LAS VEGAS GRAND PRIX
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car park of the Caesars Palace hotel complex in Las Vegas, Nevada. It turned out to be an overwhelming victory for 1980 World Champion Alan Jones in his Williams FWO7C, the second Fl triumph this year for the Australian driver who opened his season with a win at Long Beach in the next State, California. Above, Jones leads the field into the first corner, never to be headed, or front of Villeneuve’s Ferrari (No. 271, Fieuternann’s Williams, Prost’s Renault (No. 151 and Giacomelli’s Alfa Romeo (No. 231. Below, Jacques Laffite finished sixth in his Talbot J517 after a pit stop for fresh tyres. Prost, seen centre right below a night-time view of Las Vegas’s spectacular neon lights, finished second after also stopping for fresh rubber although he was almost caught by the Alfa Romeo of Bruno Giacomelli on the final corner.
BRUNO GIACOMELLI (above) recovered well after a spin which dropped him right down to tenth place and climbed back to finish in a strong third place, his best result of the season. By contrast, a promising race for team-mate Mario Andretti ended with broken rear suspension on the other Ada. Below, this rear view of Carlos Reutemann’s Williams chasing de Cesaris’s McLaren shows off the spectacular Las Vegas backdrop to good effect. Reutemann finished eighth, thereby losing the World Championship points lead he had held almost all year.
WINNERS: Alan Jones drove a copybook race to win the last Grand Prix of the year in his Williams FWO7C Iabove). Fie took the lead at the start and never looked like being challenged by another car. Below, Nelson Piquet’s Brabham BT49C heads for fif-th place and two vital points which clinched him the 1981 World Championship for Drivers.
FAST FERRARI: above left, Didier Pironi’s Ferrari 126CK set the race’s fastest lap after a pit stop for tyres. We wonder what the founder of Las Vegas (above right) would have thought of the battle (below) between Nigel Mansell’s fourth place Lotus 87, Mario Andretti’s Alfa Romeo, Patrick Tambay’s Talbot (soon to be hit by de Cesaris’s pursuing McLaren) and Rene Arnoux’s Renault.
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