French GP 1980

French GP, 1980

Between the Monaco and French GPs there was a race in Spain which was won by Alan Jones in his Williams, but as the war between FISA and FOCA was developing this was later declared to have been illegal as it featured only the FOCA teams (Ferrari, Renault and Alfa Romeo did not attend).

An agreement was reached in time for the French GP and so it did count towards the World Championship and the entry was not very different from that at Monaco although Marc Surer was back in action for ATS, his ankle injuries from South African having healed. Jan Lammers moved to Ensign where he replaced Patrick Gaillard.

Qualifying resulted in a very French grid with Jacques Laffite and pole in his Ligier, Rene Arnoux second in the Renault and Didier Pironi third in his Ligier. The first non-Frenchman was Alan Jones in his Williams and behind him was his team mate Carlos Reutemann. Jean-Pierre Jabouille (Renault) and Alain Prost (McLaren) were next up, making it five Frenchmen in the top seven places on the grid while the top 10 was completed by Nelson Piquet (Brabham), Bruno Giacomelli (Alfa Romeo) and another Frenchman Patrick Depailler in his Alfa Romeo. The Ferraris were again embarrassingly bad with Gilles Villeneuve 17th and Jody Scheckter 19th.

In the race the French suffered. Jabouille went out at the start with a transmission failure but Laffite, Arnoux and Pironi were still between Jones and victory. Laffite seemed to be in a class of his own while Arnoux and Pironi battled for second until Jones joined in and moved ahead of Arnoux. A couple of laps later Jones went through into second and began to chase Laffite who had a lead of eight seconds. Arnoux was in trouble now with throttle problems and drifted behind Piquet and came under pressure from Reutemann.

Laffite now began to run into tire problems and on lap 35 Jones went into the lead. Seven laps later Pironi followed him through and that is how they finished. Fourth place went to Piquet with Arnoux fifth and Reutemann sixth.

27 Alan Jones Williams-Cosworth  54 1h32m43.420s  
25 Didier Pironi Ligier-Cosworth  54 1h32m47.940s  
26 Jacques Laffite Ligier-Cosworth  54 1h33m13.680s  
Nelson Piquet Brabham-Cosworth  54 1h33m58.300s  
16 Rene Arnoux Renault  54 1h33m59.570s  
28 Carlos Reutemann Williams-Cosworth  54 1h34m00.160s  
John Watson McLaren-Cosworth  53  13 
Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari  53  17 
29 Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Cosworth  53  18 
10 30 Jochen Mass Arrows-Cosworth  53  15 
11 Derek Daly Tyrrell-Cosworth  52  20 
12 Jody Scheckter Ferrari  52  19 
13r 20 Emerson Fittipaldi Fittipaldi-Cosworth  50 Engine 24 
14 Jean-Pierre Jarier Tyrrell-Cosworth  50  16 
31 Eddie Cheever Osella-Cosworth  43 Engine 21 
Marc Surer ATS-Cosworth  26 Gearbox 11 
22 Patrick Depailler Alfa Romeo  25 Handling 10 
11 Mario Andretti Lotus-Cosworth  18 Gearbox 12 
21 Keke Rosberg Fittipaldi-Cosworth  Accident 23 
23 Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo  Handling 
Alain Prost McLaren-Cosworth  Transmission 
12 Elio de Angelis Lotus-Cosworth  Clutch 14 
Ricardo Zunino Brabham-Cosworth  Clutch 22 
15 Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault  Transmission 
nq 17 Geoff Lees Shadow-Cosworth    25 
nq 14 Jan Lammers Ensign-Cosworth    26 
nq 18 David Kennedy Shadow-Cosworth    27