1976 French Grand Prix

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France  1976 French Grand Prix
Race details
Race 8 of 16 in the 1976 Formula One season
Circuit Paul Ricard Le Castellet 1970-1999.png
Date July 4, 1976
Location Paul Ricard Circuit
Course Permanent racing facility
5.809 km (3.61 mi)
Distance 54 laps, 313.686 km (194.94 mi)
Pole position
Driver United Kingdom James Hunt McLaren-Ford
Time 1:47.89[1]
Fastest lap
Driver Austria Niki Lauda Ferrari
Time 1:51.0 on lap 4[2]
Podium
First United Kingdom James Hunt McLaren-Ford
Second France Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Ford
Third United Kingdom John Watson Penske-Ford

The 1976 French Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at the Paul Ricard Circuit in Le Castellet, near Marseille in France on July 4, 1976. The race was the eighth round of the 1976 Formula One season. It was the 54th French Grand Prix and the fourth to be held at Paul Ricard. The race was held over 54 laps of the 5.8-kilometre venue for a race distance of 314 kilometres.

The race was won by eventual 1976 world champion James Hunt driving a McLaren M23. Hunt won by twelve seconds over the Tyrrell P34 of Patrick Depailler. It was Hunt's second win for the year and his third career Grand Prix victory, although at this stage his appeal against disqualification from the Spanish Grand Prix win had yet to be upheld. Eleven seconds further back in third was John Watson driving a Penske PC4. It was the first podium finish for both Watson and Penske, although the result only came after Ronnie Peterson's March 761 stopped with three laps to go and after Watson was disqualified for a rear wing irregularity and subsequently reinstated upon appeal.

Fourth place was taken by young Brazilian driver Carlos Pace driving a Brabham BT45 ahead of Mario Andretti (Lotus 77) and the Tyrrell P34 of Jody Scheckter.

Reigning champion Niki Lauda retired his Ferrari 312T2 with an engine failure while leading. While Hunt would eventually prove to be the challenger to Lauda for the 1976 championship Lauda's points lead at this time was over the Tyrrell pair of Patrick Depailler (26 points) and Scheckter (24 points).

Classification[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 11 United Kingdom James Hunt McLaren-Ford 54 1:40:58.60 1 9
2 4 France Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Ford 54 + 12.70 3 6
3 28 United Kingdom John Watson Penske-Ford 54 + 23.55 8 4
4 8 Brazil Carlos Pace Brabham-Alfa Romeo 54 + 24.82 5 3
5 5 United States Mario Andretti Lotus-Ford 54 + 43.92 7 2
6 3 South Africa Jody Scheckter Tyrrell-Ford 54 + 55.07 9 1
7 34 West Germany Hans Joachim Stuck March-Ford 54 + 1:21.55 17  
8 16 United Kingdom Tom Pryce Shadow-Ford 54 + 1:30.67 16  
9 35 Italy Arturo Merzario March-Ford 54 + 1:53.57 20  
10 20 Belgium Jacky Ickx Wolf-Williams-Ford 53 + 1 Lap 19  
11 7 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Alfa Romeo 53 + 1 Lap 10  
12 17 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Shadow-Ford 53 + 1 Lap 15  
13 21 France Michel Leclère Wolf-Williams-Ford 53 + 1 Lap 22  
14 26 France Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra 53 + 1 lap 13  
15 12 West Germany Jochen Mass McLaren-Ford 53 + 1 Lap 14  
16 18 United States Brett Lunger Surtees-Ford 53 + 1 Lap 23  
17 25 United Kingdom Guy Edwards Hesketh-Ford 53 + 1 lap 25  
18 22 Belgium Patrick Nève Ensign-Ford 53 + 1 Lap 26  
19 10 Sweden Ronnie Peterson March-Ford 51 Fuel System 6  
Ret 19 Australia Alan Jones Surtees-Ford 44 Suspension 18  
Ret 9 Italy Vittorio Brambilla March-Ford 28 Oil Pressure 11  
Ret 30 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Fittipaldi-Ford 21 Oil Pressure 21  
Ret 38 France Henri Pescarolo Surtees-Ford 19 Suspension 24  
Ret 2 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 17 Engine 4  
Ret 1 Austria Niki Lauda Ferrari 8 Engine 2  
Ret 6 Sweden Gunnar Nilsson Lotus-Ford 8 Gearbox 12  
Ret 24 Austria Harald Ertl Hesketh-Ford 4 Differential 27  
DNQ 33 United Kingdom Damien Magee Brabham-Ford        
DNQ 31 Brazil Ingo Hoffmann Fittipaldi-Ford        
DNQ 32 Switzerland Loris Kessel Brabham-Ford        

Standings after the race[edit]

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. Only the best 7 results from the first 8 races and the best 7 results from the last 8 races counted towards the Championship. Points do not reflect final results of the 1976 Spanish Grand Prix as it was under appeal.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lang, Mike (1983). Grand Prix! Vol 3. Haynes Publishing Group. p. 128. ISBN 0-85429-380-9. 
  2. ^ Lang, Mike (1983). Grand Prix! Vol 3. Haynes Publishing Group. p. 130. ISBN 0-85429-380-9. 

Unless otherwise indicated, all race results are taken from "The Official Formula 1 website". Retrieved 2007-06-16. 


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1976 Swedish Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1976 season
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1976 British Grand Prix
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1975 French Grand Prix
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1977 French Grand Prix