1975 French Grand Prix

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France  1975 French Grand Prix
Race details
Race 9 of 14 in the 1975 Formula One season
Circuit Paul Ricard Le Castellet 1970-1999.png
Date July 6, 1975
Location Paul Ricard Circuit
Course Permanent racing facility
5.809 km (3.61 mi)
Distance 54 laps, 313.686 km (194.94 mi)
Weather Dry and sunny
Pole position
Driver Austria Niki Lauda Ferrari
Time 1:47.82[1]
Fastest lap
Driver West Germany Jochen Mass McLaren-Ford
Time 1:50.60[2] on lap 38
First Austria Niki Lauda Ferrari
Second United Kingdom James Hunt Hesketh-Ford
Third West Germany Jochen Mass McLaren-Ford

The 1975 French Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Paul Ricard on July 6, 1975. It was the 53rd French Grand Prix and the third time the race was held at Paul Ricard. The race was held over 54 laps of the five kilometre circuit for a race distance of 313 kilometres.

The race was won by world championship points leader, Austrian driver Niki Lauda driving a Ferrari 312T. Lauda won the race in dramatic fashion in a late race dogfight with British driver James Hunt in his Hesketh 308 while West German driver Jochen Mass closed rapidly on the fighting pair in his McLaren M23. It was Lauda's fourth win for the season, giving him a 22-point lead in the points over Brabham driver Carlos Reutemann.

Race summary[edit]

Niki Lauda was suffering from flu and was definitely not on top form. Jean-Pierre Jarier brought a smile to French faces by setting Friday's quickest time. Jody Scheckter driving the new lightweight Tyrrell 007 set a record through the speed trap of 190 mph.

On the start line, Tom Pryce was left without a clutch and retired shortly afterwards. Lauda led from Scheckter, James Hunt and Jochen Mass. Clay Regazzoni had promoted himself to a fantastic second place before his engine exploded, Scheckter taking over the position before Hunt passed him on lap eight. Lauda and Hunt maintained first and second whilst Scheckter, struggling with near-catastrophic handling had to concede to Mass and Emerson Fittipaldi.

Jarier made a superb pass on him and made a brave bid to catch Fittipaldi, but rev-limiter problems caused him to fall back with erratic power. Mario Andretti and Patrick Depailler were performing brilliantly, advancing from eleventh to fifth and 19th to sixth respectively.

Alan Jones was duelling with Ronnie Peterson and Carlos Reutemann when he spun into the catch fencing. Reutemann suffered from tyre problems and lost a lap, whilst John Watson suffered excess power and took to the escape road. Vittorio Brambilla retired with a damper problem, Wilson Fittipaldi blew his engine, Jacky Ickx, Mark Donohue and Carlos Pace broke driveshafts. Jochen Mass was in rapid pursuit of James Hunt and Niki Lauda – by the last lap he was only 2.4 seconds behind them. However, a superb lapping manoeuvre gave Hunt the space he needed. On the last corner, Lauda slid offline, but caught the car superbly to take the win by less than two seconds.


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 12 Austria Niki Lauda Ferrari 54 1:40:18.84 1 9
2 24 United Kingdom James Hunt Hesketh-Ford 54 + 1.59 3 6
3 2 West Germany Jochen Mass McLaren-Ford 54 + 2.31 7 4
4 1 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi McLaren-Ford 54 + 39.77 10 3
5 27 United States Mario Andretti Parnelli-Ford 54 + 1:02.08 15 2
6 4 France Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Ford 54 + 1:07.40 13 1
7 23 United Kingdom Tony Brise Hill-Ford 54 + 1:09.61 12  
8 17 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Shadow-Ford 54 + 1:19.78 4  
9 3 South Africa Jody Scheckter Tyrrell-Ford 54 + 1:31.68 2  
10 5 Sweden Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford 54 + 1:36.02 17  
11 21 France Jacques Laffite Williams-Ford 54 + 1:36.77 16  
12 15 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille Tyrrell-Ford 54 + 1:37.13 21  
13 18 United Kingdom John Watson Surtees-Ford 53 + 1 Lap 14  
14 7 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Ford 53 + 1 Lap 11  
15 31 Netherlands Gijs Van Lennep Ensign-Ford 53 + 1 Lap 22  
16 22 Australia Alan Jones Hill-Ford 53 + 1 Lap 20  
17 14 United Kingdom Bob Evans BRM 52 + 2 Laps 25  
18 10 Italy Lella Lombardi March-Ford 50 + 4 Laps 26  
Ret 8 Brazil Carlos Pace Brabham-Ford 26 Transmission 5  
Ret 6 Belgium Jacky Ickx Lotus-Ford 17 Brakes 19  
Ret 30 Brazil Wilson Fittipaldi Fittipaldi-Ford 14 Engine 23  
Ret 9 Italy Vittorio Brambilla March-Ford 6 Chassis 8  
Ret 11 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 6 Engine 9  
Ret 28 United States Mark Donohue Penske-Ford 6 Transmission 18  
Ret 16 United Kingdom Tom Pryce Shadow-Ford 2 Transmission 6  
DNS 20 France François Migault Williams-Ford 0 Non Starter 24  

Standings after the race[edit]

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. Only the best 6 results from the first 7 races and the best 6 results from the last 7 races counted towards the Championship. Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.


  1. ^ Lang, Mike (1983). Grand Prix! Vol 3. Haynes Publishing Group. p. 85. ISBN 0-85429-380-9. 
  2. ^ Lang, Mike (1983). Grand Prix! Vol 3. Haynes Publishing Group. p. 87. ISBN 0-85429-380-9. 

Unless otherwise indicated, all race results are taken from "The Official Formula 1 website". Retrieved 2007-06-15. 

Previous race:
1975 Dutch Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1975 season
Next race:
1975 British Grand Prix
Previous race:
1974 French Grand Prix
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1976 French Grand Prix