3 July 1982
The teams returned from their North American tour to a run of seven European races which would give all the teams their home races (British, Italian, French and German) and all fast circuits that could be expected to favour the turbo cars – if they could finish.
First up was the Dutch Grand Prix at its unique location among the sand dunes next to the North Sea at Zandvoort. Patrick Tambay would be making his Ferrari debut as Ferrari stepped back up to a two-car team for the first time since Zolder, while Nigel Mansell had injured his arm during his collision with Giacomelli in Canada and decided at the last minute that he was not fit to drive. Lotus test driver Roberto Moreno stepped into the car. Osella were only running one car, for Jarier, but all were relieved to see them present and wished them well. Car-wise, Ligier had brought along the JS19 again for its second attempt, while both Brabhams were once more BMW-powered. Toleman also rejoined the paddock, having gone well in testing at Zandvoort the previous week.
A childhood friend of Nelson Piquet, Moreno followed him into motorsport but progressed more slowly through the junior formulae. At the start of 1982, he was performing well in Formula Atlantic and was offered a test driver berth in the Lotus team, but with Elio and Nigel doing most of the development on the new Lotus 91 chassis, Roberto’s track time was limited to a few laps in the old 87B.
With the grid back to 31, one car would have to be eliminated before qualifying: slowest of all was Roberto Moreno but only teams who hadn’t scored in 1981 were eligible for pre-qualifying so Emilio de Villota once again failed at the first hurdle.
Qualifying took place in two sessions on Thursday and Friday – Thursday was dull and grey and rained at the end but most drivers managed to get a good time in before a stiff wind whipped in off the sea on Friday and stymied any attempts to go faster. The Renaults were on top again, Arnoux beating Prost by 0.4 seconds with Piquet and Pironi behind. Tambay went well in his first competitive go in the Ferrari, qualifying sixth with Lauda splitting the Ferraris. Rosberg, the two Alfa Romeos of Giacomelli and de Cesaris, and Patrese completed the top ten, with Warwick an excellent 13th in the Toleman, both ATSes were back and Lammers dragged his Theodore onto the last grid slot for his home race. The Ligier JS19 was a disappointment again, with Cheever failing to qualify and Laffite 21st, while Roberto Moreno was almost seven seconds off the pace and joined Cheever, Fabi, Guerrero and de Villota on the pitwall for the race.
Race day dawned cloudy and with rain a distinct possibility and with such a fast circuit, there was a question mark over whether the thirsty Turbo engines would have enough fuel on board to last the distance. Prost got away best, leading Arnoux and Pironi, while Piquet had made a bad start and dropped to 8th by the first corner, in the process slowing Rosberg who dropped to tenth. Pironi in the Ferrari was on a charge and got past Arnoux on lap 2, while Piquet used the power of his BMW engine to carve his way through the field, passing Giacomelli and Lauda in short order then closing up on and breezing past Tambay.
At the front, Pironi challenged Prost on lap 5, diving down the inside at the first turn to take the lead and swiftly pulling out to a comfortable 3-5 second lead and settling in to conserve fuel. Tambay was struggling a little and a queue was beginning to form behind him, but Rosberg got through into 5th and set off in pursuit of the leaders, while Derek Warwick’s Toleman was going very well with its new engine and improved tyres and was catching up with this little group. After overtaking de Cesaris and Watson he was 10th, but not for long as his rear wing disintegrated and he had to tiptoe back to the pits for a new one. Rejoining the race, he put his foot down and set fastest lap as he tried to catch up, but sadly for the hard-trying team his engine unloaded its oil all over the track on lap 15 and he was out. Chico Serra retired three laps later with a broken fuel
pump, more bad luck for the Fittipaldi team. While this was going on, Piquet was chasing down the two Renaults and caught up to Arnoux – troubled with a wheel vibration – on lap 14 and blew past, setting his sights next on Prost. Seven laps later, the mysterious vibration suddenly caused Arnoux’s front-right suspension to snap as he braked for the first corner, sending him straight on at 190mph and into the tyre wall. After an anxious few seconds, Arnoux was helped out of the cockpit and walked away, shaken but unhurt.
Piquet caught Prost in traffic and swanned past as easily as he had taken Arnoux, but it didn’t matter in the end – Prost toured in with yet another broken turbocharger on lap 34, leaving Piquet free and clear with Rosberg some distance behind in third. Piquet started trying to catch Pironi, but every time he took time out of the lead, Pironi simply sped up and took it back again and eventually the Brazilian decided to settle for second place and concentrated on finishing the race. His team-mate Patrese was having an eventful race; having got away badly he had been dicing in the midfield for much of the race before having to come in to have a throttle linkage repaired; rejoining in last place he began blasting up the grid, only for his engine to falter and drop him back down to last.
Piquet was delayed by Alboreto – himself just recovering from a spin and fighting with his car – allowing Rosberg to close right up but Piquet was able to hold him off to claim second place as Pironi serenely cruised home for his first win for Ferrari and his third overall after two wins with Ligier in 1980. Rosberg took the third podium step with Lauda fourth, Derek Daly a solid fifth and Mauro Baldi a delighted sixth after overtaking both Tambay and Alboreto on the last lap. Renault had once more blocked out the front row of the grid and then failed to score – or even finish.
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|14||Andrea de Cesaris||5|