1979 Italian Grand Prix
The 1979 Italian Grand Prix was a Formula One race held on 9 September 1979 at Monza. The race, contested over 50 laps, was the thirteenth round of the 1979 Formula One season and was won by South African Jody Scheckter driving a Ferrari. Scheckter claimed the Drivers' Championship in the process, while Ferrari clinched the Constructors' Championship.
Monza was revamped for 1979, with the track re-surfaced and run-off areas added to the Curva Grande and the Lesmo curves.
The entry list was enlarged by the return of the Alfa Romeo team, which had participated in the Belgian and French Grands Prix earlier in the season. Alfa Romeo fielded two cars: a new 179 chassis for Bruno Giacomelli, and the old 177 for Vittorio Brambilla, back in action for the first time since the crash in the previous year's race at Monza that had claimed the life of Ronnie Peterson. Meanwhile, Mexican Héctor Rebaque had his HR100 chassis ready for the first time, while Switzerland's Marc Surer, having won the Formula Two championship the previous month, made his first Formula One appearance as Ensign took him on in place of Patrick Gaillard.
The turbo-powered Renaults were quick in qualifying and filled the front row of the grid, with Jean-Pierre Jabouille ahead of René Arnoux. It was Jabouille's fourth pole position of the season, and Renault's sixth. Scheckter and Alan Jones in the Williams made up the second row, while on the third were their respective team-mates, Gilles Villeneuve and Clay Regazzoni. The top ten was completed by Jacques Laffite in the Ligier, the Brabhams of Nelson Piquet and Niki Lauda, and Mario Andretti in the Lotus.
The Renaults were slow off the start line and so Scheckter took the lead, with Arnoux holding on to second. Jones also made a poor start and dropped to the back of the field, putting Villeneuve third and the fast-starting Laffite fourth. On lap 2, Arnoux passed Scheckter for the lead, while Piquet crashed out after tangling with Regazzoni.
For the next eleven laps Arnoux, Scheckter, Villeneuve, Laffite and Jabouille ran nose-to-tail, with Regazzoni a distant sixth. Then, on lap 13, Arnoux's engine began to misfire, leading to his retirement. Scheckter thus regained the lead, with Villeneuve dutifully following him. Later in the race, Laffite and Jabouille also suffered engine failures, promoting Regazzoni to third.
Scheckter eventually took the chequered flag half a second ahead of Villeneuve and, with it, the Drivers' Championship. This one-two finish for Ferrari in their home race also secured them the Constructors' Championship. Regazzoni finished four seconds behind Villeneuve and 50 ahead of Lauda, with the final points going to Andretti and Jean-Pierre Jarier in the Tyrrell.
- Lap leaders: Jody Scheckter 39 laps (1, 13-50); René Arnoux 11 laps (2-12)
- This race was Scheckter's tenth and last victory in F1.
Standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. Only the best 4 results from the first 7 races and the best 4 results from the last 8 races counted towards the Drivers' Championship. Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.
1979 Dutch Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1979 Canadian Grand Prix
1978 Italian Grand Prix
|Italian Grand Prix||Next race:|
1980 Italian Grand Prix
| Preceded by
1978 British Grand Prix
| Formula One Promotional Trophy
for Race Promoter
| Succeeded by|
1980 Italian Grand Prix