Jean-Pierre Jabouille, Renault’s first Formula 1 race winner, has died at the age of 80.
Jabouille was widely credited with assisting the development of Renault’s pioneering 1.5-litre turbocharged engine in the late 1970s.
He spearheaded Renault’s entry into Formula 1 in 1977 and claimed the manufacturer’s first victory at the French Grand Prix in 1979.
In an era of unreliable machinery Jabouille retired more often than reaching the chequered flag, but added a second win in Austria, in 1980.
He suffered a season-ending accident in Canada, leaving him with severe leg injuries, and retired from Formula 1 in 1981.
Jabouille also won the European Formula Two title in 1976 and claimed four podium finishes at the Le Mans 24 Hours.
In a statement Alpine – owned by Renault – paid tribute to Jabouille, labelling him “a true racer” and “a pioneer of our sport.”
“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,” Alpine said in a statement.
“We’d like to extend our most sincere condolences to his family and close friends.”
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