Girish Mahajan (Editor)

1981 German Grand Prix

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Date  August 2, 1981
Course length  6.789 km (4.218 mi)
1981 German Grand Prix
Official name  XLII Großer Preis von Deutschland
Location  Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, West Germany
Course  Permanent racing facility
Distance  45 laps, 305.505 km (189.81 mi)

The 1981 German Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Hockenheimring on August 2, 1981. The race was notable for a memorable battle between Alain Prost and Alan Jones.



The two Renault turbo cars were on the front row with Alain Prost almost half a second quicker than teammate Rene Arnoux. Williams locked out the second row with World Championship leader Carlos Reutemann third and team mate Alan Jones fourth. Didier Pironi was fifth in his Ferrari and Nelson Piquet was sixth in his Brabham. The top 10 was completed by Jacques Laffite (Ligier), Gilles Villeneuve (Ferrari) and the two McLarens of John Watson and Andrea de Cesaris.


The two Williams on the second row enjoyed a better start than the Renaults of Prost and Arnoux. Arnoux was overtaken both by Reutemann and Pironi before the first corner, and by Piquet tried a move in the Ostkurve but the two cars collided, deflating Arnoux's right rear tire and causing him to pit at the end of the lap. Piquet lost a place to Jones in the process, whilst Arnoux dropped through the field. On the second lap, Pironi's engine failed, making him retire from fourth. Consequently, Prost led from Reutemann, Jones, Piquet and Laffite, and the top 5 pulled away from the rest of the pack, led by Villeneuve in sixth. Reutemann was quickly overtaken by both Jones and Piquet, beginning a 3-way fight from the lead until Piquet's tires fell off the pace and he dropped to fourth behind Reutemann.

On Lap 21, the lead changed when Prost was overtaken by Jones as the duo were lapping Arnoux. 7 laps later, Reutemann's engine failed on Lap 28, dropping out of the race. After around 30 laps, rain started to fall on the circuit and the Renaults suffered from poor handling and third place Piquet quickly overtook Prost for second. Jones' lead was diminished when his engine began to misfire, eventually dropping behind Piquet and Prost before heading to the pits, and he eventually finished a lap behind.

Piquet held on to his lead and finished first, in front of Prost, Laffite and Héctor Rebaque. Eddie Cheever finished fifth to round up the top 5, in front of John Watson in sixth.

Championship standings after the race

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
  • Trivia

  • This was the first race that Alain Prost was on pole position.
  • References

    1981 German Grand Prix Wikipedia

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