Thursday 28th February 1980
Qualifying for the South African Grand Prix was marked by spectacular crashes involving Marc Surer and Alain Prost. Surer failed to negotiate a bend and smashed head-on into a trackside wall. He was trapped for half an hour before he could be freed and taken to hospital. Prost, meanwhile, had his second accident of the week – two days earlier he had damaged his McLaren during unofficial practice. He walked away without injury both times. Off track, a stormy meeting of the drivers was held in the light of a decision to ban skirts on cars in 1981, with Alan Jones and John Watson reportedly resigning in protest.