1975 French Grand Prix
The 1975 French Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Paul Ricard on July 6, 1975. It was the 53rd French Grand Prix and the third time the race was held at Paul Ricard. The race was held over 54 laps of the five kilometre circuit for a race distance of 313 kilometres.
The race was won by world championship points leader, Austrian driver Niki Lauda driving a Ferrari 312T. Lauda won the race in dramatic fashion in a late race dogfight with British driver James Hunt in his Hesketh 308 while West German driver Jochen Mass closed rapidly on the fighting pair in his McLaren M23. It was Lauda's fourth win for the season, giving him a 22-point lead in the points over Brabham driver Carlos Reutemann.
Niki Lauda was suffering from flu and was definitely not on top form. Jean-Pierre Jarier brought a smile to French faces by setting Friday's quickest time. Jody Scheckter driving the new lightweight Tyrrell 007 set a record through the speed trap of 190 mph.
On the start line, Tom Pryce was left without a clutch and retired shortly afterwards. Lauda led from Scheckter, James Hunt and Jochen Mass. Clay Regazzoni had promoted himself to a fantastic second place before his engine exploded, Scheckter taking over the position before Hunt passed him on lap eight. Lauda and Hunt maintained first and second whilst Scheckter, struggling with near-catastrophic handling had to concede to Mass and Emerson Fittipaldi.
Jarier made a superb pass on him and made a brave bid to catch Fittipaldi, but rev-limiter problems caused him to fall back with erratic power. Mario Andretti and Patrick Depailler were performing brilliantly, advancing from eleventh to fifth and 19th to sixth respectively.
Alan Jones was duelling with Ronnie Peterson and Carlos Reutemann when he spun into the catch fencing. Reutemann suffered from tyre problems and lost a lap, whilst John Watson suffered excess power and took to the escape road. Vittorio Brambilla retired with a damper problem, Wilson Fittipaldi blew his engine, Jacky Ickx, Mark Donohue and Carlos Pace broke driveshafts. Jochen Mass was in rapid pursuit of James Hunt and Niki Lauda – by the last lap he was only 2.4 seconds behind them. However, a superb lapping manoeuvre gave Hunt the space he needed. On the last corner, Lauda slid offline, but caught the car superbly to take the win by less than two seconds.
Standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. Only the best 6 results from the first 7 races and the best 6 results from the last 7 races counted towards the Championship. Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.
Unless otherwise indicated, all race results are taken from "The Official Formula 1 website". Retrieved 2007-06-15.
1975 Dutch Grand Prix
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1975 British Grand Prix
1974 French Grand Prix
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1976 French Grand Prix