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1980 - Jones and Williams, but Piquet...
Formula One article

1980 - Jones and Williams, but Piquet...

This season started with a long discussion between the teams about using or not side-skirts. FOCA versus Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Renault, finally they made agreements and the season began. Since previous year, Williams team must be counted as one of the best teams of F1. With saudita support, the team develop a very simple, quick and realiable car. Jones and Reutemann could take eighteen podiums, including six victories. But Brabham team, with Piquet, also had a strong year. Excluding Ligier, that had a very good performance taking second in the constructors championship, the others had a lot of problems. Ferrari couldn't be competitive or reliable, even the champion Scheckter failed to qualify once (Canada)!. Excelent speed for Alfa Romeo and Renault, but both suffering with multiple failures. So, the ones to fight for title were Jones and Piquet.

1- ARGENTINE Jones ended in 1st place starting from pole, with Piquet 2nd and a surprising 3rd for Rosberg with Fittipaldi F7. De Angelis (Lotus) in 4th, with Giacomelli taking first point for Alfa Romeo since their reentr in F1. Other good surprise was the sixth place for the debutant Prost, with McLaren. Strong start for Ligier, with Laffite and Pironi in 2nd and 3rd on the grid, demonstrating that they have a fast car, but both had problems and abandoned the race, as did the local hero, Reutemann in his debut with Williams.

2 - BRAZIL The race was dominated by Renault team, with Jaboullie running in front until his turbo blew-up. Then, his team-mate Arnoux could take the lead and secure his first ever victory. Another good race for De Angelis (Lotus), who took 2nd place ahead of Jones. Prost had a big battle with Patrese for 5th, overtaking him at the very last lap. Piquet, with tyres problems, had an accident. Fittipaldi, who had started behind his team-mate Rosberg, had a big discussion with him after the race, as Rosberg overtook him surprisely in the end of main straight. To avoid the collision, Fittipaldi blocked his tyres, damaging his side-skirts, what got him out of chances of scoring points in his home town.

3 - SOUTH AFRICA Another race dominated by Renault. Jabouille led from the pole until had tyre problems and his lucky team-mate Arnoux could win again! Good result for Ligier scoring their first podium of the season with both drivers: Laffite 2nd  Pironi 3rd. Piquet 4th and Reutemann 5th.

4 - USA-WEST A complete week-end for Piquet: pole, victory and fastest lap. He couldn't imagine better first triumph! But this race would be also marked by Clay Regazzoni horrible accident. He had multiple injuries, that put him in a wheelchair for life, in a big crash at the end of Long Beach straight. Fittipaldi was just behind him and declared: "We are at the braking point when it seemed he lost his brakes. As I turned, I could hear a tremendous noise! For three laps I was absolutely scared for him and it was very difficult to drive until the end!". With Scheckter 5th place, Ferrari took the first points of the season, but would be the only two points of the 79's champion all the year!

5 - BELGIUM Didier Pironi scored his first victory, starting better than Jones and leading until the end. Third podium of the season for Jones and first points for Villeneuve (6th).

6 - MONACO Incredible accident at the start: Derek Daly (Tyrrell) jumped over Giacomelli's Alfa, Prost's McLaren and collided with his team-mate Jarier, but nobody get hurted! Pironi led until crashed his car and let the road free for Reutemann first victory driving for Williams. Only nine cars survived to the final.

7 - FRANCE Good fight between Laffite, Pironi and Jones, with the australian taking advantage and winning for second time this year. Piquet secured 4th place over Arnoux and Reutemann with 1'3 seconds only. Exactly at the half of the season the first six drivers in table points were: Jones  28 where group by Piquet  25 where group by Pironi and Arnoux  23 where group by Reutemann and Laffite  16.

8 - GREAT-BRITAIN Both Ligier started from the first row and led until had problems: Laffite had an accident after 12 laps and Pironi had wheels problems after led 18 laps. Third win for Jones, with Piquet and Reutemann completing the podium.

9 - GERMANY First victory of the season for Laffite. But once more Jabouille led the pack until had engine problems. Jones also led, but lost speed and finished 3th, with Piquet less then 1'0 second behind him.

10 - AUSTRIA Arnoux started from pole and led 18 laps, but Jones and Jabouille overtook him and pooled away. Jones led two laps, but Jabouille using his more powerful engine overtook him. They fought for victory until the end, with the Renault driver winning with just 0'82 seconds of margin!

11 - NETHERLANDS Briliant vitory for Piquet, after fight with Arnoux, Laffite and Jones. The brazilian made a big celebration, as with this 1st place and Jones out of points, he sutained his chances of taking championship.

12 - ITALY Another week-end party for Piquet, but this time Jones and Reutemann were just behind him. Only the Renaults could led besides him, but only for three laps.

13 - CANADA In Montreal, the points were: Piquet - 54 vs Jones - 49. Piquet started from pole, but in the very first corner Jones simply ignored that the brazilian was at his side and closed the door, causing a big accident. Many cars were envolved and the race had to be stopped. Piquet took his T-car for second start, but this time he let Jones get the front. Few laps ahead the brazilian overtook him and pooled away. Then after 23 laps his engine blew-up, and Williams driver was free for celebrate the victory and also the championship, as by the rule, he would discharge only four points. (Only the best five results of half were taken into consideration).

14 - USA-EST A race just to complete the calendar, Jones repeated his victory with Reutemann making one-two for Williams gold year. The team scored a new record of 120 points in the constructors championship, beating Ferrari's last year mark.

Worst fact Patrick Depailler died at Hockenheim during friday practices.

Curious facts

First appearance

Wroten by : Alexandre Vasconcellos, BRAZIL