Jean Behra  France

  • Full name Jean Marie Behra
  • Nickname Jeannot
  • Birth date February 16, 1921
  • Birthplace Nice, France
  • Date of death August 1, 1959 (38 years 166 days)
  • Place of death Berlin-Charlottenburg, Germany
  • Teams BRM, Ferrari, Gordini, Maserati, Porsche
driver portrait
World Championship Career
Year Car Race Start Won Pod Class Best Pole Front Best Lap Hat Pts Pos
1952 Gordini 6 6 0 1 3 3 0 0 4 0 0 6 11
1953 Gordini 6 6 0 0 2 6 0 0 9 0 0 0 -
1954 Gordini 8 8 0 0 2 6 0 0 5 1 0 0.14 26
1955 Maserati 6 6 0 1 5 3 0 2 3 0 0 6 9
1956 Maserati 7 7 0 5 6 2 0 1 4 0 0 22 4
1957 Maserati 6 6 0 1 3 2 0 4 2 0 0 6 11
1958 Maserati, BRM 10 10 0 1 3 3 0 2 2 0 0 9 11
1959 Ferrari, Porsche 4 3 0 0 1 5 0 1 2 0 0 2 18
Total 53 52 0 9 25 2 0 10 2 1 0 51.14
Race Circuit Date
First race Swiss Grand Prix Bremgarten May 18, 1952 Race results
Last race German Grand Prix AVUS August 2, 1959 Race results
Profile

After a career racing motorcycles, he switched to four-wheeled competition in 1949 and within three years he had moved on to Formula One, winning the non-championship race at Reims in 1952 with Gordini to establish his reputation with the home fans. He remained with the team for another two seasons but was increasingly frustrated by his unreliable cars.

In 1955 he switched to Maserati and again made an immediate impression with non-championship wins at Pau and Bordeaux, but in championship races he was again off the pace. In 1957, when he finished fourth in the drivers' championship, he registered his best-ever grand prix result in Argentina when he finished second to team-mate Juan Manuel Fangio. He was heading for victory in the British Grand Prix when he suffered clutch failure.

A drive for BRM in 1958 was not a success, but in 1959 he appeared to receive his break in 1959 when he was signed by Ferrari but that relationship ended after Behra, angry at what he saw as a team error at the Reims Grand Prix, punched his team manager. Not long after he was killed in a sports car race.

Behra lost his right ear in a crash in Ireland in 1955 and thereafter had to wear a plastic replacement. In case he mislaid it, he always carried a spare in his top pocket.
Martin Williamson

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April 19, 1959

A delighted Jean Behra after winning the non-Championship BARC 200 race

January 1, 1959

Jean Behra

May 18, 1955

Cars battle for space on the track at a closely fought corner in the early stages of the Monaco Grand Prix

     

Jean Behra Formula 1 photos

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