The starting grid, with the Williams of Alan Jones, number one, and Carlos Reutemann, number two – the favorites ahead of the race. The rivalry between the drivers was so intense that it had already cost them the previous championship. Jacques Laffite, at Talbot, had secured pole position ahead of Jones, who would start second, and Carlos Reutemann, in third. The first part of the race was a demonstration by Jones, who led for the first 14 laps. But when he lapped Eliseo Salazar of Chile, who was running last, he ran off the track. He had lost the chance of winning, but rejoined the race, finishing seventh after a masterclass of driving.