Jo Schlesser  France

  • Full name Joseph Schlesser
  • Birth date May 18, 1928
  • Birthplace Liouville, Apremont-la-Forêt, France
  • Date of death July 7, 1968 (40 years 50 days)
  • Place of death Rouen, France
  • Relation Nephew - JL Schlesser
  • Teams Honda
driver portrait
World Championship Career
Year Car Race Start Won Pod Class Best Pole Front Best Lap Hat Pts Pos
1968 Honda 1 1 0 0 0 - 0 0 16 0 0 0 -
Total 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 16 0 0 0
Race Circuit Date
Only race French Grand Prix Rouen July 7, 1968 [race_results]
Profile

Jo Schlesser's Formula One career was tragically short. Well-known locally, he was hired by Honda to drive its experimental air-cooled F1 car (dubbed the RA302) at the French Grand Prix. John Surtees had pronounced the car unsafe, but it was entered for the race nonetheless. On the second lap the car slid wide at a corner and crashed into a bank, with its full tank of fuel and magnesium body exploding on impact. He became the fourth driver to die in 1968 and at the end of the season Honda withdrew from the sport.

Schlesser had some experience of an F1 grand prix as he had entered the 1966 and 1967 German GPs, driving a Formula 2 spec Matra-Cosworth. He had also raced in NASCAR, finishing 13th in the Daytona 500. A friend of Jo Schlesser's, future Formula One constuctor Guy Ligier always gave his cars type numbers beginning with 'JS' as a tribute to him.

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July 7, 1968

Jo Schlesser in the Honda RA302 that would take his life, he died after crashing on lap three when the magnesium chassis ignited

July 7, 1968

Jo Schlesser in the Honda Ra302 before his fatal accident

     

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