On raceday, Depailler disappeared up the road, leading every one of the 75 laps to come home 20 seconds ahead of Carlos Reutemann, who’d opted to stay in the older Lotus 79 after trying the 80 in practice. Andretti gave Colin Chapman’s new machine a debut podium finish with third but it was a false dawn for the radical machine; after reverting to the 79 for the next race, in Belgium, Mario persevered twice more that year, before Lotus called time on the 80.
Jody Schecker took fourth for Ferrari ahead of the Tyrrells of Jean-Pierre Jarier and Didier Pironi, while championship leader Villeneuve finished a lacklustre seventh in the second Ferrari. As a result, the French-Canadian would find himself heading to Zolder for the Belgian GP sharing the points lead with hero of the day Depailler.
Both the Williams retired with mechanical issues, but it would be only a few months before the British squad added its name to the record books.
The only other drama ensued later in the race when half a dozen spectators ran across the circuit just before the first corner. “And look at that for crass stupidity!” exclaimed commentator Murray Walker in his inimitable style. Fortunately that sort of thing doesn’t happy any more.