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This is the complete race as broadcast on LIVE TV.
The Belgian Grand Prix returned to Spa after a 13-year absence, as the event was moved to Zolder due
to the Spa circuit not adhering to new FIA safety standards set forth in 1971.
Qualifying resulted in pole position going to World Championship leader Alain Prost (Renault) followed by
Patrick Tambay (Ferrari) and Andrea de Cesaris (Alfa-Romeo). Nelson Piquet was fourth on the grid in
his Brabham, followed by Rene Arnoux (Ferrari) and Riccardo Patrese (Brabham).
There was confusion at the start. When the lights went out, the field screamed away, but the starter
decided to call it off because the grid was not lined up. The pack slowed back down, realizing there was
something amiss, but Andrea de Cesaris had a great start and wasn’t looking back. He rocketed around
the track, unaware that the rest of the field had returned to warm up lap speed (since de Cesaris had
the lead into turn 1, he most likely thought there was a pile up behind him, and continued racing). His
Alfa-Romeo came around to the start/finish line at full speed, and only then did he realize the race had
been stopped. Everyone returned to the grid, but rather than following the rules and simply restarting
immediately, the mechanics went out and topped off cars with fuel. When the race restarted, Andrea de
Cesaris stormed off in the lead again, followed by pole sitter Alain Prost, then Patrick Tambay in the
Ferrari. De Cesaris continued to lead until an extra long mid-race stop handed the lead over to Prost.
De Cesaris suffered engine failure soon afterwards, and Prost would go on to take the win, followed by
Nelson Piquet, Patrick Tambay, Rene Arnoux, Keke Rosberg, and Jacques Laffite.
Quality is just VG+ on this one, not as clear as we would like, but the best available right now.
Commentary by Murray Walker and James Hunt.