Jean-Pierre Jabouille, First Renault F1 Grand Prix Winner, Passes Away at 80
FORMULA ONE legend Jean-Pierre Jabouille has died aged 80.
The Frenchman played a key role in Renault’s entry into F1 back in 1977.
F1 legend Jean-Pierre Jabouille has died aged 80Credit: Getty
The Frenchman took Renault’s first F1 victory in his homeland back in 1979Credit: AFP
And he celebrated that by taking Renault’s maiden win in the 1979 French Grand Prix.
The Alpine team, who are owned by Renault, said it was “incredibly saddened” by Jabouille’s death.
A statement read: “A humble racing driver, brilliant engineer and a pioneer of our sport. Jean-Pierre was a true racer.
“He spearheaded Renault’s journey into F1 in 1977 with his resilient and dare-to-do attitude.
“He was Renault’s first Grand Prix winner in 1979, a landmark moment in Renault’s journey in Formula 1.
“His determination and dedication to succeed inspired many, and these values remain central to the current team in its now blue colours of Alpine.
“We are where we are today because of Jean-Pierre and his legacy lives on.”
Jabouille, who was an engineer by trade, was part of the Renault F1 project from its beginning and helped to develop its new turbo engine.
And his and the team’s maiden victory could not have been more ordeal as it came on home soil for both the icon and France’s national car company.
Jabouille would win his final Grand Prix at Austria in 1980.
However, he was forced to retire from racing that same year when he broke a leg in a crash in Canada.
The star was already due to leave Renault as he was being replaced by Alain Prost for the 1981 season.
Jabouille did attempt to make a comeback with the Talbot Ligier team, but he was deemed unfit and retired after failing to qualify for two of his four attempts.
He also raced the 24 Hours of Le Mans from the late 1960s to the early 1990s for the likes of Alpine, Matra, Sauber and Peugeot.
He had four third overall finishes in 1973, 1974, 1992 and 1993.
Following retirement from F1, Jabouille briefly managed at the Ligier team and was then head of Peugeot’s engine programme in the 1990s.
After news of his death emerged, one fan tweeted: “One of the giants of the early turbo era and that fantastic French partnership with Rene Arnoux at Renault. RIP.”
Another wrote: “The first win for a Turbo F1 car in that magical Dijon race, my deepest sympathy and condolences to all his family and friends, RIP Mr Jabouille.”
While a fellow fan added: “RiP Jean Pierre Jabouille… You remain the first and only one Jean Pierre.”
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