Formula 1 mourns Jean-Pierre Jabouille. The ex-racing driver died at the age of 80. After Patrick Tambay (beginning of December 2022) and Philippe Streiff (end of December 2022), Jabouille is now the third former French driver to have died within a few weeks.
Jabouille gained international fame at the 1979 French Grand Prix in Dijon, which he won at the wheel of a Renault RS01. It was the first win for a turbocharged Formula 1 car. However, the achievement took a back seat at the time because in the same race, Jabouille’s Renault teammate Rene Arnoux and Ferrari’s Gilles Villeneuve fought their epic wheel-to-wheel duel for second place.
Jabouille competed in 49 Formula 1 Grands Prix between 1974 and 1981. Apart from the triumph in Dijon in 1979, which was not the first victory for Turbotechnik but also for himself, he also won another race: the 1980 Austrian Grand Prix on the Österreichring at the wheel of a Renault RE20.
After a serious accident at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal in 1980, Jabouille had to pause a few races with a broken leg. In 1981 he made a handful of appearances for Ligier before retiring from Formula 1 as a driver.
In 1982 Jabouille became team manager of the Ligier racing stable for a few years. He returned once more more than a decade later, in the role of Peugeot’s motorsport boss. The French manufacturer was engine partner of McLaren in 1994 and of Jordan for several years from 1995. But Jabouille had to go in 1995.
As a driver, Jabouille was not only successful in Formula 1, but also in long-distance races. He competed in the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans both before and after his Grand Prix career. In a total of 13 participations between 1968 (with Alpine) and 1993 (with Peugeot), he made it onto the podium four times. But he never managed to win at Le Mans, not even when he was Peugeot’s head of sport.
It is true that Peugeot won the 24h Le Mans in 1992 and 1993 (in each case with the car in which Jabouille himself was not sitting). However, “JPB” only took over the post of Peugeot sports director in 1994 from Jean Todt, after he had joined the Ferrari Formula 1 team as team boss.
This article was written by Mario Fritzsche
The original of this article “Formula 1 mourns: Jean-Pierre Jabouille died at the age of 80” comes from Motorsport-Total.com.