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1982 Formula One season

The 1982 Formula One season was the 33rd FIA Formula One World Championship season. It commenced on January 23, 1982, and ended on September 25 after sixteen races. The World Drivers' Championship was won by Williams driver Keke Rosberg. Rosberg was the first driver since Mike Hawthorn in the 1958 season to win the championship after winning only one race. 11 drivers won a race during the season, none of them more than two times. Scuderia Ferrari won the World Constructors' Championship.

The combination of technical and sporting regulations used during this season prompted many complaints about safety before and during the season. The season saw two fatalities and many serious accidents. Ferrari driver Gilles Villeneuve was killed in an accident during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder after hitting the March car of Jochen Mass. Italian driver Riccardo Paletti died at the Canadian Grand Prix when his Osella car hit the back of Didier Pironi's stalled car at the start of the race. Pironi, who had been Villeneuve's teammate, suffered massive injuries to his legs in another qualifying accident at the German Grand Prix and never raced in Formula One again.

The season started with a drivers' strike at the first race of the season. Later in the season, the disagreement between the sport's governing body and the teams (known as the FISA-FOCA war) re-started and many of the teams boycotted the San Marino Grand Prix. For the first time since the inception of Formula One, there were no non-Championship races run during 1982. This situation would become permanent from onward. It was also the only season to host three Grands Prix in the same country (United States): the Las Vegas Grand Prix, United States Grand Prix East and United States Grand Prix West.

Season summary

The controversies began even before the first race of the season in South Africa. Two-time champion Niki Lauda, who was returning to F1 after a 2-year break, took exception to FISA's new super-license and led a drivers' strike. The strike was resolved before the race, and Alain Prost's Renault won. Prost also won the second round in Brazil, but only after the top two finishers (Nelson Piquet and Keke Rosberg) were disqualified for running illegal water-cooled brake systems. Lauda won the next race in Long Beach, USA for McLaren.

At this point, off-track struggles for control of the sport took center stage as the FISA-FOCA War broke out again. Angered by the Piquet and Rosberg disqualifications in Brazil, the FOCA teams boycotted the San Marino Grand Prix, leaving Renault and Ferrari as the only front-running teams in that race. Tyrrell was also forced to compete due to sponsorship obligations. In the race, both Renault cars broke down, leaving the Ferraris running alone in front, with Gilles Villeneuve ahead of Didier Pironi. Near the end of the race, the Ferrari team ordered the drivers to slow down to conserve fuel and reduce the risk of mechanical failure. Villeneuve thought this meant that Pironi was supposed to stay in second place, but Pironi did not see it this way and passed Villeneuve on the last lap for the win. Villeneuve was irate, and swore he would never speak to Pironi again. This promise was fulfilled, as in the next race, in Belgium, Villeneuve was killed in qualifying. He was on his hot lap, with Jochen Mass cooling down in front of him. Mass moved to the inside to let Villeneuve through at the first half of Terlamen, just as Villeneuve moved to the inside to pass. Villeneuve' Ferrari struck Jochen Mass's car, throwing the Ferrari into the air. Villeneuve was catapulted out of the wreck in midair, across the top of the corner, and into the fencing without his helmet, which flew off of his head due to the immense G-Forces of the impact. Ferrari withdrew from the race, and John Watson won for McLaren after Rosberg spun off the track in the final laps.

The next race in Monaco was an instant classic. The Renaults led from the start, with Arnoux ahead of Prost. Arnoux spun out of the race at about half distance, leaving Prost with a dominating lead. However, in the final laps rain began to fall on the track, leading to absolute chaos. Keke Rosberg, Michele Alboreto, Alain Prost, and Derek Daly (Williams) all crashed while in potential race-winning positions in the final laps. Patrese spun and stalled the lead away, while Pironi, Andrea de Cesaris (Alfa Romeo), and Daly (who managed to keep running despite his crash) all had their cars stop with mechanical failures while leading on the last lap. Amid the chaos, Patrese managed to bump-start his car by coasting down a hill and finish his last lap to take his first career win.

Watson won again at Detroit, before tragedy struck again in Canada. Pironi qualified on pole, but stalled at the start. His stationary car was hit by the Osella of young Italian Riccardo Paletti, who was killed in the impact and resultant fire. Piquet won the re-started race. Pironi came back to take a dominant victory in Holland, where Arnoux was lucky to escape uninjured from a massive crash after his Renault's throttle stuck open.

Lauda won in Britain, but the real star of the race was Derek Warwick, who hustled the unfancied Toleman into second place late in the race and was closing on Lauda before the car broke down. The next race at Le Castellet's Circuit Paul Ricard saw Frenchman Arnoux take victory in his French Renault, which was popular with the crowd but not with the team, as Arnoux was supposed to give the win to teammate Prost to help the latter's championship cause. As it was, Pironi seemed poised to run away with the title, but his quest was ended prematurely at the next race in Germany. During a wet qualifying session, Pironi plowed into the back of Prost's Renault. The Ferrari was launched into the air in an eerily similar accident to the one that killed Villeneuve. Fortunately, Pironi was not thrown from the car, but he suffered career-ending leg injuries. Ferrari chose to compete in the next day's race, and Patrick Tambay (who Ferrari had picked to replace Villeneuve) took a somber win after Piquet crashed out of the lead while lapping Eliseo Salazar (Piquet famously punched Salazar for his trouble).

Elio De Angelis scored his first win in Austria, as Rosberg's last-lap lunge for the win came up 0.050 seconds short. However, Rosberg was not to be denied at the next race, a second French round in Dijon-Prenois named the 'Grand Prix of Switzerland' (because motor racing was prohibited in Switzerland at the time, many Swiss automobile clubs raced in Dijon). After toiling in the mid-field for the first half of the race, the Finn went on a charge and was on Prost's tail on the penultimate lap. Rosberg passed Prost on the last lap and held the lead for the remainder of it.

Suddenly, Rosberg (who had scored zero points the previous season) was leading the championship. He duly held onto that lead in Italy (where Arnoux beat the two Ferraris) and in the final round at Las Vegas (where Alboreto took an unlikely win) to become the first Finnish World Champion.

Drivers and constructors

Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Tyres No Driver
Parmalat Racing Team Brabham BT49B
Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8
BMW M12/13 1.5 L4T
1 Nelson Piquet
2 Riccardo Patrese
Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 011 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 3 Michele Alboreto
4 Slim Borgudd
Brian Henton
TAG Williams Racing Team Williams FW07C
Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 5 Carlos Reutemann
Mario Andretti
Derek Daly
6 Keke Rosberg
Marlboro McLaren International McLaren MP4/1B Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 7 John Watson
8 Niki Lauda
Team ATS ATS D5 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8
9 Manfred Winkelhock
10 Eliseo Salazar
John Player Team Lotus Lotus 87B
Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 11 Elio de Angelis
12 Nigel Mansell
Geoff Lees
Ensign Racing Ensign N180B
Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8
14 Roberto Guerrero
Equipe Renault Elf Renault RS30B Renault-Gordini EF1 1.5 V6T 15 Alain Prost
16 René Arnoux
Rothmans March Grand Prix Team March 821 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8
17 Jochen Mass
Rupert Keegan
18 Raul Boesel
LBT Team March 19 Emilio de Villota
Fittipaldi Automotive Fittipaldi F8D
Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 20 Chico Serra
Marlboro Team Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo 179D
Alfa Romeo 1260 3.0 V12
Alfa Romeo 890T 1.5 V8T
22 Andrea de Cesaris
23 Bruno Giacomelli
Equipe Talbot Gitanes Talbot-Ligier JS17B
Matra MS81 3.0 V12 25 Eddie Cheever
26 Jacques Laffite
Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 126C2 Ferrari 021 1.5 V6T 27 Gilles Villeneuve
Patrick Tambay
28 Didier Pironi
Mario Andretti
Arrows Racing Team Arrows A4
Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 29 Brian Henton
Marc Surer
30 Mauro Baldi
Osella Squadra Corse Osella FA1C
Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 31 Jean-Pierre Jarier
32 Ricardo Paletti
Theodore Racing Team Theodore TY01
Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8
33 Derek Daly
Jan Lammers
Geoff Lees
Tommy Byrne
Candy Toleman Motorsport
Toleman Group Motorsport
Toleman TG181B
Hart 415T 1.5 L4T 35 Derek Warwick
36 Teo Fabi

Season review

Round Race Date Location Winning driver Constructor Report
1 South African Grand Prix January 23 Kyalami Alain Prost Renault Report
2 Brazilian Grand Prix March 21 Jacarepaguá Alain Prost Renault Report
3 United States Grand Prix West April 4 Long Beach Niki Lauda McLaren-Ford Report
4 San Marino Grand Prix April 25 Imola Didier Pironi Ferrari Report
5 Belgian Grand Prix May 9 Zolder John Watson McLaren-Ford Report
6 Monaco Grand Prix May 23 Monaco Riccardo Patrese Brabham-Ford Report
7 United States Grand Prix East June 6 Detroit John Watson McLaren-Ford Report
8 Canadian Grand Prix June 13 Circuit Gilles Villeneuve Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW Report
9 Dutch Grand Prix July 3 Zandvoort Didier Pironi Ferrari Report
10 British Grand Prix July 18 Brands Hatch Niki Lauda McLaren-Ford Report
11 French Grand Prix July 25 Paul Ricard René Arnoux Renault Report
12 German Grand Prix August 8 Hockenheimring Patrick Tambay Ferrari Report
13 Austrian Grand Prix August 15 Österreichring Elio de Angelis Lotus-Ford Report
14 Swiss Grand Prix August 29 Dijon Keke Rosberg Williams-Ford Report
15 Italian Grand Prix September 12 Monza René Arnoux Renault Report
16 Las Vegas Grand Prix September 25 Las Vegas Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Ford Report

  • Note -- the 1982 Argentine Grand Prix, set for March 7, was canceled. This was possibly due to the FISA-FOCA war.

1982 Constructors Championship final standings

Place Constructor Chassis Engine Tyre Points Wins Podiums Poles
1 Ferrari 126C2 Ferrari 021 74 3 11 3
2 McLaren-Ford MP4/1B Ford Cosworth DFV 69 4 8
3 Renault RE30B Renault-Gordini EF1 62 4 8 10
4 Williams-Ford FW07D
Ford Cosworth DFV 58 1 7 1
5 Lotus-Ford 87B
Ford Cosworth DFV 30 1 2
6 Tyrrell-Ford 011 Ford Cosworth DFV 25 1 2
7 Brabham-BMW BT50 BMW M12/13 22 1 2 1
8 Ligier-Matra JS17
Matra MS81 20 4
9 Brabham-Ford BT49D Ford Cosworth DFV 19 1 3
10 Alfa Romeo 179D
Alfa Romeo 1260 7 1 1
11 Arrows-Ford A3
Ford Cosworth DFV 5
12 ATS-Ford D5 Ford Cosworth DFV 4
13 Osella-Ford FA1C
Ford Cosworth DFV 3
14 Fittipaldi-Ford F8D
Ford Cosworth DFV 1
15 March-Ford 821 Ford Cosworth DFV
16 Theodore-Ford TY01
Ford Cosworth DFV
17 Toleman-Hart TG181C
Hart 415T
18 Ensign-Ford N180B
Ford Cosworth DFV

1982 Drivers Championship final standings

Pos Driver RSA

1 Keke Rosberg 5 DSQ 2 2 Ret 4 Ret 3 Ret 5 3 2 1 8 5 44

2 Didier Pironi 18 6 Ret 1 WD 2 3 9 1 2 3 DNS 39

3 John Watson 6 2 6 1 Ret 1 3 9 Ret Ret Ret 9 13 4 2 39

4 Alain Prost 1 1 Ret Ret Ret 7 NC Ret Ret 6 2 Ret 8 2 Ret 4 34

5 Niki Lauda 4 Ret 1 DSQ Ret Ret Ret 4 1 8 DNS 5 3 Ret Ret 30

6 René Arnoux 3 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 10 Ret Ret Ret 1 2 Ret 16 1 Ret 28

7 Patrick Tambay 8 3 4 1 4 Ret 2 DNS 25

8 Michele Alboreto 7 4 4 3 Ret 10 Ret Ret 7 Ret 6 4 Ret 7 5 1 25

9 Elio de Angelis 8 Ret 5 4 5 Ret 4 Ret 4 Ret Ret 1 6 Ret Ret 23

10 Riccardo Patrese Ret Ret 3 Ret 1 Ret 2 15 Ret Ret Ret Ret 5 Ret Ret 21

11 Nelson Piquet Ret DSQ Ret 5 Ret DNQ 1 2 Ret Ret Ret Ret 4 Ret Ret 20

12 Eddie Cheever Ret Ret Ret 3 Ret 2 10 DNQ Ret 16 Ret Ret Ret 6 3 15

13 Derek Daly 14 Ret Ret Ret 6 5 7 5 5 7 Ret Ret 9 Ret 6 8

14 Nigel Mansell Ret 3 7 Ret 4 Ret Ret Ret 9 Ret 8 7 Ret 7

15 Gilles Villeneuve Ret Ret DSQ 2 DNS 6

16 Carlos Reutemann 2 Ret 6

17 Andrea de Cesaris 13 Ret Ret Ret Ret 3 Ret 6 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 10 10 9 5

18 Jacques Laffite Ret Ret Ret 9 Ret 6 Ret Ret Ret 14 Ret 3 Ret Ret Ret 5

19 Mario Andretti Ret 3 Ret 4

20 Jean-Pierre Jarier Ret 9 Ret 4 Ret DNQ Ret Ret 14 Ret Ret Ret DNQ Ret Ret DNS 3

21 Marc Surer 7 9 8 5 10 Ret 13 6 Ret 15 Ret 7 3

22 Bruno Giacomelli 11 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 11 7 9 5 Ret 12 Ret 10 2

23 Eliseo Salazar 9 Ret Ret 5 Ret Ret Ret Ret 13 DNQ Ret Ret DNQ 14 9 DNQ 2

24 Manfred Winkelhock 10 5 Ret DSQ Ret Ret Ret DNQ 12 DNQ 11 Ret Ret Ret DNQ NC 2

25 Mauro Baldi DNQ 10 DNQ Ret DNQ Ret 8 6 9 Ret Ret 6 DNQ 12 11 2

26 Chico Serra 17 Ret DNQ 6 DNPQ 11 DNQ Ret Ret 11 7 DNQ 11 DNQ 1

27 Brian Henton DNQ DNQ Ret Ret Ret 8 9 NC Ret 8 10 7 Ret 11 Ret 8 0

28 Jochen Mass 12 8 8 Ret DNQ 7 11 Ret 10 Ret 0

29 Slim Borgudd 16 7 10 0

30 Raul Boesel 15 Ret 9 8 DNPQ Ret Ret Ret DNQ DNQ Ret DNQ Ret DNQ 13 0

31 Roberto Guerrero DNQ DNQ Ret DNQ DNQ Ret Ret DNQ Ret DNQ 8 Ret Ret NC DNS 0

32 Derek Warwick Ret DNQ DNQ Ret Ret DNQ Ret Ret 15 10 Ret Ret Ret Ret 0

33 Rupert Keegan DNQ Ret Ret DNQ 12 0

34 Geoff Lees Ret 12 0

Teo Fabi DNQ DNQ DNQ NC Ret DNPQ DNQ Ret Ret DNQ Ret Ret Ret DNQ 0

Riccardo Paletti DNQ DNQ DNQ Ret DNPQ DNPQ Ret Ret 0

Tommy Byrne DNQ Ret DNQ DNQ Ret 0

Jan Lammers DNQ DNQ DNQ Ret DNQ DNQ 0

Emilio de Villota DNPQ DNPQ DNQ DNQ DNPQ 0

Roberto Moreno DNQ 0

Pos Driver RSA

Place Driver Number Country Points Wins Podiums Poles
1 Keke Rosberg 6 Finland 44 1 6 1
2 Didier Pironi 28 France 39 2 6 2
3 John Watson 7 Britain 39 2 5
4 Alain Prost 15 France 34 2 4 5
5 Niki Lauda 8 Austria 30 2 3
6 René Arnoux 16 France 28 2 4 5
7 Patrick Tambay 27 France 25 1 3
8 Michele Alboreto 3 Italy 25 1 2
9 Elio de Angelis 11 Italy 23 1 1
10 Riccardo Patrese 2 Italy 21 1 3
11 Nelson Piquet 1 Brazil 20 1 2 1
12 Eddie Cheever 25 USA 15 3
13 Derek Daly 5 Ireland 8
14 Nigel Mansell 12 Britain 7 1
15 Gilles Villeneuve 27 Canada 6 1
16 Carlos Reutemann 5 Argentina 6 1
17 Andrea de Cesaris 22 Italy 5 1 1
18 Jacques Laffite 26 France 5 1
19 Mario Andretti 28 USA 4 1 1
20 Jean-Pierre Jarier 31 France 3
21 Marc Surer 29 Switzerland 3
22 Bruno Giacomelli 23 Italy 2
23 Eliseo Salazar 10 Chile 2
24 Manfred Winkelhock 9 Germany 2
25 Mauro Baldi 30 Italy 2
26 Chico Serra 20 Brazil 1
27 Brian Henton 4 Britain 0
28 Jochen Mass 17 Germany 0
29 Slim Borgudd 4 Sweden 0
30 Raul Boesel 18 Brazil 0
31 Roberto Guerrero 14 Colombia 0
32 Derek Warwick 35 Britain 0
33 Rupert Keegan 17 USA 0
34 Geoff Lees 12 Britain 0
Teo Fabi 36 Italy 0
Riccardo Paletti 32 Italy 0
Tommy Byrne 33 Ireland 0
Jan Lammers 33 Netherlands 0
Emilio de Villota 19 Spain 0
Roberto Moreno 12 Brazil 0

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