Jean-Pierre Jabouille, the two-time Grand Prix winner who claimed Renault’s first F1 victory, has died at the age of 80.
Frenchman Jabouille made 49 starts across an F1 career that began with Williams in 1974 and ended with Ligier in 1981 – via spells at Surtees, Tyrrell and the aforementioned Renault.
Two years after joining Renault, Jabouille scored a landmark home win for himself and the team at the 1979 French Grand Prix, held at Dijon, leading home Ferrari rival Gilles Villeneuve and team mate Rene Arnoux, who were involved in a remarkable and now legendary skirmish for the runner-up spot.
Jabouille and Renault secured another triumph together at the following year’s Austrian Grand Prix – the Paris-born racer also taking six pole positions and ending his F1 career with 21 points.
Alongside F1, Jabouille claimed the European F2 title in 1976 and collected four podium finishes at the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Speaking of Jabouille’s passing, Formula 1 CEO and President Stefano Domenicali said: “I am saddened by the news that Jean-Pierre Jabouille has passed away. He gave so much to motorsport and F1 and we cherish his memory and achievements. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.”
The current Alpine team – backed by Renault – released a statement saying they were “incredibly saddened” to hear of Jabouille’s passing, describing him as “a humble racing driver, brilliant engineer, and a pioneer of our sport”, along with being “a true racer”.
Their message continued: “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.
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“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. We’d like to extend our most sincere condolences to his family and close friends.”