Grand Prix racing...and Frenchman Jacques Laffite on Sunday (4 February) won the brazilian Grand Prix?
Grand Prix racing...and Frenchman Jacques Laffite on Sunday (4 February) won the brazilian Grand Prix after leading all the way. His Ligier teammate, Patrick Depailler, was second.
SYNOPSIS: The race was held on the Interlagos circuit. Laffite and his team were confident after his win in the opening World championship race in Argentina two weeks ago. The race was to cover forty laps of a twisting and hilly circuit, a distance of just under three hundred and twenty kilometres. (197.84 miles)
The Lotus of Mario Andretti caught fire on the staring grid. The blaze was quickly put out and Andretti started, but had to drop out in the first lap with foam in the engine.
The cars roar away, with Laffite going straight into the lead, and Depailler slotting into second place behind him.
The Ligier domination blunted the competitive edge of the race because no serious challenge emerged at any time. Former world champions,James Hunt of Britain, in a Wolf, and Niki Lauda, of Austria in a Brabham, both had to retire early. Both had mechanical trouble.
Carlos Reuteman of Argentina pressed the Frenchmen harder than any other rival.
Jody Scheckter of South Africa was to finish sixth in his Ferrari.
But the entire race belonged to the two Frenchmen. Along the way, Laffite set a new lap record of two minutes twenty-eight point seven six seconds on the revised course before taking the chequered flag.
Laffite and Depailler celebrate. At this early stage in the season, experts are already saying that Ligier could dominate Grand Prix racing in 1979 as decisively as Lotus did last year.