1980 Austrian Grand Prix

The hour and a half from 10 am to 11.30 am was supposed to be testing-time, preparatory to the one hour of qualifying time in the afternoon, but by midday the paddock looked like a battlefield and you would have thought the most cut-throat Grand Prix had just finished. It all started just after 10.30 am when Andretti’s Lotus ran out of fuel and came to rest in the chicane at the top of the hill after the pits. The idea of the organisers was to stop practice briefly while the Lotus 81/1 was retrieved, but they held out a black flag and a red flag, and nobody knew what it meant, so they all went pounding on. Then the race director held out the red flag, and still some of the drivers went flashing past. Eventually practice was stopped and the miscreants Patrese, Cheever, Rebaque, Pironi, Fittipaldi and Arnoux were all fined 5,000 Austrian Schillings for failing to stop on the red flag.

We got going again only for Daly’s engine in his Tyrrell to go bang in a big way, and already Jabouille’s Renault engine had gone sick and he had gone out in the T-car. Then Piquet went off in the Bosch curve and really crumpled BT49/8 so practice stopped once more while the wreckage was cleared up, no-one being hurt. In addition de Angelis had been off the track in Lotus 81/3 and ripped all the skirts, and hardly had practice begun again, for the third time, than Prost went off on a patch of oil and disappeared in the mud and grass. While he was doing this Mass was forced to dodge and also went off into the mud and grass and the Arrows turned upside down. The burly German was unscathed, but had tweaked his neck. Testing now finished! But the paddock was a hive of activity as cars were repaired or dismantled.

Lotus designer Peter Wright (left) and Nigel Mansell, his Grand Prix debut.

Race Results

Qualifying

Circuit - Osterreichring

Country

Austria

Location

Spielberg, Styria

Type

Permanent road course

Length

3.692 (Miles)

Record

Nigel Mansell (Williams FW11B-Honda), 1m28.318, 150.493 mph, F1, 1987

3,420

Championships

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19,439

Results

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25,316

Drivers

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14,566

Teams

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922

Circuits

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