F1 race winner Jean-Pierre Jabouille dies

Jean-Pierre Jabouille at the wheel of the Renault RS01 F1 car in 2017

Jean-Pierre Jabouille at the wheel of the Renault RS01 F1 car in 2017

Two-time grand prix winner Jean-Pierre Jabouille, the man who drove the first turbocharged F1 car, has died at the age of 80.

The Frenchman raced in Formula 1 from 1974 until 1981, winning twice for Renault.

He made his debut at the 1974 French Grand Prix for Frank Williams Racing Cars, though failed to qualify for that event.

A switch to Team Surtees later that season netted the same result for the Austrian Grand Prix.

His first race start came in the 1975 French Grand Prix where he raced a Tyrrell 007 to 12th place.

Having sat out the 1976 campaign, during which time he won the European Formula 2 Championship, he returned as one of Renault’s drivers as the marque made its F1 debut at the 1977 British Grand Prix.

That car, the RS01, was the first Formula 1 car powered by a turbocharged engine and quickly earned the nickname of the ‘yellow teapot’ for its propensity to expire in a billowing cloud.

Jabouille remained with Renault for much of his time in Formula 1, winning his home race in 1979 to take the sport’s first victory for a turbocharged car.

He enjoyed success at the 1980 Austrian Grand Prix, one of only two finishes (the other being 10th at the US Grand Prix West) in 13 appearances that season.

It would prove to be his final race finish as he failed to qualify the Ligier JS17 twice in 1981, retired on two other occasions, and was officially not classified at the San Marino Grand Prix.

A broken leg at that year’s Canadian Grand Prix prematurely ended his career.

His F1 record reads two race wins from 49 starts, six pole positions, and a total of 21 career points.

He continued to race in sportscars until the 1990s, finishing third at Le Mans on four separate occasions (1973, 1974, 1992, and 1993).

Compatriot Alain Prost took to social media to pay tribute to Jabouille.

“A black year for French F1 and a great moment of sadness,” he wrote on Instagram.

“RIP Jean Pierre! You were a true friend as well as a mentor when I started [racing]. Your advice and analysis were very valuable to me.

“French motorsport owes you a lot! You deserved much more. We must and will remember you as a pioneer, a man with remarkable frankness and sincerity!”

Alpine, owned by Renault, also noted the Frenchman’s passing.

“BWT Alpine F1 Team is incredibly saddened to learn of the passing of Jean-Pierre Jabouille,” it announced.

“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. We’d like to extend our most sincere condolences to his family and close friends.”

Two-time F1 winner Jean-Pierre Jabouille

Two-time F1 winner Jean-Pierre Jabouille

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