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Jean-Denis Delétraz (born 1 October 1963) is a Swiss racing driver. He participated in three Formula One Grands Prix, debuting in the 1994 Australian Grand Prix. Before reaching Formula One, he scored two third places in the 1988 Formula 3000 season, but principally earned his three Formula One drives as a pay driver.[1] After Formula One, he competed in sports car racing, with two class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Jean-Denis Delétraz
Jean-Denis Délétraz - Le Mans 2012.JPG
Délétraz in 2012
Born (1963-10-01) 1 October 1963 (age 55)
Geneva, Switzerland
Formula One World Championship career
NationalitySwitzerland Swiss
Active years19941995
TeamsLarrousse, Pacific
Entries3
Championships0
Wins0
Podiums0
Career points0
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
First entry1994 Australian Grand Prix
Last entry1995 European Grand Prix

CareerEdit

Pre-Formula OneEdit

Delétraz had some success in his early career, including two wins in Formula Ford cars.[2] He went on to compete in Formula Three between 1985 and 1987 in the French championship, finishing third in the final standings in 1985.[3] Between 1988 and 1991, he competed in Formula 3000 and during 1990 he bought the FIRST racing team, but was never able to match the success of 1988 and scored no points.[4] During 1991 the team was impounded by an Italian court for a time after legal action from the team's other driver, Giovanni Bonanno.[4]

In 1992 and 1993, Deletraz competed in the French Touring Car Championship and the Porsche Supercup with little success. In 1994, Delétraz was signed as a driver for the SEAT works team in the French Touring Car Championship. His best result was fifth place in the race at Nogaro and he finished thirteenth overall in the standings.[2]

Formula OneEdit

1994: LarrousseEdit

Towards the end of 1994, Larrousse was, like a number of other teams at the time, running short of money and needing pay drivers to keep the team afloat.[5] Larrousse's number 19 car, which had started the year being driven by Olivier Beretta, was now being driven by drivers who could bring sponsorship money to the team.[5] For the final race of the year in Australia, Larrousse let the aero-car inexperienced, physically unfit Delétraz replace Érik Comas in the team's second car for more sponsorship money in order to aid their financial situation.[5]

During qualifying, Delétraz qualified in 25th position, ahead of Simtek's Domenico Schiattarella.[2] However, Schiattarella overtook him during the first lap of the Grand Prix, and Delétraz gradually dropped back from the rest of the field. He retired on lap 57 with gearbox failure, after he had already been lapped ten times. He was lapping the circuit six seconds slower than the leaders, two seconds slower than his teammate Hideki Noda and 1–2 seconds slower than the next slowest driver Schiattarella. He was described by BBC commentator Jonathan Palmer as "having no business in Formula One."[6]

1995: PacificEdit

Pacific Team Lotus started with shareholder Bertrand Gachot and Andrea Montermini as its drivers, but similar to Larrousse the previous year, the team needed pay drivers to continue the season and Gachot vacated his seat.[7] It was announced that Delétraz would be competing in the final five races of the season.[2]

"I am very happy to be returning to Formula One and we will work hard together to make this a competitive end to the season. Although the Pacific team is quite small, they have a lot of motivation and I think everyone knows that Keith Wiggins is determined to make strong progress in Formula One. For me it is a good opportunity to gain more Formula One experience, and to develop a programme which hopefully will lead to my participation in the 1996 Formula One World Championship."

Délétraz, on signing with Pacific for the remainder of the season.[8]

During qualifying for his first round of the year, in Portugal, Delétraz was hindered by a gearbox problem which saw him qualify last, twelve seconds behind pole-position sitter David Coulthard. In the race, Delétraz was 40 seconds behind Coulthard after 3 laps, and was lapping the circuit 12 seconds slower than the leaders and 6–7 seconds than the next slowest driver Roberto Moreno in a Forti and 7–8 seconds slower than his team-mate Montermini. He was lapped by the leaders after seven laps of the race, and after fourteen he retired from the race with cramp in his left arm. This drew criticism as Estoril is a clockwise circuit, which requires more work from the right arm.[citation needed] In his second race at the Nürburgring, he qualified just over nine seconds behind pole-position, and he finished the race in fifteenth place as the last finisher, seven laps behind the winner. At one point while he was being lapped by the leaders, Delétraz suddenly darted his car across the track from one side to the other and back again, prompting BBC commentator Murray Walker to exclaim "And what is Delétraz doing? Doesn't matter what he's doing."[citation needed]

At the next race, he was replaced by Bertrand Gachot after planned replacements were denied superlicenses. It had been expected that Delétraz would be competing until the end of the season, but he defaulted on payment and Keith Wiggins, principal of the Pacific team stated, "On ability alone, we are not willing to keep him."[2]

The slow qualifying speeds of drivers like Delétraz resulted in the introduction of the 107% rule for the 1996 season - with some F1 fans nicknaming the new regulation the "Delétraz rule" as a result.[citation needed]

Sports Car RacingEdit

24 Hours of Le Mans career
Years19951996, 20002002, 2004, 2007
TeamsGiroix Racing Team
Kokusai Kaihatsu Racing
Racing Organisation Course
Noël del Bello Racing
Barron Connor Racing
Swiss Spirit
Best finish5th (1995, 2001)
Class wins2 (2001, 2002)

After his tenure in Formula One, Delétraz focused on endurance racing, running in the 24 Hours of LeMans and the BPR Global GT Series in 1995. 1996 saw Delétraz move to the FIRST Racing operation he now co-owned with fellow driver Fabien Giroix. Two years in the BPR Global GT Series in a McLaren F1 GTR was followed by a move to the FIA GT Championship in 1997, with FIRST running the works Lotus Elise GT1s. After a couple of years away, FIRST and Delétraz returned to the FIA Championship in 2000 with a Ferrari 550 Maranello. In 2002, he took four wins in the series with team-mate Andrea Piccini in a BMS Scuderia Italia-run 550, and the pair finished fifth in the championship. They then drove a works Lister Storm in 2003. He has also scored two class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in 2001 and 2002 in the LMP675 class. He was also one of the drivers of the Chevrolet Corvette C6.R that won the 2007 Spa 24 Hours.

Jean-Denis's son, Louis, is also a racing driver.

Racing recordEdit

Complete International Formula 3000 resultsEdit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Pos. Pts
1988 Sport Auto Racing Lola T88/50 Cosworth JER
9
VAL
DNQ
PAU
Ret
SIL
DNQ
MNZ
Ret
PER
DNQ
BRH BIR
10
13th 8
GDBA Motorsport BUG
3
ZOL
3
DIJ
Ret
1989 First Racing Leyton March 89B Cosworth SIL
14
VAL
Ret
PAU
Ret
NC 0
Reynard 89D JER
15
PER
Ret
BRH
DSQ
BIR
12
SPA
DNQ
BUG
Ret
DIJ
9
1990 First Racing Reynard 90D Cosworth DON
7
SIL
DNQ
PAU
Ret
JER
DNQ
MNZ
Ret
PER HOC BRH BIR BUG NOG NC 0
1991 First Racing Reynard 91D Cosworth VAL
DNS
PAU
DNQ
JER
Ret
MUG PER HOC BRH SPA BUG NOG NC 0

Complete World Sportscar Championship resultsEdit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Class Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Pos. Pts
1988 Swiss Team Salamin C1 Porsche 962C Porsche Type 935/79 2.8 F6t JER JAR MNZ SIL LMS BRN BRH
7
NÜR SPA FUJ SAN NC 0

Complete Formula One resultsEdit

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 WDC Pts
1994 Tourtel Larrousse Larrousse LH94 Ford HBF7/8 3.5 V8 BRA PAC SMR MON ESP CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR EUR JPN AUS
Ret
NC 0
1995 Pacific Team Lotus Pacific PR02 Ford EDC 3.0 V8 BRA ARG SMR ESP MON CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR
Ret
EUR
15
PAC JPN AUS NC 0

24 Hours of Le Mans resultsEdit

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1995   Giroix Racing Team   Fabien Giroix
  Olivier Grouillard
McLaren F1 GTR GT1 290 5th 4th
1996   Kokusai Kaihatsu Racing
  Giroix Racing Team
  Fabien Giroix
  Maurizio Sandro Sala
McLaren F1 GTR GT1 146 DNF DNF
1997   GT1 Lotus Racing   Fabien Giroix
  Ratanakul Prutirat
Lotus Elise GT1-Chevrolet GT1 - DNQ DNQ
2000   Racing Organisation Course   Ralf Kelleners
  David Terrien
Reynard 2KQ-LM-Volkswagen LMP675 44 DNF DNF
2001   ROC Auto   Jordi Gené
  Pascal Fabre
Reynard 2KQ-LM-Volkswagen LMP675 284 5th 1st
2002   Noël del Bello Racing
  ROC Compétition
  Christophe Pillon
  Walter Lechner, Jr.
Reynard 2KQ-LM-Volkswagen LMP675 317 19th 1st
2004   Barron Connor Racing   Mike Hezemans
  Ange Barde
Ferrari 575-GTC GTS 200 DNF DNF
2007   Swiss Spirit   Marcel Fässler
  Iradj Alexander
Lola B07/18-Audi LMP1 62 DNF DNF
2012   Gulf Racing Middle East   Keiko Ihara
  Marc Rostan
Lola B12/80-Nissan LMP2 17 DNF DNF
Source:[9]

Complete FIA GT Championship resultsEdit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car Class 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Pos. Pts
1997 GT1 Lotus Racing Lotus Elise GT1 GT1 HOC
Ret
SIL
Ret
HEL
12
NÜR
Ret
SPA
8
A1R
Ret
SUZ DON
Ret
MUG SEB
Ret
LAG
Ret
NC 0
1998 Zakspeed Racing Porsche 911 GT1-98 GT1 OSC SIL HOC DIJ HUN SUZ
8
DON A1R HOM LAG NC 0
2000 First Racing Ferrari 550 Maranello GT VAL
Ret
EST MNZ
Ret
SIL HUN ZOL
Ret
A1R LAU BRN
Ret
MAG
Ret
NC 0
2002 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550-GTS Maranello GT MAG
6
SIL
Ret
BRN
Ret
JAR
1
AND
1
OSC
1
SPA
Ret
PER
10
DON
Ret
EST
1
5th 41
2003 Lister Storm Racing Lister Storm GT CAT
4
MAG
3
PER
5
BRN
2
DON
9
SPA AND OSC EST MNZ 15th 23
2004 DAMS Lamborghini Murciélago R-GT GT MNZ VAL MAG HOC BRN DON SPA IMO
14
OSC
Ret
DUB
Ret
ZHU
Ret
NC 0
2005 GPC Sport Ferrari 575-GTC Maranello GT1 MNZ
Ret
MAG
9
SIL
7
IMO
Ret
BRN
Ret
SPA
Ret
OSC
6
IST
4
ZHU
5
DUB
6
BHR
12
15th 19
2006 Phoenix Racing Aston Martin DBR9 GT1 SIL
6
BRN
2
OSC
3
SPA
2
PRI
6
DIJ
3
MUG
6
HUN
4
ADR
Ret
DUB
1
3rd 62
2007 Phoenix Carsport Racing Chevrolet Corvette C6.R GT1 ZHU
5
SIL
2
BUC
Ret
MNZ
3
OSC
Ret
SPA
1
ADR
5
BRN
9
NOG
1
ZOL
4
4th 55
2008 Phoenix Carsport Racing Chevrolet Corvette C6.R GT1 SIL
8
MNZ
Ret
ADR
3
OSC
3
SPA
6
BUC
1
BUC
1
BRN
4
NOG
3
ZOL
5
SAN 8th 45.5

Complete FIA World Endurance Championship resultsEdit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Class Car Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pos. Pts
2012 Gulf Racing Middle East LMP2 Lola B12/80 Nissan VK45DE 4.5 V8 SEB
EX
SPA
18
LMS
Ret
SIL
15
SÃO
24
BHR
Ret
FUJ
13
SHA
Ret
70th 2

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ Smith, Bruce; Earnes, Mark (1995). Formula 1 Grand Prix Season 1995. Words on Sport Ltd. p. 60. ISBN 1-898351-25-2.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Jean-Denis Delétraz - Biography". F1 Rejects. 2003-10-08. Archived from the original on 17 December 2005. Retrieved 4 March 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ "Driver Biography: Jean-Denis Deletraz". FIA GT Championship. Archived from the original on 5 May 2006. Retrieved 4 March 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ a b "Drivers: Jean-Denis Deletraz". GrandPrix.com. Retrieved 26 December 2006.
  5. ^ a b c "Constructors: Larrousse". GrandPrix.com. Retrieved 26 December 2006.
  6. ^ transcript of recording from F1 Rejects
  7. ^ Jones, Bruce (1998). The Complete Encyclopedia of Formula One. Carlton Books Ltd. p. 206. ISBN 1-85868-515-X.
  8. ^ "Jean-Denis Deletraz signing". Pacific Grand Prix. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  9. ^ "All Results of Jean-Denis Delétraz". racingsportscars.com. Retrieved June 19, 2018.