Jean Marie Behra (born 6 February 1921 in Nice, Alps-Maritimes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France – died 1 August 1959 at the AVUS, in West Berlin, West Germany) was a French racing driver who competed in Formula One the 1950s.
Originally racing motorcycles, Behra switched full-time to four wheels in 1952, and won two non-championship races that year, alongside a podium at his first race, the Swiss Grand Prix. After three years racing with Gordini, in 1955 he moved to Maserati, continuing to win non-championship races, but despite five podiums in 1956, a full World Championship win eluded him.
In 1958 he raced for the BRM team, scoring a pair of points finishes alongside a host of retirements, while racing for Porsche in sports car races. In 1959 he made the move to Ferrari, partnering Brit Tony Brooks. This however, was only to last a few months as disagreements within the team saw Behra punch two Ferrari personnel, including team manager Romolo Tavoni, and he was fired from the team.
Behra, in association with Porsche, was to use his Behra-Porsche car at the next race, the 1959 German Grand Prix. However, in a sports car race that preceded the Grand Prix race, Behra suffered a horrendous accident as he spun off on the banking and hit a flag pole, suffering fatal skull fractures. The funeral was held six days later in both Berlin and Paris, and he was buried in Nice. Reflecting their ruined relationship, Enzo Ferrari didn't attend the funeral.
At the time of his death, Behra held the record for the most World Championship entries and starts, with 55 entries and 52 starts, one more than Juan Manuel Fangio for both. Harry Schell broke both of these records within a year.
Formula One Career
Formula One Statistical Overview
Formula One Record
Note: Italics denotes an entrant or constructor competed for in non-World Championship entries only.
|Year||Entrant||Team||WDC Points||WDC Pos.||Report|
|1949||SFACS Ecurie France||Talbot-Lago-Talbot||No World Championship|
|1950||Did not compete|
|1951||Equipe Gordini||Gordini||Non-World Championship races only|
|1955||Officine Alfieri Maserati||Maserati||6||9th||Report|
|1956||Officine Alfieri Maserati||Maserati||22||4th||Report|
|1957||Officine Alfieri Maserati||Maserati||6||11th||Report|
|Owen Racing Organisation||BRM|
|Owen Racing Organisation||BRM|
|Front Row Starts||10|
|Distance Raced||14665 km (9112 mi)|
|Distance Led||439 km (273 mi)|
Note: All non-championship.
|Win Number||Grand Prix|
|1||1952 Circuit du Lac|
|2||1952 Marne Grand Prix|
|3||1954 Pau Grand Prix|
|4||1954 Circuit de Cadours|
|5||1955 Pau Grand Prix|
|6||1955 Bordeaux Grand Prix|
|7||1957 Pau Grand Prix|
|8||1957 Caen Grand Prix|
|9||1957 BRDC International Trophy|
|10||1957 Modena Grand Prix|
|11||1957 Moroccan Grand Prix|
|12||1959 BARC Aintree 200|
|Complete Formula One results|
|3rd||DNQ||Did not qualify|
|5th||Points finish||DNPQ||Did not pre-qualify|
|14th||Non-points finish||TD||Test driver|
|Italics||Scored point(s) for Fastest Lap||DNS||Did not start|
|†||Classified finish (retired with >90% race distance)||NC||Non-classified finish (<90% race distance)|
|P||Qualified for pole position||[+] More Symbols|
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