The world of Formula 1 is mourning the passing of Jean-Pierre Jabouille.
The Frenchman was 80 years old and is remembered by enthusiasts for being the first to win a Grand Prix with a turbocharged engine at the wheel of a Renault in Dijon in 1979.
Curiously that victory, the first of the two obtained in his career, actually took a back seat due to the incredible duel that Gilles Villeneuve and René Arnoux fought for the place of honor.
Born in Paris on 1 October 1942, Jabouille has among the pearls of his palmares the title centered in European Formula 2 in 1976, while in F1 he took part in 49 races between 1975 and 1981.
Jean-Pierre Jabouille in front of Gilles Villeneuve
Photo by: Renault
In addition to the success of Dijon, the transalpine also won the Austrian GP in the following season, but his career came to an abrupt stop with the serious accident in which he was the protagonist at the 1980 Canadian GP, in which he broke his legs .
The last race in F1 with Renault was therefore at the previous Spanish GP, interrupting an adventure that saw him score fewer points than he deserved, often stranded by technical problems or accidents. In 1981 he attempted a restart with Ligier, but amidst mechanical and physical troubles he decided to end the experience prematurely to take on the role of consultant.
With the Alpine, Matra and Peugeot brands, he also boasted 13 participations in the 24h of Le Mans between 1968 and 1993, climbing the overall podium four times.
That of 1993 was the last appearance as a driver at the 24h of the Sarthe, crowned with third place together with Philippe Alliot and Mauro Baldi on the Peugeot 905.
Jean-Pierre Jabouille with René Arnoux and Gilles Villeneuve
Photo by: Renault
Jabouille then replaced Jean Todt at the wheel of Peugeot Sport and was instrumental in the marque’s entry into F1 as an engine supplier, but despite several podium finishes with McLaren in 1994 he was replaced for 1995, thus dedicating himself to closed-wheel racing putting his hand to machines of the caliber of Morgan, Ferrari, Porsche and Viper.
On the occasion of the Paul Ricard French GP staged in 2019, he drove the Renault of Dijon ’79 in front of the rapturous public, exactly 40 years after that historic success for him, the French manufacturer and F1.
The Motorsport.com editorial team sends condolences and a hug to Jean-Pierre’s family
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