Nelson Piquet of Brazil won the United States Grand Prix Wes on Sunday (30 March).
MV Car No. 5 Nelson Piquet (Brazil) on starting grid alongside No. 16 Rena Arnoux (France) Renault PAN TO Other cars on grid and starting
GV Piquet rounding bend followed by Patrick Depailler (No.22) Alan Jones (Williams)(No.27)
GV Cars down hill and rounding bend
MV Nelson Piquet along straight followed by other cars
GV Piquet followed by Patrick Depailler, Alan Jones and Rena Arnoux
GV Cars along straight with spectators watching
GV Cars racing
MV Alan Jones, Eddie Cheever (USA) (No.31) and Carlos Reutemann (No.28)
SV No. 5 Piquet down hill and rounding bend and receiving chequered flag (2 shots)
GV Looking through wire fence to winning driver Piquet waving from open truck
SPORT: MOTOR RACING
FORMULA ONE CONSTRUCTORS ASSOCIATION
NO COMMERCIAL SALE WITHOUT REFERENCE TO THE SPORTS EDITOR
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Nelson Piquet of Brazil won the United States Grand Prix Wes on Sunday (30 March). The victory leaves him joint top of the Formula One Drivers' Championship table. Piquet and Rena Arnoux of France each have 18 points from four races. The race was marred by a high-speed crash by Swiss veteran, Clay Regazzoni. Regazzoni was said to be comfortable after undergoing surgery for a severe spinal injury.
SYNOPSIS: Nelson Piquet's brabham BT 49 dominated practice to start in pole position. Alongside, the Renault of Rene Arnoux, then outright leader in the drivers' standings. The Renaults won two of the first three races this season. But the hairpin circuit at Long Beach gave few opportunities to exploit their turbo-charged power.
Piquet led the 80 lap race from start to finish. The Williams of Alan Jones, provided the stiffest challenge. The Australian lives near the circuit, which he regards as home territory. He was in second place and closing when he spun out of the race at the halfway stage. From then on, Piquet opened up a gap of almost a minute on the rest of the field. At an average speed of 142 kilometres per hour (88.47 miles per hour) Piquet said the slow, twisting streets of Long Beach gave him "no trouble at all".
One of the few drivers who likes street courses, Clay Regazzoni, hit a wall at one of the hairpin bends on lap 50. Piquet, who at 27, is 13 years Regazzoni's junior, went on to his first victory of a two-season Formula One career. He was followed home by the Arrows of Riccardo Patrese and the F-7 of Emerson Fittipaldi. Piquet now shares the lead in the drivers' championship table with Arnoux.