The 1977 United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International was race fifteenth or seventeen contested.

Niki Lauda had all but wrapped up the championship. Jody Scheckter had a mathematical chance of securing the title, but he would need a lot of luck. To capture the crown, the Ferrari driver had to score one point (finish sixth or better) or if Scheckter failed to win the race.

James Hunt put the No. 1 Marlboro McLaren M26 on the pole. Starting on the outside of the front row was the No. 8 Martini Racing Brabham BT45B of Hans Stuck. The next fastest was Stuckís teammate John Watson and Mario Andretti driving the No. 5 John Player Special Lotus 78. Championship contenders Lauda in the No. 11 Ferrari 312T2 and Scheckter piloting the No. 20 Wolf WR1 qualified seventh and ninth, respectively.

Stuck shot into the lead at the start of the race, but his time out front ended when he crashed on lap-14. Hunt inherited the top spot, followed by Andretti. Early in the contest, Scheckter advanced to fourth and with the demise of Stuck, he moved into third place. After fifty-nine-laps, Hunt crossed the finish line first, with Andretti 2.026-seconds behind in the runner-up spot. Scheckter earned the final spot on the podium. Lauda finished fourth and clinched his second World Driving title and the third consecutive Constructorís Championship for Ferrari.

Below are images from a pitlane walk at Watkins Glen International during the 1977 United States Grand Prix event.

Team Lotus entered two cars at Watkins Glen, driven by Gunnar Nilsson and the second-place finisher Mario Andretti. The No. 6 John Player Special Lotus 78 was piloted by Nilsson. Nilsson qualified twelfth in the twenty-six car field. His race ended when he crashed on lap-17. The Lotus 78 proved to be a successful model. Andretti won seven Grand Prix during 1977 and finished third in the final standings.
The No. 2 Marlboro McLaren M26 was raced by Jochen Mass. Mass was fifteenth-fastest in the qualifying session at Watkins Glen Ė 2.379-seconds slower than his teammate and the pole-sitter, James Hunt. The M26 made its debut at the Dutch Grand Prix in 1976. Unfortunately, it had too many issues and did not return until Spain in 1977. Hunt would score the carís first victory at the British Grand Prix.
The Derek Gardner designed Tyrrell P34 made its racing debut during the 1976 Formula One season. Elf Team Tyrrell entered cars for Jody Scheckter and Patrick Depailler, with Scheckter scoring a victory at the Swedish Grand Prix. At Watkins Glen in 1977, the cars were driven by Depailler and Ronnie Peterson. Peterson raced the No. 3 Tyrrell P34 and qualified fifth. He fell out of contention and finished sixteenth.
At Watkins Glen, Brabham Motor Racing Developments entered two Brabham BT46Bs driven by Hans Stuck and John Watson. A majority of the 1977 field were powered by the Ford Cosworth DFV, but the Brabhams used an Alfa Romeo engine. The three-liter flat twelve-cylinder Alfa engine was powerful but not always reliable. However, in 1977, Watson earned a runner-up result and Stuck captured a pair of third-place finishes.
Patrick Tambay drove the No. 23 Ensign MN08 for successful businessman Teddy Yip. The Ensign Formula One team was founded in the late-70sby former racer and engineer Morris Nunn. Prior to the United States Grand Prix, the quick Frenchman collected a sixth place in Germany and a fifth at the Dutch Grand Prix. Unfortunately, Tambay was unable to qualify for the event at Watkins Glen.
March Engineering scored the last Formula One victory in 1976 at the Italian Grand Prix with Ronnie Peterson behind the wheel of a March 761. In 1977, the company produced cars primarily for privateers such as Frank Williams. There were three March entered at Watkins Glen. The No. 9 March 761B was driven by Brazilian Alex Ribeiro. Ribeiro was the best of the rest, starting twenty-third and finishing fifteenth.
Carlos Reutemann drove the No. 12 Ferrari 312T2 being worked on in the pitlane at Watkins Glen International. His teammate, Niki Lauda, would win three Grand Pix and the 1977 championship with this model. Reutemannís season included a single victory at Argentina and fourth place in the final standings. The combined efforts of Lauda and Reutemann also earned Ferrari its third consecutive Constructorís title.
Team Surtees brought their TS19 model to Watkins Glen International for Hans Binder and Vittorio Brambilla. John Surtees, a world champion on two and four-wheels, built his first Formula One car, designated the TS7, in 1970. The No. 19 Surtees TS19 was campaigned by Vittorio Brambilla, who qualified eleventh and finished nineteenth. His teammate, Hans Binder, was eleventh after starting twenty-fifth.
The No. 17 Shadow DN8 was driven by Australian Alan Jones. Don Nicholís Shadow team began producing Formula One cars in 1973. Jonesí United States Grand Prix only lasted three laps and he was the first retiree as the result of an accident. The second Shadow was raced by Jean-Pierre Jarier. Jarier was sixteenth fastest during the qualifying session and finished one lap behind the leaders in ninth place.
There were many privateers entered in the 1977 Formula One World Driving Championship. One of the more successful drivers was Rupert Keegan. Keegan joined the series after winning the 1976 British Formula Three Championship. Campaigning the uncompetitive Hesketh 308E, his best result was seventh place at the Austria Grand Prix. At Watkins Glen, he managed an eighth-place after qualifying twentieth.
After years of successfully racing for other teams, Emerson Fittipaldi began constructing his own cars. The first to be built was the Fittipaldi FD in 1975. By 1977, he was driving the FD05 model, often referred by the name of his primary sponsor, Copersucar. Fittipaldi was competitive early in the season and captured two fourths and one fifth-place result. At the United States Grand Prix, he finished thirteenth.
Before round fifteen at Watkins Glen, James Hunt had collected points in four races, one of which was a victory at the British Grand Prix. Unfortunately, Hunt had failed to finish seven events. At Watkins Glen International, the driver of the No. 1 Marlboro McLaren M26 was on form. Hunt won the pole by 0.275-seconds. At the start of the race, he lost the lead to Hans Stuck but regained the top spot and win when Stuck crashed.

1James HuntMcLaren M2659-
2Mario AndrettiLotus 7859-
3Jody ScheckterWolf WR159-
4Niki LaudaFerrari 312T259-
5Clay RegazzoniEnsign MN0759-
6Carlos ReutemannFerrari 312T258-
7Jacques LaffiteLigier Matra JS758-
8Rupert KeeganHesketh 308E58-
9Jean-Pierre JarierShadow DN858-
10Brett LungerMcLaren M2357-
11Hans BinderSurtees TS1957-
12John WatsonBrabham BT45B57-
13Emerson FittipaldiFittipaldi FD0557-
14Patrick DepaillerTyrrell P3456-
15Alex RibeiroMarch 761B56-
16Ronnie PetersonTyrrell P3456-
17Ian AshleyHesketh 308E55-
18Patrick NŤveMarch 76155-
19Vittorio BrambillaSurtees TS1954-
20Jean-Pierre JabouilleRenault RS0130Alternator
21Gunnar NilssonLotus 7817Accident
22Hans-Joachim StuckBrabham BT45B14Accident
23Ian ScheckterMarch 77110Accident
24Jochen MassMcLaren M268Fuel Pump
25Danny OngaisPenske PC46Accident
26Alan JonesShadow DN83Accident
-Patrick TambayEnsign MN08-Did Not Qualify

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