Jacques Laffite

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For the banker and politician, see Jacques Laffitte.
Jacques Laffite
Born (1943-11-21) 21 November 1943 (age 71)
Paris, France
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality France French
Active years 1974 - 1986
Teams Iso Marlboro, Ligier, Williams
Races 180 (176 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 6
Podiums 32
Career points 228
Pole positions 7
Fastest laps 7 [1][2][3][4][5]
First race 1974 German Grand Prix
First win 1977 Swedish Grand Prix
Last win 1981 Canadian Grand Prix
Last race 1986 British Grand Prix

Jacques-Henri Laffite (born in Paris, 21 November 1943) is a French former racing driver who competed in Formula One from 1974 to 1986. He achieved six grand prix wins, all while driving for the Ligier team. He is now a TV commentator on French television TF1.

Formula One career[edit]

Laffite debuted in Formula One in 1974 for Frank Williams' Iso Marlboro team. The following year he raced for the same team, now named Williams, scoring a 2nd place in the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring.

Laffite's 1979 Ligier JS11 being demonstrated at the 2008 Goodwood Festival of Speed
Laffite demonstrating the Ligier JS19 chassis at the 1982 Pau Grand Prix

In 1976 Laffite moved to the French Ligier team, scoring 20 points and a pole position at the Italian Grand Prix. The next two seasons were transitional, although he managed to win his first Grand Prix at Anderstorp in the 1977 Swedish Grand Prix.

The 1979 season opened with Laffite winning the first two races. He fought for the World Championship title until the last races, but eventually placed only 4th, with 36 points. The following two seasons were similar, with two more 4th places in the Championship and a further 3 victories. In 1982, however, Laffite finished only 17th in the final classification, with only 5 points scored.

During the early 1980s, Laffite also made three end of season trips to Australia to race in the non-championship Australian Grand Prix. He failed to finish his first race 'Down Under' in 1981 (he was lucky to start after his car hit the wall on the outside of the last turn of the short (1.609 km (1.000 mi)) Calder Park Raceway in qualifying, but his local crew were able to repair it for the race). He finished second to fellow Frenchman Alain Prost in 1982, and third behind Brazilian Roberto Moreno and Australian John Smith in 1983. In all of his pre-F1 AGP drives, Laffite drove a Formula Pacific or Formula Mondial Ralt RT4 powered by a 1.6 litre Ford l4 engine.

Results in the next two seasons weren't much better, when he moved back to England, again to race for Williams (11 and 5 points, respectively). Now in his forties, Laffite returned to Ligier in 1985: in that season he was on the podium three times (Great Britain, Germany and Australia), for a total of 16 points. In 1986 he scored 14 points including two more podium finishes in the first half of the season, but he broke both legs in a crash at the start of the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch, and thereafter retired from Formula One. The race was stopped and restarted without Laffite, who was thus classified as a non-starter and ended his career tied with Graham Hill for the most Grand Prix starts. He was the most successful driver in Ligier's history, having taken six of their nine wins.

As a result of Laffite's injuries, new safety rules were enforced from the 1988 season that stated that in all cars the driver's feet must be behind the front axle line.

Post-Formula One career[edit]

Laffite recovered from his injuries and later raced in touring cars. He is now a television commentator for the French network TF1, best known for his reaction to the incident at the 1997 European Grand Prix in which Michael Schumacher collided with Jacques Villeneuve, and Laffite reacted with curse words on live television.

In October 2008, at the age of 64, he tested a Renault R27 F1 car at the Paul Ricard circuit.[6]


Racing record[edit]

Complete European Formula Two Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Pos Pts
1974 BP Racing France March 742 BMW M12 BAR
Ret
HOC
10
PAU
2
SAL
1
HOC
2
MUG
Ret
KAR
3
PER
7
HOC
18
VAL
3
3rd 31
1975 Écurie Elf Ambrozium Martini Mk 16 BMW M12 EST
1
THR
1
HOC
Ret
NÜR
1
PAU
1
HOC
1
SAL
NC
ROU
Ret
MUG
Ret
PER
1
SIL
Ret
ZOL
Ret
NOG
Ret
VAL
2
1st 63
1976 Fred Opert Racing Chevron B35 BMW HOC
THR
VAL
SAL
PAU
2†
HOC
ROU
MUG
PER
EST
NOG
2†
0
Willi Kauhsen Racing Team March 762 Hart HOC
Ret
1977 Fred Opert Racing Chevron B40 Hart SIL
THR
HOC
7
NÜR
VAL
PAU
10
MUG
ROU
NOG
Ret
PER
MIS
EST
DON
0
1978 Maublanc Racing Team March 782 BMW THR
HOC
NÜR
PAU
11
MUG
VAL
ROU
DON
0
Ecurie Univac NOG
Ret
PER
MIS
HOC

Laffite was ineligible for points, as he already scored points in F1.

Complete Formula One World Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position, races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 WDC Pts.
1974 Frank Williams Racing Cars Williams FW02 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG BRA RSA ESP BEL MON SWE NED FRA GBR GER
Ret
AUT
NC
ITA
Ret
CAN
15
USA
Ret
NC 0
1975 Frank Williams Racing Cars Williams FW02 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG
Ret
BRA
11
RSA
NC
ESP 12th 6
Williams FW04 MON
DNQ
BEL
Ret
SWE NED
Ret
FRA
11
GBR
Ret
GER
2
AUT
Ret
ITA
Ret
USA
DNS
1976 Ligier Gitanes Ligier JS5 Matra MS73 3.0 V12 BRA
Ret
RSA
Ret
USW
4
ESP
12
BEL
3
MON
12
SWE
4
FRA
14
GBR
DSQ
GER
Ret
AUT
2
NED
Ret
ITA
3
CAN
Ret
USA
Ret
JPN
7
7th 20
1977 Ligier Gitanes Ligier JS7 Matra MS76 3.0 V12 ARG
NC
BRA
Ret
RSA
Ret
USW
9
ESP
7
MON
7
BEL
Ret
SWE
1
FRA
8
GBR
6
GER
Ret
AUT
Ret
NED
2
ITA
8
USA
7
CAN
Ret
JPN
5
10th 18
1978 Ligier Gitanes Ligier JS7 Matra MS76 3.0 V12 ARG
16
BRA
9
RSA
5
USW
5
BEL
5
8th 19
Ligier JS9 Matra MS78 3.0 V12 MON
Ret
ESP
3
SWE
7
FRA
7
GBR
10
GER
3
AUT
5
NED
8
ITA
4
USA
11
CAN
Ret
1979 Ligier Gitanes Ligier JS11 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG
1
BRA
1
RSA
Ret
USW
Ret
ESP
Ret
BEL
2
MON
Ret
FRA
8
GBR
Ret
GER
3
AUT
3
NED
3
ITA
Ret
CAN
Ret
USA
Ret
4th 36
1980 Equipe Ligier Gitanes Ligier JS11/15 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG
Ret
BRA
Ret
RSA
2
USW
Ret
BEL
11
MON
2
FRA
3
GBR
Ret
GER
1
AUT
4
NED
3
ITA
9
CAN
8
USA
5
4th 34
1981 Equipe Talbot Gitanes Ligier JS17 Matra MS81 3.0 V12 USW
Ret
BRA
6
ARG
Ret
SMR
Ret
BEL
2
MON
3
ESP
2
FRA
Ret
GBR
3
GER
3
AUT
1
NED
Ret
ITA
Ret
CAN
1
CPL
6
4th 44
1982 Equipe Talbot Gitanes Ligier JS17 Matra MS81 3.0 V12 RSA
Ret
BRA
Ret
USW
Ret
SMR BEL
9
DET
6
CAN
Ret
17th 5
Ligier JS19 MON
Ret
NED
Ret
GBR
Ret
FRA
14
GER
Ret
AUT
3
SUI
Ret
ITA
Ret
CPL
Ret
1983 TAG Williams Williams FW08C Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 BRA
4
USW
4
FRA
6
SMR
7
MON
Ret
BEL
6
DET
5
CAN
Ret
GBR
12
GER
6
AUT
Ret
NED
Ret
ITA
DNQ
EUR
DNQ
11th 11
Williams FW09 Honda RA163-E 1.5 V6t RSA
Ret
1984 Saudia Williams Honda Williams FW09 Honda RA163E 1.5 V6t BRA
Ret
RSA
Ret
BEL
Ret
SMR
Ret
FRA
8
MON
8
CAN
Ret
DET
5
DAL
4
14th 5
Williams FW09B Honda RA164E 1.5 V6t GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
AUT
Ret
NED
Ret
ITA
Ret
EUR
Ret
POR
14
1985 Equipe Ligier Ligier JS25 Renault EF4B 1.5 V6t BRA
6
POR
Ret
SMR
Ret
MON
6
9th 16
Equipe Ligier Gitanes CAN
8
DET
12
FRA
Ret
GBR
3
GER
3
AUT
Ret
NED
Ret
ITA
Ret
BEL
11
EUR
Ret
RSA AUS
2
1986 Equipe Ligier Ligier JS27 Renault EF4B 1.5 V6t BRA
3
ESP
Ret
SMR
Ret
MON
6
BEL
5
CAN
7
DET
2
FRA
6
GBR
Ret
GER HUN AUT ITA POR MEX AUS 8th 14

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Class No Tyres Car Team Co-Drivers Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1972 S
3.0
22 Ligier JS2
Maserati 3.0L V6
France Automobiles Ligier France Pierre Maublanc 195 DNF DNF
1973 S
3.0
62 Ligier JS2
Maserati 3.0L V6
France Automobiles Ligier France Guy Ligier 24 DSQ DSQ
1974 S
3.0
15 Ligier JS2
Maserati 3.0L V6
France Automobiles Ligier France Alain Serpaggi 310 8th 5th
1977 S
+2.0
8 Renault Alpine A442
Renault 2.0L Turbo V6
France Renault Sport France Patrick Depailler 289 DNF DNF
1978 S
+2.0
10 Mirage M9
Renault 2.0L Turbo V6
United States Grand Touring Cars Inc. Australia Vern Schuppan
United States Sam Posey
293 10th 5th
1990 C1 6 G Porsche 962C
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
Germany Joest Porsche Racing France Henri Pescarolo
France Jean-Louis Ricci
328 14th 14th
1993 GT 71 D Venturi 500LM
Renault PRV 3.0 L Turbo V6
France Jacadi Racing France Michel Maisonneuve
France Christophe Dechavanne
210 DNF DNF
1994 GT2 49 P Porsche 911 Carrera RSR
Porsche 3.8 L Flat-6
France Larbre Compétition France Jacques Alméras
France Jean-Marie Alméras
94 DNF DNF
1996 GT1 38 M McLaren F1 GTR
BMW S70 6.1L V12
Italy Team Bigazzi SRL United Kingdom Steve Soper
Belgium Marc Duez
318 11th 9th

References[edit]

  1. ^ In Japan 1976 It was announced that the fastest lap was set by Masahiro Hasemi on lap 25, but this was a measurement mistake, and, several days later, the circuit issued a press release to correct the fastest lap holder of the race to Jacques Laffite with a time of 1:19.97 on lap 70.This release was promptly known in Japan, and the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) and Japanese media correct the record.But, this correction was not known well outside Japan, thus, Hasemi has been treated as the fastest lap record holder of the race in many record books including the Formula One official website.
  2. ^ i-dea archives (14 January 2006), '76 F1イン・ジャパン (1976 F1 World Championship in Japan), AUTO SPORT Archives 日本の名レース100選 (The 100 Best races in Japan) (in Japanese), Vol. 001, San-eishobo Publishing Co.,Ltd., p. 77, ISBN 978-4-7796-0007-4 
  3. ^ "Motorsport competition results: 1976 F1 World Championship in Japan" (in Japanese). Japan Automobile Federation. Retrieved 2010-12-17. 
  4. ^ "Archive: 1976 F1 World Championship in Japan" (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports News. 1976-10-25. Retrieved 2010-12-17. 
  5. ^ "1976 Japanese Grand Prix". Formula One Administration Ltd. Retrieved 2010-12-17. 
  6. ^ "Jacques Laffite tests Renault F1 car". ESPN F1.com. 13 October 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2008. 
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Michel Leclèrel
Critérium de Formule Renault
Champion

1972
Succeeded by
Christian Debias
Preceded by
Patrick Depailler
Monaco Formula Three
Race Winner

1973
Succeeded by
Tom Pryce
Preceded by
Michel Leclère
French Formula Three
Champion

1973
Succeeded by
Alain Prost
(1979)
Preceded by
Patrick Depailler
European Formula Two
Champion

1975
Succeeded by
Jean-Pierre Jabouille
Records
Preceded by
Graham Hill
179 entries, 176 starts
(1958 – 1975)
Most Grand Prix entries
180 entries, 176 starts
(1974 – 1986),
180th entry at the 1986 British GP
Succeeded by
Riccardo Patrese
257 entries (256 starts),
181st at the 1989 Mexican GP