Legends Of The Sport
Formula 1 Print 1981 - Alain Prost racing his Team Elf Renault RE30 at the 1981 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, Germany
Alain Prost (FRA) in his Equipe Renault Elf RE30 at the 1981 German Grand Prix in Hockenheim on August 2nd, where he started in pole position. Prost took the lead from the start but on lap 21 Alan Jones (AUS) finally managed to get ahead of Prost when they were lapping Rene Arnoux (FRA). Then, with two-thirds completed, the rain began to fall and as Prost's Renault became more difficult to control, Piquet was able to take second from Prost and then Jones's Williams-Ford car began to misfire leaving both Piquet and Prost ahead of him while Jones headed for the pits. Piquet was able to hold off the competition for victory with Prost second. Alan Jones still managed to record the fastest lap.
The 1981 Formula One season was the 32nd season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 1981 FIA Formula One World Championship which was contested over a fifteen race series that commenced on 15 March and ended on 17 October. Formula One cars also contested the 1981 South African Grand Prix, although this was technically a Formula Libre race and was not part of the Formula One World Championship.
The 1981 championship was the inaugural FIA Formula One World Championship, replacing the former World Championship for Drivers. Nelson Piquet won the Drivers' Championship, claiming the first of his three Formula One titles and Williams won the Constructors' Championship.
The RE30 was an entirely different design from its predecessor, the RE20. It incorporated carbon fibre into parts of its construction, a material which was becoming more and more commonplace in F1 at the time. The turbocharged engine was developed further and produced around 540 bhp, with twin KKK turbochargers. Renault was joined by Ferrari in developing turbo engines for their cars, with the Ferrari 126 C. The car had advanced ground effect technology, with concessions given to the new rules which banned sliding skirts. The car made its debut at the Monaco Grand Prix in 1981, with Renault using a B-spec. RE20 for the first 5 races in the Americas, Belgium and Imola; Renault did not compete at what was supposed to be the first round at Kyalami in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Renault replaced Jean-Pierre Jabouille with promising young Alain Prost to partner René Arnoux for the season. After a slow start to the year, in which Prost gained only one podium finish, he broke his duck with a home win at the French Grand Prix at Dijon in changeable weather, and followed up with wins at the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort and the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, which gave him an outside chance at the world championship. Unreliability cost him his chance, but he finished a respectable fourth in the final standings. Arnoux had a very unlucky season and bore the brunt of most of the mechanical trouble that affected the RE30's development, most of which was done by Prost. The RE30 didn't suit Arnoux's aggressive, over-steering driving style as opposed to Prost's smooth, under-steering driving style which may have caused some of the problems with Arnoux's performance that year.