Carlos Reutemann won an action-packed and wet Monaco Grand Prix for Williams, a race marked by a spectacular four-car first-corner pile-up.
The authorities had been concerned about the dash into the first corner and had widened and flattened it in a bid to avoid any incident. The front of the field made it through, but then Derek Daly's Tyrrell hit Bruno Giacomelli's Alfa Romeo, flew into the air and crashed into his team-mate Jean-Pierre Jarier as well as rookie Alain Prost in a McLaren. Remarkably, no one was hurt.
Didier Pironi took an early lead in his Ligier with Alan Jones' Williams on his tail. After 25 of the 76 laps Jones was forced out with transmission failure, allowing his team-mate Reutemann to take up the chase. Pironi was increasingly troubled with gearbox problems and eventually he spun into a barrier on the 54th lap.
Reutemann kept his head to finish over a minute ahead of Jacques Laffite in driving rain which had several drivers shaking their fists in anger at the stewards, demanding the race be stopped. Nelson Piquet took third to move one point clear of Rene Arnoux in the drivers' championship, with only another four points separating him from Jones and Pironi.