The II Detroit Grand Prix, held on the fifth of June 1983, was the seventh round of the 1983 Formula One World Championship. Held in Motor City itself, the 1983 Detroit Grand Prix witnessed Michele Alboreto's second Grand Prix victory, and what would be the last taste of victory for Tyrrell in Formula One. He was joined by Keke Rosberg and John Watson on the podium, having gained the lead after a puncture for Nelson Piquet with nine laps to go dropped the Brazilian into fourth.
The biggest news to emerge in the fortnight between Belgium and Detroit was the arrival of Gerard Ducarouge at Lotus, whom immediately set out to redesign the 93T so it would be competitive. The, perhaps, less surprising news was that RAM were not on the entry list for Detroit, after Eliseo Salazar left the team after a difficult start to the season. Otherwise, there were no changes to the entry list or personel during the interval.
Alain Prost brought a four point lead with him in the Driver's Championship, following his victory at Spa, with Nelson Piquet now a point ahead of Patrick Tambay for second. Keke Rosberg was now twelve points behind the Frenchman, with John Watson still in the top five despite his rather hit or miss start tp the season. In the Constructor's Championship, Brabham and Williams remained locked together on 24 points, although the reliability of Ferrari and pure pace of Renault meant that were beginning to fall away in the championship. Renault themselves came to Detroit with a five point lead over the tifosi, and a twelve point lead over the two British teams, while McLaren stayed within touching distance in fifth, 21 points their return on a so-so start to the season.
The full entry list for the 1983 Detroit Grand Prix is shown below:
Practice was held on a damp and dirty track, with times around 20 to 30 seconds down on the true pace of the drivers. Nigel Mansell and Jean-Pierre Jarier were the standout performers, however, with their lowly Ford Cosworth powered cars topping the times by almost a second over the nearest turbo powered car of Andrea de Cesaris. Keke Rosberg was the only man to beat them, with the World Champion the sole man to get into the 2:06 zone.
The impressive pace of the Cosworth contingent was not to last, however, as a drier and cleaner track played host to qualifying. Rene Arnoux benefitted the most, taking his second pole position of the season in the number 28 Ferrari, setting a time two tenths quicker than Nelson Piquet. Patrick Tambay put the lead Ferrari onto third (although was over a second slower than his team mate), while Elio de Angelis claimed his best qualifying position all season in the Renault turbo supported Lotus, taking fourth. Marc Surer was next, taking fifth and the honour of qualifying as best of the normally aspirated cars, with Michele Alboreto alongside him.
With only 27 entrants, only Corrado Fabi was eliminated in qualifying, the first time he had been beaten by team mate Piercarlo Ghinzani since the latter had had an Alfa Romeo V12 fitted to his Osella. Ghinzani would start from 24th, ahead of the Alfa Romeo built car of Mauro Baldi, while Johnny Cecotto completed the grid in his Theodore, almost seven seconds slower than Arnoux .
|______________||Elio de Angelis|
|______________||Andrea de Cesaris|
There were no changes to the starting grid before the start of the race, with 70,000 people arriving to watch the battle around Motor City.
The race distance was dropped from 61 to 60 laps after Andrea de Cesaris signalled to the marshalls to abort the original start, having stalled before the lights went out. The grid reformed after a second parade lap, with de Cesaris back up and running, and the usual start procedure followed. As the lights went out, Patrick Tambay stalled, leaving him stranded in third as cars flashed eitherside. His luck ran out, however, as he was towed off of the track and into retirement, despite his hopes for a push start.
Tambay's immediate demise had little effect on the starting order, as Arnoux led from Piquet, Elio de Angelis, de Cesaris, Michele Alboreto and Derek Warwick. It was not long, however, before the third placed Lotus 93T of de Angelis pulled off, a transmission problem ending his race on lap six. Eddie Cheever had already joined Tambay and Piercarlo Ghinzani (overheating) on the sidelines with a distributor issue. As their dramas emerged, Keke Rosberg began to swing his way into the points, taking Warwick for sixth before attempting to keep Alboreto in his sights.
Rosberg soon brushed aside Alboreto and de Cesaris for third, before setting a series of stunning laps in an attempt to catch the quickly disappearing duo of Piquet and Arnoux. By lap 20, the Finn had caught the Brazilian, making his move for second as the pair came into the final sector. The Williams nosed ahead of the Brabham into the final corner, and Rosberg was second, with Arnoux now the only man preventing the Finn from taking the lead as the pitstops approached.
On lap 29, Arnoux swept into the pits, having built a thirty second lead in the time that Rosberg had been in second. A quick stop saw him back out into the lead, ahead of Piquet, Alboreto and Jacques Laffite, none of whom had stopped. Rosberg stopped on the same lap, but a slower stop meant he dropped behind the long running trio. Within two laps, however, the situation had changed, as Arnoux crawled to a stop with an electrical failure, while Laffite came into the pits for fuel and tyres.
Piquet now led from Alboreto (the pair deciding not to stop at all during the race), with Rosberg a distant (but closing) third. John Watson was another to opt out of stopping, and as a result was now in fourth (producing another heroic display from the back in the US), with Laffite emerging in fifth and the fresh faced Thierry Boutsen in sixth. The order remained unchanged for the next twenty laps, although Rosberg began to close in on the leaders.
Then on the 51st lap, Piquet came into the pits, his left rear tyre shredded to pieces after a puncture in teh second sector. Alboreto went into the lead, with Rosberg now second, dragging the impressive Watson along in his wake. Piquet emerged back in a lonely fourth place, with Laffite unable to challenge. Nigel Mansell, meanwhile, crept into the points after overtaking Boutsen while Piquet was having his drama.
The order remained unchanged until the end, meaning Alboreto claimed the second win of his Formula One career, and one which would also be the last for Tyrrell. Rosberg and Watson (just over a second behind the Finn) completed the podium, with Piquet, Laffite and Mansell completing the point scorers.
- Second victory for Michele Alboreto.
- 23rd and final victory for Tyrrell.
- 155th victory for a Cosworth engine.
Standings after raceEdit
Alain Prost's poor day meant that he left Detroit with only one point seperating him from Nelson Piquet, while Keke Rosberg closed to within a point of Patrick Tambay for third. John Watson's podium meant he retained fifth place, while Alboreto's victory ensured he took his first points of the season, leaping into the top ten in the championship.
With both Ferrari and Renault failing to score, the biggest movers in the Constructor's Championship were Williams, whom overtook the tifosi to sit four points behind the French manufacturer. Brabham also closed the gap to the leaders, now on 27 points, while McLaren kept within touching distance, two points behind the BMW powered Brabhams.
Only the top 5 drivers are displayed.
Only the top 5 constructors are displayed.
- ↑ 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 1.17 1.18 http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr380.html
- ↑ http://www.statsf1.com/en/1983/etats-unis-est.aspx
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Detroit_Grand_Prix
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