Jean-Pierre Wimille


Not my cup of cake
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I posted a list of the best F1 drivers in the Hamilton thread and I new all but one of the top 10 listed. The new name to me was Jean-Pierre Wimille and I have been doing some digging.

The reason he made Brian Harvey's list in such a high position was because he entered 6 races in 1947 and 1948, won 4 and finished 2nd in one other. Not a bad strike rate! Wimille died in 1949, hence why his post war racing career was so short. Grand claim he would have been the first World Champion in 1950 had he lived.

This doesn't really begin to tell you much about the man though as pre-war he raced in a number of Grands Prix in Europe. His Wiki entry shows a large number of retirements but gives no idea of how well he was doing in the races. He did win Le Mans twice in 1936 and 1939.

In Harvey's book he details 4 other races in 1946 and 1948 Wimille was leading but retired from due to a variety of mechanical issues.

The war intervened in his career and during it he was part of the SOE, helping the French Resistance. Post war he built his own cars called, unsurpringly, the Wimille. He died in 1949 during practice for the Buenos Aires Grand Prix aged only 41.

Below are some links to articles about him should you want to read more:

Jean-Pierre Wimille - Wikipedia
Jean-Pierre Wimille - Biography
Historical > Jean-Pierre Wimille: The man who would have been champion... > F1 Features -
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He would have given Fangio a run for his money, alas it was not to be. He died in a crash in Buenos Aires, ironically enough ...
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