He went down in motorsport history as the first turbo winner: Jean-Pierre Jabouille secured the French Grand Prix twice for his French racing team Renault. The “big blond” stayed true to racing until 2005. He has now died at the age of 80.

International motorsport mourns the loss of former Formula 1 driver Jean-Pierre Jabouille. The two-time Grand Prix winner died at the age of 80, his family has confirmed. Jabouille wrote Formula 1 history in 1979 with his first success in a race in the premier class of automobile sport: His victory in the home race at the French Grand Prix meant the first triumph in a race for the Formula 1 World Championship for his French Renault team also the first victory for a car with a turbo engine. In the following season, the Paris-born racing driver won the Austrian Grand Prix again.

From 1975 to 1981, Jabouille drove a total of 49 Formula 1 races. Besides Renault, Jabouille also started for Williams, Tyrrell and Ligier-Talbot. Shortly after the end of his Formula 1 career in 1981, due to the consequences of a broken leg in a serious accident a year earlier at the Canadian Grand Prix, Jabouille returned to motorsport for several years as team boss of the Ligier racing team.

As head of sports at Peugeot, the “big blond”, who in the meantime had tried his hand at running a restaurant in the French capital, even returned to Formula 1 temporarily in the 1990s. Jabouille Meriten also earned himself as a long-distance driver. In the legendary 24-hour race of Le Mans the veteran didn’t win, but at least made it onto the podium four times.

For the French motorsport scene, Jabouille’s death means the third loss of a well-known personality with a Formula 1 past in just a few weeks. At the beginning of December last year, Patrick Tambay, who was also a two-time Grand Prix winner, died at the age of 73 before the Grande Nation had to say goodbye to Philippe Streiff for Christmas.