1978 British Grand Prix
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1978 British Grand Prix

1978 British Grand Prix
Race 10 of 16 in the 1978 Formula One season
Brands Hatch 1976-1987.svg
Race details
Date 16 July 1978
Official name XXXI John Player British Grand Prix
Location Brands Hatch, Kent, England
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 4.206 km (2.613 miles)
Distance 76 laps, 319.656 km (198.588 miles)
Weather Dry
Pole position
Driver Lotus-Ford
Time 1:16.80
Fastest lap
Driver Austria Niki Lauda Brabham-Alfa Romeo
Time 1:18.60 on lap 72
First Ferrari
Second Brabham-Alfa Romeo
Third Brabham-Alfa Romeo
Lap leaders
James Hunt, in a McLaren M26, crashed out on lap 8.

The 1978 British Grand Prix (formally the XXXI John Player British Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held at Brands Hatch on 16 July 1978. It was the tenth race of the 1978 World Championship of F1 Drivers and the 1978 International Cup for F1 Constructors.[1]

The 76-lap race was won by Argentinian driver Carlos Reutemann, driving a Ferrari. After starting from eighth position, Reutemann worked his way up the field and took the lead on lap 60, eventually winning by 1.2 seconds from Austrian driver Niki Lauda in the Brabham-Alfa Romeo. Lauda's Northern Irish teammate, John Watson, finished third.



With a total of 31 cars on the entry list, it was decided to forbid the Martini of René Arnoux from taking part, thus leaving 30 cars for qualifying.[2]

As expected, the Lotuses filled the front row of the grid, although on this occasion Ronnie Peterson was ahead of Mario Andretti. Jody Scheckter in the Wolf and Niki Lauda in the Brabham made up the second row, while on the third were Riccardo Patrese in the Arrows and Alan Jones in the Williams. The top ten was completed by Jacques Laffite in the Ligier, Carlos Reutemann in the Ferrari, John Watson in the second Brabham and Patrick Depailler in the Tyrrell.


At the start of the race, Andretti took the lead from Peterson, with Scheckter holding third and Jones moving up to fourth. The Lotuses quickly pulled out a large gap, and looked set to dominate, until Peterson retired on lap 7 with a fuel leak. Andretti continued to lead until a puncture forced him to pit on lap 24, before his engine failed five laps later.

Scheckter inherited the lead, closely followed by Jones, Lauda and Patrese. On lap 27, Jones's driveshaft failed, before Scheckter began to suffer gearbox problems. On lap 34, Lauda overtook the South African, who retired three laps later. This left Patrese in second, with Reutemann up to third, Watson fourth, Didier Pironi fifth in the second Tyrrell and Keke Rosberg sixth in the ATS.[3]

On lap 41, Patrese suffered a rear puncture which led to a suspension failure. Pironi also retired on this lap with gearbox trouble, promoting Rosberg to fourth. The Finn soon came under pressure from Depailler, who got by on lap 49.

Reutemann closed up to Lauda and passed him for the lead on lap 60, as the two were lapping the McLaren of Bruno Giacomelli. The Argentine held off the Austrian for the remaining laps, eventually taking his third win of the season by 1.2 seconds. Watson finished 36 seconds behind Lauda and 36 ahead of Depailler, while a suspension failure for Rosberg on lap 60 meant that the final points went to Hans-Joachim Stuck in the Shadow and Patrick Tambay in the McLaren.



*Positions in red indicate entries that failed to qualify.


Pos No Driver Constructor Tyre Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 11 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Ferrari M 76 1:42:12.39 8 9
2 1 Austria Niki Lauda Brabham-Alfa Romeo G 76 + 1.23 4 6
3 2 United Kingdom John Watson Brabham-Alfa Romeo G 76 + 37.25 9 4
4 4 France Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Ford G 76 + 1:13.27 10 3
5 16 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck Shadow-Ford G 75 + 1 Lap 18 2
6 8 France Patrick Tambay McLaren-Ford G 75 + 1 Lap 20 1
7 33 Italy Bruno Giacomelli McLaren-Ford G 75 + 1 Lap 16
8 30 United States Brett Lunger McLaren-Ford G 75 + 1 Lap 24
9 19 Italy Vittorio Brambilla Surtees-Ford G 75 + 1 Lap 25
10 26 France Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra G 73 + 3 Laps 7
NC 9 West Germany Jochen Mass ATS-Ford G 65 + 11 Laps 26
Ret 10 Finland Keke Rosberg ATS-Ford G 59 Suspension 22
Ret 17 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Shadow-Ford G 49 Gearbox 17
Ret 15 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault M 46 Turbo 12
Ret 35 Italy Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Ford G 40 Suspension 5
Ret 3 France Didier Pironi Tyrrell-Ford G 40 Gearbox 19
Ret 20 South Africa Jody Scheckter Wolf-Ford G 36 Gearbox 3
Ret 14 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Fittipaldi-Ford G 32 Engine 11
Ret 37 Italy Arturo Merzario Merzario-Ford G 32 Fuel System 23
Ret 22 Republic of Ireland Derek Daly Ensign-Ford G 30 Wheel 15
Ret 5 United States Mario Andretti Lotus-Ford G 28 Engine 2
Ret 27 Australia Alan Jones Williams-Ford G 26 Transmission 6
Ret 12 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari M 19 Transmission 13
Ret 25 Mexico Héctor Rebaque Lotus-Ford G 15 Gearbox 21
Ret 7 United Kingdom James Hunt McLaren-Ford G 7 Accident 14
Ret 6 Sweden Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford G 6 Fuel Leak 1
DNQ 18 United Kingdom Rupert Keegan Surtees-Ford G
DNQ 36 West Germany Rolf Stommelen Arrows-Ford G
DNQ 23 United Kingdom Geoff Lees Ensign-Ford G
DNQ 40 United Kingdom Tony Trimmer McLaren-Ford G

Championship standings after the race

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.


  1. ^ "1978 British Grand Prix Entry list".
  2. ^ "What? - Martini". 8W. Retrieved 2013.
  3. ^ "Grand Prix Results: British GP, 1978". Grandprix.com. Retrieved 2013.
  4. ^ "Formula One 1978 British Grand Prix Classification | Motorsport Stats".
  5. ^ "1978 British Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 2015.
  6. ^ "1978 British Grand Prix - Race Results & History - GP Archive". GPArchive.com. Retrieved 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Britain 1978 - Championship o STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 2019.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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