Jean-Pierre Jabouille dead at 80: The first Renault driver to ever win an F1 Grand Prix is dead
Formula 1 legend Jean-Pierre Jabouille has died at the age of 80.
The Frenchman played a key role in Renault’s entry into Formula 1 in 1977.
And he celebrated that with Renault’s first win at the French Grand Prix in 1979.
The Alpine team, which is owned by Renault, said it was “incredibly saddened” by Jabouille’s death.
A statement said: “A humble racer, brilliant engineer and a pioneer of our sport. Jean-Pierre was a real racing driver.
“He led Renault’s journey into F1 in 1977 with his resilient and daring attitude.
“It was Renault’s first Grand Prix win in 1979, a milestone in Renault’s Formula 1 journey.
“His determination and commitment to success have inspired many and these values remain central to the current team in its now Alpine blue colours.
“We are where we are today thanks to Jean-Pierre and his legacy lives on.”
Jabouille, an engineer by trade, was part of the Renault F1 project from the start, helping to develop the new turbocharged engine.
And his first victory, and that of the team, could not have been more grueling, coming on home soil for both the icon and France’s national car company.
Jabouille would win his last Grand Prix in Austria in 1980.
However, that same year he was forced to retire from racing when he broke his leg in an accident in Canada.
The star was already set to leave Renault as he was replaced by Alain Prost for the 1981 season.
Jabouille tried to make a comeback with the Talbot Ligier team but was ruled unfit and retired after failing to qualify for two of his four attempts.
From the late 1960s to the early 1990s he also drove the 24 Hours of Le Mans for companies such as Alpine, Matra, Sauber and Peugeot.
He had four third overalls in 1973, 1974, 1992 and 1993.
After retiring from F1, Jabouille briefly managed the Ligier team and then was head of Peugeot’s engine program in the 1990s.
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https://www.the-sun.com/sport/7294144/formula-one-jean-pierre-jabouille-dead-renault/ Jean-Pierre Jabouille dead at 80: The first Renault driver to ever win an F1 Grand Prix is dead