Qualified: 7th Result: Retired
Rosberg had looked capable of mixing it with the turbos in practice, but an engine failure forced him into the poor-handling 1-car for qualifying, and Williams No6 wasn’t even the quickest Coswortfl. But Keke didn’t feel beaten.
“Because the track layout meant you were usually accelerating hard for long periods, the crucial thing on race-day was fuel consumption. And the turbos used much more than the Cosworths, so they started the race very heavy, which also meant they were using their brakes much more in the early stages on a circuit that demands a lot of heavy braking. This GP was an endurance race.”
It was Keke’s car that didn’t last, however. Bouncing more severely than usual, and suffering ever-worsening gearbox maladies, the Williams slipped down the field and eventually retired.
“I still thought the title was a possibility, but the worrying thought was that we were running out of races where a Cosworth might be quick. Four of the last six races were Paul Ricard, Hockenheim, Osterreichring and Monza.”
1 Watson; 30;
2 Pironi; 20
3 Patrese; 19
4 Prost; 18
5 Rosberg; 17;
6 Lauda; 12