French blue

30. Sep 2021 
by Ziv Knoll

René Arnoux joined Jacques Laffite at Ligier for the 1986 Formula One season (picture above).

The Ligier JS27 had a carbon-kevlar monocoque and was powered by the 1.5 litre Renault V6 turbo engine. The car was initially driven by the French pairing of Ligier mainstay Laffite and René Arnoux.

The latter had missed all but the first race of the 1985 season after being sacked after the Brazilian Grand Prix by Ferrari (neither Ferrari nor Arnoux have ever gone public with the reason for his sacking); at 42 years old, Laffite was the oldest driver on the grid.

The JS27 was initially competitive and scored numerous points finishes in the first half of the season, including two podium finishes from Laffite. Sadly, at the British Grand Prix (picture below), Laffite was caught up in a first lap pile-up, seriously injuring his legs. The crash effectively ended his Formula One career.

Due to Laffite’s accident and a concurrent lack of development on the chassis, the JS27 was less competitive in the second half of the season. Arnoux and substitute driver Philippe Alliot could only score four points from the German Grand Prix onwards. The team nevertheless secured fifth place in the 1986 Formula One Constructors’ Championship.

Source: DR

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