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France 1979 French Grand Prix
Dijon79
Race 8 of 15 in the 1979 Formula One season
Date 1 July 1979
Official name LXV Grand Prix de France
Location Dijon-Prenois
Distance 80 laps, 304.08 km (188.88 mi)
Weather Dry
Pole Position
Driver France Jean-Pierre Jabouille (Renault)
Time 1:07.19
Fastest Lap
Driver France René Arnoux (Renault)
Time 1:09.16 on lap 71
Podium
First France Jean-Pierre Jabouille (Renault)
Second Canada Gilles Villeneuve (Ferrari)
Third France René Arnoux (Renault)

The 1979 French Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Dijon-Prenois on 1 July, 1979. It was the eighth round of the 1979 Formula One season. It marked the first victory of a turbocharged car in Formula One, with Renault overcoming the reliability problems that had initially plagued their car. The race is best remembered for one of the fiercest battles ever for second place, between Ferrari driver Gilles Villeneuve and Renault driver René Arnoux, who on several occasions during the final laps touched wheels and swapped positions.

ReportEdit

BackgroundEdit

With the two Swedish drivers in Formula 1 having died: Ronnie Peterson after an accident at Monza and Gunnar Nilsson a few weeks later from cancer, there was no money for a Swedish GP in 1979 and so there was a gap between Monaco at the end of May and the French Grand Prix at Dijon. The five-week break was used for testing and a lot of the cars were modified. Just after Monaco James Hunt announced that he was quitting F1 and so he was replaced by Keke Rosberg. Patrick Depailler blew all hopes he had of a successful season by breaking both his legs in a hang-gliding accident and so Ligier asked Jacky Ickx to take over its second car. Derek Daly also decided that he was wasting his time with Ensign and went back to Formula 2. Ensign tried to hire Tiff Needell but he was denied a superlicence and so the drive went to Patrick Gaillard. The entry also included Bruno Giacomelli in the Alfa Romeo, Arturo Merzario and Hector Rebaque.

QualifyingEdit

Renault had made a big effort to be competitive in France and the result was that Jean-Pierre Jabouille and won pole with René Arnoux second fastest. Then came Gilles Villeneuve (Ferrari) and Nelson Piquet (Brabham). The third row featured World Championship leader Jody Scheckter (Ferrari) and Niki Lauda in the second Brabham while the top 10 was completed by Alan Jones (Williams), Jacques Laffite (Ligier), Clay Regazzoni (Williams) and Jean-Pierre Jarier (Tyrrell). With ATS withdrawing Hans Stuck because of a fight with Goodyear only Gaillard and Merzario failed to qualify.

RaceEdit

In the race Villeneuve took the lead with Jabouille second, Scheckter third. Arnoux made a poor start and dropped to ninth. The early part of the race witnessed Arnoux climbing back through the field. By the 10th lap he was fourth and on lap 15 he took third place. At the front Villeneuve's Ferrari began to handle less well and on lap 47 Jabouille moved ahead as Villeneuve fell back towards Arnoux. Piquet blew his chances of a good position soon afterwards by spinning from fourth place (having overtaken Scheckter) and so the place went to Jones. In the closing laps Arnoux caught Villeneuve and on lap 78 he went ahead. On the next lap, the penultimate lap, Arnoux's engine began to splutter and Villeneuve was back ahead and for the last lap the pair indulged in a wild battle as they ducked and dived and banged wheels. At the last corner Arnoux drifted a little wide and Villeneuve was able to go down the inside and the two crossed the line just two-tenths of a second apart. Jones was fourth, Jarier fifth and Regazzoni sixth.

Renault's first victory and the first for a turbocharged engine marked an important turning point in F1 history. The turbocharged engine had become competitive.

ClassificationEdit

QualifyingEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Lap Gap
1 15 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault 1:07.19 -
2 16 France René Arnoux Renault 1:07.45 + 0.26
3 12 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari 1:07.65 + 0.46
4 6 Brazil Nelson Piquet Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1:08.13 + 0.94
5 11 South Africa Jody Scheckter Ferrari 1:08.15 + 0.96
6 5 Austria Niki Lauda Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1:08.20 + 1.01
7 27 Australia Alan Jones Williams-Ford 1:08.23 + 1.04
8 26 France Jacques Laffite Ligier-Ford 1:08.55 + 1.36
9 28 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Williams-Ford 1:08.65 + 1.46
10 4 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Tyrrell-Ford 1:08.80 + 1.61
11 3 France Didier Pironi Tyrrell-Ford 1:08.95 + 1.76
12 1 United States Mario Andretti Lotus-Ford 1:09.35 + 2.16
13 2 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Lotus-Ford 1:09.36 + 2.17
14 25 Belgium Jacky Ickx Ligier-Ford 1:09.68 + 2.49
15 7 United Kingdom John Watson McLaren-Ford 1:09.97 + 2.78
16 20 Finland Keke Rosberg Wolf-Ford 1:10.15 + 2.96
17 35 Italy Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo 1:10.59 + 3.40
18 14 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Fittipaldi-Ford 1:10.61 + 3.42
19 29 Italy Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Ford 1:10.70 + 3.51
20 8 France Patrick Tambay McLaren-Ford 1:10.92 + 3.73
21 17 Netherlands Jan Lammers Shadow-Ford 1:11.14 + 3.95
22 30 Germany Jochen Mass Arrows-Ford 1:11.14 + 3.95
23 9 Germany Hans Joachim Stuck ATS-Ford 1:11.75 + 4.56
24 31 Mexico Héctor Rebaque Lotus-Ford 1:11.97 + 4.78
25 18 Italy Elio de Angelis Shadow-Ford 1:12.23 + 5.04
26 22 France Patrick Gaillard Ensign-Ford 1:13.00 + 5.81
27 24 Italy Arturo Merzario Merzario-Ford 1:14.95 + 7.76

RaceEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 15 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault 80 1:35:20.42 1 9
2 12 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari 80 + 14.59 3 6
3 16 France René Arnoux Renault 80 + 14.83 2 4
4 27 Australia Alan Jones Williams-Ford 80 + 36.61 7 3
5 4 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Tyrrell-Ford 80 + 1:04.51 10 2
6 28 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Williams-Ford 80 + 1:05.51 9 1
7 11 South Africa Jody Scheckter Ferrari 79 + 1 Lap 5
8 26 France Jacques Laffite Ligier-Ford 79 + 1 Lap 8
9 20 Finland Keke Rosberg Wolf-Ford 79 + 1 Lap 16
10 8 France Patrick Tambay McLaren-Ford 78 + 2 Laps 20
11 7 United Kingdom John Watson McLaren-Ford 78 + 2 Laps 15
12 31 Mexico Héctor Rebaque Lotus-Ford 78 + 2 Laps 23
13 2 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Lotus-Ford 77 + 3 Laps 13
14 29 Italy Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Ford 77 + 3 Laps 19
15 30 Germany Jochen Mass Arrows-Ford 75 + 5 Laps 22
16 18 Italy Elio de Angelis Shadow-Ford 75 + 5 Laps 24
17 35 Italy Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo 75 + 5 Laps 17
18 17 Netherlands Jan Lammers Shadow-Ford 73 + 7 Laps 21
Ret 3 France Didier Pironi Tyrrell-Ford 71 Suspension 11
Ret 14 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Fittipaldi-Ford 53 Engine 18
Ret 6 Brazil Nelson Piquet Brabham-Alfa Romeo 52 Accident 4
Ret 1 United States Mario Andretti Lotus-Ford 51 Brakes 12
Ret 25 Belgium Jacky Ickx Ligier-Ford 45 Engine 14
Ret 5 Austria Niki Lauda Brabham-Alfa Romeo 23 Spun Off 6
DNS 9 Germany Hans Joachim Stuck ATS-Ford Tyre Dispute
DNQ 22 France Patrick Gaillard Ensign-Ford
DNQ 24 Italy Arturo Merzario Merzario-Ford

Standings after the raceEdit

Drivers' Championship standingsEdit

Pos Driver Points
1rightarrow blue 1 South Africa Jody Scheckter 30 (34)
1uparrow green 1 2 Canada Gilles Villeneuve 26
1downarrow red 1 3 France Jacques Laffite 24
1rightarrow blue 4 France Patrick Depailler 20 (22)
1rightarrow blue 5 Argentina Carlos Reutemann 20 (25)

Constructors' Championship standingsEdit

Pos Constructor Points
1rightarrow blue 1 Italy Ferrari 60
1rightarrow blue 2 France Ligier-Ford 46
1rightarrow blue 3 United Kingdom Lotus-Ford 37
1rightarrow blue 4 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 17
1rightarrow blue 5 United Kingdom Williams-Ford 14
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. Only the best 4 results from the first 7 races and the best 4 results from the last 8 races counted towards the Drivers' Championship. Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.


ReferencesEdit

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1979_French_Grand_Prix
  2. http://www.statsf1.com/en/1979/france.aspx
  3. http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr321.html

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