Hans-Joachim Stuck suffered a high speed puncture in the new ATS and had to switch to his spare.[2] Patrick Tambay, meanwhile, would bounce his nose to pieces when running wide, while Regazzoni had to end the day in the spare Williams when his Ford Cosworth engine blew itself apart.[2]

Saturday QualifyingEdit

Fears of another rain affected day evaporated as Saturday morning dawned bright and clear, although the temperatures were still very low compared to what was usually experienced in the European summer.[2] That meant that it would be a very busy practice session to open the day, with most teams getting their spare cars up to speed, although Jabouille resolutely stuck with his race car, until an off track moment passing Derek Daly saw him destroy a turbo.[2] Elsewhere, Jones would smash the spare Williams at the Hella Licht Chicane, Andretti decided to adopt the spare Lotus as his own, while Stuck had the new ATS back in action and on the pace of the green-gold cars.[2]

Into the final qualifying session and temperatures improved enough to ensure that there were perfect conditions at the Österreichring, with no threat of rain to confuse things.[2] Ultimately, however, there would be no real change to the overall picture at the head of the field, with Jones, Jabouille and Arnoux setting the pace from the get go once again.[2] Indeed, all three would get into the 1:34.00s before the middle of the session, although everyone was surprised when Arnoux emerged as the fastest of the trio.[2]

That fight would have to wait until the second half of the session, however, for an oil flinging engine failure for Emerson Fittipaldi meant that the circuit required a twenty five minute clean-up before the final half an hour.[2] Only when the session resumed would Arnoux steal the show, with the Frenchman dancing his Renault around to record a 1:34.07, almost half a second faster than Jabouille's best effort.[2] Jones tried hard to best Arnoux's stunning time, but would have to settle for a 1:34.28 having burned through almost a dozen sets of Goodyear softs before the end of the day.[2]

The best of the rest spot behind the top three, for Regazzoni was struggling to get among them, would go to Lauda as the Austrian tried to appease his home fans.[2] Gilles Villeneuve was next, having bested Regazzoni's effort late in the day, while Piquet found himself in seventh ahead of Laffite, who was still swapping between the Ligiers.[2] Behind Championship leader Jody Scheckter claimed ninth, while Didier Pironi did just enough to beat temporary teammate Daly in their Tyrrells.[2]

Elsewhere John Watson would test a new steering setup on his McLaren, with little success, although they still found themselves down the order, among the two Loti.[2] Indeed, Andretti had missed a fair amount of the session due to an oil leak, and duly found himself behind Tambay, having failed to beat his best effort from Friday.[2] Stuck, meanwhile, would successfully qualify the new ATS, leaving Patrick Gaillard and Héctor Rebaque to duel for the final qualifying spot, Arturo Merzario being a long way off even their pace. Ultimately it was the Frenchman who did enough to make the grid, although the Ensign racer was still over seven seconds off of Arnoux's pole winning time.

Qualifying ResultsEdit

The full qualifying results for the 1979 Austrian Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time Gap
Q1 Q2
1 16 France René Arnoux France Renault 1:35.49 1:34.07
2 27 Australia Alan Jones United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 1:34.30 1:34.28 +0.21s
3 15 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille France Renault 1:34.45T 1:34.49T +0.38s
4 5 Austria Niki Lauda United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1:36.72 1:35.51 +1.44s
5 12 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Italy Ferrari 1:37.28 1:35.70 +1.63s
6 28 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 1:36.86T 1:35.82 +1.75s
7 6 Brazil Nelson Piquet United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1:37.03 1:35.85 +1.78s
8 26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier-Ford Cosworth 1:35.92T 1:36.39T +1.85s
9 11 South Africa Jody Scheckter Italy Ferrari 1:37.50 1:36.10 +2.03s
10 3 France Didier Pironi United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:36.98T 1:36.26 +2.19s
11 4 Ireland Derek Daly United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:38.64 1:36.42 +2.35s
12 20 Finland Keke Rosberg Canada Wolf-Ford Cosworth 1:37.82 1:36.67 +2.60s
13 29 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Arrows-Ford Cosworth 1:39.30 1:36.71 +2.64s
14 8 France Patrick Tambay United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:37.87 1:36.72 +2.65s
15 1 United States Mario Andretti United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:37.11 1:37.32T +3.04s
16 7 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:37.16 1:39.80 +3.09s
17 2 Argentina Carlos Reutemann United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:38.80 1:37.32 +3.25s
18 9 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck West Germany ATS-Ford Cosworth 1:41.08T 1:37.93 +3.86s
19 14 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth 1:40.30 1:38.38T +4.31s
20 30 West Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom Arrows-Ford Cosworth 1:39.28 1:38.85 +4.78s
21 25 Belgium Jacky Ickx France Ligier-Ford Cosworth 1:40.66 1:39.31 +5.24s
22 18 Italy Elio de Angelis United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 1:42.86T 1:39.44 +5.37s
23 17 Netherlands Jan Lammers United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 1:40.69 1:39.45 +5.38s
24 22 France Patrick Gaillard United Kingdom Ensign-Ford Cosworth 1:45.59 1:41.10 +7.03s
DNQ 31 Mexico Héctor Rebaque Mexico Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:43.35 1:41.16 +7.09s
DNQ 24 Italy Arturo Merzario Italy Merzario-Ford Cosworth 1:45.74 1:46.91 +11.67s
Source:[2][5]
  • T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car to set their best time in that session.
  • Bold indicates a driver's best/qualifying time.

GridEdit

Pos Pos
Driver Driver
______________
Row 1 ______________ 1
2 René Arnoux
Alan Jones ______________
Row 2 ______________ 3
4 Jean-Pierre Jabouille
Niki Lauda ______________
Row 3 ______________ 5
6 Gilles Villeneuve
Clay Regazzoni ______________
Row 4 ______________ 7
8 Nelson Piquet
Jacques Laffite ______________
Row 5 ______________ 9
10 Jody Scheckter
Didier Pironi ______________
Row 6 ______________ 11
12 Derek Daly
Keke Rosberg ______________
Row 7 ______________ 13
14 Riccardo Patrese
Patrick Tambay ______________
Row 8 ______________ 15
16 Mario Andretti
John Watson ______________
Row 9 ______________ 17
18 Carlos Reutemann
Hans-Joachim Stuck ______________
Row 10 ______________ 19
20 Emerson Fittipaldi
Jochen Mass ______________
Row 11 ______________ 21
22 Jacky Ickx
Elio de Angelis ______________
Row 12 ______________ 23
24 Jan Lammers
Patrick Gaillard ______________

RaceEdit

Raceday dawned as another day of clear skies and cool temperatures, with no concerns of rain to affect the Grand Prix.[2] The morning warm-up would see Patrick Tambay and Jacky Ickx suffer engine issues, although their respective issues were cured long before the 1:30pm start time.[2] As such all 24 qualifiers would make it around the parade lap without issue, before lining up on their grid slots to await the starters lights.[2]

ReportEdit

Start 1979 Austrian Grand Prix

Gilles Villeneuve leads the field through the Hella Licht Chicane on the opening tour.

As the lights flashed to green there was to be a flash of red that went streaking into the lead, with Gilles Villeneuve getting a demonically good start to leap from fifth to first.[2] He was chased by Alan Jones, who would lead briefly before the Canadian charged past, while Niki Lauda shadowed the Williams claimed third.[2] Indeed, it was a miserable start for the two Renaults, with pole sitter René Arnoux slipping to fifth, while Jean-Pierre Jabouille tumbled to ninth with a clutch problem.[2]

He would at least get away from the grid, unlike Mario Andretti in the spare Lotus which shredded its clutch as he tried to pull away.[2] Miraculously the entire field managed to dodge around the limping Lotus, although there were a few near-misses, particularly for teammate Carlos Reutemann who started just behind.[2] Andretti duly limped to the end of the pitlane and pulled off the circuit, with the rest of the field also making it to the Hella Licht Chicane without issue.[2]

It was to be an excellent opening lap, with Jones throwing his Williams at the back of Villeneuve's Ferrari, while both dropped Lauda.[2] Indeed, the pair were almost a second clear of the Austrian racer at the end of the opening tour, with Lauda instead having to watch out for a recovering Arnoux, who had scrambled back ahead of Clay Regazzoni.[2] Elsewhere Jabouille was still in the middle of the pack, his clutch issue not improving, while there was a very sick sounding Ford Cosworth engine in the back of one of the Arrows.[2]

That engine belonged to Jochen Mass, and duly destroyed itself at the end of the second tour, with a cloud of smoke erupting from his exhausts.[2] Out front, meanwhile, Jones was still looking for a way past Villeneuve, with the Australian's lunges always getting blocked by Villeneuve's defensive driving.[2] Towards the end of lap three it seemed as if Jones would never get past, until Villeneuve made his first mistake of the day.[2]

Jones Villeneuve 1979 Austrian Grand Prix

Alan Jones would finally grab the lead on lap four, diving inside Villeneuve at the Hella Licht

The #12 Ferrari would get a little wayward through the final corner at the end of lap three, and hence compromised Villeneuve on the exit.[2] That gave Jones the perfect opportunity to draft alongside the Canadian down the start/finish straight, before holding the inside line for the Hella Licht Chicane.[2] They duly braked side-by-side into the chicane, with Jones scrambling through ahead of the Ferrari, much to the delight of the Williams pitcrew.[2]

With that Jones was away, dropping Villeneuve at an impressive rate knowing that the two Renaults were making their way back through the field.[2] Indeed, by the time Jones had taken Villeneuve, Arnoux had taken Lauda, and was setting about catching the lead duo.[2] Jabouille was also on the move, weaving past Jody Scheckter, Didier Pironi, Jacques Laffite and Clay Regazzoni in short order, while Lauda slipped down the order after making a rare mistake at the Hella Licht.[2]

Yet Jones' fears would be somewhat unfounded, for it took Arnoux until the end of lap eleven to catch and pass Villeneuve, whose Michelin tyres were already losing their edge.[2] Jabouille followed his teammate through on the following tour, and would briefly run in second when Arnoux waved him past, until his clutch issue finally destroyed the rest of his transmission.[2] That put Villeneuve back onto the podium, while Arnoux found himself unable to catch the charging Jones out front.[2]

Elsewhere, Scheckter was a very distant fourth, keeping Laffite at arm's length, with the Frenchman having just vaulted past Regazzoni.[2] Jacky Ickx, meanwhile, would hit trouble with the sister Ligier, his engine sounding as if it was grinding itself to pieces, and duly retired at the halfway point.[2] Reutemann, meanwhile, was having an even more ignominious race, finding himself unable to escape from Elio de Angelis in the Shadow at the back of the field.[2]

Indeed, Reutemann would soon abandon his lowly position, going a lap down when he decided to try a new set of Goodyear tyres.[2] However, within two laps the Argentine was back in to ask for his original set to be bolted back on, with a weary Colin Chapman instead telling him to switch off the engine and retire.[2] By that stage Reutemann had slipped behind Patrick Gaillard in the Ensign, although the Frenchman was to lose a heap of time as he pitted to have a brake problem cured.[2]

Laffite 1979 Austrian Grand Prix

Jacques Laffite would creep onto the podium in the latter part of the race.

Laffite would become the centre of attention as the race wore on, the Frenchman going on the offensive in the Ligier and hence began to attack Scheckter ahead.[2] Unfortunately he would soon find that he would have to fight with effectively on hand tied behind his back, for his Ford Cosworth engine had picked up a rev-limiter problem, which was cutting in too early in higher gears.[2] Regardless, the Frenchman was slowly getting closer to the back of the Ferrari, leaving Regazzoni in a lonely fifth well ahead of Lauda.[2] The Austrian was not enjoying his home race, having been briefly passed by teammate Nelson Piquet before his engine blew-up, and was now a lap down.[2]

It was not long before Lauda himself disappeared from the action, his Alfa Romeo engine having lost all of its oil pressure.[2] He joined an incredibly long retirement list, which had received a recent wave of names including Keke Rosberg, out with an electrical issue, and Hans-Joachim Stuck as the new ATS destroyed its engine.[2] Riccardo Patrese would also disappear when his Arrows became too wayward for his liking, before Arnoux disappeared from second in the closing stages when he lost all of his fuel pressure.[2]

Fortunately for Arnoux he was in the downhill final sector of the lap, and was hence able to splutter into the pits to get a late fill-up.[2] He duly scrambled back onto the circuit a lap down and having dropped to sixth, leaving Villeneuve in a content second and Scheckter in third.[2] That was not likely to last, however, for with just two laps to go the Ligier of Laffite was right under his rear wing.[2]

Out front, meanwhile, Jones would complete an incredibly dominant victory at a cruise, his pace having rarely dipped dropped below a 1:38.00 for most of the race.[2] Villeneuve was still driving hard as he cross the line in second, ten seconds clear of Laffite, who mugged Scheckter on the final tour as the South African ran out of brakes.[2] Fortunately for Scheckter he was just far enough ahead of Regazzoni to claim fourth, while a frustrated Arnoux blasted across the line in sixth, believing it was a race lost for himself and Renault.[2]

ResultsEdit

The full results for the 1979 Austrian Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 27 Australia Alan Jones United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 54 1:27:38.01 2 9
2 12 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Italy Ferrari 54 +36.05s 5 6
3 26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier-Ford Cosworth 54 +46.77s 8 4
4 11 South Africa Jody Scheckter Italy Ferrari 54 +47.21s 9 3
5 28 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 54 +48.92s 6 2
6 16 France René Arnoux France Renault 53 +1 Lap 1 1
7 3 France Didier Pironi United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 53 +1 Lap 10
8 4 Ireland Derek Daly United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 53 +1 Lap 11
9 7 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 53 +1 Lap 16
10 8 France Patrick Tambay United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 53 +1 Lap 14
Ret 5 Austria Niki Lauda United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 45 Engine 4
Ret 22 France Patrick Gaillard United Kingdom Ensign-Ford Cosworth 42 Suspension 24
Ret 29 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Arrows-Ford Cosworth 34 Suspension 13
Ret 18 Italy Elio de Angelis United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 34 Engine 22
Ret 6 Brazil Nelson Piquet United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 32 Engine 7
Ret 9 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck West Germany ATS-Ford Cosworth 28 Engine 18
Ret 25 Belgium Jacky Ickx France Ligier-Ford Cosworth 26 Engine 21
Ret 2 Argentina Carlos Reutemann United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 22 Handling 17
Ret 15 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille France Renault 16 Gearbox 3
Ret 20 Finland Keke Rosberg Canada Wolf-Ford Cosworth 15 Electrical 19
Ret 14 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth 15 Brakes 12
Ret 17 Netherlands Jan Lammers United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 3 Accident 23
Ret 30 West Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom Arrows-Ford Cosworth 1 Engine 20
Ret 1T United States Mario Andretti United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 0 Clutch 15
DNQ 31 Mexico Héctor Rebaque Mexico Lotus-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 24 Italy Arturo Merzario Italy Merzario-Ford Cosworth
Source:[6]
  • T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.

MilestonesEdit

StandingsEdit

Jody Scheckter had finally seen his title lead reduced having again missed out on a podium spot, although the South African racer remained six ahead of his nearest challenger. That challenger proved to be his teammate Gilles Villeneuve, with the Canadian himself level on points with Jacques Laffite, but ahead on count-back. A seven point gap then separated them from race winner Alan Jones, who had shot into fourth with his second victory in two races, with Clay Regazzoni completing the top five.

In the International Cup for Constructors, meanwhile, it was still advantage Ferrari in the hunt for the crown, the Italian squad leaving Austria with a 19 point lead. Their closest challengers were still Ligier-Ford Cosworth, although the French squad were now under serious threat from Williams-Ford Cosworth after their stunning improvement in form. Indeed, the English based team were just six behind the Frenchmen, having been more than thirty points off just three races earlier.

Drivers' World Championship
Pos. Driver Pts. +/-
1 South Africa Jody Scheckter 38 (42)
2 Canada Gilles Villeneuve 32 ▲1
3 France Jacques Laffite 32 ▼1
4 Australia Alan Jones 25 ▲3
5 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni 24 ▼1
6 France Patrick Depailler 20 (22) ▼1
7 Argentina Carlos Reutemann 20 (25) ▼1
8 France Jean-Pierre Jarier 13
9 United Kingdom John Watson 13
10 United States Mario Andretti 12
11 France René Arnoux 11
12 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille 9
13 France Didier Pironi 8
14 Italy Riccardo Patrese 2
15 West Germany Jochen Mass 2
16 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi 1
17 Austria Niki Lauda 1
18 Belgium Jacky Ickx 1
International Cup for Constructors
Pos. Team Pts. +/-
1 Italy Ferrari 74
2 France Ligier-Ford Cosworth 55
3 United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 49
4 United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 37
5 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 21
6 France Renault 20
7 United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 13
8 United Kingdom Arrows-Ford Cosworth 4
9 United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1
10 Brazil Fittipaldi-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 'Austrian GP, 1979', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2015), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr324.html, (Accessed 31/01/2018)
  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 D.S.J., 'Austrian Grand Prix: Third win for Williams', motorsportmagazine.com, (Motor Sport Magazine, 01/09/1979), https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/september-1979/29/austrian-grand-prix, (Accessed 01/01/2019)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 '11. Austria 1979', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1979/autriche.aspx, (Accessed 31/12/2018)
  4. 'Austria 1979: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1979/autriche/engages.aspx, (Accessed 31/12/2018)
  5. 'Austria 1979: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1979/autriche/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 31/12/2018)
  6. 'Austria 1979: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1979/autriche/classement.aspx, (Accessed 31/12/2018)
  7. '1979 Austrian GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2018), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1979&gp=Austrian%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 31/12/2018)
V T E 1979 Formula One Season
Teams Alfa Romeo • Arrows • ATS • Brabham • Ensign • Ferrari • Fittipaldi • Kauhsen • Ligier • Lotus • McLaren • Merzario • Rebaque • Renault • Shadow • Tyrrell • Williams • Wolf
Engines Alfa Romeo • Ferrari • Ford Cosworth • Renault
Drivers Alphabetically Andretti • de Angelis • Arnoux • Brambilla • Brancatelli • Daly • Depailler • Fittipaldi • Gaillard • Giacomelli • Hunt • Ickx • Jabouille • Jarier • Jones • Laffite • Lammers • Lauda • Lees • Mass • Merzario • Patrese • Piquet • Pironi • Rebaque • Regazzoni • Reutemann • Ribeiro • Rosberg • Scheckter • Stuck • Surer • Tambay • Villeneuve • Watson • Zunino
Drivers by Numbers 1 Andretti • 2 Reutemann • 3 Pironi • 4 Jarier • 4 Lees • 4/22/33 Daly • 5 Lauda • 5 Zunino • 6 Piquet • 7 Watson • 8 Tambay • 9 Stuck • 11 Scheckter • 12 Villeneuve • 14 Fittipaldi • 15 Jabouille • 16 Arnoux • 17 Lammers • 18 de Angelis • 19 Ribeiro • 20 Hunt • 20 Rosberg • 22 Gaillard • 22 Surer • 24 Merzario • 24/36 Brancatelli • 25 Depailler • 25 Ickx • 26 Laffite • 27 Jones • 28 Regazzoni • 29 Patrese • 30 Mass • 31 Rebaque • 35 Giacomelli • 36 Brambilla
Cars Alfa Romeo 177 • Alfa Romeo 179 • Arrows A1 • Arrows A2 • ATS D2 • ATS D3 • Brabham BT46 • Brabham BT48 • Brabham BT49 • Ensign N177 • Ensign N179 • Ferrari 312T3 • Ferrari 312T4 • Fittipaldi F5A • Fittipaldi F6 • Fittipaldi F6A • Kauhsen WK • Ligier JS11 • Lotus 79 • Lotus 80 • McLaren M26 • McLaren M28 • McLaren M28B • McLaren M28C • McLaren M29 • Merzario A1B • Merzario A2 • Merzario A4 • Rebaque HR100 • Renault RS01 • Renault RS10 • Shadow DN9 • Tyrrell 009 • Williams FW06 • Williams FW07 • Wolf WR7 • Wolf WR8 • Wolf WR9
Tyres Goodyear • Michelin
Races Argentina • Brazil • South Africa • United States West • Spain • Belgium • Monaco • France • Britain • Germany • Austria • Netherlands • Italy • Canada • United States
Non-championship Races Race of Champions • Dino Ferrari
See also 1978 Formula One Season • 1980 Formula One Season • Category
V T E Austria Austrian Grand Prix
Circuits Zeltweg Airfield (1963–1964), Red Bull Ring (1970–1987, 1997-2003, 2014-present)
Circuit Red Bull Ring
Races 1964 • 1965–1969 • 1970 • 1971 • 1972 • 1973 • 1974 • 1975 • 1976 • 1977 • 1978 • 1979 • 1980 • 1981 • 1982 • 1983 • 1984 • 1985 • 1986 • 1987 • 1988–1996 • 1997 • 1998 • 1999 • 2000 • 2001 • 2002 • 2003 • 2004–2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016 • 2017 • 2018 • 2019
Non-Championship Race 1963
Red Bull Ring was previously called Österreichring and A1-Ring.
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