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Best of The Cahier Archive: 1984 Formula 1 Season

Submitted by on January 28, 2011

Lauda and Prost Portugal 1984This is the latest in our series of  photo specials showcasing the stunning images from the Cahier Archive. The collection, by photographers Bernard Cahier and his son Paul-Henri are part of a massive collection of 400 000 originals of which 17 000+ pictures are currently available on their website.

Today’s feature gallery contains images from the 1984Formula 1 Season

The season had been expected to see a continuation of the Brabham-Renault-Ferrari battle, with supporting roles for McLaren, Williams and Lotus. McLaren however had stolen a march on its competitors thanks to its TAG turbo engine.

The FISA had introduced new fuel economy rules aimed at reducing speeds, providing 240 litres of fuel for the entire race. TAG commissioned German sports car manufacturer Porsche to design and build a turbo engine. Porsche had extensive experience with similar economy rules due to its participation in endurance racing and this translated in superior fuel economy.

Reigning world driver’s champion Nelson Piquet and his Brabham-BMW were usually the fastest combination on track but appalling reliability meant he was never able to challenge consistently.

The season saw a titanic battle between both McLaren drivers Niki Lauda and Alain Prost. Prost had been sacked by Renault after failing to win the 1983 title. Fast and ambitious, the Frenchman quickly established his dominance over his teammate.

Austrian Niki Lauda had returned to F1 in 1982 and soon showed he had lost nothing of his earlier determination and guile. He regularly matched the pace of his 1982-1983 McLaren team mate John Watson, but Alain Prost was a different kettle of fish. Lauda quickly realized he could not beat his young team mate on speed. The wily Austrian therefore ignored qualifying and concentrated on his race strategies. By winning races when Prost ran into trouble and scoring relentlessly when Prost proved quicker, Lauda was just able to win the title, by half a point!

1. Niki Lauda – McLaren MP4/2 – Austria

2. Alain Prost – McLaren MP4/2 – France

3. Elio de Angelis – Lotus 95T – Italy

4. Michele Alboreto – Ferrari 126C4 – Italy

5. Nelson Piquet – Brabham BT53 – Brazil

6. Rene Arnoux – Ferrari 126C4 – France

Images: TheCahierArchive©

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