2 min read

The Weirdest Grand Prix in History?!

The Weirdest Grand Prix in History?!
The start of the 1984 Italian Grand Prix

The 1984 Italian Grand Prix was held at Monza and on pole for the race was Brabham’s Nelson Piquet, who took his seventh pole of the 1984 season. The race started and it was Piquet leading at lap 1’s end with Manfred Winkelhock not even making the start due to a gearbox issue.

On lap 3, Alain Prost, who was at the time, 0.5 points behind championship leader Niki Lauda in the championship, retired from the race with engine issues. From lap 5-8, 5 drivers retired, 4 with mechanical faults and by lap 10, 18 runners with left in the race.

Then within three laps, both Lotus cars and Piquet were out of the race, Mansell spun off, de Angelis also had car problems and Piquet retired from the lead with engine issues.

Now leading was Patrick Tambay’s Renault, which started 8th. During his stint in the lead, a further 4 cars retired including teammate Derek Warwick. Tambay then hit trouble on lap 43 and retired from the race leaving Niki Lauda as the race leader. Lauda then won the race by 24 seconds from Michele Alboreto and then Ricciardo Patrese was third.

Only 10 drivers were classified in the race results, and this is when it gets weird.

In 4th place was Stefan Johansson, who was the definition of a ‘super sub’ as he replaced the suspended Ayrton Senna at Toleman.

Then the other points finishers were-oh, there aren’t any other points scorers… Why? Let me explain.

Both ATS and Osella fielded two cars in the race as ATS had Winkelhock and future race winner Gerhard Berger and Osella had Piercarlo Ghinzani and Jo Gartner. Gartner finished 5th and Berger finished in the final points position in 6th but neither were awarded points as their teams, Osella and ATS had only fielded one car in the championship and thus neither scored any points. This race would've been the only point ATS got in the season & doubled Osella's points total. Gartner lost his life at Le Mans in 1986 and Berger went on to win races for Benetton, Ferrari and McLaren. Man this race was weird due to the number of retirements but also the fact that two drivers finished in the points but didn’t score any.

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