Jean-Pierre Beltoise: 1972 Monaco GP winner dies at age of 77

Jean-Pierre Beltoise
Jean-Pierre Beltoise best F1 season was in 1969, when he finished fifth and took three podium finishes.

Former Formula 1 driver Jean-Pierre Beltoise, the winner of the 1972 Monaco Grand Prix, has died at the age of 77.

The Frenchman's Monaco triumph was one of eight podium finishes in an 84-race F1 career between 1967 and 1974.

The French motor sport federation (FFSA) confirmed his passing in a statement on Monday, adding that Beltoise "is and will remain an example for a whole generation of drivers".

He died following a double stroke at his holiday home in Dakar, Senegal.

Beltoise started out as a motorcycle racer, winning 11 French championships, before switching to sports cars and F1.

Jean-Pierre Beltoise
Beltoise came through from fourth on the grid to win the 1972 Monaco GP in heavy rain

His career was nearly ended after he suffered serious injuries in a crash in sports car race in 1964 that left him with limited movement in his left arm.

He nevertheless made it into F1 in 1967, driving for Matra, with whom he would remain until 1971.

His solitary victory arrived at a rain-hit Monaco Grand Prix the following year, when he finished ahead of Jacky Ickx and that year's world champion Emerson Fittipaldi. The win was also the 17th and last for the British BRM team.

Beltoise was married to the sister of fellow F1 driver and compatriot Francois Cevert, who was killed at the wheel of a Tyrrell in qualifying for the 1973 US Grand Prix.