Patrick Depailler at Long Beach


Formula 1 returns to Singapore in 11 days, so now seems as good a time as any to look back at one of the sport’s great forgotten street circuits: Long Beach.

After a successful Formula 5000 race in 1975, the Californian city held its first Grand Prix in 1976. The venue became a firm favourite – especially after 1977 when Mario Andretti scored the first home win for an American driver – but increasing financial pressures meant that Formula 1 last visited in 1983, being replaced by CART and IndyCar races that continue to this day.

This video of Patrick Depailler is from 1978, a year in which he was particularly on form. In the new Tyrrell 008 he vied for the championship lead in the early stages of the season until being plagued with reliability issues down the stretch. Depailler was reportedly not a fan of the Long Beach circuit, but that didn’t stop him from throwing the car around the place in his usual wild style.

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