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Jean-Pierre Beltoise, 1937-2015

05 Jan 2015

Jean-Pierre Beltoise, the winner of the 1972 Monaco Grand Prix and a veteran of 84 world championship starts, has died aged 77.

The popular Frenchman began his racing career in motorcycling, capturing 11 titles in his homeland between 1961 and 1964 before switching to four wheels.

However, his car racing career was nearly ended before it had properly begun when he was badly injured in a crash at Reims in 1964.

Despite never regaining full movement in his left arm, Beltoise continued his ascent towards the top of motorsport, winning titles with Matra in F3 and F2 racing before graduating to F1 racing with the French marque.

It wasn't long before he was showing his full potential, finishing a superb second in the 1968 Dutch Grand Prix in what was his first full season in the top flight.

Beltoise would continue racing for Matra until the end of 1971, achieving several podium finishes, but never quite managing to reach the top step.

He would eventually triumph though, taking a brilliant wet-weather victory at Monaco in 1972 following a switch to BRM. It would prove to be the British manufacturer’s final F1 win and the highlight of Beltoise's career, which included a total of eight F1 podiums.

He continued with BRM until the end of 1974 season before going on to achieve further success in sportscars and touring cars.