Grand Prix Gold: 1982 US West GP

Grand Prix Gold: 1982 US West GP

Just three races into his grand prix comeback, Niki Lauda stunned the establishement by dominating the entire weekend at Long Beach and winning as he pleased. As ever, there was controversy brewing though as Ferrari's twin rear wing took centre stage during practice

Music stirs memories. Long Beach last Sunday was like the old days, and nothing reminded you so much as the Austrian National Anthem after the race. It took you back to countless times in the mid-seventies when Niki Lauda was dominant. Long Beach 1982 was a week in the Lauda tradition, the sort of victory he used to make a matter of routine.

From the beginning of practice, all the smart money was on him. It was not that he took pole – he qualified second – but that he made the matter of lapping Long Beach quickly seem deceptively undramatic and simple. There lay his class, and that is what won the race. Class.

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