Former French driver Jean-Pierre Jabouille, who gave the Renault team its first victory in Formula 1 in 1979, died Thursday at the age of 80, according to Alpine.

The French World Cup team, backed by Renault, mourned the loss of a pioneer and a key figure in leading Renault’s entry into F1 in 1977.

“A humble racing driver, a brilliant engineer and a pioneer of our sport,” as well as being “a true racing driver,” Alpine said in its statement.

Jabouille added two victories in his career, one of them the French Grand Prix in 1979, which opened the record for his team. The Frenchman competed in 49 races and ended his stage in the ‘great circus’ in 1980 after a leg injury in Canada and the difficulty in regaining his place in the car.

For his part, the CEO and president of F1, Stefano Domenicali, also praised the figure of Jabouille. “I am very saddened by the news of the death of Jabouille. He gave a lot to motor sport and F1, and we cherish his memory and his achievements. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time,” he said on the official website. of the World Cup.