Re­mem­ber the last French­man to win an F1 grand prix?

F1 Racing - - INDIAN WINTER -

The 1996 Monaco GP is re­mem­bered as one of the cra­zi­est races in F1 his­tory, with just three cars mak­ing it to the che­quered flag. And it was Ligier’s Olivier Pa­nis who emerged vic­to­ri­ous that day – a dream re­sult for French driver and team.

There was cer­tainly a huge amount of luck in­volved, but Pa­nis was un­de­ni­ably quick. Engine prob­lems struck in qual­i­fy­ing, which meant a car with top-six po­ten­tial started 14th. To prove that point, Pa­nis set the fastest lap in a dry warm-up on Sun­day be­fore the heav­ens opened.

The rain de­liv­ered a chaotic race, but Pa­nis was im­pe­ri­ous. Ag­gres­sively pulling off a se­ries of over­tak­ing ma­noeu­vres to make his strat­egy work, he rose through the field as oth­ers fal­tered to be­come the 12th French win­ner in 46 years of the world cham­pi­onship.

The wait for next French win­ner goes on. Ro­main Gros­jean came close, twice fin­ish­ing sec­ond – but only nine other French­men have started a grand prix since Pa­nis was dealt his win­ning hand.

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