François Hesnault

22. Jan 2024 
by Ziv Knoll

François Hesnault, born 30 December 1956, a former French race car driver, and the heir of an important transport company, started his racing career in Formula Renault in 1980, and progressed to the French F3 in 1982.

He reaches Formula One in 1984 with Ligier, where he does a competent job, compared to his experienced team mate, Andrea de Cesaris. The following year, he lands a drive at Brabham, but his relationship with team mate Nelson Piquet is poor, then he has a terrible accident at Paul-Ricard while testing, and he’s replaced after three races only.

Hesnault appears one last time, at the 1985 German Grand Prix in a Renault RE60 that is fitted with a camera (picture below), which enables the spectators to watch for the first time a Grand Prix start from the cockpit. He’s forced to retire on lap 8, and decides, after 19 Grand Prix starts and two Le Mans participations in 1982 and 1983, to leave motor racing and to return to the business world.

Source: DR

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