1976 French Grand Prix
The 1976 French Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at the Paul Ricard Circuit in Le Castellet, near Marseille in France on July 4, 1976. The race was the eighth round of the 1976 Formula One season. It was the 54th French Grand Prix and the fourth to be held at Paul Ricard. The race was held over 54 laps of the 5.8-kilometre venue for a race distance of 314 kilometres.
The race was won by eventual 1976 world champion James Hunt driving a McLaren M23. Hunt won by twelve seconds over the Tyrrell P34 of Patrick Depailler. It was Hunt's second win for the year and his third career Grand Prix victory, although at this stage his appeal against disqualification from the Spanish Grand Prix win had yet to be upheld. Eleven seconds further back in third was John Watson driving a Penske PC4. It was the first podium finish for both Watson and Penske, although the result only came after Ronnie Peterson's March 761 stopped with three laps to go and after Watson was disqualified for a rear wing irregularity and subsequently reinstated upon appeal.
Reigning champion Niki Lauda retired his Ferrari 312T2 with an engine failure while leading. While Hunt would eventually prove to be the challenger to Lauda for the 1976 championship Lauda's points lead at this time was over the Tyrrell pair of Patrick Depailler (26 points) and Scheckter (24 points).
Standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. Only the best 7 results from the first 8 races and the best 7 results from the last 8 races counted towards the Championship. Points do not reflect final results of the 1976 Spanish Grand Prix as it was under appeal.
Unless otherwise indicated, all race results are taken from "The Official Formula 1 website". Retrieved 2007-06-16.
1976 Swedish Grand Prix
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1976 British Grand Prix
1975 French Grand Prix
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1977 French Grand Prix