The 1971 French Grand Prix was the fifth race of the 1971 Formula One season, and was held at the new Circuit Paul Ricard on 4 July 1971. Despite Ferrari being heavy favorites to win, Jackie Stewart scored a Grand Chelem, and teammate François Cevert made it a Tyrrell 1-2.
After two years at the Charade Circuit, near Clermont-Ferrand, the race was held at the brand-new Circuit Paul Ricard, near Marseille. Wide and flat, the circuit was criticized by journalists, but the safety features and modern facilities made it popular with drivers and teams. The 1.9km-long Mistral straight meant that a premium would be placed on horsepower and aerodynamics. The track had been used extensively for off-season testing, but no one had ever raced here in mid-summer, so the very warm and breezy conditions caught some teams off guard.
- Brabham: Both cars featured high engine air boxes and single oil coolers. The BT34 also had revised oil pipes.
- BRM: The cars were fitted with modified rear wings, allowing for a greater range of adjustments.
- Ferrari: Mario Andretti was not present, due to a USAC commitment. The team brought three cars, all of which had been upgraded with an anti-vibration damper device in the rear suspension. Clay Regazzoni tried out a nose with streamlined vertical members at the end of the wings, to decrease drag from the front tires, but it was not used in the race. With the almost two km long back straight, Ferrari were heavy favorites here.
- Lotus: Emerson Fittipaldi had recovered from his road accident enough to drive, but still had visible bandages and was obviously in pain. Reine Wisell's car had been upgraded to 72D specification. Dave Walker's accident at Zandvoort in the 56B turbine did a severe amount of damage to the chassis, and sent a large amount of sand into the turbine itself. Neither the car nor the turbine could not be repaired in time, so Walker did not drive this weekend.
- March: Andrea de Adamich had returned to drive the primary Alfa Romeo engined car. Ronnie Peterson was driving a second Alfa Romeo car this weekend, as the team was critically short of Cosworth engines. Cosworth had apparently suffered a bad batch of crankshafts, and the company was overwhelmed with repair requests. This also prevented March from entering a fourth car for Nanni Galli. Peterson's car also had a new air intake box.
- Matra: the Matras had a new front wheel design, to increase airflow to the brakes, as this track is hard on braking. Chris Amon decided he liked the handling of the spare car, and drove it in the race.
- McLaren: The team transporter broke down on the drive across France, and did not arrive until Friday night, so the drivers missed Friday practice. Once they got going, the only change to the cars was an engine air box on Denny Hulme's car.
- Williams: Henri Pescarolo's 711 had been almost completely rebuilt since Zandvoort. The team's primary sponsor, Motul Oil, arranged for local driver Max Jean to run the team's spare 701 for the weekend.
- Tyrrell: Both cars had lower-drag rear wings mounted, and the 003 (Jackie Stewart's car) raced with the full-width streamlined nose seen in practice at Zandvoort. As usual, car 001 was along as a spare.
The full entry list for the 1971 French Grand Prix is outlined below:
|12||17||Ronnie Peterson||March-Alfa Romeo||1:53.36||+2.65|
|20||19||Andrea de Adamich||March-Alfa Romeo||1:56.17||+5.46|
|9||10||Peter Gethin||McLaren-Ford||54||+1 Lap||20|
|10||16||Howden Ganley||BRM||54||+1 Lap||16|
|11||24||Rolf Stommelen||Surtees-Ford||53||+2 Laps||10|
|13||34||François Mazet||March-Ford||50||+5 Laps||23|
|NC||28||Max Jean||March-Ford||46||+9 Laps||22|
|Ret||7||Graham Hill||Brabham-Ford||35||Oil pressure||4|
|Ret||19||Andrea de Adamich||March-Alfa Romeo||32||Engine||20|
|Ret||15||Pedro Rodríguez||BRM||28||Coil failure||5|
|Ret||5||Clay Regazzoni||Ferrari||21||Accident damage||2|
|Ret||17||Ronnie Peterson||March-Alfa Romeo||20||Engine||12|
|Ret||18||Alex Soler-Roig||March-Ford||4||Fuel pump||21|
Standings after raceEdit
- Pritchard, Anthony (1972). The Motor Racing Year No3. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.. pp. 64-71. ISBN 0-393-08502-3.
|French Grand Prix|
|Circuits|| Reims (1950–1951, 1953–1954, 1956, 1958–1961, 1963, 1966)|
Rouen-Les-Essarts (1952, 1957, 1962, 1964, 1968)
Charade Circuit (1965, 1969–1970, 1972)
Bugatti Circuit (1967)
Circuit Paul Ricard (1971, 1973, 1975–1976, 1978, 1980, 1982–1983, 1985–1990)
Dijon-Prenois (1974, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1984)
Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours (1991–2008)
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