1982 – The Official End of Season Review of the 1982 Formula 1 World Championship
VHS, 90 minutes
© 1982 DUKE Video

The 1982 Formula One season will be remembered as one of the best in the sport’s history, if not the most bizarre. Narrated by poet, presenter and guardian of the English language, Clive James, this review displays the spellbinding highs and the tragic lows of the 1982 championship year.

The off-season saw 1980 champion Alan Jones retire, replaced by Finnish driver Keke Rosberg. Niki Lauda returned from his sudden retirement two years previous to join John Watson at McLaren while reigning champion Nelson Piquet stayed at Brabham.

Lauda was the instigator of a driver’s strike at round one in Kyalami, protesting the new superlicence system imposed by the governing body. The ongoing FISA/FOCA war was a major talking point throughout the season, the most important race in the battle being the San Marino Grand Prix where only 14 cars started, Didier Pironi winning after defying team orders to pass Gilles Villeneuve for the victory.

San Marino was to be Gilles’ final race with the Canadian star being killed during qualifying in Belgium.  He approached the car of Jochen Mass who moved the same way as the fast approaching Gilles, the impact causing the Ferrari to launch up, tossing out its driver in the process.

Monaco came a race after Zolder and is generally regarded as the race no one wanted to win. Alain Prost was leading with only a handful of laps left when he crashed coming out of the seafront chicane. Riccardo Patrese took the lead but spun coming to the Loews hairpin. Pironi, Andrea de Cesaris and Derek Daly dropped out in the final lap from the top positions, with Patrese taking the win after he managed to roll start his car at Portier.

A second fatality occurred at the Canadian Grand Prix when Pironi stalled and was hit by Riccardo Paletti, the young Italian’s Osella crushing his legs and igniting. Paletti was only in his first season of Formula One. Pironi was nearly killed in Germany, both of his legs nearly needing amputation with the championship leader fighting for his life.

Pironi’s forced retirement meant nearly anyone could win the title, the two main contenders evidently being Watson (who had mastered a new race technique of attacking from the back) and Rosberg, the Flying Finn winning his first race in Formula One at the “Swiss” Grand Prix (actually held at Dijon Prenois in France).

The title battle went down to the final race of the year at the Caesar’s Palace car park in Las Vegas. While Michele Alboreto won the race, it was Rosberg who took the title, the first driver to do so with only one win. It was also the last championship won by a car with a Cosworth DFV engine and the last naturally aspirated engine to win a season in the years where the turbos were available.

In summary:

  • Hits: Clive James’ amazing commentary and wit
  • Misses: Tacky 80’s intro music
  • Best bits: Old footage, some driver interviews, great highlights of the old races

The 1982 season review is truly a purchase for the die-hard fans, it only being available for sale on VHS – one hopes that DUKE will see fit to remaster and re-release it in DVD or Blu Ray format soon.

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Jordan Mulach

Journalist at MotorsportM8
Canberra born and raised journalist. Studying Sports Media. iRacing addict
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