Rene Arnoux: An F1 maverick
Frenchman Rene Arnoux went from grand prix winner with Renault and Ferrari to obstinate Ligier backmarker. PETER MILLS tells the story of a man who did things his own way
An attentive visitor to an early eighties grand prix grid may well have had his or her curiosity aroused by an unusual sight; a slightly unkempt figure lying in the unorthodox position of back against grass verge, eyes closed, hands behind head and bandied legs pointing skywards against Armco.
Rene Arnoux possessed an informal manner but his uncompromising prowess behind the wheel resulted in 18 pole positions and seven wins. The determination required to rise from a humble background to the sybaritic lifestyle of a Ferrari driver perhaps explains much: the all-out wheel-banging over 'minor' placings, the stubbornness when being lapped and the slight air of the maverick.
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