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The 1979 Dutch Grand Prix, otherwise known as the XXVI Grote Prijs van Nederland, was the twelfth round of the 1979 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Circuit Park Zandvoort on the 26 August 1979.[1] The race would be remembered for a spectacular tyre failure for Gilles Villeneuve, as Alan Jones claimed a fourth straight victory for Williams.[1]

There would be a fair amount of controversy ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix of 1979, with a new chicane designed by Jody Scheckter designed to slow the field through the second half of the lap.[2] However, several drivers, including Scheckter's teammate Villeneuve, believed that the chicane was more of a safety hazard than the former layout, although the organisers opted to keep the new 'challenge'.[2]

Regardless, qualifying would see René Arnoux sweep to a second consecutive pole for Renault, beating Jones and Clay Regazzoni in the latest Renault/Williams battle.[1] Jean-Pierre Jabouille was next ahead of Scheckter and Villeneuve, while Jacques Laffite beat Keke Rosberg to seventh.[1]

The start would see Jones instantly sprint into the lead, leaving Arnoux to be sandwiched by Regazzoni on the inside, while Jabouille and Villeneuve went to the outside heading into Tarzan.[1] A brief wiggle from the pair on the outside saw Arnoux slide into the path of Regazzoni, smashing his own suspension as Regazzoni's left front wheel was ripped from the Williams.[1]

Carlos Reutemann would also retire at the end of the opening tour, while Jones led the charge from Villeneuve and Jabouille, who escaped from the accident without issue.[1] Scheckter, meanwhile, had lost a lot of time at the start and dropped right to the back, while Niki Lauda pulled off early on with an injured wrist.[1]

Scheckter became the centre of attention in the early stages, sprinting through the midfield runners in his superior Ferrari.[1] Out front, meanwhile, Villeneuve would make his bid for victory as he and Jones dropped the rest of the field, and duly dived inside the Williams at Tarzan on lap eleven to claim the lead.[1]

Villeneuve duly pulled away from the Australian over the following laps, with Jones unable to match the Canadian's flat-out pace due to a gearbox issue.[1] Then, on lap 47 the Canadian made his first mistake of the day and spun, gifting Jones the lead, although he was soon reeling the #27 car back in.[1]

That was, until the #12 Ferrari's left rear wheel exploded passing the pits on lap 51, sending Villeneuve into a high-speed spin.[1] He duly rejoined and, with adrenaline fuelling his system, drove his car back to the pits on two wheels, the right front being kept off the tarmac.[1] Villeneuve would retire the car upon arrival, his suspension having been demolished in the accident, with opinion divided on his actions.[1]

That left Jones clear to complete a dominant victory for Williams, his third in a row and their fourth in four races.[1] Scheckter, meanwhile, charged back through to claim second, while Didier Pironi lost third late on due to a suspension failure, meaning Laffite inherited the final podium spot.[1]

BackgroundEdit

There were storms both literally and figuratively as the class of 1979 arrived at the Circuit Park Zandvoort for the twelfth race of the season, with several issues dividing the paddock.[3] For the drivers it was a case of safety, with the Driver Safety Committee deciding to counter the rising speeds of Zandvoort in a chaotic manner.[3] Elsewhere, there would be a key development in the ongoing dispute between FOCA and FISA, with battle lines getting well and truly drawn.[2]

Unsuitable SafetyEdit

In recent seasons the Zandvoort circuit had become one of the fastest circuits on the calendar, with the advent of "ground-effect" meaning cars were running flat-out from Schievlak through until they hit the brakes for Tarzan at the start of the following lap.[3] To counter this the DSC leadership, namely Niki Lauda, Jody Scheckter, Mario Andretti and Jacques Laffite, demanded that the organisers of the Dutch Grand Prix add a chicane at Hondenvlak to slow speeds.[3] A chicane design was allegedly penned by Scheckter to be installed at the circuit, with the South African racer and Lauda declaring that there would be a boycott should it not be installed.[3]

That announcement would only partially succeed, for Andretti and Laffite were against the boycott threat.[3] Indeed, Laffite would miss several meetings of the DSC to test a BMW M1 car instead, while Lauda and Scheckter continued to push for the circuit to be revised.[3] The organisers did eventually relent and install a "chicane", which was little more than a left-right-left flick at Hondenvlak that could be taken with just a lift of the throttle.[3]

Unsurprisingly a pre-race test would reveal that the chicane was ineffective, with Scheckter quickly disassociating himself from its design.[3] Indeed, Scheckter's own teammate Gilles Villeneuve would openly criticise the new circuit feature, while Alan Jones declared that it only increased the risk of driving through the back half of Zandvoort.[2] Regardless, the chicane would be retained for the race weekend, with higher kerbs added to prevent the drivers from simply cutting the chicane completely.[3]

Rulebook RevoltEdit

Elsewhere FOCA boss Bernie Ecclestone would call a meeting for the entire FOCA membership, and would extend invites to Ferrari, Renault and Alfa Romeo who had all stayed away from official membership of the group.[2] This meeting, held on the 23 August was to announce a new rulebook for Formula One, primarily designed to protect FOCA's members against the vast sums of money that the manufacturers could bring to the series.[2] As such, Mr. Ecclestone, whose FOCA body controlled most of the commercial money and rights in F1, declared that fuel tanks would be reduced in capacity, tyre supplies limited, and turbocharging outlawed to reduce engine and running costs.[2]

It was the latter rule that proved to be the major issue, with Renault running a turbocharged car, while Ferrari and Alfa Romeo were actively developing turbo engines for F1.[2] They duly left the FOCA talks to consort FISA, with Jean-Marie Balestre duly revealing his own technical rulebook which protected the interests of the major manufacturers.[2] Indeed, the FISA rulebook would not feature any further restrictions on engines, and instead outlawed the use of skirts, and by consequence ground-effect, the sole advantage that the best of the FOCA teams had over the manufacturer squads.[2]

Yet another FOCA-FISA standoff would therefore hang over the F1 world, with 1980 set to be a key season in the balance of power.[2]

Establishing EntriesEdit

That, however, was a debate for the future, with teams first having to negotiate the slighting modified Zandvoort circuit, which was in the midst of a storm as they unloaded their equipment in the paddock.[3] There was to be one change on the driver front, with Jean-Pierre Jarier returning to the Tyrrell team, overcoming his recent liver problems to replace Derek Daly at the team, despite being 10kg lighter than when he had gone into hospital.[3][2] Regardless, he would return to his familiar 009, as Didier Pironi saw his car given a new axle design, radiators and brakes.[2]

Elsewhere Mr. Ecclestone was having his own driver troubles within his own Brabham team, for Lauda was refusing to sign a new deal for 1980.[2] Indeed, the Austrian ace had instead been courting the McLaren, which had improved in recent races, with hopes of bringing his major sponsor Parmalat along with him as a title sponsor.[2] Unfortunately for him McLaren boss Teddy Mayer, and major financiers Philip Morris, owners of the Marlboro group, had no intention of withdrawing their sponsorship from the team, meaning Lauda's move was a non-starter.[2]

Regardless, Ecclestone would decide to promote Lauda's rookie teammate Nelson Piquet to the team's lead driver ahead of the visit to Zandvoort, with Lauda injuring his wrist in a BMW M1 Procar race.[3] Unfortunately for the Brazilian there would be no updates to appease his new status, although the team had been away testing the new Ford Cosworth engined BT49, intended to replace their current Alfa Romeo powered BT48s.[3] Furthermore, Mr. Ecclestone had reportedly been courting Jackie Stewart during the break, although the 40 year-old Scot was not interested in the seat.[2]

Over at Lotus, meanwhile, there were some very dark clouds hanging in the garage to match those in the skies, for their latest Lotus 80 had failed to impress Andretti during a test at Snetterton.[2] As such both Andretti and Carlos Reutemann would use their usual Lotus 79s which were revised with a Williams-esque rear wing, mounted via a central pillar, while having the rear-suspension reverted back to its original specification.[3] The spare car, meanwhile, was left with the Lotus 80-style rearend, with priority given to Andretti after Reutemann's rumoured courting of other teams.[3]

There was, however, a brand new Lotus 79 sat in the paddock at Zandvoort, albeit one that had new bodywork and had been built by the old Penske team.[3] This car was, in fact, the new Rebaque HR100, which was essentially a Lotus 79 with a heavily revised monocoque and floor design, intended to increase the impact of "ground-effect".[3] Unfortunately for team owner and driver Héctor Rebaque the new car, penned by Geoff Ferris, was only on display in Zandvoort, meaning he would continue to use his old 79.[3]

Elsewhere there were, unsurprisingly, no changes for Williams, with Alan Jones and Clay Regazzoni getting their usual FW07s to race amid the Dunes.[3] Likewise Renault arrived with no changes to their compliment of RS10s, meaning Jean-Pierre Jabouille had the use of his usual car and the spare, while René Arnoux would only have the use of his race car.[3] Similarly there were no modifications to the compliment of Ferrari 312T4s of Scheckter and Villeneuve, with the pair still not on best terms.[3]

Over at Ligier, meanwhile, there were still some concerns given their recent lack of pace in comparison to their title rivals, although there were no changes to the cars of Laffite and Jacky Ickx before the race.[3] McLaren, in-contrast, had no updates after their recent upturn in form, with the M29s of John Watson and Patrick Tambay fully supported by a race worthy spare.[3] Elsewhere the two Shadows had received another suspension revision, widening the front track as a result, with Jan Lammers and Elio de Angelis remaining in the DN9Bs.[3]

Arrows were unchanged heading into the weekend, with Riccardo Patrese and Jochen Mass still awaiting delivery of a spare A2.[3] Wolf, meanwhile, had brought an updated front wing and front suspension design for their newest WR9, which Keke Rosberg had tried at a private test.[3] over at Fittipaldi the Brazilian factory had managed to ship the older F5A back to Europe, although Emerson Fittipaldi would continue to use the new F6A.[3] Completing the field would be the lone car entries of ATS, Ensign and Merzario, with their drivers Hans-Joachim Stuck, Patrick Gaillard and Arturo Merzario the newest cars produced by their teams.[3]

In terms of the Championship leader Scheckter had finally seen his title lead reduced in Austria, although the South African racer remained six ahead of his nearest challenger. That challenger proved to be his teammate Villeneuve, with the Canadian himself arriving in the Netherlands level on points with Laffite, but ahead on count-back. A seven point gap then separated them from Österreichring winner Jones, who had shot into fourth with his second victory in two races, with Regazzoni completing the top five.

In the International Cup for Constructors, meanwhile, it was still advantage Ferrari in the hunt for the crown when disembarking in Zandvoort, the Italian squad holding 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 ahead of the Dutch weekend, having been more than thirty points off just three races earlier at Silverstone.

Entry ListEdit

The full entry list for the 1979 Dutch 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 France Jean-Pierre Jarier 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 DN9B Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
18 Italy Elio de Angelis United Kingdom Interscope Shadow Racing Team Shadow DN9B 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 A4 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

The qualifying/practice schedule would follow the established format for the Dutch Grand Prix, with four sessions split evenly between Friday and Saturday.[3] The afternoon periods of both days were reserved for "timed" practice/qualifying, while the mornings were meant to used to practice for the race.[3] As for a target time the new chicane looked set to have no impact on lap speed or distance, meaning Mario Andretti's circuit record of 1:16.36 set in 1978, was expected to fall.[3]

Friday QualifyingEdit

Friday morning's session was fairly uneventful, with heavy rain just before the session meaning most of the drivers refused to leave their garages early.[3] When they did the vast majority would make a mistake or two through the new chicane, none of them serious, with the circuit drying rapidly towards the end of the session.[3] That raised hopes of a flat out opening qualifying session of the weekend in the afternoon, only for a sudden downpour during the lunch break to dispel those hopes.[3]

That downpour ensured it was also a slow start to the qualifying session on Friday, with Alan Jones the first to venture out in his spare Williams.[3] Indeed, the handful of drivers that did venture out in the opening minutes would be in their spare car, with Nelson Piquet bedding in a new gearbox in the spare Brabham.[3] Fortunately the remaining rain from the downpour soon dissipated, allowing the circuit to dry in the late-summer heat.[3]

Yet it was only at the end of the session that the circuit got dry enough for some flying laps to be completed, with Jean-Pierre Jabouille leading the charge for Renault until the final moments.[3] Indeed, having spent most of the day swapping between his two RS10s, the Frenchman seemed to have grabbed provisional pole with a 1:16.338.[3] Yet, in the dying moments of the session a white blur of Williams flashed across the line to claim a 1:16.316, with Clay Regazzoni at the wheel.[3] More significantly, their times, which were set on a not quite dry track made a mockery of the "chicane" that had been installed to slow the field.[3]

Merzario 1979 Dutch Grand Prix

Arturo Merzario tried in vain to qualify his newest creation.

The Swiss ace's late lap caught most of the field off guard, with Jones half a second behind a teammate he had outpaced throughout the season.[3] He shared the provisional second row with Gilles Villeneuve, less than a tenth behind, while René Arnoux and Jacques Laffite kept pace with the top group despite failing to break into the 1:16.000s.[3] At the back, meanwhile, Patrick Gaillard found himself at the bottom of the timesheets, fourteen seconds off of Arturo Merzario, the next slowest car in the field after the Ensign picked up an issue.[3]

Saturday QualifyingEdit

More overnight rain threatened to drag the dunes onto the circuit, although fortunately both the water and the sand had disappeared from the circuit by the time Saturday morning's practice session began.[3] Again it was to be an incredibly quiet session, with the only on-track action of note being some experimental running for Tyrrell and Wolf, both trying Williams-esque rear wings.[3] As such there was no clear hint as to how the final qualifying session would unfold, with none of the top drivers bar Regazzoni particularly pushing.[3]

Ultimately the grid would be set in the early stages of the final session, for rain would washout the final half-hour of running.[3] This time it was Jones and Arnoux who duelled for pole, with both drilling in sub-1:16.000 laps before the end of the opening half-hour.[3] Ultimately it was Arnoux who came out on top in a thrilling exchange of lap times, ending the afternoon with a 1:15.461 to beat Jones by 0.185s.[3]

Regazzoni, meanwhile, would best Jabouille in the fight to head the second row, with both failing to improve more than a few hundredths on their Friday efforts.[3] Indeed, they were over three quarters of a second off the ultimate pace come the end of the session, with Jabouille almost slipping behind Jody Scheckter as the South African produced his best qualifying performance in recent memory to beat teammate Villeneuve.[3] He would still share the third row with his Canadian teammate, while Keke Rosberg surprised many by squeezing the Wolf alongside Jacques Laffite on the fourth row, ahead of the two Brabhams.[3]

Elsewhere, Mario Andretti's misery continued at Lotus, with the American ace having to switch to the spare car within minutes of the session starting.[3] McLaren were also not without problems, with misfires on both cars, although they cleared up enough for John Watson and Patrick Tambay to safely qualify in the midfield.[3] Jacky Ickx, meanwhile, would end the session well down the order when teammate Laffite nicked his car mid-session, while Gaillard and Merzario failed to qualify as expected.[3]

Qualifying ResultsEdit

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

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time Gap
Q1 Q2
1 16 France René Arnoux France Renault 1:17.100 1:15.461
2 27 Australia Alan Jones United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 1:16.883T 1:15.646 +0.185s
3 28 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 1:16.316 1:16.228 +0.767s
4 15 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille France Renault 1:16.338T 1:16.304T +0.843s
5 11 South Africa Jody Scheckter Italy Ferrari 1:17.313 1:16.392 +0.931s
6 12 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Italy Ferrari 1:16.939 1:17.946 +1.478s
7 26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier-Ford Cosworth 1:17.129 1:17.639 +1.668s
8 20 Finland Keke Rosberg Canada Wolf-Ford Cosworth 1:18.180 1:17.280 +1.819s
9 5 Austria Niki Lauda United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1:17.661 1:17.495 +2.034s
10 3 France Didier Pironi United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:18.398T 1:17.625 +2.164s
11 6 Brazil Nelson Piquet United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1:17.821T 1:17.667 +2.206s
12 7 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:21.799T 1:17.750 +2.289s
13 2 Argentina Carlos Reutemann United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:18.671 1:18.001 +2.540s
14 8 France Patrick Tambay United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:21.892 1:18.147 +2.686s
15 9 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck West Germany ATS-Ford Cosworth 1:20.581 1:18.256 +2.795s
16 4 France Jean-Pierre Jarier United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:18.946 1:18.430 +2.969s
17 1 United States Mario Andretti United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:18.896 1:18.452T +2.991s
18 30 West Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom Arrows-Ford Cosworth 1:18.817 1:18.606 +3.145s
19 29 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Arrows-Ford Cosworth 1:20.051 1:18.629 +3.168s
20 25 Belgium Jacky Ickx France Ligier-Ford Cosworth 1:18.706 1:19.143 +3.245s
21 14 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth 1:21.005 1:19.433 +3.972s
22 18 Italy Elio de Angelis United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 1:21.065 1:20.709 +5.248s
23 17 Netherlands Jan Lammers United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 1:23.404 1:21.084 +5.623s
24 31 Mexico Héctor Rebaque Mexico Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:21.502 1:21.344 +5.883s
DNQ 22 France Patrick Gaillard United Kingdom Ensign-Ford Cosworth 1:37.600 1:22.922 +7.461s
DNQ 24 Italy Arturo Merzario Italy Merzario-Ford Cosworth 1:23.613 +8.152s
Source:[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 Clay Regazzoni
Jean-Pierre Jabouille ______________
Row 3 ______________ 5
6 Jody Scheckter
Gilles Villeneuve ______________
Row 4 ______________ 7
8 Jacques Laffite
Keke Rosberg ______________
Row 5 ______________ 9
10 Niki Lauda
Didier Pironi ______________
Row 6 ______________ 11
12 Nelson Piquet
John Watson ______________
Row 7 ______________ 13
14 Carlos Reutemann
Patrick Tambay ______________
Row 8 ______________ 15
16 Hans-Joachim Stuck
Jean-Pierre Jarier ______________
Row 9 ______________ 17
18 Mario Andretti
Jochen Mass ______________
Row 10 ______________ 19
20 Riccardo Patrese
Jacky Ickx ______________
Row 11 ______________ 21
22 Emerson Fittipaldi
Elio de Angelis ______________
Row 12 ______________ 23
24 Jan Lammers
Héctor Rebaque ______________

RaceEdit

Raceday dawned dry and reasonably cool after a second straight night of lashing rain, with the Circuit Park Zandvoort still damp as the field appeared for the warm-up at 1:00pm.[3] Fortunately the circuit would be completely dry by the time the session finished, with no major issues emanating from the session to contend with ahead of the 3:00pm start time.[3] Indeed, all 24 cars would be fighting fit as they completed the formation lap, with René Arnoux set to lead the field away from pole.[3]

ReportEdit

Start 1979 Dutch Grand Prix

Alan Jones would dive into Tarzan at the head of the field, as teammate Clay Regazzoni left with three wheels in the middle of the pack.

Unfortunately for Arnoux he would make another poor getaway from pole gifting the lead to fellow front-row starter Alan Jones.[3] Indeed, the Australian's start was only to be eclipsed by that of Gilles Villeneuve, with the Canadian darting to the left of the two Renaults on the run into the first corner.[3] Villeneuve, Jabouille and Arnoux would then plunge past the pit exit three abreast, without realising that Clay Regazzoni was on the inside of Arnoux's car.[3]

Inevitably it was Arnoux who drifted into the front of the Swiss' Williams, ripping the front left wheel from Regazzoni's FW07.[3] He duly carried on towards Tarzan in a shower of sparks, with the rest of the field swarming around him, while his errant wheel bounced across the circuit.[3] Miraculously the wheel was missed by the entire pack as it hurtled into the catch fencing on the opposite side of the track, while Regazzoni limped to a stop on the inside of Tarzan without being collected.[3]

There was more drama on the run to the first corner, however, with Jody Scheckter causing a lot of problems when he limped off the line.[3] Indeed, in a bid to avoid the Ferrari Jean-Pierre Jarier would make a broadside sweep into the side of Carlos Reutemann, smashing the left-hand suspension on the #2 Lotus.[3] Reutemann would hence limp around the opening lap to retire, while Jarier continued without any notable issue.[3]

Out front, meanwhile, the confusion behind into Tarzan had allowed Jones to escape at the head of the field, although as they came to complete the opening tour Villeneuve had swept onto his tail.[3] They were chased by Jabouille, for Arnoux's right rear suspension had failed midway around the lap, with Didier Pironi having had the waves part ahead of him to claim fourth early on.[3] The Frenchman's Tyrrell was being chased by Jacques Laffite, Niki Lauda, Keke Rosberg and John Watson, with Jarier's seemingly healthy Tyrrell leading the rest.[3]

The opening laps of the race would see Jones and Villeneuve sprint away from Jabouille at the head of the field, with Villeneuve plotting a move for the time being.[3] Attention therefore focused on his Championship leading teammate Scheckter, who had slipped to eighteenth at the end of the opening lap with an equally slippery clutch.[3] Yet, his clutch issue would soon clear come the end of the opening tour, and the South African began what would be a Championship defining drive back through the field.[3]

In short order the #11 Ferrari had danced its way back into the top ten, with quick fire retirements for Niki Lauda (wrist), Emerson Fittipaldi (electrics) and Patrick Tambay (misfire) aiding his charge.[6] Indeed on the second lap Scheckter would pass Riccardo Patrese, Héctor Rebaque, Hans-Joachim Stuck, Tambay and Jan Lammers, with the latter seeing a red blur shoot past them after the South African's namesake chicane.[6] Two laps later and Mario Andretti, Jacky Ickx, Nelson Piquet and Jochen Mass had fallen to the Ferrari, before Laffite and Jarier slipped behind on lap ten to leave Scheckter in seventh.[6]

There were to be more retirements among Scheckter's victims, with Patrese spectacularly exiting the race shortly after being passed when his brakes failed, sending him skating into the gravel at Scheivlak.[3] Andretti was another early casualty, ending Lotus' race when a partial suspension failure smashed an oil tank, leaving the #1 car covered in oil.[3] Elsewhere Watson was in and out of the pits trying to get his own misfiring McLaren cured, while Stuck brought the ATS in with a weird vibration.[3]

Out front, meanwhile, Villeneuve felt confident enough that he and Jones had dropped Jabouille enough that he could harass the former for the lead, and duly launched his first attack at the start of lap ten.[3] Jones would managed to swat that lunge aside, although a poor run out of Panoramabocht later on during that tour gave Villeneuve a run heading into the start of the following lap.[3] The Canadian ace duly drew alongside the Williams as they plunged towards Tarzan, although the Ferrari was on the wrong-side to really make a move.[3]

Yet, no one had told Villeneuve that fact, and as the pair swept into the hairpin the Canadian kept his Ferrari dancing outside of Jones' Williams.[3] That gave Villeneuve a better exit from the corner while hampering Jones' run, with the Ferrari duly streaking into the lead as the dived through Gerlachbocht.[3] Villeneuve duly put his Ferrari into the middle of the circuit heading into Hugenholtz to block any move from Jones, leaving him clear to build a lead over the rest of the lap.[3]

Jones 1979 Dutch Grand Prix

Jones would lose a small amount of time to Villeneuve on every lap, until the latter's exit.

With that Villeneuve was clear, with the #12 Ferrari soon inching clear of the #27 Williams by a few hundredths of a second each lap.[3] Scheckter, meanwhile, would copy his teammate's move into Tarzan, dancing his Ferrari around the outside of Pironi, before hunting down and passing Rosberg to claim fourth.[3] That left just Jabouille between him and a podium spot, and when the Renault's clutch failed on lap 26, moments after the Ferrari streaked past the Wolf, Scheckter was onto the podium.[3]

Rosberg's Wolf would limp out of the race soon after, leaving just ten cars in the race by the time half-distance arrived.[3] Indeed, with Villeneuve still eking out a lead over Jones, and Scheckter now a lonely third, it seemed as if the race was over.[3] Behind them were Pironi and Piquet, the Brabham-Alfa Romeo slowly catching the Tyrrell, with Laffite completing the point scoring top six.[3] Then came Mass, the last man still on the lead lap, with Ickx, Rebaque and Elio de Angelis the only other remaining runners.[3]

Villeneuve finally seemed to have broken clear of Jones by lap forty-three, with the Ferrari having around six seconds in hand over the Williams.[3] However, that lead would evaporate before the end of lap 47, with Jones right under the Ferrari's rear wing as they ploughed towards the "Scheckter" chicane.[3] It was there that Villeneuve would finally make a mistake, riding a kerb for too long that duly pitched his car into a spin across the nose of Jones.[3]

Jones hit his brakes hard as the Ferrari pitched itself onto the grass on the inside of the circuit, before calmly stepping on the throttle to blast away from the scene in the lead.[3] Villeneuve, meanwhile, would quickly get back up to speed, although with the rear of his car dancing around far more than it had before.[3] The cause of this was to be revealed a few laps later, when the Ferrari had a far more violent spin a lap and a half later.[3]

Villeneuve 1979 Dutch Grand Prix

Villeneuve's race would expire in the time it took for his left rear to explode.

Indeed, as Villeneuve charged past the pits in a desperate bid to catch Jones at the start of lap 49 his left rear tyre blew itself apart, with Villeneuve desperately trying to keep the car pointing in a straight line.[3] He would then have to throw the car into a spin in a bid to slow it down enough to prevent himself flying off at Tarzan, before deciding to drag the car back around to the pits.[3] It proved to be a wild lap for the Canadian, with bits of tyre flung across the dunes of Zandvoort as the Ferrari swung its way back to the pits.[3]

Villeneuve was, unsurprisingly, out of the race after that, his suspension having been smashed by the violent break-up and failure of the tyre.[3] All that left Jones in command of the race with a third of the 75 laps still to complete, with Scheckter and Pironi filling the rest of the podium, with a lot of distance between them.[3] They were being caught by Laffite, who had just danced past Piquet when Villeneuve went out, but would have to un-lap himself to catch them.[3]

Piquet Pironi 1979 Dutch Grand Prix

Nelson Piquet would catch and pass Didier Pironi mid-race, just before the Frenchman had a suspension failure.

A couple of laps later and Pironi's pace collapsed spectacularly, gifting third to Laffite and fourth to Piquet.[3] They caught and passed the Tyrrell without much issue, with Pironi completing another lap before giving up on his car, retiring with a suspension failure.[3] That left just seven cars still in the field, with everyone bar Rebaque on course for a points finish.[3]

That, ultimately, proved to be the last action of the race, with Jones cruising home to claim his third straight victory of the season.[3] Scheckter, meanwhile, was a relieved second, and had officially knocked Jones out of the title fight due to the point scoring restrictions, while Laffite was an exhausted third.[3] Piquet and Ickx held on to claim fourth and fifth, while Mass limped around the final lap with a very sick sounding Ford Cosworth engine in the back of his Arrows to secure sixth, deby Rebaque a rare point in his Lotus.[3]

ResultsEdit

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

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 27T Australia Alan Jones United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 75 1:41:19.775 2 9
2 11 South Africa Jody Scheckter Italy Ferrari 75 +21.783s 5 6
3 26T France Jacques Laffite France Ligier-Ford Cosworth 75 +1:03.253 7 4
4 6T Brazil Nelson Piquet United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 74 +1 Lap 11 3
5 25 Belgium Jacky Ickx France Ligier-Ford Cosworth 74 +1 Lap 20 2
6 30 West Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom Arrows-Ford Cosworth 73 +2 Laps 18 1
7 31 Mexico Héctor Rebaque Mexico Lotus-Ford Cosworth 73 +2 Laps 24
Ret 3 France Didier Pironi United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 51 Suspension 10
Ret 12 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Italy Ferrari 49 Tyre 6
Ret 18 Italy Elio de Angelis United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 40 Transmission 22
Ret 20 Finland Keke Rosberg Canada Wolf-Ford Cosworth 33 Engine 8
Ret 15 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille France Renault 26 Clutch 4
Ret 7 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 22 Engine 12
Ret 4 France Jean-Pierre Jarier United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 20 Spin 16
Ret 9 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck West Germany ATS-Ford Cosworth 19 Transmission 15
Ret 17 Netherlands Jan Lammers United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 12 Gearbox 23
Ret 1 United States Mario Andretti United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 9 Suspension 17
Ret 29 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Arrows-Ford Cosworth 7 Brakes 19
Ret 8 France Patrick Tambay United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 6 Engine 14
Ret 5 Austria Niki Lauda United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 4 Illness 9
Ret 14 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth 2 Electrical 21
Ret 2 Argentina Carlos Reutemann United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1 Suspension 13
Ret 16 France René Arnoux France Renault 1 Damage 1
Ret 28 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 0 Collision 3
DNQ 22 France Patrick Gaillard United Kingdom Ensign-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 24 Italy Arturo Merzario Italy Merzario-Ford Cosworth
Source:[7]
  • T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.

MilestonesEdit

StandingsEdit

The mixed results of the Dutch Grand Prix meant that there was no real change at the top of the Championship standings, with Jody Scheckter managing to extend his lead to eight points. Jacques Laffite was up to second, while race winner Alan Jones had moved into third, but was mathematically out of the Championship due to the point scoring rules. Gilles Villeneuve would bemoan his tyre failure as he slipped to fourth, while Clay Regazzoni retained fifth.

In the International Cup for Constructors it was a similar story for leaders Ferrari, with their advantage now up to nineteen points, with fifteen available at each race. Ligier-Ford Cosworth were still their closest challengers, although they were just three points ahead of Williams-Ford Cosworth, who had undoubtedly the fastest car in the field. Lotus-Ford Cosworth, meanwhile, were a distant fourth, with Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth retaining fifth ahead of Renault.

Drivers' World Championship
Pos. Driver Pts. +/-
1 South Africa Jody Scheckter 44 (48)
2 France Jacques Laffite 36 ▲1
3 Australia Alan Jones 34 ▲1
4 Canada Gilles Villeneuve 32 ▼2
5 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni 24
6 France Patrick Depailler 20 (22)
7 Argentina Carlos Reutemann 20 (25)
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 Brazil Nelson Piquet 3 ▲5
15 Belgium Jacky Ickx 3 ▲4
16 West Germany Jochen Mass 3 ▼1
17 Italy Riccardo Patrese 2 ▼3
18 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi 1 ▼2
19 Austria Niki Lauda 1 ▼2
International Cup for Constructors
Pos. Team Pts. +/-
1 Italy Ferrari 80
2 France Ligier-Ford Cosworth 61
3 United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 58
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 5
9 United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 4
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 1.14 1.15 1.16 'Dutch GP, 1979', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2015), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr325.html, (Accessed 03/01/2019)
  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 '12. Netherlands 1978', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1978/pays-bas.aspx, (Accessed 10/09/2018)
  3. 3.000 3.001 3.002 3.003 3.004 3.005 3.006 3.007 3.008 3.009 3.010 3.011 3.012 3.013 3.014 3.015 3.016 3.017 3.018 3.019 3.020 3.021 3.022 3.023 3.024 3.025 3.026 3.027 3.028 3.029 3.030 3.031 3.032 3.033 3.034 3.035 3.036 3.037 3.038 3.039 3.040 3.041 3.042 3.043 3.044 3.045 3.046 3.047 3.048 3.049 3.050 3.051 3.052 3.053 3.054 3.055 3.056 3.057 3.058 3.059 3.060 3.061 3.062 3.063 3.064 3.065 3.066 3.067 3.068 3.069 3.070 3.071 3.072 3.073 3.074 3.075 3.076 3.077 3.078 3.079 3.080 3.081 3.082 3.083 3.084 3.085 3.086 3.087 3.088 3.089 3.090 3.091 3.092 3.093 3.094 3.095 3.096 3.097 3.098 3.099 3.100 3.101 3.102 3.103 3.104 3.105 3.106 3.107 3.108 D.S.J., 'The Dutch Grand Prix: And another for Williams', motorsportmagazine.com, (Motor Sport Magazine, 01/10/1979), https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/october-1979/75/dutch-grand-prix, (Accessed 03/01/2019)
  4. 'Netherlands 1979: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1979/pays-bas/engages.aspx, (Accessed 03/01/2019)
  5. 'Netherlands 1979: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1979/pays-bas/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 03/01/2019)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 The Fastlane, 'F1 1979 - Race 12 - Dutch Grand Prix (50fps Remaster)', youtube.com, (YouTube, 15/02/2017), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5mpNU70-kw, (Accessed 04/01/2019)
  7. 'Netherlands 1979: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1979/pays-bas/classement.aspx, (Accessed 03/01/2019)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 '1979 Dutch GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2018), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1979&gp=Dutch%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 03/01/2019)
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 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
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 312T • Fittipaldi F5 • Fittipaldi F6 • Kauhsen WK • Ligier JS11 • Lotus 79 • Lotus 80 • McLaren M26 • McLaren M28 • McLaren M29 • Merzario A1 • 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 Netherlands Dutch Grand Prix
Circuits Zandvoort (1948-present)
CircuitZandvoort1980
Formula One Races 1952 • 1953 • 1954 • 1955 • 1956-1957 • 1958 • 1959 • 1960 • 1961 • 1962 • 1963 • 1964 • 1965 • 1966 • 1967 • 1968 • 1969 • 1970 • 1971 • 1972 • 1973 • 1974 • 1975 • 1976 • 1977 • 1978 • 1979 • 1980 • 1981 • 1982 • 1983 • 1984 • 1985 • 1986-2019 • 2020
Non-Championship Races 1948 • 1949 • 1950 • 1951
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