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1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix

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Date  September 25, 1982
Course length  3.650 km (2.268 mi)
Location  Las Vegas Strip
1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix
Official name  2nd Caesars Palace Grand Prix
Course  Temporary street course
Distance  75 laps, 273.75 km (170.10 mi)

The 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on September 25, 1982, in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was won by Michele Alboreto for Tyrrell. This was also Mario Andretti's last F1 race.



For the first time since the World Championship began in 1950, a country hosted three rounds in the same season in 1982. The final race of the year, and the third in the US, would once again decide the Championship. Keke Rosberg of Williams had 42 points, to 33 for McLaren's John Watson, and needed to finish sixth or better to secure the title. Meanwhile, the race was former world champion Mario Andretti's final grand prix.

The course's tight turns and short straights allowed the non-turbo cars to be more competitive than usual, with Michele Alboreto's Tyrrell and Eddie Cheever's Talbot Ligier fastest among them. The turbocharged Renaults of Alain Prost and René Arnoux took first and second positions in qualifying, more than eight-tenths clear of Alboreto. The two Championship contenders, Rosberg and Watson, meanwhile, were in sixth and ninth places respectively, separated by the Ferraris of Mario Andretti and Patrick Tambay.

At the green light for the race on Saturday, Prost led from the pole, followed by teammate Arnoux. Cheever, from the fourth spot on the grid, was determined to get around the outside of Alboreto on the first left-hander. They touched wheels, but both continued with Alboreto still in front, Cheever's Ligier sporting a vibrating front wheel and the Tyrrell of Alboreto bearing a tire mark on the right sidepod.

For the first ten laps, the Renaults steadily pulled away from Alboreto, with Arnoux now leading Prost. The Tyrrell began to match Arnoux's times, however, and then to close on him, as Prost took back the lead on lap 15. Speculation of a problem with Arnoux's car proved true, as the Renault was faltering, and he retired on lap 21.

Watson, meanwhile, had dropped to twelfth in the opening laps, but passed Piquet on lap 12, then Rosberg, Andretti and Cheever on successive laps, eventually reaching third place, with a thirty-second gap to the two leaders. However, when Andretti, hoping to help clinch the Constructor's title for Ferrari, slid off directly in front of Rosberg on lap 27 with a broken rear suspension link, Rosberg took over the fifth place he sought.

Among the leaders, Alboreto began inching closer to Prost again, and Watson continued to close on both of them. Niki Lauda's McLaren retired on lap 54, while Alboreto had eliminated the gap to Prost, and gotten by him to take the lead in a Grand Prix for the first time. Prost's tires were picking up rubber and had developed a vibration. In four more laps, Watson had also caught and passed him, but he was having the same problem as Prost, and so could make no progress on Alboreto.

Alboreto cruised to a comfortable victory, his first ever and the first for Tyrrell in four years. Alboreto was the 11th different victor that year. Cheever was also able to overtake the ailing Prost for third, nine laps from the end. Less than three seconds behind Prost, and the last car on the lead lap, was Rosberg, who therefore won the title.

Championship standings after the race

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

    1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix Wikipedia

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