On this day 1980

Alan Jones broke hearts at Paul Ricard by beating a field of seven Frenchmen at the French Grand Prix. The grid had looked promising for the home nation with the top three positions being held by Jacques Laffite in the Ligier, Rene Arnoux in the Renault and Didier Pironi in the second Ligier. A further four drivers in the top ten were French too, generating a huge amount of excitement ahead of the race. Lafitte took off at an alarming rate at the start, leaving Pironi, Arnoux and Jones to scrap it out for second. Jones picked off Arnoux first and a couple of laps later he was past Pironi, but by that time Laffite had a good eight-second lead. However, the Ligier’s early pace had taken its toll on the tyres and it wasn’t long before Jones started closing in on the home favourite. Then, on lap 35, Jones breezed past and immediately built up a lead over Laffite, who eventually conceded another position to Pironi to finish third.