Qualified: 3rd Result: 4th
Although not a fan of this street circuit, Keke always excelled at Detroit, and on this, Formula One’s first visit there, he qualified third.
“It was too dirty, so it gave no grip. How can you work on the set-up of the car when you are running on sand? It was too tight, too bumpyremember, we had no suspension movement in those days and too slow.”
He pressured Alain Prost from the start and, on lap 23, the Renault encountered difficulties. Keke took the lead, but just 10 laps later, he was receiving signals that Watson was into second. With shot tyres and deteriorating brakes, he became the McLaren’s final victim.
“Our brakes were never up to the task because FW08 was so quick. They hadn’t made the same progress. Also, because aerodynamics had become so important, brake cooling probably wasn’t everything it should be.”
Even second place was too much to hope for, as Keke’s third gear went missing, allowing Cheever and Pironi past in the closing stages.
1 Watson; 26
2 Pironi; 20
3 Prost; 18
4 Rosberg; 17
5 Patrese; 13
6 Lauda; 12