• Canadian Grand Prix

Piquet finally gets title defence started

ESPN Staff
June 17, 1984

Nelson Piquet won the Canadian Grand Prix on a weekend dominated by the defending world champion - it was the fourth time he had completed the clean sweep of pole, victory and the fastest lap. Given that, it was remarkable that it was his first point-scoring race of the season after just one finish - and that back in ninth - in the previous six rounds as the turbo on the Brabham proved unreliable.

Piquet's weekend was not all joy. At the end of the race he had to be lifted from his car and carried to the podium because the heat coming off the radiator of his new Brabham had badly burned his right foot. "Another five laps and I'll stop," he kept telling himself. "But I knew I had much more power and I knew if it continued I could hold the race the way I wanted."

Alain Prost was on Piquet's tail through qualifying, and he squeezed his McLaren into a brief lead at the first bend of the race but was unable to prevent Piquet re-passing him before the lap was out.

Prost remained second for 44 laps despite his engine not firing properly but eventually he had to allow team-mate Niki Lauda to pass. Lauda then moved in on Piquet and almost came to grief when he lapped Elio de Angelis - the Lotus slid onto the grass and almost took out Lauda on his return to the track.

The field became increasingly empty as a string of cars retired and only half the 26 starters were still running at the end. In the closing stages Lauda came close enough to launch a series of attacks but he did not have the speed to get past the Brabham.

Piquet headed Lauda home by just over two seconds with Prost, almost a minute-and-a-half further back, the only other driver on the same lap. Remarkably, it was the first time Lauda had taken points in a Canadian Grand Prix.

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