Le Grand Prix de Belgique

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

May 22nd

The new Spa-Francorchamps circuit in south-east Belgium, near the German frontier, may be only half the length of the old original one that dated back to 1922, but it has lost none of the character, presenting a high speed challenge on public roads, albeit of a very high standard of construction. Grand Prix racing in the grand manner amid the forests of the Haute-Fagnes in the Ardennes, returned on Sunday May 22nd and saw a battle of the giants as Renault and Ferrari got to grips in a very serious manner. Friday practice in fine weather saw Prost take pole position for Renault from Tarnbay’s Ferrari, and Saturday’s practice in pouring rain saw no change in the situation.

Race day was warm and dry and after a false start caused by Laffite, Surer and de Angelis stalling their engines as the red starting light came on, the race was reduced from 42 laps to 40.

The second start saw de Cesaris storm off into the lead from the second row hotly pursued by Prost, Tambay, Arnoux, Piquet and Winkelhock with the tenacious Rosberg hanging on to seventh place. On the first lap Patrese retired when his BMW engine blew up and the race was a clear cut battle between the big manufacturers Renault, Ferrari, BMW and Alfa Romeo. They all made pit stops for new tyres and petrol and the Renault team’s slick work gave Prost the advantage which de Cesaris could not retrieve. In trying desperately hard his Alfa Romeo engine succumbed leaving Prost to an untroubled victory. Piquet had to relinquish second place to Tambay’s Ferrari and then Cheever’s Renault when his Brabham gearbox broke fifth gear, a very important ratio on this fast circuit, and once again Rosberg drove his heart out to hang on to the factory cars and came home fifth, followed more discreetly by his Williams team-mate Laffite in sixth place. 

For a change both Toleman-Hart cars ran faultlessly throughout the race and finished seventh and eighth, Warwick passing Giacomelli on the last lap when the Italian had a mild spin while trying to challenge Laffite. After stopping at the pits to have a broken fuel injection nozzle replaced Winkelhock had a narrow escape when a rear wheel broke up. Arnoux went out with a broken engine and neither the Team Lotus cars nor the McLaren cars were ever in the picture. 

The result of this first Grand Prix at Francorchamps since 1970 must surely augur well for the future of Grand Prix racing in Belgium, and Europe for that matter. — D.S.J. 

N.B. A detailed review of the race will appear in the July Motor Sport

You may also like

Related products