Australian Formula One driver Alan Jones will start the British Grand Prix at Silverstone from the pole position on Saturday (14 July).
Australian Formula One driver Alan Jones will start the British Grand Prix at Silverstone from the pole position on Saturday (14 July). His lap record of one minute, 11.88 seconds set during Thursday's (12 July) opening practice session was unbeaten in Friday's (13 July) second and final session.
SYNOPSIS: The few spectators who came to the pits at Silverstone for Friday's final practice session saw Alan Jones keeping his rivals at bay for Saturday's race.
French Grand Prix winner Jean Pierre Jebouille will be alongside Jones in the front row of the grid, trying to out-manoeuvre drivers like Brazilian Nelson Picquet and veteran of the circuit Argentinian Carols Reutemann. Alan Jones regards these drives as his greatest threats to his first British victory. It would be a long overdue reward for 11 seasons of effort by his British team boss Frank Williams.
Former champion Nikki Lauda was beaten into the third row by Picquet. Mario Andretti of the United States -- starting in fifth row -- will be trying to increase his four point lead over Jones in the driver's world championship.
Lauda and Andretti lead off the final practice sessions, but Jones was still the fastest man on the 4.72 kilometre (2.93 miles) circuit. The Australian is bidding to give the Arab-backed Williams team their first world championship success and also wants to chalk up his own first triumph in two years. Jones has had 60 world championship starts, but has been plagued by bad luck and can only list the 1977 Austrian Grand Prix as a victory.
The bookmakers list Jones as 7-2 favourite, followed by Jabouille with 5-1. Jabouille has no Formula One wins to his credit, but he heads the Renault team which was so successful in the French Grand Prix.