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1984 FIA Formula 1 Season

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1984 FIA Formula 1 Season
Photo Credit: Attribution Unascertained.
Champion Constructor: McLaren TAG Porsche (GB,2,2)
Putative Constructor: McLaren TAG Porsche (GB)
Champion Driver: Niki Lauda (AT,3,3)
Putative Driver: Niki Lauda (AT)
Putative Constructor Entry Specification: Model MP4-2, 1.49-liter, six-cylinder vee, aluminum engine, DOHC, fuel injection, dual turbocharged, five-speed, ventilated carbon ceramic disc brakes, carbon fibre/aluminum honeycomb monocoque, double wishbone independent suspension, 805 horsepower (John Barnard, Hans Mezger).

The FIA in 1984 bans in-race refueling and imposes a 220 liter limit upon the race day fuel supply for each entry. McLaren with its MP4-2 entry and its newly minted TAG-Porsche turbocharged power unit takes twelve victories on its way to a dominating constructors' performance and its first title since the 1974 season. Alain Prost (seven victories) in his first season with McLaren suffers another heartbreak season after losing the drivers' crown by a mere half point to teammate Niki Lauda (five victories), his third overall championship and first since the 1977 season. The new TAG-Porsche unit, underpowered in comparison to its competition, proves out as superior in terms of fuel economy and driveability, key factors in the dominant season executed by McLaren. Future F1 sensation Ayrton Senna makes his debut at Rio de Janeiro in March. F1 runs for the last time at Zolder in April. F1 makes its inaugural visit to Dallas in July. The FIA lowers the boom upon the Tyrrell team after the Brands Hatch meeting in July after inspectors discover impurities in the fuel supply slated for its entries. The sanctioning body removes all points scored by drivers Stefan Bellof and Martin Brundle up to Brands Hatch, and subsequently banishes the team from participating in the final three season events. Many observers see the extremely harsh penalty as lingering recriminations held by FISA president Jean-Marie Balestre against the British-based FOCA constructors. The F1 return to the new and safety-conscious Nürburgring circuit in October proves as a minor disappointment to drivers, constructors, and racing enthusiasts. F1 makes its inaugural visit to Estoril in October. Racing Evolution: Carbon ceramic disc brakes (McLaren).

HeM applies the Putative Model to all racing seasons for two primary purposes: First, to effectively normalize all racing seasons for empirical comparison across the decades, and second, to step clear of series organizers which score season championships primarily out of commercial interest or to attract manufacturer participation. The Putative Model simply scores all seasons in the same fashion as a standard track and field meeting, with the only purpose of tracking what takes place at the finishing stripe If the Putative Champion differs from the nominal Series Champion, please note the (SC) notation below.

McLaren TAG Porsche189     Lauda95
Scuderia Ferrari72     Prost95
Lotus Renault54     Piquet47
Brabham BMW48     Alboreto40
Renault42     De Angelis40
Williams Honda31     Arnoux33

Noteworthy 1984 Races

1984 XLII Grand Prix de Monaco Monte Carlo1984 1984 XLII Grand Prix de Monaco At Monaco for the Grand Prix (251.5 kilometers) in June, the race comes to a British McLaren MP4-2 TAG Porsche under Alain Prost (FR) in rainy conditions in 1:01:07.7 (average 62.62 mph), under eight seconds ahead of a Toleman driven by Ayrton Senna. Prost moves out front after race leader Nigel Mansell in his Lotus crashes out on Lap 16 of 76 before race officials halt the contest fifteen laps later for incessant rain. McLaren and Prost earn their respective maiden victories in the principality, yet many observers take note of rookie Senna, his superior driving skill in the wet, and his closing move on Prost before the red flag unfurls. The FIA only awards half points for the contest due to the curtailed race distance. Photo Credit: Sutton Images.
1984 Dallas Grand Prix Dallas, Texas1984 1984 Dallas Grand Prix At Dallas for the Grand Prix (261.5 kilometers) on a very warm day (102 degrees) in July, a British Williams FW09 Honda under Keke Rosberg (FI) takes race honors in 2:01:22.6 (average 80.28 mph), under twenty-three seconds ahead of a Ferrari entry. The extreme heat in Dallas causes the street course asphalt to deteriorate in many places and nearly prompts a drivers’ strike until race officials complete repairs just prior to the start. The track conditions nonetheless account for an extraordinary number of spin-offs and compel race officials to shorten the event by ten laps. Photo Credit: Attribution Unascertained.
1984 V Grande Prémio de Portugal Lisbon, Portugal1984 1984 V Grande Prémio de Portugal At Lisbon for the Portuguese Grand Prix (304.5 kilometers) in October, a British McLaren MP4-2 TAG-Porsche under Alain Prost (FR) takes the flag in 1:41:11.8 (average 112.18 mph), under fourteen seconds ahead of a companion McLaren driven by Niki Lauda. Despite the victory by Prost, Lauda prevails for his third F1 drivers’ championship by a mere half point margin, the closest championship result in modern F1 history. Prost snares seven victories on the season, matching the great Jim Clark, yet suffers another major disappointment for the second consecutive season. Photo Credit: LAT Photographic Archive.