Saturday 15th October 1983
In a tight Formula 1 World Championship finale, Nelson Piquet (Brabham) secured his second World title in Kyalami at the South African Grand Prix. Before the race, three drivers were still in a position to win the World Drivers’ Championship: Alain Prost (Renault) led the championship with 57 points, followed by Nelson Piquet (Brabham-BMW) with 55 and René Arnoux (Ferrari) with 49. Piquet qualified second, behind Patrick Tambay (Ferrari) in pole position and ahead of Riccardo Patrese (Brabham), Arnoux and Prost in third, fourth and fifth. At the start Piquet passed Tambay to take the lead, with Patrese moving into second place. Arnoux retired with engine failure on lap 9. Prost fought his way up to third place, but he also retired on lap 35 with turbo failure. Needing only to finish fourth or higher, Piquet slowed and was overtaken by Patrese, Niki Lauda (McLaren) and Andrea de Cesaris (Alfa Romeo). Lauda’s engine failed on lap 71. The race finished with Patrese in first place, de Cesaris in second and Piquet in third, and Piquet won the championship by two points. John Watson, completing in his last full Formula One season, was disqualified for overtaking other cars on the parade lap.