The Parisian, who took the European Formula 2 title in 1976, made 49 F1 starts between 1975 and 1981, getting his full debut at the 1975 French Grand Prix for Tyrrell.
But Jabouille will always be synonymous with Renault, the marque with which he contested most of his grands prix.
In 1979 Jabouille took Renault’s first ever Formula 1 win at the French Grand Prix at Dijon-Prenois. The win not only proved a major milestone for Renault, but it was also the first ever grand prix win for a turbocharged engine.
Jabouille started the race from pole – his first of three – alongside team-mate Rene Arnoux and then drove away to win by 14 seconds.
The race is best remembered for its thrilling battle in the closing stages for second place, with Arnoux and Gilles Villeneuve fighting out a gripping wheel-to-wheel duel until the chequered flag.
The Renault team including Jean Sage, Renault Team Chief, celebrate Jean Pierre Jabouille’s first win and their first Grand Prix victory
Photo by: Sutton Images
Jabouille claimed his second and last win a year later in the Austrian Grand Prix.
Known for being notoriously unlucky, a spate of reliability issues would prevent Jabouille from achieving more success in F1, being only classified in 10 of his 49 races.
A leg fracture in the Canadian Grand Prix then cut short his career. After retiring from the 1981 Spanish Grand Prix with Talbot he called time on his time in F1.
With French brands Alpine, Renault, Matra and Peugeot Jabouille also contested the Le Mans 24 Hours 13 times between 1968 and 1993, taking four overall podiums.
Jabouille retired from driving following the 1993 edition of Le Mans, in which he took third alongside Philippe Alliot and Mauro Baldi as part of a historic 1-2-3 finish for Peugeot Sport with its iconic Peugeot 905 prototype.
Jabouille then replaced the Ferrari-bound Jean Todt as the head of Peugeot Sport and was instrumental in the brand’s F1 entry as an engine supplier, but despite several podiums with McLaren in 1994 Jabouille was replaced in 1995.
He then dedicated himself to sportscar racing in his native France.
A statement from Alpine read: “BWT Alpine F1 Team is incredibly saddened to learn of the passing of Jean-Pierre Jabouille. A humble racing driver, brilliant engineer, and a pioneer of our sport. Jean-Pierre was a true racer.
“He spearheaded Renault’s journey into F1 in 1977 with his resilient and dare to do attitude.
“He was Renault’s first grand prix winner in 1979, a landmark moment in Renault’s journey in Formula 1.
“His determination and dedication to succeed inspired many, and these values remain central to the current team in its now blue colours of Alpine.
“We are where we are today because of Jean-Pierre and his legacy lives on. We’d like to extend our most sincere condolences to his family and close friends.
“Merci pour tout, Jean-Pierre.”