The Ferrari 312T4s of Jody Scheckter and Gilles Villeneuve have locked out the front row, the South African securing his first pole position for the Scuderia. He had a share of the lead of the drivers’ championship with Ligier’s Jacques Laffite, having taken his first win of the year in Belgium two weeks earlier, so was out to get one over the Frenchman sitting fifth on the grid.
Honours between Ferrari and Ligier were even as the 76-lap race got under way, thanks to three victories each from the season’s first six races.
Scheckter, who’d won in Monaco two years earlier for the Canadian Wolf team, made the perfect getaway to lead into the first corner. And that was really the last of the rest of the field saw of the eight-time Grand Prix winner. He pulled out a comfortable lead, led by Niki Lauda’s Brabham, Villeneuve and, in the last quarter of the race, Clay Regazzoni’s Williams.