1976 French Grand Prix

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1976 French Grand Prix
Race 8 of 16 in the 1976 Formula One season
Circuit Paul Ricard Le Castellet 1970-1999.png
Race details
Date 4 July 1976
Official name 62ème Grand Prix de France[1]
Location Circuit Paul Ricard
Le Castellet, Var, France
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 5.809 km (3.610 mi)
Distance 54 laps, 313.686 km (194.915 mi)
Pole position
Driver McLaren-Ford
Time 1:47.89[2]
Fastest lap
Driver Austria Niki Lauda Ferrari
Time 1:51.0 on lap 4[3]
Podium
First McLaren-Ford
Second Tyrrell-Ford
Third Penske-Ford

The 1976 French Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, near Marseille in France, on 4 July 1976. It was the eighth race of the 1976 World Championship of F1 Drivers and the 1976 International Cup for F1 Constructors. 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 (3.6 mi) circuit for a race distance of 313 kilometres (194 mi).

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).

Qualifying[edit]

Qualifying classification[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 11 United Kingdom James Hunt McLaren-Ford 1:47.89
2 1 Austria Niki Lauda Ferrari 1:48.17 +0.28
3 4 France Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Ford 1:48.59 +0.70
4 2 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 1:48.69 +0.80
5 8 Brazil Carlos Pace Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1:48.75 +0.86
6 10 Sweden Ronnie Peterson March-Ford 1:49.07 +1.18
7 5 United States Mario Andretti Lotus-Ford 1:49.19 +1.30
8 28 United Kingdom John Watson Penske-Ford 1:49.22 +1.33
9 3 South Africa Jody Scheckter Tyrrell-Ford 1:49.63 +1.74
10 7 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1:49.79 +1.90
11 9 Italy Vittorio Brambilla March-Ford 1:49.79 +1.90
12 6 Sweden Gunnar Nilsson Lotus-Ford 1:49.83 +1.94
13 26 France Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra 1:50.06 +2.17
14 12 West Germany Jochen Mass McLaren-Ford 1:50.10 +2.21
15 17 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Shadow-Ford 1:50.12 +2.23
16 16 United Kingdom Tom Pryce Shadow-Ford 1:50.27 +2.38
17 34 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck March-Ford 1:50.31 +2.42
18 19 Australia Alan Jones Surtees-Ford 1:51.11 +3.22
19 20 Belgium Jacky Ickx Wolf-Williams-Ford 1:51.41 +3.52
20 35 Italy Arturo Merzario March-Ford 1:51.79 +3.90
21 30 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Fittipaldi-Ford 1:52.11 +4.22
22 21 France Michel Leclère Wolf-Williams-Ford 1:52.29 +4.40
23 18 United States Brett Lunger Surtees-Ford 1:52.41 +4.52
24 38 France Henri Pescarolo Surtees-Ford 1:52.60 +4.71
25 25 United Kingdom Guy Edwards Hesketh-Ford 1:52.63 +4.74
26 22 Belgium Patrick Nève Ensign-Ford 1:52.82 +4.93
DNQ 33 United Kingdom Damien Magee Brabham-Ford 1:53.49 +5.60
DNQ 31 Brazil Ingo Hoffmann Fittipaldi-Ford 1:53.78 +5.89
DNQ 24 Austria Harald Ertl Hesketh-Ford 1:53.79 +5.90
DNQ 32 Switzerland Loris Kessel Brabham-Ford 1:55.30 +7.41
Source: [4][5]
  • Ertl had failed to qualify, but he had started on the back of the grid.[5]

Race[edit]

Race 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  
Source:[6]

Championship 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 accurate at final declaration of results: before the next race in Britain, Hunt was reinstated as the winner of the Spanish Grand Prix.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Motor Racing Programme Covers: 1976". The Programme Covers Project. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  2. ^ Lang, Mike (1983). Grand Prix! Vol 3. Haynes Publishing Group. p. 128. ISBN 0-85429-380-9.
  3. ^ Lang, Mike (1983). Grand Prix! Vol 3. Haynes Publishing Group. p. 130. ISBN 0-85429-380-9.
  4. ^ "France 1976 - Qualifications • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  5. ^ a b "France 1976 - Starting grid • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  6. ^ "1976 French Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 10 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  7. ^ a b "France 1976 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 15 March 2019.


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1976 Swedish Grand Prix
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