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F1 race winner Jean-Pierre Jabouille passes away

Renault's first ever grand prix winner, and the first to win with a turbocharged engine, Jean-Pierre Jabouille, has passed away at the age of 80.

The first driver to take a grand prix victory with a turbocharged engine, Jean-Pierre Jabouille, has passed away at the age of 80. A Formula 2 Championship winner, he was one of the drivers responsible for leading Renault's F1 breakthrough, and Jabouille took a historic first victory for the team at their home race in 1979 in Dijon, France. In a time of poor reliability for Renault, he defeated legendary racers Gilles Villeneuve, teammate Rene Arnoux and Alan Jones in this iconic event. It was the first victory of what would become a turbocharged era for Formula 1. He would take just one more victory, at the 1980 Austrian Grand Prix, again defeating Arnoux in the process. Two F1 race wins would turn out to be an unfair reward: He took a total of six pole positions and a retired from potential victories on numerous occasions.

An injury at the Canadian Grand Prix hampered his career, and he retired from Formula 1 after the 1981 Spanish GP whilst racing for Talbot. Confirming the news, the Alpine (formerly Renault) F1 team wrote: "BWT Alpine F1 Team is incredibly saddened to learn of the passing of Jean-Pierre Jabouille. A humble racing driver, brilliant engineer, and a pioneer of our sport. Jean-Pierre was a true racer. "He spearheaded Renault’s journey into F1 in 1977 with his resilient and dare to do attitude. He was Renault’s first Grand Prix winner in 1979, a landmark moment in Renault’s journey in Formula 1. His determination and dedication to succeed inspired many, and these values remain central to the current team in its now blue colours of Alpine. "We are where we are today because of Jean-Pierre and his legacy lives on. "We’d like to extend our most sincere condolences to his family and close friends. "Merci pour tout, Jean-Pierre."

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