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The 1979 German Grand Prix, officially known as the XLI Großer Preis von Deutschland, was the tenth round of the 1979 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Hockenheimring on the 29 July 1979.[1] The race would see Williams secure their second victory in as many races, and their ever one-two result.[1]

Qualifying would see Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Renault claim pole position, edging out Alan Jones in the #27 Williams by a quarter of a second.[1] Jacques Laffite was next ahead of Nelson Piquet and Championship leader Jody Scheckter, while Jones' teammate Regazzoni would start from sixth.[1]

However, having been beaten to pole there would be no stopping Jones from taking an instant lead at the start, with the #27 Williams sprinting ahead of the #15 Renault as the lights flashed to green.[1] They were chased by Laffite and Scheckter, while a poor start for Piquet saw him slip behind Regazzoni.[1]

An intense duel for the lead would develop during the early stages of the race, with Jabouille throwing everything he had at Jones to take the lead.[1] Indeed, midway through lap eight it seemed as if the Frenchman had finally managed to oust the Australian ace from the lead, only to spin out of the race at the back of the circuit.[1]

Jones was hence left with a healthy lead at the front of the field, for his and Jabouille's frantic pace had moved them well ahead of the now second placed Laffite.[1] All eyes would subsequently switch to the Ligier once the fight for the lead had concluded, for Jones' teammate Regazzoni was closing in on Laffite having just vaulted past Scheckter.[1]

Ultimately the race for second would be over with two thirds of the race left to run, for Regazzoni simply sent his Williams skating inside the Ligier at the first chicane.[1] He duly charged away in a vain attempt to catch his teammate, while Laffite was left with a healthy lead over Scheckter in fourth.[1]

Indeed, barring a wave of retirements for drivers running in fifth place that was it for the race, with Jones sweeping home three seconds clear of Regazzoni to claim his and Williams' second victory.[1] Regazzoni was a satisfied second, almost twenty seconds clear of Laffite at the chequered flag, with Scheckter, John Watson and Jochen Mass completing the scorers list.[1]

BackgroundEdit

The Hockenheimring in Baden-Württemberg would again host the German Grand Prix in 1979, with most of those in the F1 world accepting that the legendary Nürburgring was not going to return.[2] Indeed, although the Hockenheimring was no substitute for the dramatic dips and dives of the Nordschleife, the colossal stadium section did at least give the Grand Prix a strong financial basis, with a 90,000+ crowd virtually guaranteed.[2] Regardless, it was business as usual as the 25 of the regular field arrived in Germany for the race, with everyone bar Jean-Pierre Jarier making the trip.[2]

Jarier's absence from the Tyrrell squad was to be explained by a serious liver complaint, which had left the Frenchman in hospital as the British squad made the trip to Hockenheim.[2] Ken Tyrrell had hence been forced to find a replacement at short notice, and duly settled on Geoff Lees, a driver whom he had reportedly wanted to give a drive back in 1978.[2] The Brit duly joined Didier Pironi in time for the first practice session of the weekend, with the pair using the same trio of 009s as used at the British Grand Prix.[2]

Elsewhere the dominant victors of the British Grand Prix, Williams, arrived with a significant bounce to their step, with Frank Williams and Patrick Head determined to use their new momentum to their advantage.[2] Indeed, in the two weeks since the battle of Silverstone the Williams squad had built a fourth FW07, which was duly handed to Alan Jones for the weekend.[2] Clay Regazzoni, meanwhile, would continue to use his race winning car, while Jones' pole sitting chassis from Silverstone became the team's communal spare.[2]

Lotus had also been busy during the break, although they had not spent time developing their newest creation, the Lotus 80.[2] Indeed, it seemed as if the Norfolk squad had abandoned the concept for the time being, and had instead spent time refining their compliment of Lotus 79s that had been all conquering just twelve months earlier.[2] Various tweaks to the rear suspension had been made to appease their duo of Mario Andretti and Carlos Reutemann, with the latter far happier than the former.[2]

McLaren, in contrast, had completed work on a second example of their newest creation, which already looked to be a vast improvement on its predecessor despite only being one race old.[2] Indeed, the second of the M29s was built at record speed to bring Patrick Tambay parity with team leader John Watson, with Watson's old M28C becoming the team's spare.[2] There were no changes made to the design after its debut at Silverstone, with McLaren's engineers instead focused on preparing a third M29.[2]

Elsewhere, Ferrari had simply swapped their trio of cars around for the second race in succession, although both Jody Scheckter and Gilles Villeneuve were concerned at their sudden lack of pace compared to their rivals.[2] Likewise, Ligier could not explain why they had fallen away from the top of field in recent races, and would hence arrive with a variety of minor changes to their compliment of JS11s.[2] Yet, many doubted that their issues were to do with the car, and were instead to be found in the fact that Jacques Laffite no longer had Patrick Depailler to keep pushing him to perform.[2] Indeed, while Jacky Ickx had demonstrated that he was a safe pair of hands, his ageing talents were no match for Depailler's more aggressive style.[2]

Brabham-Alfa Romeo, meanwhile, were keeping their heads down, with no changes for Niki Lauda or Nelson Piquet's BT48s, although they were to receive greater support from Alfa Romeo's engineers as the Italian squad opted against sending their own car to Hockenheim.[2] Renault were in a very similar position, having no reason to mess with either of Jean-Pierre Jabouille or René Arnoux's RS10s, although they did have a van full of spare engines to support their team.[2] Another unchanged team were Arrows, who ran out of time to build a spare A2 for their duo of Riccardo Patrese and Jochen Mass, while Wolf had their new car in action again for Keke Rosberg.[2]

Over at Shadow time had been spent incorporating more elements of the Lotus 79 into their compliment of DN9s, with Jan Lammers' car getting a new rear-end layout to drag the suspension and exhaust out of the airflow.[2] This change had already been applied to Elio de Angelis' car at Silverstone.[2] Elsewhere, Fittipaldi decided that their newest car, the F6A was finally ready to reappear, with Emerson Fittipaldi getting a completely redesigned car to play with in the Black Forest.[2] Completing the field would be the single car entries of ATS, Merzario and Team Rebaque, with no changes for their drivers Hans-Joachim Stuck, Arturo Merzario and Héctor Rebaque.[2]

Into the Championship and victory for Regazzoni in the UK had propelled the Swiss ace into the middle of the top ten, and left him ahead of defending Champion Andretti. At the top of the standings, meanwhile, there had been very little change, although Scheckter had extended his lead at the summit to six points as his closest challengers failed to score. Ergo, Villeneuve had remained in second ahead of Laffite, while Depailler remained ahead of Reutemann.

In the International Cup for Constructors it was had been another profitable day for Ferrari at Silverstone, with the Italian aces leaving the UK with a fifteen point lead over Ligier-Ford Cosworth. The French squad were still in a secure second however, largely due to Team Lotus-Ford Cosworth's dramatic loss of form, while victory in Britain had propelled Williams-Ford Cosworth into fourth ahead of Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth. Renault, meanwhile, would slip to sixth, while McLaren-Ford Cosworth finally broke into double figures after their miserable campaign.

Entry ListEdit

The full entry list for the 1979 German 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 United Kingdom Geoff Lees 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 D2 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 WR8 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:[3]

Practice OverviewEdit

QualifyingEdit

Qualifying/practice would follow the standardised format introduced at the 1979 United States Grand Prix West, with four sessions split evenly between race practice and qualifying to set the grid.[2] The afternoon periods on Friday and Saturday would serve as the qualifying sessions for the field, leaving the morning sessions on both days to allow the field to prepare for the race.[2] As for a target time the old qualifying record of 1:51.90, set by Mario Andretti in 1978, was expected to be enough to qualify, but not enough to claim pole.[2]

Friday QualifyingEdit

The first practice session of the weekend would see most of the drivers have at least one-off in the stadium section, which was rather dusty after some recent work on the concrete grandstands.[2] This dust was particularly damaging to the ground-effect cars, for it would cause the cars to slide off the circuit which could then result in the fragile sideskirts being destroyed.[2] Indeed, both Ferraris, Keke Rosberg's Wolf and Jean-Pierre Jabouille in the Renault would require a new set of skirts for their cars come the end of the session.[2]

Come the start of the opening qualifying session on Friday afternoon temperatures had climbed significantly, although the entire field had their cars in a healthy enough condition to take part.[2] Indeed, it was one of those to have issues earlier in the day that would set the early pace, with Jabouille quickly getting under Andretti's old record.[2] He duly dropped into the sub-1:50.00s before most had got off a lap better than the old record, before ending the afternoon on provisional pole with a 1:48.48.[2]

The stunning pace of Jabouille in the early stages meant that the rest of the field were in a fight for second, with Alan Jones the one leading the hunt.[2] It was not all plain sailing for the Australian, however, for he would start the session in the spare Williams, before trying to switch to his race car after it had had a new gearbox installed.[2] Unfortunately Jones would only complete one lap in the new car before it developed a loss of oil pressure, returning to the pits to find that his mechanics were taking apart the spare car to replace the skirts.[2]

Jones would only manage to get back out of the pits at the end of the session, by which time his early effort of 1:50.86 had been bumped back down to sixth.[2] Fortunately for him none of his rivals in the fight for second had managed to record a sub-1:50.00 time, meaning he was only a fraction behind.[2] It therefore came as little surprise when Jones shot back into second in the closing minutes of the session, recording a 1:49.94 to move back ahead of Jacques Laffite.[2]

Into the stragglers and both of the Brabham-Alfa Romeos would lose time during the session despite being in the fight for second, Niki Lauda with a niggling exhaust issue, while Nelson Piquet saw his Alfa engine detonate itself in the stadium.[2] Héctor Rebaque, meanwhile, would find himself walking back from the far end of the circuit after his gearbox failed, while Arturo Merzario never made it out of the paddock with multitude of issues with his self-built car.[2] That the Italian racer in the danger zone to miss out on a spot on the grid, while Rebaque's best effort had been just enough to keep him ahead of Patrick Gaillard.[2]

Saturday QualifyingEdit

There would be a lot of experimentation during the Saturday morning practice session, with a variety of approaches taken to improve top speeds down the Hockenheimring's ample straights.[2] Indeed, both Williams and the Fittipaldi team would remove the fins from their nose cones, with Jones back in his race car after his oil pressure issue had vanished over night, while Lotus fiddled with their Ford Cosworth engines to coax a few more rpm from them.[2] Elsewhere Renault had looked imperious until René Arnoux's engine expired late in the session, which would not have been a problem in itself had the spare car not been setup for the lanky Jabouille, rather than the short Arnoux.[2] The Frenchman was hence forced to miss the second and final qualifying session.

Into the final qualifying period and temperatures were again on the hotter side, prompting Jabouille to simply sit in the pits and wait to see if anyone managed to match his Friday effort.[2] That opened the door for the two Williams to dominate the session, with both Jones and Clay Regazzoni deciding it would be best if they ran with their front wings.[2] Ultimately both would get into the low 1:50.00s before the midway point in the session, when there would be an unplanned 20 minute pause to proceedings.[2]

Indeed, news would filter through of a huge accident at the back of the circuit, with bits of Carlos Reutemann's Lotus car strewn across the track.[2] Fortunately the Argentine had escaped unharmed, but his Lotus 79 had been obliterated in the accident, causing a made rush in the Lotus garage to prepare the spare car which had been setup for Andretti.[2] Reutemann duly made it back to the pits in the back of a support vehicle, just in time to strap himself into the spare car as the session restarted.[2]

The second phase of the session would see Jones try his hardest to match Jabouille's best effort, but would ultimately fall shy of the Frenchman's flyer despite getting well into the 1:48.75s.[2] His run did at least prompt Jabouille to come out of his garage, although the imperious Frenchman did not bother to push his car to the limit.[2] Indeed, in a somewhat demoralising display Jabouille would record a series of laps in the low 1:50.00s, before ending the session with a 1:49.75.[2]

A late flurry would further sort the rest of the top end of the grid, with Laffite, Piquet and Lauda all waiting until the final minutes, and the coolest conditions, to set their best efforts.[2] The ploy would work for the former two, who duly jumped into third and fourth, while Lauda just fell shy of beating Jody Scheckter and Regazzoni, the first of those outside of the 1:49.00s.[2] Didier Pironi was also in that group for Tyrrell, beating Gilles Villeneuve by a fraction, while Arnoux just held onto a top ten spot despite failing to get out at all in the second session.[2]

At the back of the field, meanwhile, there would be a late duel to qualify between Rebaque and Gaillard, with each getting one set of the super soft Goodyear tyres.[2] Ultimately it was Rebaque who won their little duel, besting the Frenchman by 0.09s, although they were almost a second and a half off of Hans-Joachim Stuck in twenty-third.[2] Gaillard was hence listed as first reserve, while Merzario's team had already packed up their things, the Italian having failed to set a lap time below two minutes.[2]

Qualifying ResultsEdit

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

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time Gap
Q1 Q2
1 15 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille France Renault 1:48.48 1:49.75
2 27 Australia Alan Jones United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 1:49.94T 1:48.75 +0.27s
3 26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier-Ford Cosworth 1:50.26 1:49.43 +0.95s
4 6 Brazil Nelson Piquet United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1:50.90 1:49.50T +1.02s
5 11 South Africa Jody Scheckter Italy Ferrari 1:50.93 1:50.00 +1.52s
6 28 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 1:50.76 1:50.12 +1.64s
7 5 Austria Niki Lauda United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1:50.70 1:50.37 +1.89s
8 3 France Didier Pironi United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:50.66 1:50.40 +1.92s
9 12 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Italy Ferrari 1:51.18 1:50.41T +1.93s
10 16 France René Arnoux France Renault 1:50.48 +2.00s
11 1 United States Mario Andretti United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:51.50 1:50.68 +2.20s
12 7 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:51.17 1:50.86 +2.38s
13 2 Argentina Carlos Reutemann United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:50.94 2:07.67T +2.46s
14 25 Belgium Jacky Ickx France Ligier-Ford Cosworth 1:54.10 1:51.07T +2.59s
15 8 France Patrick Tambay United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:52.93 1:51.47 +2.99s
16 4 United Kingdom Geoff Lees United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:54.12 1:51.50 +3.02s
17 20 Finland Keke Rosberg Canada Wolf-Ford Cosworth 1:53.83T 1:52.01T +3.53s
18 30 West Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom Arrows-Ford Cosworth 1:52.74 1:53.18 +4.26s
19 29 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Arrows-Ford Cosworth 1:54.31 1:52.93 +4.45s
20 17 Netherlands Jan Lammers United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 1:56.02 1:53.59 +5.11s
21 18 Italy Elio de Angelis United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 1:54.86 1:53.73 +5.25s
22 14 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth 1:54.01 1:54.14 +5.53s
23 9 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck West Germany ATS-Ford Cosworth 1:56.58 1:54.47 +5.99s
24 31 Mexico Héctor Rebaque Mexico Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:56.25 1:55.86 +7.38s
DNQ 22 France Patrick Gaillard United Kingdom Ensign-Ford Cosworth 1:57.06 1:55.95 +7.47s
DNQ 24 Italy Arturo Merzario Italy Merzario-Ford Cosworth 2:01.84 +13.36s
Source:[2][4]
  • 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 Jean-Pierre Jabouille
Alan Jones ______________
Row 2 ______________ 3
4 Jacques Laffite
Nelson Piquet ______________
Row 3 ______________ 5
6 Jody Scheckter
Clay Regazzoni ______________
Row 4 ______________ 7
8 Niki Lauda
Didier Pironi ______________
Row 5 ______________ 9
10 Gilles Villeneuve
René Arnoux ______________
Row 6 ______________ 11
12 Mario Andretti
John Watson ______________
Row 7 ______________ 13
14 Carlos Reutemann
Jacky Ickx ______________
Row 8 ______________ 15
16 Patrick Tambay
Geoff Lees ______________
Row 9 ______________ 17
18 Keke Rosberg
Jochen Mass ______________
Row 10 ______________ 19
20 Riccardo Patrese
Jan Lammers ______________
Row 11 ______________ 21
22 Elio de Angelis
Emerson Fittipaldi ______________
Row 12 ______________ 23
24 Hans-Joachim Stuck
Héctor Rebaque ______________

RaceEdit

Raceday proved to be another warm affair, with overnight rain during Saturday having helped wash away the worst of the remaining dust from the Stadium.[2] The pre-race warm-up would pass without issue, barring a gearbox complaint for Niki Lauda, with no major issues for teams to solve during the support races for Renault 5s and the local touring car series.[2] The Grand Prix cars duly rolled out of the pits half an hour prior to the 2:00pm start time, before all twenty-four qualifiers made it around the parade lap to take the start.[2]

ReportEdit

It was Alan Jones who ultimately reacted fastest to the starters lights, streaking ahead of pole sitter Jean-Pierre Jabouille to lead the field through the Nordkehre and through to the first chicane.[2] Jabouille, meanwhile, would unsuccessfully hold onto second as Jacques Laffite squeezed inside the Renault through the first corner, while Jody Scheckter shot into fourth ahead of Clay Regazzoni.[2] The rest of the field made it through the first corner without issue, leaving Patrick Gaillard's Ensign to be wheeled back into the paddock.[2]

Jabouille was expected to power past both Jones' Williams and the Ligier of Laffite on the run to the first chicane, so it came as a surprise when the Frenchman flashed through the chicane still behind his compatriot.[2] Indeed, Jabouille would only manage to get his Renault ahead of Laffite's Ligier on the return run towards the Stadium, a delay which had allowed Jones to build a small lead.[2] The Williams duly danced through the Stadium section still ahead of the Renault, while Laffite slotted his Ligier under the yellow-white car's rear wing.[2]

With that came the end of the opening tour, with Jones leading Jabouille and Laffite in a tight bunch at the head of the field.[2] The briefest of gaps then came before Scheckter led the next bunch through, with the entire field bar Hans-Joachim Stuck coming through in a long line.[2] The reason for the German's absence was to be discovered a few moments later, with the ATS limping into the back of the paddock after suffering a suspension failure at the second chicane.[2]

There would be more excitement during the second lap of racing, with the two Brabhams swapping places, while Gilles Villeneuve found himself losing positions down the straights as his Ferrari engine seemed down on power.[2] Indeed, while the sight of René Arnoux charging past came as little surprise, there was a look of disbelief in the Ferrari pit when Patrick Tambay came breezing past in his new McLaren, which had not come close to the Ferrari's straight line speed until that point.[2] He would at least keep going, unlike Carlos Reutemann who was to have his second accident of the weekend at the back of the circuit, this one caused by Jochen Mass as the German tried a clumsy dive at the second chicane.[2]

Villeneuve 1979 German Grand Prix

Gilles Villeneuve would eventually get up to speed, before his race was ruined by a wing failure.

The early laps soon saw the order settle out front, with Jones and Jabouille pulling clear out front, with Laffite dropping back by a few tenths each lap.[2] In truth the Frenchman was having to keep an eye on his mirrors, which were constantly filled by the noses of Scheckter and Regazzoni.[2] Another gap then came and went before Lauda appeared at the head of the next group, while Villeneuve's engine issue seemed to have cleared itself, allowing him to breeze past Tambay without much resistance.[2]

Jabouille would begin pushing Jones harder once they had built a relatively big gap over Laffite, and duly launched an abortive attack on lap seven.[2] He duly tried again on the following lap, and almost managed to elbow the Renault inside of Jones' Williams as they entered the Stadium section.[2] Jones gave him room and allowed Jabouille to run alongside him heading into the left hand Sachskurve, although that ultimately proved to be the Frenchman's downfall.[2]

Indeed, just as the German crowd celebrated the sight of Regazzoni moving ahead of Scheckter entering the Stadium, Jabouille hit his brakes on the still dusty outside line for the hairpin, and duly saw his front wheels lock-up.[2] With no room to play with the Renault instantly skated into the gravel trap on the outside of the hairpin, before spinning as he tried to scramble back onto the circuit.[2] Jones, meanwhile, would calmly get on the throttle and power away from Jabouille's dust cloud unaware of the Frenchman's issues, although the Williams crew were quick to tell him that he was in clear air.[2]

After that the race would settle down once again, with Regazzoni unable to deal with Laffite, while Jones continued to power away out front.[2] There would, however, still be some pockets of excitement, as shown when Arnoux charged past Lauda on the run towards the second chicane, only to suffer a spectacular tyre failure at full speed.[2] Miraculously the little Frenchman would prevent the car from throwing itself into the barriers, and duly executed a safe stop on the side of the circuit in a shower of sparks and shredded bodywork.[2]

A few laps later and Regazzoni finally found a way past Laffite's increasingly defensive Ligier, a lunge into the Stadium finally doing the business with two thirds of the race still to run.[2] He duly tried to sprint away and catch his race leading teammate, although Laffite doggedly kept on his tail, knowing that Scheckter and Villeneuve, who had just cleared Lauda, were still a threat behind.[2] However, Laffite could only keep the outclassed JS11 up with the #28 FW07 for so long, and duly began to slip away after six surprisingly strong laps.[2]

That looked to have been enough for Laffite, however, for Scheckter had settled into a cruise in fourth, while Villeneuve had burned through the best of his tyres trying to make up for his poor grid position.[2] Indeed, the race became rather tepid from that point on, with Regazzoni able to streak clear in a vain attempt to catch his teammate.[2] Elsewhere, Mario Andretti saw his race end with an ignominious driveshaft failure, having failed to threaten the points at all, while Piquet found himself powerless to prevent Jacky Ickx charging past.[2]

Ickx 1979 German Grand Prix

Jacky Ickx would enjoy a mid-race charge for the points.

Indeed, the veteran Belgian racer was proving to be a lone source of entertainment, and soon began to reel in Villeneuve and Lauda, who were running nose-to-tail in fifth and sixth.[2] Ickx duly caught the duo just after the halfway mark, although before he could send his borrowed Ligier skating inside Lauda's Brabham the Ligier's right rear tyre would blow itself apart, taking most of the rear bodywork and suspension with it.[2] Cat-like reflexes from Ickx would prevent the Ligier smashing into the barriers, with the Belgian skating to a stop a few yards away from Arnoux's similarly retired Renault.[2]

Lauda's race was over a few laps later, an engine failure on the run out of the second chicane seeing him roll to a stop in the Stadium.[2] His retirement meant that over a third of the field had dropped out of the race, although that news was overshadowed by a sudden loss of engine power for Jones.[2] Indeed, the Australian's Ford Cosworth engine had picked up a small fuel injection issue which was hindering its acceleration, although it did not affect his pace out front.[2]

Elsewhere, Piquet had taken the sight of teammate Lauda's engine failure as a sign to push, and duly drew onto the back of an unhappy Villeneuve.[2] Unfortunately for the young Brazilian his hopes of putting a move on his fellow youngster were to be denied as his exhaust system cracked apart, costing him the power he needed to ease ahead of the scarlet car.[2] More retirements, meanwhile, would further thin the field, with Keke Rosberg and Tambay disappearing with engine issues, while Riccardo Patrese skated to a stop with a right rear tyre failure, albeit one that was not as spectacular as those suffered by Ickx and Arnoux.[2]

Villeneuve, meanwhile, would finally be put out of his misery on lap 38, dragging his Ferrari in for repairs after a rear wing support collapsed.[2] He rejoined a lap down in ninth with four new Michelin tyres and a new rear wing, and duly set about trying to get back onto the lead lap.[2] Indeed, just six cars remained on the lead lap as the race entered its final phase, those being Jones, Regazzoni, Laffite, Scheckter, Piquet and a very quiet John Watson.[2]

Into the closing stages and Jones noticed that he had developed a slow puncture on his right rear tyre, to add to the fuel system issue that he had picked up mid-race.[2] Knowing that he could not afford to pit, Jones quickly managed to adapt his driving style to nurse the damaged tyre, albeit at a severe loss of pace.[2] Indeed, the Australian was suddenly lapping a second and a half slower than he had in the early stages, with Regazzoni under no orders to hold position in second.[2]

Fortunately for Jones time would run out for Regazzoni to catch him, allowing him to pickup his first victory since the 1977 Austrian Grand Prix, and his first for Williams.[2] Regazzoni was otherwise happy in second, having got within three seconds of his teammate on the final tour, while Laffite was still twenty seconds off in third.[2] Scheckter was an equally distant fourth, while a late engine failure for Piquet had allowed Watson and Mass to pick up the final points for fifth and sixth.[2]

ResultsEdit

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

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 27 Australia Alan Jones United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 45 1:24:48.83 2 9
2 28 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 45 +2.91s 6 6
3 26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier-Ford Cosworth 45 +18.39s 3 4
4 11 South Africa Jody Scheckter Italy Ferrari 45 +31.20s 5 3
5 7 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 45 +1:37.80 12 2
6 30 West Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom Arrows-Ford Cosworth 44 +1 Lap 18 1
7 4 United Kingdom Geoff Lees United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 44 +1 Lap 16
8 12 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Italy Ferrari 44 +1 Lap 9
9 3 France Didier Pironi United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 44 +1 Lap 8
10 17 Netherlands Jan Lammers United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 44 +1 Lap 20
11 18 Italy Elio de Angelis United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 43 +2 Laps 21
12* 6 Brazil Nelson Piquet United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 42 Engine 4
Ret 29 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Arrows-Ford Cosworth 34 Tyre 19
Ret 8 France Patrick Tambay United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 30 Suspension 15
Ret 20T Finland Keke Rosberg Canada Wolf-Ford Cosworth 29 Engine 17
Ret 5 Austria Niki Lauda United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 27 Engine 7
Ret 25T Belgium Jacky Ickx France Ligier-Ford Cosworth 24 Tyre 14
Ret 31 Mexico Héctor Rebaque Mexico Lotus-Ford Cosworth 22 Handling 24
Ret 1 United States Mario Andretti United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 16 Transmission 11
Ret 16 France René Arnoux France Renault 9 Tyre 10
Ret 15 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille France Renault 7 Spin 1
Ret 14 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth 4 Electrical 22
Ret 2T Argentina Carlos Reutemann United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1 Accident 13
Ret 9 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck West Germany ATS-Ford Cosworth 0 Suspension 23
DNQ 22 France Patrick Gaillard United Kingdom Ensign-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 24 Italy Arturo Merzario Italy Merzario-Ford Cosworth
Source:[5]
  • T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
  • * Piquet would still be classified despite retiring as he had completed 90% of the race distance.[5]

MilestonesEdit

StandingsEdit

Jody Scheckter had managed to once again extend his Championship lead at the end of the German Grand Prix, his consistent scoring proving to be more valuable than outright pace. Jacques Laffite, meanwhile, would move up into second, seven behind the South African racer, with Gilles Villeneuve slipping nine points behind his teammate in third. Elsewhere Clay Regazzoni moved up into fourth, while race winner Alan Jones 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, 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 moved them a point ahead of pre-season favourites Lotus-Ford Cosworth, while Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth completed the top five.

Drivers' World Championship
Pos. Driver Pts. +/-
1 South Africa Jody Scheckter 35 (39)
2 France Jacques Laffite 28 ▲1
3 Canada Gilles Villeneuve 26 ▼1
4 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni 22 ▲2
5 France Patrick Depailler 20 (22) ▼1
6 Argentina Carlos Reutemann 20 (25) ▼1
7 Australia Alan Jones 16 ▲6
8 France Jean-Pierre Jarier 13 ▼1
9 United Kingdom John Watson 13
10 United States Mario Andretti 12 ▼2
11 France René Arnoux 10 ▼1
12 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille 9 ▼1
13 France Didier Pironi 8 ▼1
14 Italy Riccardo Patrese 2
15 West Germany Jochen Mass 2 ▲1
16 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi 1 ▼1
17 Austria Niki Lauda 1
18 Belgium Jacky Ickx 1
International Cup for Constructors
Pos. Team Pts. +/-
1 Italy Ferrari 65
2 France Ligier-Ford Cosworth 51
3 United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 38 ▲1
4 United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 37 ▼1
5 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 21
6 France Renault 19
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 'German GP, 1979', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2016), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr323.html, (Accessed 30/12/2018)
  2. 2.000 2.001 2.002 2.003 2.004 2.005 2.006 2.007 2.008 2.009 2.010 2.011 2.012 2.013 2.014 2.015 2.016 2.017 2.018 2.019 2.020 2.021 2.022 2.023 2.024 2.025 2.026 2.027 2.028 2.029 2.030 2.031 2.032 2.033 2.034 2.035 2.036 2.037 2.038 2.039 2.040 2.041 2.042 2.043 2.044 2.045 2.046 2.047 2.048 2.049 2.050 2.051 2.052 2.053 2.054 2.055 2.056 2.057 2.058 2.059 2.060 2.061 2.062 2.063 2.064 2.065 2.066 2.067 2.068 2.069 2.070 2.071 2.072 2.073 2.074 2.075 2.076 2.077 2.078 2.079 2.080 2.081 2.082 2.083 2.084 2.085 2.086 2.087 2.088 2.089 2.090 2.091 2.092 2.093 2.094 2.095 2.096 2.097 2.098 2.099 2.100 2.101 2.102 2.103 2.104 2.105 2.106 2.107 2.108 2.109 2.110 2.111 2.112 2.113 D.S.J., 'The German Grand Prix: A Williams one-two in the Hockenheim Stadium', motorsportmagazine.com, (Motor Sport Magazine, 01/09/1979), https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/september-1979/69/german-grand-prix, (Accessed 30/12/2018)
  3. 'Germany 1979: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1979/allemagne/engages.aspx, (Accessed 30/12/2018)
  4. 'Germany 1979: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1979/allemagne/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 30/12/2018)
  5. 5.0 5.1 'Germany 1979: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1979/allemagne/classement.aspx, (Accessed 30/12/2018)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 '10. Germany 1979', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1979/allemagne.aspx, (Accessed 30/12/2018)
  7. 7.0 7.1 '1979 German GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2018), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1979&gp=German%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 30/12/2018)
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 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 Germany German Grand Prix
Circuits Nürburgring (1951–1954, 1956–1958, 1960–1969, 1970–1976, 1985, 2007–2013*), AVUS (1959), Hockenheimring (1970, 1977–1984, 1986–2006, 2007–2014*, 2016, 2018–2019)
Nurburgring2002
Hockenheimring2002
Races 1950 • 1951 • 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 • 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 •
* Nürburgring and Hockenheimring alternated between each other during these years.
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