Keke Rosberg's 1983 Williams

The Formula One race where no one finished second

Thirty-five years ago today, on the 13th March 1983, there was a rather unusual finish to a motor race, it was the Formula One race where no one finished second.  The Brazilian Grand Prix was being held at Jacarepaguá, a circuit that hosted the race ten times, as the opening round of the World Championship that year.  Qualifying had seen Keke Rosberg on pole in his Williams, ahead of Alain Prost and Patrick Tambay.  The race had started with a disqualification after Elio de Angelis qualified in a turbo-powered car and swapped to the spare car when the engine would not warm up for the race.


Rosberg was hoping for a better outcome that the previous Brazilian Grand Prix, when he was disqualified when his car was found to be under weight.  This time, however, it was Nelson Piquet who took the chequered flag, who had also been disqualified the previous year, ahead of Rosberg and Lauda.  However, it turned out that the Finn’s luck had not changed.  He was subsequently disqualified for having a push start in the pits after his car had briefly caught fire in a refuelling incident.


Normally, that would remove the driver from the result and all of the other drivers would move up one place.  This time, however, second place was simply not awarded, and Lauda stayed in third, Lafitte in fourth, and Tambay in fifth.  At the end of the year, Piquet took the title from Prost by two points, and had he been moved up from seventh to sixth in Brazil he would have been awarded one point, so that result did not change the ultimate winner of the championship.


Nevertheless, with only two podium positions, the 1983 Brazilian Grand Prix will be remembered as the Formula One race where no one finished second.