The 1982 Detroit Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on June 6, 1982, in Detroit, Michigan.
For the second straight race, Ferrari had only one entry following the death of Gilles Villeneuve in Belgium four weeks earlier, and Didier Pironi qualified it in fourth spot in the Ferrari 126C2.
The top three drivers all managed excellent starts, and Prost led de Cesaris and Rosberg through the first turn. Following them at the end of Lap one were Pironi, Mansell, Bruno Giacomelli, Cheever and Lauda.
Starting from seventeenth position on the grid, Northern Ireland’s John Watson stormed through the field to win the first Detroit Grand Prix, at America’s sixth different Formula One venue.
Secure in the lead, Watson was able to back off as Rosberg struggled with fuel feed problems and worn tires, in addition to his ailing gearbox, and dropped all the way back to fifth on the track, fourth on combined time. With an average speed of only 78 mph, the two-hour time limit was reached well short of the intended 76 laps, and Watson took his second win of the season. American Eddie Cheever claimed second for his best Grand Prix finish, ahead of Ferrari’s Didier Pironi in third.
Despite a mountain of teething problems with the new circuit, the organizers of the race received excellent reviews for their efforts, and a new American city had made its entrance to Formula One. With two US races already run in 1982, one still remained, as, for the first time ever, one country would host three events in a single Grand Prix season.
There was quite a bit of action at the inaugural running of the Detroit Grand Prix: