Jean-Louis Schlesser (born September 12, 1948 in Nancy, Meurthe-et-Moselle) is a retired French racing driver, notable for his one-off Grand Prix appearance in 1988. He is the nephew of Jo Schlesser, a Formula One driver for Honda who died in the 1968 French Grand Prix. Also a keen rally-raid driver, in 1999 and 2000, he won consecutive editions of the Paris-Dakar Rally.


Before Formula OneEdit


Schlesser's first outing was the 1983 French Grand Prix, where RAM had chosen a second driver to pair up with Eliseo Salazar, on a one-off basis. However, neither of the cars made it out of qualifying, with Schlesser in last place on the table.


With Nigel Mansell still ill with chicken pox ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, Williams had to rely on the efforts of Schlesser, their test driver. It marked Schlesser's first successful qualification for a Grand Prix, and his first Grand Prix appearance for five years. It also came on the eve of his 40th birthday.

McLaren, which had not long ago clinched the Constructors' Championship, had been attempting a clean sweep of the 1988 season with victories in 15 out of 15 races, but Alain Prost's misfiring engine had forced the Frenchman to retire to the pits on lap 34, so the team had to depend on the leader of the Drivers' Championship, Ayrton Senna.

On lap 49, Senna's clash with the Frenchman caused Senna to spin and beach itself on a kerb, and the Ferraris secured a one-two finish, led by Gerhard Berger, on home soil, less than a month after Enzo Ferrari's death. The collision also prevented the McLaren team from winning all 16 races of the 1988 season.

In popular cultureEdit

He appeared in the 2000 French movie Taxi 2 as himself alongside his Paris-Dakar co-driver Henri Magne.

Formula One Statistical OverviewEdit

Formula One RecordEdit

Year Entrant Team WDC Points WDC Pos. Report
1983 RAM Automotive Team March March-Ford Cosworth 0 NC Report
1988 Canon Williams Team Williams-Judd 0 NC Report

Career StatisticsEdit

Entries 4
Starts 1
Pole Positions 0
Front Row Starts 0
Race Wins 0
Podiums 0
Fastest laps 0
Points 0
Laps Raced 49
Distance Raced 284.200 km (177 mi)
Races Led 0
Laps Led 0
Distance Led 0 km (0 mi)

Career ResultsEdit

Complete Formula One results
Year 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Pts Pos
1983 Flag of Brazil Flag of the United States Flag of France Flag of San Marino Flag of Monaco Flag of Belgium Flag of the United States Flag of Canada Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of Germany Flag of Austria Flag of the Netherlands Flag of Italy Flag of Europe Flag of South Africa 1928-1994 0 NC
1988 Flag of Brazil Flag of San Marino Flag of Monaco Flag of Mexico Flag of Canada Flag of the United States Flag of France Flag of Great Britain Flag of Germany Flag of Hungary Flag of Belgium Flag of Italy Flag of Portugal Flag of Spain Flag of Japan Flag of Australia 0 NC

Symbol Meaning Symbol Meaning
1stWinner Ret Retired
2ndPodium finish DSQ Disqualified
3rd DNQ Did not qualify
5thPoints finish DNPQ Did not pre-qualify
14thNon-points finish TD Test driver
NCNon-classified finish (<90% race distance) DNS Did not start
ItalicsScored point(s) for Fastest Lap [+] More Symbols
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