Race and classic pictures

Prost reigns in Belgium as Formula 1 returns to Spa

Spa-Francorchamps had undergone significant modifications when it reopened for Formula 1 in May 1983 after a thirteen-year absence from the calendar.

And the new, shorter 6.9km circuit, while much less dangerous than its terrifying historic predecessor, was still very much a challenge of bravery for drivers.

The start of the Belgian Grand Prix held on this day 41 years ago was marred by a bit of controversy as a false start prompted the drivers to complete only one lap before returning to the grid to refuel, which was against the regulations.

Once the confusion was resolved, Alfa's Andrea de Cesaris took the initial lead, with Renault's Alain Prost and Ferrari's Patrick Tambay close behind.

De Cesaris lost ground during the pit stops in the middle of the race, and his chances were eventually completely dashed by an engine failure.

Prost seized the opportunity to assume the lead and ultimately crossed the finish line with a comfortable margin of over 20 seconds ahead of Tambay and Renault teammate Eddie Cheever.

Phillip van Osten

Motor racing was a backdrop from the outset in Phillip van Osten's life. Born in Southern California, Phillip grew up with the sights and sounds of fast cars thanks to his father, Dick van Osten, an editor and writer for Auto Speed and Sport and Motor Trend. Phillip's passion for racing grew even more when his family moved to Europe and he became acquainted with the extraordinary world of Grand Prix racing. He was an early contributor to the monthly French F1i Magazine, often providing a historic or business perspective on Formula 1's affairs. In 2012, he co-authored along with fellow journalist Pierre Van Vliet the English-language adaptation of a limited edition book devoted to the great Belgian driver Jacky Ickx. He also authored "The American Legacy in Formula 1", a book which recounts the trials and tribulations of American drivers in Grand Prix racing. Phillip is also a commentator for Belgian broadcaster Be.TV for the US Indycar series.

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