Complicated relationship

10. Jun 2024 
by Ziv Knoll

After a disappointing season with Lotus in 1979, Williams beckoned and Carlos Reutemann once again found himself in a winning car. He ably worked together with team-leader Alan Jones to give the Australian the 1980 World Drivers Championship and the Williams team the World Constructors Championship to celebrate.

Expecting his team and team-mate to return the favour in 1981, he arrived at the Brazilian Grand Prix to find his expectations to be misjudged. Leading the race, Williams asked him to move aside and let Jones pass. He refused, maintained his lead and took the win.

This was to cause irrevocable damage to their relationship, Jones then refusing to support Reutemann in his championship fight with Nelson Piquet, during which Jones took more points from his team-mate than Reutemann ultimately needed to become champion, Piquet eventually taking the crown at the season finale by a single point.

Within six months, both Reutemann and Jones, second and third in the 1981 World Drivers Championship would retire from the sport.

Reutemann returned to Williams for 1982, while Jones did not. He took second place in the season opener in South Africa, crashed in the second, then promptly retired.

Although it is widely thought that The Falklands War and Reutemann’s political ambitions were the catalyst behind his retirement, Williams’ Patrick Head feels that after a long and bitter campaign in 1981 ‘his heart just wasn’t in it any more’.

Reutemann, seen here-below with team boss Frank Williams, went on to become Governor of the Argentine province of Santa Fe.

Source: DR

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