Girish Mahajan (Editor)

1971 French Grand Prix

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Date  July 4, 1971
Course length  5.809 km (3.61 mi)
Location  Paul Ricard Circuit
Driver  Jackie Stewart
1971 French Grand Prix
Course  Permanent racing facility
Distance  55 laps, 319.495 km (198.55 mi)

The 1971 French Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at the Circuit Paul Ricard on 4 July 1971. It was the fifth race of the 1971 Formula One season. The 55-lap race was won by Tyrrell driver Jackie Stewart after he started from pole position. His teammate François Cevert finished second and Lotus driver Emerson Fittipaldi came in third.


Race report

The race was taking place for the first time at the brand new Paul Ricard circuit in the mountains outside Marseille. Jackie Stewart gained pole position - helped by extensive tyre testing in the weeks before - from Clay Regazzoni, Jacky Ickx and Graham Hill. Stewart led away from Regazzoni, Pedro Rodríguez and Jean-Pierre Beltoise, whilst Ickx was jostled through the first chicane and dropped back. Stewart streaked ahead, setting fastest lap on lap 2 and pulling out a 10-second lead by lap 7. His only real challenger, Regazzoni, hit a patch of oil and sailed into the guardrail, breaking a wheel on lap 20. On lap 28 Rodríguez dropped out with a faulty coil, leaving the Tyrrells in 1-2 formation, with François Cevert proving his worth on his home ground. Hill dropped out of fifth place with a broken oil pipe, having previously hit the guardrail whilst avoiding Regazzoni.

This left Jo Siffert in third place, holding off Emerson Fittipaldi, who was in pain and heavily bandaged after a road accident. Despite this, the Brazilian took 3rd on lap 39. Siffert retook this briefly, but Fittipaldi held on for the final podium place from the Swiss. Chris Amon took 5th in an unconvincing performance by home team Matra, duelling with Tim Schenken until Schenken ran out of oil 6 laps from the end.

It was a 1-2 success for the Tyrrells on a tricky circuit, the Ford engine providing extra power down the very long Mistral straight.

This was to be Pedro Rodríguez's last Formula One race. He was killed a week later while driving a privately entered Ferrari 512 at an Interserie sportscar race at the Norisring in Germany.

Championship standings after the race

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
  • References

    1971 French Grand Prix Wikipedia