Jean-Pierre Jabouille, 1942-2023 · RaceFans

Jean-Pierre Jabouille, whose victory for Renault within the 1979 French Grand Prix heralded a brand new period of turbo-powered System 1 automobiles, has died on the age of 80.

It was a deserved breakthrough victory, the end result of years of improvement work and repeated failures of turbo engines. Whereas it got here in Jabouille’s third season with the group, it was solely their second points-scoring end.

Alpine, the F1 group run by Renault, issued a press release expressing that it was “extremely saddened” by Jabouille’s loss of life.

“A humble racing driver, good engineer, and a pioneer of our sport. Jean-Pierre was a real racer,” Alpine stated within the assertion.

“He spearheaded Renault’s journey into F1 in 1977 along with his resilient and dare to do angle. He was Renault’s first Grand Prix winner in 1979, a landmark second in Renault’s journey in System 1. His willpower and dedication to succeed impressed many, and these values stay central to the present group in its now blue colors of Alpine.

“We’re the place we’re as we speak due to Jean-Pierre and his legacy lives on. We’d like to increase our most honest condolences to his household and shut mates.”

Jabouille made his begin in racing on the age of 23, and started to make a reputation for himself by ending runner-up to Francois Cevert within the French System 3 championship in 1968. A protracted apprenticeship in System 2 adopted, to which Jabouille added profitable appearances in sports activities automotive racing.

He took his first F2 win on the Hockenheimring in 1974 and made his F1 debut the identical yr, however was unable to qualify for both Frank Williams or John Surtees’ groups. Higher issues got here in a one-off look for Tyrrell the next yr, the place Jabouille took the chequered flag in twelfth.

There have been no F1 outings for him the next yr. However having taken his personal automotive to second within the F2 standings in 1975, he lastly went one higher subsequent time, clinching the 1976 title with three wins.

Jabouille helped flip Renault’s novel turbo F1 automobiles into race-winners

Jabouille subsequent confronted the duty of growing Renault’s 1.5-litre turbo engine for F1 – the primary of its sort beneath the foundations of the time – Jabouille gave the enterprise its debut at Silverstone in 1977. They ran a single automotive operation at first, and Jabouille delivered their first factors with fourth at Watkins Glen the next yr.

The flowing Dijon circuit was well-suited to the Renault, and Jabouille’s win was the primary for driver, group and tyre provider Michelin, all on dwelling floor. It was additionally his solely points-scoring end of the yr; the identical was true of his follow-up victory on the Osterreichring in 1980. However three races later he broke his legs in a crash on the Canadian Grand Prix.

New group mate Rene Arnoux had outshone him for a lot of the yr, and Renault changed Jabouille with Alain Prost for 1981. He lined up a drive at one other French group, Ligier, however was nonetheless affected by his leg accidents and referred to as time on his F1 profession after six races.

He later returned to F1 in command of Peugeot’s engine programme, which offered motors to McLaren and 1994 and Jordan the next yr. After their tough first two seasons, Jabouille was changed, and in 1997 he arrange a profitable sports activities automotive racing group. He continued to return to show Renault’s pioneering F1 automobiles, together with on the 2019 French Grand Prix, marking the fortieth anniversary of his most well-known triumph.

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