Rene Arnoux
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Rene Arnoux
René Arnoux
Rene Arnoux WSR2008 HU.png
Arnoux in 2008
Born (1948-07-04) 4 July 1948 (age 73)
Pontcharra, Isère, France
Formula One World Championship career
NationalityFrance French
Active years1978-1989
TeamsMartini, Surtees, Renault, Ferrari, Ligier
Entries165 (149 starts)
Championships0
Wins7
Podiums22
Career points181
Pole positions18
Fastest laps12
First entry1978 South African Grand Prix
First win1980 Brazilian Grand Prix
Last win1983 Dutch Grand Prix
Last entry1989 Australian Grand Prix

René Alexandre Arnoux (born 4 July 1948)[1] is a French former racing driver who competed in 12 Formula One seasons (1978 to 1989). He participated in 165 World Championship Grands Prix (149 starts) winning seven of them, achieving 22 podium finishes and scoring 181 career points. His best finish in the World Drivers' Championship was third in 1983 for Ferrari. In 1977, Arnoux won the European Formula Two Championship. In 2006 he raced in the inaugural season of the Grand Prix Masters series for retired F1 drivers.

Early career

Arnoux's career began in Formule Renault and he first moved into Formula Two in 1974 with Elf, taking fourth place on his debut at Nogaro.[1] In 1975 he moved to Formule Super Renault and won the title.[1] For 1976, Arnoux moved back to Formula Two with an Elf-sponsored, works Martini-Renault, winning three races and narrowly losing the title to Jean-Pierre Jabouille.[1] However, he won the 1977 European Championship, again driving a Martini-Renault.[1] Arnoux won races at Silverstone, Hockenheim, Pau and Nogaro, which along with second places at Enna-Pergusa and Estoril saw him finish 12 points clear of American Eddie Cheever who was driving for Ron Dennis' Project Four Racing, and 14 points clear of teammate Didier Pironi.

Formula One

Martini and Surtees

Arnoux continued with the Martini team when it made the transition to Formula One in 1978. However, in an organisation with insufficient means to compete in the highest echelon of the sport, he was unable to demonstrate his abilities and Martini abandoned Formula One during the season, having run short of money. Arnoux's best finishes for Martini were two 9th places in Belgium and Austria. He failed to qualify in South Africa, and failed to pre-qualify in Monaco and Germany.

Arnoux moved to Surtees for the last two races of the season, but once again found himself in a team on the edge of failure. In his two races for the team, his best finish was his debut where he placed 9th at Watkins Glen for the United States Grand Prix. He qualified the Surtees TS20 in 21st place at Watkins Glen, while teammate Beppe Gabbiani failed to qualify. His last race for the team in Canada saw him qualify 16th but retire just after half distance when the Ford DFV engine failed. Surtees wanted to sign Arnoux on a permanent basis, but he secured a seat with Renault for 1979.[1]

Jean-Pierre Jabouille's Renault RS01 of 1979 being demonstrated by René Arnoux in 2007.

Renault

In the 1979 season, the factory Renault team entered two cars for the first time since its debut in 1977. The team's only victory of the year was taken by Arnoux's teammate Jean-Pierre Jabouille at the French Grand Prix at the Dijon-Prenois circuit,[2] but Arnoux took the headlines due to a fierce wheel-banging battle with the Flat-12 Ferrari of Gilles Villeneuve for second place, which Villeneuve won. In the second half of the season, Arnoux took four top-six finishes, including three podium places; Jabouille's Dijon victory was his only points finish of the year.[2][3]

In 1980, Arnoux took his first two Formula One victories, the first being at Interlagos circuit in Brazil. His second win came in the very next race at the Kyalami circuit in South Africa,[3][4] where the thinner air at high altitude gave the turbocharged Renault RE20 have a power advantage over its mostly Cosworth-powered rivals. Following this race, Arnoux was leading the World Championship for the first time. He would not lose the championship lead until Round 6 in Monaco. The season though was punctuated by unreliability from the turbocharged Renault V6 engine. The unit was powerful, producing approximately 510 bhp (380 kW; 517 PS)[] to be on par with Ferrari (and considerably more powerful than the 475 bhp (354 kW; 482 PS)[] Ford DFV), but fragile, and the Renaults also lacked ground effects. Although he would later finish second in the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, he would finish the season in 6th place with 29 points, 38 points behind World Champion Alan Jones.

Arnoux's situation was complicated in 1981 by the arrival of Alain Prost at Renault. Their rivalry on-track flared up off the track and relations between the two men deteriorated. The conflict reached its peak at the 1982 French Grand Prix at the Circuit Paul Ricard. The drivers took Renault's first one-two in Formula One, Arnoux finishing ahead of Prost. Prost was furious, considering that his teammate had not kept to the team orders agreed before the race, according to which he should have ceded the win to Prost, who was better placed in the 1982 championship.[1] Arnoux replied that no orders had been given before the race and that he was free to drive his own race. He took one other win at the Italian Grand Prix at the end of the season. He suffered a high speed crash after losing a wheel going into the banked Tarzan corner at the end of the long straight in the 1982 Dutch Grand Prix, though his car's momentum was largely stopped by a sand trap and tyre barrier.

Arnoux started at the back of the field for the 1984 Dallas Grand Prix, but climbed to second by the finish.

Ferrari

The pairing of Prost and Arnoux having become unsustainable, Arnoux left Renault at the end of 1982 to join Ferrari in 1983, joining another French driver Patrick Tambay. Prior to the Canadian Grand Prix, there were rumours that Arnoux's place at Ferrari was under threat. However, with three victories, at the Canadian, German, and Dutch Grands Prix, he was in contention for the world title until the final race of the season, the South African Grand Prix. He retired from that race with engine failure, and finished the season third, behind Nelson Piquet and Prost.[1][5] Both Arnoux and Tambay became favourites with the Tifosi for their hard-charging styles, and their results saw Ferrari win the Constructors' Championship. Arnoux's win at Zandvoort was the seventh and final win of his Formula One career.

With the McLarens of Prost and Niki Lauda dominating 1984, Arnoux had a less successful second season at Ferrari, only finishing 6th with 27 points, with his new teammate Michele Alboreto progressively taking the initiative and team leadership from him. After three wins and four pole positions in 1983, Arnoux failed to win or claim a pole position in 1984 (Alboreto won the Belgian Grand Prix from pole with Arnoux starting second and finishing third), though he finished second in San Marino and Dallas where he was forced to start from the pits due to an electrical fault on the warm-up lap and managed to keep his car out of trouble on the crumbling track. The only Grand Prix ever held in Dallas was also the last time Arnoux achieved a Formula One podium finish.[6] As the season progressed, Arnoux appeared to lack motivation,[1] and after finishing 4th in the opening race of the 1985 championship in Brazil, he left Ferrari by mutual consent.[1] His place in the team was taken by Swedish driver Stefan Johansson. He was seen in the Brabham pits at Imola in Round 3, sparking rumours that he would join the team then owned by Bernie Ecclestone, but nothing came of it and he was rarely seen at races for the rest of the season.

Ligier

Without a drive for the rest of the 1985 season, Arnoux made his return to Formula One in 1986 for the French Ligier team who were using turbocharged Renault engines. The Pirelli-tyred Ligiers proved uncompetitive as the season progressed. Arnoux had two teammates in 1986. For the first half of the season his teammate was French driver Jacques Laffite. However, Laffite's career ended when he broke both of his legs in a first corner crash at Brands Hatch in the British Grand Prix. From the following race Laffite was replaced with another French driver, Philippe Alliot.

For 1987, Ligier were to have exclusive use of a new, 850 bhp (634 kW; 862 PS) four-cylinder turbocharged Alfa Romeo engine in the new Ligier JS29.[7] However, after Arnoux compared the engine to "used food" during pre-season testing, Alfa's parent company Fiat pulled the plug on the project and Ligier were forced into using the four-cylinder Megatron engines for the season, which produced around 950 bhp (708 kW; 963 PS).[8] Arnoux scored the team's only point during the season with a 6th place in Belgium. The race at Spa also saw the best finish for his teammate Piercarlo Ghinzani who finished 7th.

1988 was to prove the final year for turbos in Formula One and Ligier took the chance to race the new, 3.5-litre Judd V8 engine. The Ligier JS31 proved to be uncompetitive, with both Arnoux and new teammate Stefan Johansson failing to qualify several times. Both drivers complained that even in dry conditions the lack of grip saw them forced to drive with a wet weather technique. Arnoux failed to qualify twice during the season (San Marino and France, while Johansson failed to make the grid six times. Arnoux's best finish of the year was 10th place in the Portuguese Grand Prix. It was the first time since his debut season in 1978 that he had failed to score a World Championship point. His DNQ at Imola was the first time he had failed to qualify for a race since the 1981 Belgian Grand Prix. In the final race of the season in Adelaide, he took out race leader Gerhard Berger while being lapped at the 1988 Australian Grand Prix. Arnoux was criticised,[] but Berger said that he was experiencing a "very long" brake pedal which meant he could not stop to avoid Arnoux, nor pass him as easily as he normally would have.[] He also said that with his turbo boost turned up to full, the Ferrari would have run out of fuel long before the race ended.[]

In 1989, the new Ford DFR powered Ligier JS33 showed promise. Arnoux's driving had attracted some criticism, and he was frequently accused of not using his mirrors and blocking faster cars in qualifying and when being lapped. During the 1989 Monaco Grand Prix, BBC commentator Murray Walker remarked that Arnoux's claimed reason for going so slow at that stage of his career was that he was used to turbo powered cars and that the naturally aspirated cars were "a completely different kettle of fish to drive -- he says". Walker's co-commentator, 1976 World Champion James Hunt said "And all I can say to that is bullshit".[9] Arnoux received criticism after the race for holding up faster cars, with former Renault teammate Prost in particular held up by the Ligier which refused to let the McLaren past for a number of laps. This cost Prost some 20 seconds in his pursuit of teammate Ayrton Senna.[10]

Arnoux finished his career with 181 World Championship points, with his last points coming from a 5th place at the 1989 Canadian Grand Prix. His last race was the very wet 1989 Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide. He was second fastest to the McLaren-Honda of outgoing World Champion and pole-sitter Ayrton Senna in the extra half-hour warm-up that was scheduled to let drivers and teams set up their cars for wet conditions after three days of sunny weather, but in the race, his Ligier was pushed into retirement by the Arrows of Eddie Cheever after four laps.

Post-racing career

After retiring from driving, Arnoux started an indoor karting business, consisting of four tracks in France.[] He also owns and manages two factories, and frequently appears and drives in historical events on behalf of Renault.[]

Arnoux was one of the drivers invited to take part in the Grand Prix Masters championship in 2006 and 2007, restricted to former Formula One drivers. In 2007 and 2008 he drove for the Renault H&C Classic Team, when he presented and drove Alain Prost's F1 car from 1983 at World Series by Renault events.[]

Racing record

Career summary

Season Series Team Races Wins Poles F/Laps Podiums Points Position
1974 European Formula 5000 Tony Kitchiner 1 0 0 0 0 0 NC
European Formula Two Écurie Elf 1 0 0 0 0 0 NC
World Sportscar Championship Michel Dupont 1 0 0 0 0 0 NC
1976 European Formula Two Automobiles Martini 12 3 1 6 6 52 2nd
1977 European Formula Two Equipe Renault Elf 13 3 1 0 6 52 1st
24 Hours of Le Mans J. Haran de Chaunac 1 0 0 0 0 N/A DNF
1978 Formula One Automobiles Martini 4 0 0 0 0 0 NC
Durex Team Surtees 2 0 0 0 0
1979 Formula One Equipe Renault Elf 14 0 2 2 3 17 8th
1980 Formula One Equipe Renault Elf 14 2 3 4 3 29 6th
1981 Formula One Equipe Renault Elf 14 0 4 1 1 11 9th
1982 Formula One Equipe Renault Elf 16 2 5 1 4 28 6th
1983 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari 15 3 4 2 7 49 3rd
1984 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari 16 0 0 2 4 27 6th
1985 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari 1 0 0 0 0 3 17th
1986 Formula One Equipe Ligier 16 0 0 0 0 14 10th
1987 Formula One Ligier Loto 14 0 0 0 0 1 19th
1988 Formula One Ligier Loto 14 0 0 0 0 0 NC
1989 Formula One Ligier Loto 9 0 0 0 0 2 23rd
1994 24 Hours of Le Mans Rent-a-Car Racing Team 1 0 0 0 0 N/A 12th
1995 24 Hours of Le Mans Euromotorsport Racing Inc. 1 0 0 0 0 N/A DNF

Complete European F5000 Championship results

(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 18 Pos. Pts
1974 Tony Kitchiner McLaren M19A Chevrolet 5.0 V8 BRH MAL SIL OUL BRH ZOL THR
Ret
ZAN MUG MNZ MAL MON THR BRH OUL SNE MAL BRH NC 0

Complete European Formula Two Championship results

(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 Pos. Pts
1974 Ecurie Elf Alpine A367 BMW BAR HOC PAU SAL HOC MUG KAR PER HOC VAL
Ret
NC 0
1976 Automobiles Martini Martini Mk 16 Renault HOC
2
THR
7
2nd 52
Martini Mk 19 VAL
Ret
SAL
4
PAU
1
HOC
5
ROU
10
MUG
2
PER
1
EST
1
NOG
Ret
HOC
3
1977 Equipe Renault Elf Martini Mk 22 Renault SIL
1
THR
Ret
HOC
2
NÜR
5
VAL
Ret
PAU
1
MUG
16
ROU
Ret
NOG
1
PER
2
MIS
Ret
EST
2
DON
6
1st 52

Complete Formula One World Championship results

(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 WDC Pts
1978 Automobiles Martini Martini MK23 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG BRA RSA
DNQ
USW MON
DNPQ
BEL
9
ESP SWE FRA
14
GBR GER
DNPQ
AUT
9
NED
Ret
ITA NC 0
Durex Team Surtees Surtees TS20 USA
9
CAN
Ret
1979 Equipe Renault Elf Renault RS01 Renault-Gordini EF1 1.5 V6t ARG
Ret
BRA
Ret
RSA
Ret
USW
DNS
ESP
9
BEL
Ret
8th 17
Renault RS10 MON
Ret
FRA
3
GBR
2
GER
Ret
AUT
6
NED
Ret
ITA
Ret
CAN
Ret
USA
2
1980 Equipe Renault Elf Renault RE20 Renault-Gordini EF1 1.5 V6t ARG
Ret
BRA
1
RSA
1
USW
9
BEL
4
MON
Ret
FRA
5
GBR
NC
GER
Ret
AUT
9
NED
2
ITA
10
CAN
Ret
USA
7
6th 29
1981 Equipe Renault Elf Renault RE20B Renault-Gordini EF1 1.5 V6t USW
8
BRA
Ret
ARG
5
SMR
8
BEL
DNQ
9th 11
Renault RE30 MON
Ret
ESP
9
FRA
4
GBR
9
GER
13
AUT
2
NED
Ret
ITA
Ret
CAN
Ret
CPL
Ret
1982 Equipe Renault Elf Renault RE30B Renault-Gordini EF1 1.5 V6t RSA
3
BRA
Ret
USW
Ret
SMR
Ret
BEL
Ret
MON
Ret
DET
10
CAN
Ret
NED
Ret
GBR
Ret
FRA
1
GER
2
AUT
Ret
SUI
16
ITA
1
CPL
Ret
6th 28
1983 Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 126C2B Ferrari 021 1.5 V6t BRA
10
USW
3
FRA
7
SMR
3
MON
Ret
BEL
Ret
DET
Ret
CAN
1
GBR
5
3rd 49
Ferrari 126C3 GER
1
AUT
2
NED
1
ITA
2
EUR
9
RSA
Ret
1984 Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 126C4 Ferrari 031 1.5 V6t BRA
Ret
RSA
Ret
BEL
3
SMR
2
FRA
4
MON
3?
CAN
5
DET
Ret
DAL
2
GBR
6
GER
6
AUT
7
NED
11
ITA
Ret
EUR
5
POR
9
6th 27
1985 Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 156/85 Ferrari 031 1.5 V6t BRA
4
POR SMR MON CAN DET FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA BEL EUR RSA AUS 17th 3
1986 Equipe Ligier Ligier JS27 Renault EF4B 1.5 V6t BRA
4
ESP
Ret
SMR
Ret
MON
5
BEL
Ret
CAN
6
DET
Ret
FRA
5
GBR
4
GER
4
HUN
Ret
AUT
10
ITA
Ret
POR
7
MEX
15
AUS
7
10th 14
1987 Ligier Loto Ligier JS29B Megatron M12/13 1.5 L4t BRA SMR
DNS
BEL
6
MON
11
DET
10
19th 1
Ligier JS29C FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
AUT
10
ITA
10
POR
Ret
ESP
Ret
MEX
Ret
JPN
Ret
AUS
Ret
1988 Ligier Loto Ligier JS31 Judd CV 3.5 V8 BRA
Ret
SMR
DNQ
MON
Ret
MEX
Ret
CAN
Ret
DET
Ret
FRA
DNQ
GBR
18
GER
17
HUN
Ret
BEL
Ret
ITA
13
POR
10
ESP
Ret
JPN
17
AUS
Ret
NC 0
1989 Ligier Loto Ligier JS33 Ford Cosworth DFR 3.5 V8 BRA
DNQ
SMR
DNQ
MON
12
MEX
14
USA
DNQ
CAN
5
FRA
Ret
GBR
DNQ
GER
11
HUN
DNQ
BEL
Ret
ITA
9
POR
13
ESP
DNQ
JPN
DNQ
AUS
Ret
23rd 2
  • ? Race was stopped with less than 75% of laps completed, half points awarded.

Complete Formula One Non-Championship results

(key) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

24 Hours of Le Mans results

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1977 France J. Haran de Chaunac France Didier Pironi
France Guy Fréquelin
Renault Alpine A442 S
+2.0
0 DNF DNF
1994 France Rent-a-Car Racing Team United Kingdom Justin Bell
France Bertrand Balas
Dodge Viper RT/10 GT1 273 12th 3rd
1995 United States Euromotorsport Racing Inc. Italy Massimo Sigala
United States Jay Cochran
Ferrari 333 SP WSC 7 DNF DNF
Source:[11]

Complete Grand Prix Masters results

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

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5
2005 Team Golden Palace Delta Motorsport GPM Nicholson McLaren 3.5 V8 RSA
Ret
2006 Team Golden Palace Delta Motorsport GPM Nicholson McLaren 3.5 V8 QAT
9
ITA
C
GBR
9
MAL
C
RSA
C

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Small, Steve (1994). The Guinness Complete Grand Prix Who's Who. Guinness. p. 32. ISBN 0851127029.
  2. ^ a b Small, Steve (1994). The Guinness Complete Grand Prix Who's Who. Guinness. p. 201. ISBN 0851127029.
  3. ^ a b Small, Steve (1994). The Guinness Complete Grand Prix Who's Who. Guinness. p. 33. ISBN 0851127029.
  4. ^ Winner's Circle South African Grand Prix, John Blakemore Photograph Collection, Revs Institute, Revs Digital Library.
  5. ^ Cowell, David (15 October 1983). "Brazilian Nelson Piquet, dominating the South African Grand Prix..." UPI. Retrieved 2020.
  6. ^ Dallas Grand Prix, John Blakemore Photograph Collection, Revs Institute, Revs Digital Library.
  7. ^ "Engine Alfa Romeo". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ "Engine Megatron". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 2017.
  9. ^ Wendler, Andrew (20 September 2013). "10 Things You Need to Know About James Hunt Before Seeing Rush". Car and Driver. Hearst Communications, Inc. Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ Murray Walker & James Hunt on René Arnoux at 1989 Monaco GP on YouTube
  11. ^ "All Results of René Arnoux". racingsportscars.com. Retrieved 2017.

Sources

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jean-Pierre Jabouille
European Formula Two
Champion

1977
Succeeded by
Bruno Giacomelli

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Rene_Arnoux
 



 



 
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