1979 British Grand Prix
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1979 British Grand Prix

1979 British Grand Prix
Race 9 of 15 in the 1979 Formula One season
Silverstone Circuit 1975 to 1986.png
Race details
Date 14 July 1979
Official name XXXII Marlboro British Grand Prix
Location Silverstone Circuit, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 4.719 km (2.932 mi)
Distance 68 laps, 320.871 km (199.380 mi)
Weather Dry
Pole position
Driver Williams-Ford
Time 1:11.88
Fastest lap
Driver Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Williams-Ford
Time 1:14.40 on lap 39
First Williams-Ford
Second Renault
Third Tyrrell-Ford
Lap leaders

The 1979 British Grand Prix (formally the XXXII Marlboro British Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held at Silverstone on 14 July 1979. It was the ninth race of the 1979 World Championship of F1 Drivers and the 1979 International Cup for F1 Constructors.

The 68-lap race was won by Clay Regazzoni, driving a Williams-Ford. It was the first Formula One victory for the Williams team. René Arnoux finished second in a Renault, with Jean-Pierre Jarier third in a Tyrrell-Ford.


Qualifying report

Qualifying saw Alan Jones take his and the Williams team's first pole position by 0.6 seconds from Jean-Pierre Jabouille in the Renault; the Williams FW07 had been modified by engineers Patrick Head and Frank Dernie to correct some aerodynamic problems on the car. Nelson Piquet took third in the Brabham with the second Williams of Clay Regazzoni alongside him on the second row, while René Arnoux in the second Renault and Niki Lauda in the second Brabham made up the third row. Completing the top ten were John Watson in the McLaren, the Lotuses of Carlos Reutemann and Mario Andretti, and Jacques Laffite in the Ligier. The Ferraris disappointed, with championship leader Jody Scheckter only managing 11th and Gilles Villeneuve 13th.

Qualifying classification

Pos. Driver Constructor Time No
1 Alan Jones Williams-Ford 1:11,88 1
2 Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault 1:12,48 2
3 Nelson Piquet Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1:12,65 3
4 Clay Regazzoni Williams-Ford 1:13,11 4
5 René Arnoux Renault 1:13,29 5
6 Niki Lauda Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1:13,44 6
7 John Watson McLaren-Ford 1:13,57 7
8 Carlos Reutemann Lotus-Ford 1:13,87 8
9 Mario Andretti Lotus-Ford 1:14,20 9
10 Jacques Laffite Ligier-Ford 1:14,37 10
11 Jody Scheckter Ferrari 1:14,60 11
12 Elio de Angelis Shadow-Ford 1:14,87 12
13 Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari 1:14,90 13
14 Keke Rosberg Wolf-Ford 1:14,96 14
15 Didier Pironi Tyrrell-Ford 1:15,28 15
16 Jean-Pierre Jarier Tyrrell-Ford 1:15,63 16
17 Jacky Ickx Ligier-Ford 1:15,63 17
18 Patrick Tambay McLaren-Ford 1:15,67 18
19 Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Ford 1:15,77 19
20 Jochen Mass Arrows-Ford 1:16,19 20
21 Jan Lammers Shadow-Ford 1:16,66 21
22 Emerson Fittipaldi Fittipaldi-Ford 1:16,68 22
23 Patrick Gaillard Ensign-Ford 1:17,07 23
24 Héctor Rebaque Lotus-Ford 1:17,32 24
DNQ Hans-Joachim Stuck ATS-Ford 1:17,44 --
DNQ Arturo Merzario Merzario-Ford 1:19,57 --


Race report

At the start of the race, Regazzoni charged into the lead, but was repassed by team-mate Jones and Jabouille before the end of the first lap. Andretti and the Ferraris also made fast starts, running close to Piquet, Lauda and Arnoux. At the end of lap 2, Piquet made a mistake at Woodcote and spun off, before Andretti dropped out with a broken wheel bearing on lap 4. Then Lauda encountered brake problems which eventually led to his retirement on lap 13, leaving Arnoux fourth with Scheckter fifth and Villeneuve dutifully following the South African.

Up at the front, Jones established a commanding lead over Jabouille, who was struggling on Michelin tyres that were wearing quickly. On lap 17, the Frenchman pitted for new tyres, promoting Regazzoni to second. However, disaster struck for Jabouille when, after a long stop, part of his front wing got caught in an air hose that had not been removed from under the car and was broken off as he accelerated. He was forced to return to the pits for repairs, during which his turbo overheated.[1]

At half-distance, Jones still led comfortably, with Regazzoni still second and well clear of Arnoux, and Laffite moving ahead of the Ferraris into fourth. Then, approaching Woodcote at the end of lap 39, Jones's engine failed, a water pump problem causing it to overheat.[2] Six laps later, Laffite also retired with engine trouble. This left only four drivers on the lead lap - Regazzoni, Arnoux, Scheckter and Villeneuve - with Jean-Pierre Jarier up to fifth in his Tyrrell and Watson sixth.

The Ferraris were also struggling on Michelins, and Villeneuve pitted for new tyres on lap 50, before stopping with fuel vaporization problems five laps from the end. Scheckter, meanwhile, was lapped by Regazzoni on lap 56, before Jarier and Watson passed him in the closing laps.[1]

Regazzoni eventually took the chequered flag 24 seconds ahead of Arnoux, giving Williams their first Formula One victory. It was also Regazzoni's fifth and final win and, to date, the last win in F1 for a Swiss driver. After Jarier, Watson and Scheckter came Jacky Ickx, taking the final point in the second Ligier.

This was the first Grand Prix on which James Hunt, who had retired from racing the previous month, commentated alongside Murray Walker for the BBC's Grand Prix programme.


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 28 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Williams-Ford 68 1:26:11.17 4 9
2 16 France René Arnoux Renault 68 + 24.28 5 6
3 4 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Tyrrell-Ford 67 + 1 Lap 16 4
4 7 United Kingdom John Watson McLaren-Ford 67 + 1 Lap 7 3
5 11 South Africa Jody Scheckter Ferrari 67 + 1 Lap 11 2
6 25 Belgium Jacky Ickx Ligier-Ford 67 + 1 Lap 17 1
7 8 France Patrick Tambay McLaren-Ford 66 Out of Fuel 18
8 2 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Lotus-Ford 66 + 2 Laps 8
9 31 Mexico Héctor Rebaque Lotus-Ford 66 + 2 Laps 24
10 3 France Didier Pironi Tyrrell-Ford 66 + 2 Laps 15
11 17 Netherlands Jan Lammers Shadow-Ford 65 + 3 Laps 21
12 18 Italy Elio de Angelis Shadow-Ford 65 + 3 Laps 12
13 22 France Patrick Gaillard Ensign-Ford 65 + 3 Laps 23
14 12 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari 63 Fuel System 13
Ret 29 Italy Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Ford 45 Gearbox 19
Ret 26 France Jacques Laffite Ligier-Ford 44 Engine 10
Ret 20 Finland Keke Rosberg Wolf-Ford 44 Fuel System 14
Ret 27 Australia Alan Jones Williams-Ford 38 Water Pump 1
Ret 30 West Germany Jochen Mass Arrows-Ford 37 Gearbox 20
Ret 14 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Fittipaldi-Ford 25 Engine 22
Ret 15 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault 21 Turbo 2
Ret 5 Austria Niki Lauda Brabham-Alfa Romeo 12 Brakes 6
Ret 1 United States Mario Andretti Lotus-Ford 3 Wheel Bearing 9
Ret 6 Brazil Nelson Piquet Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1 Spun Off 3
DNQ 9 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck ATS-Ford
DNQ 24 Italy Arturo Merzario Merzario-Ford

Championship standings after the race

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. Only the best 4 results from the first 7 races and the best 4 results from the last 8 races counted towards the Drivers' Championship. Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.


  1. ^ a b Jenkinson, Denis (August 1979). "The British Grand Prix: Williams all the way". Motor Sport magazine archive. p. 33. Retrieved 2017.
  2. ^ "Grand Prix results: British GP, 1979". Grandprix.com. Retrieved 2013.
  3. ^ "1979 British Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 3 July 2014. Retrieved 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Britain 1979 - Championship o STATS F1". 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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