The 1982 Austrian Grand Prix was a Formula One World Championship motor race held on 15 August 1982 at the Österreichring in Spielberg, Styria, Austria. The race was won by Lotus' Elio de Angelis, who held off Keke Rosberg's Williams to win by just 0.050 seconds, or less than half a car length.
A chicane had been added at the entrance to the pits earlier in the year. Nelson Piquet's Brabham led into the first corner from pole position, while Renault's Alain Prost passed Piquet's team mate Riccardo Patrese for second. Further back, there was a collision which eliminated the two Alfa Romeos of Andrea de Cesaris and Bruno Giacomelli, as well as the Williams of Derek Daly. Prost's advantage over Patrese lasted only a few corners before the Italian re-passed him. On lap 2, Patrese took the lead from Piquet and the two Brabhams immediately began to pull away on their half-full tanks.
Shortly before half distance, Piquet made the first planned mid-race fuel and tyre pit stop in modern F1 history. He rejoined in 4th place, just ahead of Keke Rosberg, having lost position to Prost and Elio de Angelis. Several laps after Piquet, Patrese made his stop. In that time, he had built up a sufficient to lead to rejoin the race still in 1st, albeit now only a few seconds ahead of Prost. The Brabham and Renault appeared evenly matched after the stop, with the gap from Patrese to Prost remaining relatively stable. However, only a few laps after his stop, Patrese suffered an engine failure, causing him to spin off. Prost inherited a comfortable lead from de Angelis with Piquet promoted to 3rd.
However, the reigning world champion had struggled since his pit stop, unable to make any inroads into the leaders, he was instead struggling to stay ahead of Rosberg. Only a few laps after his team mate's exit, Piquet retired with an electrical failure. Free of the Brabham, Rosberg began closing in on de Angelis, slowling but surely reducing the 10 second gap. Prost, meanwhile, looked serene with his half-minute lead only to suffer a mechanical failure just 5 laps from the end.
This left de Angelis leading, poised for his maiden victory, but Rosberg, who by now had reduced de Angelis' advantage to only a few seconds, seemed to step up a gear now that his maiden win was in sight, and the Finn began closing more rapidly. By the last lap, Rosberg had reduced to the gap to just 1.6 seconds. He closed rapidly on the final tour, de Angelis apparently succumbing to the pressure, and was right on the Lotus' gearbox heading into the final corner. De Angelis calmly defended the inside line, and Rosberg was unable to go the long way round. His tight entry to the corner caused de Angelis to slide wide on the exit, allowing Rosberg to dive inside on the home straight, only to miss out by just 0.050 seconds, or less than half a car length.
De Angelis joyfully celebrated his maiden win, while Rosberg had boosted his championship chances despite missing out on his maiden win by such an agonizingly small margin, moving ahead of John Watson into second place in the championship, which was effectively the lead as the official championship leader Didier Pironi was out for the rest of the season with leg injuries. Ligier's Jacques Laffite completed the podium, coming home a distant third, while Ferrari's Patrick Tambay, who recovered from a puncture early in the race, McLaren's Niki Lauda and the Arrows of Mauro Baldi rounded off the points scorers.
The win by De Angelis was the last hailed by Colin Chapman's famous act of throwing his cloth cap into the air after a Lotus victory. It would also be the last win by a Chapman-built Lotus, and the last victory by a Lotus until the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix.Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.