Jean-Pierre Jabouille Obituary, Death – Jean-Pierre Jabouille, who passed away yesterday, February 2, 2023, at the age of 80, will be remembered for all time as the first driver to win a Formula One Grand Prix in a turbocharged vehicle. His accomplishment will live on in the annals of racing history. The victory that the Frenchman achieved in his home race at Dijon in 1979 was also Renault’s breakthrough. He did so while driving on Michelin tyres, with the word “Elf” plastered on the nose of his RS10, and with oil running through it.
Nevertheless, in spite of everything, the focus of everyone’s attention was on the fight for second place as his teammate René Arnoux went bargeboard to bargeboard with Ferrari’s Gilles Villeneuve lap after lap. This fight has held everyone’s interest ever since. It had been a long and arduous path for Jabouille to get to that point. The turbocharged project that he’d been an active part of for two years had more misses than hits, and he’d finally won the Formula Two title in 1976, which was the eighth time that he’d tried.
Because to his connections with the Elf, he was able to achieve success as a Grand Prix driver after making his debut in 1975 with Tyrrell at Paul Ricard. In the previous year, he had been disqualified from both an Iso Williams and a Surtees. It didn’t get much better for him after he won the French Grand Prix; he only finished a couple of races and didn’t score any points until 1980, when he raced calmly and collectedly to cross the finish line ahead of a closing Alan Jones at the Osterreichring in Austria. This was his only point-scoring finish.