Team Lotus have their ups and downs. This time they were on a down. Mansell made a nonsense of his start and then had a stop to cure gear linkage trouble. After his routine pit stop he stopped again for another set of Pirelli tyres and was nine laps down at the finish. Elio dc Angelis was plagued by an untraceable misfire in the Renault turbo engine and eventually gave up.
* * *
If Lauda was man of the race, the brand new Williams-Honda V6 must be car of the race. To qualify sixth on the grid and finish fifth in the race was an impressive debut by any standards. Poor Laffite was “nudged” into a spin by Cheever’s Renault, and ended up in the catch-fencing on lap two.
* * *
Some drivers had trouble in the pits, like Boesel who lost many laps having his throttle linkage put right, others had trouble while racing, like Rosberg who had to keep slowing down as his Honda engine overheated. After it cooled off he could get stuck in again for a few laps. In this way he brought the new car home to finish its first race.
* * *
The man of the race would appear to be Niki Lauda as he showed the potential of the McLaren and Porsche combination, his forceful driving up to second place after his disastrously long pit stop was a fine example to everyone. He must have proved his point to designer John Barnard that by racing the “interim” car they now have a sound base-line from which to start the 1984 season.
* * *
Interesting that pole-position time at Kyalami at the beginning of 1982 was 1 min 06.351 sec by Arnoux in a Renault RE30 and at the end of 1983 Tambay did 1 min 06.554 sec in a C3 Ferrari. So much for the FISA attempts to slow things down by eliminating “ground effect”.
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