Ferrari: With the appearance of the turbo-charged 1 1/2-litre V6 Ferrari imminent it was no surprise to find the 312T5 cars much as before. There was 046 (Scheckter) and 048 (Villeneuve) with 045 as the spare, but reliability and driver care was such that the spare car was not used.
Tyrrell: As in Austria Jarier had 010/5 and Daly had 010/2 repaired after its accident at Osterreichring. The spare was 010/1.
Brabham: A regular feature in the Brabham team is BT49/6 which is referred to as a B-specification car, as it uses the slim, transverse-shaft Weismann gearbox and the suspension with the spring-units mounted close together behind the gearbox. This specification accomplishes a number of things, notably a lower polar-moment of inertia as there is little weight out behind the centre-line of the rear wheels, and a better exit for the under-car air from the side-pods. As usual Rebaque was driving this car. The two cars for Piquet were BT49/7 and BT49/3, the latter the spare car, and on Saturday afternoon it was fitted with a B-specification rear end similar to that on BT49/6, but on Sunday it was converted back to normal Hewland gearbox layout.
McLaren: There was a certain amount of enthusiasm in the Colnbrook team as they had a brand new design for Prost to drive. This was the M30 which from a distance could have been mistaken for an M29C, but in fact it was of all new construction, incorporating all the knowledge gained with the M29 and eradicating a lot of the faults. The riveted monocoque was much stiffer both in bending and in torsion and the suspension front and rear was much more rigid, while improvements had been made to the underside of the car. Its progress in practice was hampered by continual engine trouble so that it was difficult to evaluate the potential of the new car. However, some satisfaction was gained from the fact that it ran the race non-stop though Prost was hampered by gear selection difficulties. John Watson started practice in M29C/3 but brake failure caused him to crash the car. It was not instantly repairable so he took over M29C/2, to which improvements had been made to the underside of the car by strengthening the side-pod mountings. When the M30 was in trouble Prost practised with M29C/5.
ATS: Pre-race testing at Silverstone saw Marc Surer have a lurid accident which demolished D4/02 (D4/04 by the team’s numbering) but fortunately the young Swiss driver escaped unhurt. Another car D4/04 was nearly completed at the Bicester factory so this was rushed through and finished in time to act as a spare for D4/03 which Surer raced. Before the end of the meeting the team’s Austrian designer Gustav Briinner had resigned.
Lotus: Andretti still showed a preference for the 81/1, the car with the low sides to the cockpit, keeping 81/2 with the high sides as his spare. 81/3 was driven by de Angelis and 81/B, with revised rear suspension mountings, by Mansell. Alternative side-pods were tried and Andretti seemed to hit on a configuration that suited him, with encouraging results.
Ensign: Rather ambitiously the Morris Nunn team entered both their cars, MN14 for Lammers and MN12 for Lees.
Renault: Few problems in the team from Regie-Renault, Jabouille as usual in RE23. Arnoux in RE25 and the spare was RE22, though it was not needed. Opposition to turbo-charging thought the 3-litre engines would more than match the turbo-charged 1 1/2-litres now that we were at sea-level, but it did not turn out that way, the Renaults were still first and second on the starting grid. Renault team-manager Jean Sage suggested with a wry smile that perhaps the next race should be held below sea-level!
Fittipaldi: The Reading-based team seem to have continual ups and downs and this weekend was a “down”. Rosberg crashed F8/1 when a front suspension strut collapsed and the car was not instantly repairable, so he tried to qualify with F7/1. Emerson Fittipaldi used F8/2.
Alfa Romeo: The Auto-Delta team took Brambilla back into their ranks, he taking over number 22. They had three cars, all with the newer smaller V12 engine unit mounted lower on the monocoque. Although the team build entirely new cars from time to time they retain the original 1979 identity plates. Brambilla was driving a brand new car, number seven to be built, identified as 179/02; Giacomelli was driving 179/03, the sixth car in the series and 179/01 (the third car) was the team spare.
Ligier: Slightly confused by their tyre situation the Ligier team opted for the aerodynamic configuration they deemed best for the Dutch circuit, but things did not work out as planned. Laffite used JS11/15/03 and JS11/15/04 in practice, racing the former car, while Pironi used JS11/15/02.
Williams: Jones started practice with FW07B/9 and Reutemann with FW07B/8. The previous spare car TW07B/5 had been transferred to the Test and Development department and FW07B/7 which last appeared at the British Grand Prix, which it won, was now the team spare. In practice Jones crashed FW07B/9 pretty comprehensively and overnight the monocoque and major components of FW07B/5 were rushed out to Holland and the car was built up complete in the paddock. Jones raced FW07B/7.
Arrows: Patrese used A3/5, Mass and Thackwell A3/3 and A3/4 re-appeared as the spare car.
Osella: The usual two cars for Cheever, with FA1/1 being raced.
RAM Williams: The ex-works Williams FW07B/2 for Keegan. — D.S. J.
Change of Secretary
LEO BERTORELLI has had to relinquish his position as secretary of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club due to pressure of work. He is succeeded by Alan Taylor of 37, Amerland Road, SW18. In addition to publishing a monthly magaztne on matters Alfa Romeo, the Club organises a number of events during the year including practice days. sprints. driving tests and so on.