Rahul Sharma

1984 Belgian Grand Prix

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Date  April 29, 1984
Course length  4.262 km (2.648 mi)
1984 Belgian Grand Prix
Official name  XL Grote Prijs van Belgie
Location  Circuit Zolder Heusden-Zolder, Limburg, Belgium
Course  Permanent racing facility
Distance  70 laps, 298.340 km (185.380 mi)

The 1984 Belgian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 29 April 1984. It was the third round of the 1984 Formula One season. The race was the 42nd Belgian Grand Prix and the tenth and last Grand Prix to be held at Circuit Zolder. The race was held over 70 laps of the four kilometre circuit for a race distance of 298 kilometres.

Contents

The race was won by Italian driver Michele Alboreto driving a Ferrari 126C4. It was Alboreto's third Grand Prix victory and his first since joining Scuderia Ferrari for the 1984 season and became the first Italian to win for the Prancing Horse since Ludovico Scarfiotti won the 1966 Italian Grand Prix. Alboreto took a 42-second victory over British driver Derek Warwick driving a Renault RE50. It was Warwick's best ever Grand Prix result, improving on the third place he had achieved at the previous race in South Africa. Alboreto's French team mate René Arnoux was third.

Alboreto's win was the first and only win for Ferrari in 1984 and it confirmed Ferrari's faith in hiring the Italian away from Tyrrell. However Alboreto would not get another top three finish until the Austrian Grand Prix in August. With Alain Prost failing to finish, his lead in the world championship tightened to five points with Warwick moving into second place ahead of Niki Lauda.

Summary

Goodyear dominated qualifying filling six of the top seven places with Michele Alboreto securing his first career pole position. Team mate René Arnoux qualified second in what would be the last all-Ferrari front row until the 1988 British Grand Prix. 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg qualified third in his Williams FW09-Honda, demonstrating the growing speed of the Williams-Honda combination. Derek Warwick (the first Michelin runner) was fourth ahead of Elio de Angelis (Lotus 95T-Renault) and the surprising fast ATS D7-BMW of emerging star Manfred Winkelhock. The McLarens were off the pace with points leader Alain Prost in eighth and Niki Lauda in 14th. Reigning world champion Nelson Piquet qualified his Brabham BT53-BMW ninth. The best of the Pirelli runners was Johnny Cecotto in 16th in his Toleman TG183B-Hart. The only non-qualifier was Philippe Alliot in his RAM-Hart.

Alboreto led all 70 laps and was even able to retain the lead during pit stops, despite Piquet pushing through without stopping. Warwick started well to run second for much of the race with Arnoux, Winkelhock and de Angelis pursuing. Prost and Riccardo Patrese (Alfa Romeo 184T) were early retirements with Cecotto dropping out on lap 1 with a broken clutch.

Lauda's McLaren MP4/2 broke its water pump at half-distance, the second such failure for the TAG-Porsche engine after Prost suffered the same fate on the warm up lap in South Africa. Shortly afterwards Winkelhock stopped and Andrea de Cesaris crashed his Ligier JS23-Renault. Piquet found himself third after the stops, but faded as the race neared its conclusion. Arnoux moved into third until he was caught by Rosberg. Piquet's BMW engine blew and with a lap to go Rosberg ran out of fuel, allowing Arnoux to join Alboreto and Warwick on the podium. Alboreto had given Goodyear its first win in Formula One. Rosberg was classified fourth. De Angelis finished fifth in his Lotus with Stefan Bellof completing the points finishers in his Tyrrell 012-Ford. Just nine cars finished although eleven were classified including the late retirements of Rosberg and Piquet.

The 1984 Belgian Grand Prix would prove to be the last race in which actual factory backed teams and not de facto factory teams (such as Euroracing who ran the Alfa Romeo team) filled the podium until the 2003 Spanish Grand Prix where the podium was again filled with Ferrari, Renault and Ferrari.

Aftermath

The results would change months later as the impact of Tyrrell Racing's disqualification from the 1984 season saw Stefan Bellof removed from sixth position, promoting Ayrton Senna (Toleman TG183B) into the points.

The Belgian Grand Prix would return to traditional home at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in 1985. The shortened version of the home of Belgian motorsport had its Formula One debut the previous year and proven instantly popular and Gilles Villeneuve's death two years earlier at Zolder was still fresh.

Lap leaders

  • Michele Alboreto 1-70
  • Championship standings after the race

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. Points accurate at final declaration of results. Tyrrell and its drivers were subsequently disqualified from 1984 results and their points reallocated.
  • References

    1984 Belgian Grand Prix Wikipedia


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