Brazilian Grand Prix won by Carlos Reutemann in a Ferrari.

Jacarepagua, Brazil. Carlos Reutemann drove his Ferrari to victory in the F1 Brazilian Grand Prix for the second straight year, this time on the Circuito Internacional do Rio de Janeiro, which hosted the race for the first time. Reutemann made a great start from third on the grid, moving past front row starters Ronnie Peterson and James Hunt to take the lead into turn 1. By lap 6, Peterson's Lotus teammate Mario Andretti moved into 2nd and at the end of lap 9, Hunt pitted his McLaren for harder compound tires. Much to the delight of the home crowd, Emerson Fittipaldi moved his Copersucar past Peterson's understeering Lotus on lap 12. As Peterson continued to fall back with his problem, Gilles Villeneuve challenged. Villeneuve made his move on the long back straight, but neither driver was willing to give under braking and they collided and spun off onto the grass. After sorting themselves out, both drove to the pits for a quick check and a change of tires before rejoining, Peterson for only seconds before parking with a broken rear suspension. 20 laps in, the order remained the same with Fittipaldi's pace slowed having lost a wheel weight. Likewise, 4th running Hans Stuck lost a wheel weight, which flew back into Niki Lauda's closely following Brabham, narrowly missing the head of the defending World Champion before lodging itself in the rear airfoil. Fuel pressure woes retired Stuck's Shadow on lap 26, and an impatient Hunt spun off into retirement on the same lap after repeatedly trying to find a way past Riccardo Patrese, making his GP debut for the likewise debuting Arrows team. Lap 36 saw Villeneuve spin his Ferrari off in the same spot he'd earlier collided with Peterson, this time winding up in the catch fencing and out of the race. With just 8 laps to go, Andretti slowed when his Lotus jammed it's gears and Fittipaldi took over 2nd. Lauda demoted Andretti another spot with 5 laps left. Reutemann's Ferrari went on to cross the finish line 47.1 seconds in front of Fittipaldi with Lauda's Brabham-Alfa 3rd and Andretti winding up 4th. Also of note, it was the first modern era GP win for Michelin tires.

Jim Thurman

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