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1981 Austrian Grand Prix

Grosser Preis von Osterreich

Sunday, August 16, 1981
Hot, dry and sunny
Fastest Lap:
Laffite, 1m37.62
1981 season:

A French Festival
Osterreichring, Knittelfeld, August 16th

The pits and paddock were well filled by Friday morning, to see the start of testing under blue skies and in warm sunshine, though there was a small gap where the Fittipaldi team should have been. Although they assured some people they would be there they opted out at the last moment due to financial problems. This meant that there were only twenty-eight drivers to compete for the twenty-four grid positions, Rosberg and Serra being the absentees. While this made no difference to the front half of the grid, it affected the tail-enders and the non-qualifies. There was a slight delay in starting the testing session due to the radio communication with the BMW M1 coupe course car malfunctioning. We had barely got going when yellow lights flashing up the hill past the pits indicated trouble at the artificial ess-bend at the top. Rebaque had been following his team-leader past another car when the Mexican misjudged things and bounced off the road, wrecking the left-front suspension on the Brabham. He took over the spare Brabham when he walked back down the hill and meanwhile Piquet in the lead Brabham was setting a pretty cracking pace.