Sunday 21st October 1984
Second place in the final race of the season, the Portuguese Grand Prix, gave Niki Lauda the world motor-racing championship for the third time. The man who won the race, Lauda’s McLaren team-mate, Alain Prost, was pipped to the title by the narrowest of margins, just half a point. McLaren dominated the season, with Prost winning 7 races to equal the season wins record set by Jim Clark in 1963, and Lauda winning 5, making the McLaren MP4/2 the most dominant single season car in the sports history to that point. The team also scored four 1–2 results during the season to easily win the Constructors’ Championship with a then-record 143.5 points, some 86 points in front of second-placed Ferrari. McLaren won 12 of the season’s 16 races, with Brabham’s reigning World Champion Nelson Piquet scoring two wins. Michele Alboreto (Ferrari) and Keke Rosberg (Williams-Honda) were the only other winners in the season with each winning a single race.
For Japanese giant Honda, Rosberg’s win in the Dallas Grand Prix in the United States would be the first of 40 wins for their turbocharged V6 engines until the turbos were banned following the 1988 season. It was also Honda’s first win in Formula One since John Surtees had won the 1967 Italian Grand Prix at Monza driving the V12 powered Honda RA300 in its debut race. The Dallas Grand Prix was a one-off race, as the race was inexplicably run during the 100F heat of a Texas July summer; the weather and track temperatures were so high that the track broke up very badly. Aside from those problems, the circuit and the organization were well-received, and race was a classic- but only 7 cars finished. This was similar to the previous race in Detroit, where only 6 cars finished. Renowned British motorsports journalist Denis Jenkinson referred to these 2 American races as “demolition derbies”.
Zolder held its last Formula One Grand Prix when it hosted the third round Belgian Grand Prix. Fittingly at the track where Ferrari’s Gilles Villeneuve had been killed in 1982, Michele Alboreto took pole and won the race carrying Villeneuve’s #27 on his car. The Dijon-Prenois circuit also hosted its final Grand Prix when it hosted the French Grand Prix (Rd.5) won by Niki Lauda.