This year, the Austrian Grand Prix returns to the F1 calendar for the first time since 2003. Some incredible moments have taken place at the Red Bull Ring – formerly known as the Österreichring (old layout) and A1-Ring – including one of the closest finishes in the sport’s history.
And no, I’m not talking about the controversial 2002 round, when Rubens Barrichello pulled over on the run to the flag to gift his Ferrari team-mate Michael Schumacher the victory. In the latest ‘Remember When’ feature for Formula1Blog, I am going to look back at the 1982 Austrian Grand Prix.
Nelson Piquet was on pole position for the event, with his Brabham team-mate Riccardo Patrese in second. The duo had dominated qualifying, with Prost being their nearest challenger, 1.2 seconds down on the fastest lap in third.
The Brazilian driver held onto the lead on the run to the first corner, with Patrese dropping behind Prost. Further back, the two Alfa Romeos collided and retired, with the Williams of Derek Daly also getting caught up in the chaos.
Prost only held on to second place for a few corners before Patrese found his way through. The Italian was on the move and took the lead on the next tour, with the two Brabhams immediately pulling away from the chasing pack.
Through the first pit stops, Prost and Elio de Angelis managed to move ahead of Piquet, who emerged just ahead of Keke Rosberg. Patrese maintained first place after his stop but dramatically retired a few laps later with an engine failure, which caused him to spin off the track.
The second Brabham car retired a few laps later with an electrical failure. Prost moved into a dominant lead and looked set to take victory before a mechanical problem five laps from the end caused him to also exit the race.
This left de Angelis in the lead with Rosberg in second. Both were looking for their first F1 win and the latter had closed considerably on the former in the final laps. The gap was 1.6 seconds by the final tour, but by the chequered flag it had been cut to just 0.050 seconds.
The two drivers were side-by-side on the run to the line, but it was de Angelis who took his maiden victory. It was one of the closest finishes in F1 history. Behind Rosberg, Jacques Laffite finished one lap down in third, with Patrick Tambay, Niki Lauda and Mauro Baldi completing the points scorers.