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.

Career[edit | edit source]

Before Formula One[edit | edit source]

1983[edit | edit source]

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.

1988[edit | edit source]

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 culture[edit | edit source]

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

Formula One Statistical Overview[edit | edit source]

Formula One Record[edit | edit source]

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 Statistics[edit | edit source]

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 Results[edit | edit source]

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.svg Flag of the United States.svg Flag of France.svg Flag of San Marino.svg Flag of Monaco.svg Flag of Belgium.svg Flag of the United States.svg Flag of Canada.svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of Germany.svg Flag of Austria.svg Flag of the Netherlands.svg Flag of Italy.svg Flag of Europe.svg Flag of South Africa 1928-1994.svg 0 NC
1988 Flag of Brazil.svg Flag of San Marino.svg Flag of Monaco.svg Flag of Mexico.svg Flag of Canada.svg Flag of the United States.svg Flag of France.svg Flag of Great Britain.png Flag of Germany.svg Flag of Hungary.svg Flag of Belgium.svg Flag of Italy.svg Flag of Portugal.svg Flag of Spain.svg Flag of Japan.svg Flag of Australia.svg 0 NC

Symbol Meaning Symbol Meaning
1st Winner Ret Retired
2nd Podium finish DSQ Disqualified
3rd DNQ Did not qualify
5th Points finish DNPQ Did not pre-qualify
14th Non-points finish TD Test driver
NC Non-classified finish (<90% race distance) DNS Did not start
Italics Scored point(s) for Fastest Lap [+] More Symbols
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