Harvey Jones

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Harvey Jones
Nationality Flag of the United Kingdom svg.png British
Born 25 November 1952
Banbury, England
(died 19 August 2011,
Oxford, England)
Current Team None
Car Number 7
Former Teams Flag of the United Kingdom svg.png Stanley BRM
Flag of France svg.png Ligier Gitanes
Flag of the United Kingdom svg.png British Formula One Racing Team
Flag of France svg.png Larrousse Calmels
Races 29 (23 starts)
Championships 0
Victories 0
Podiums 0
Points 2
Pole Positions 0
Fastest Laps 0
First Race 1976 French Grand Prix
First Victory None
Last Victory None
Last Race 1989 Mexican Grand Prix
Best Finish 17th (1989)


Harvey Jones (born 25th November 1952 in Banbury, England; died 19th August 2011 in Oxford, England) is a former British racing driver and the father of current F1RWRS driver Sammy Jones. Harvey was best known for his career in Formula 1 during the late 1970s and early 80s.

Early life

Born to Simon and Ann Jones in 1952, Harvey was raised on the family's farm on the outskirts of Banbury. With his family earning little money, he received only basic education, leaving school at 14 to go and work at the Alcan aluminium factory in the town as an apprentice. From a young age Harvey was a motorsport enthusiast, and whilst at Alcan, would regularly travel with fellow workers to the nearby Silverstone circuit to watch various races.

Early Motorsport Career

Debut in Formula 3 (1970-72)

After persistent requests for his father to help buy him a car, Harvey's wish was finally granted in 1969, when his parents re-mortgaged their house in order to buy their son a Lotus 59 Formula 3 chassis. Elated that he was finally able to compete in the races he'd been watching for years, Harvey quickly set out to contest the Shellsport F3 series of 1970, whilst continuing to work at Alcan during the week. After a gruelling first year spent mostly in the van he used to transport his car, Harvey Jones had collected a number of impressive results, culminating in 10th overall in the championship. Continuing in the same championship for 1971, Jones improved further, and took two third place finishes on his way to 4th place overall. Tipped for the championship in 1972, Jones sold his ageing Lotus chassis and with his savings and prize money earnt, he upgraded to a brand new GRD. This would pit Jones against other favourite Roger Williamson, with the two drivers using the same chassis model. Ultimately, Williamson came off best, with Jones finishing runner-up with two wins his best result. Despite the loss, it was enough to attract the attention of the Brabham team, who were impressed with Jones' ability and subsequently signed him up to drive for their Formula 2 team for 1973.

Rise into Formula 2 (1973)

Having only just turned 20 at the end of the previous year, Harvey Jones debuted in the 1973 European Formula 2 Championship for Brabham at Mallory Park on March 11, finishing a respectable 9th over the two races. As part of the agreement to race for Brabham, Jones was forced to relinquish the car to Wilson Fittipaldi for both the Hockenheim and Rouen races. Despite that, during the rest of the year, Jones proved his talent despite the car being inferior to the dominant March entrants. A switch to the more powerful BMW engines mid-way through the year transformed Jones' fortunes and a fourth place and four sixth places were enough to give him 12th in the championship by the end of the year. Brabham however had decided to pull the plug on their F2 operation, leaving Harvey without a drive for 1974.

A lifeline in Formula 5000 (1974)

With no teams willing to take him on without payment of some kind, Jones was left out in the cold. With very little money and not even his GRD chassis to go racing in F3 any more, he was forced to look elsewhere for drives. Fortunately for him, a chance manifested itself in the form of the British Formula 5000 series, and Jones drove a handful of one-off races for different teams allowing him to maintain his ability and racecraft. Results were good too, and with the somewhat weak field, podiums were always a possibility when his car held together, and at a memorable race at Brands Hatch, Harvey took his maiden victory in the series, driving a Chevron B24. His series of drives were beginning to attract the attention of the smaller teams in Formula 1, though an offer to drive in Formula 2 for the factory March team was too good an opportunity to pass up. Jones signed the deal that would take him back into F2 and give him a serious chance of success in 1975.

Back to F2 with March (1975)

Finally with a well-funded team behind him, Harvey took full advantage of his position to dominate the 1975 season. With knowledge of many of the European tracks already gained from his previous F2 and F5000 races, Jones collected a string of wins in his most successful season in any series up to that point. A season-long battle with Jacques Laffite eventually went Jones' way as Laffite balanced an F1 career alongside his F2 commitments. His first championship victory propelled Jones into the spotlight of the British media who, after the retirement of Jackie Stewart and the deaths of the 'Lost Generation' were looking for future British racing stars. Joining the already famous James Hunt, Jones entered a new chapter in his life as his career really began to take off.

Formula One Career

BRM: 1976

Following his F2 championship victory, Jones married his long-time girlfriend Sarah Worsley in December 1975, and a few days later, it was announced that Jones would be driving for the Stanley BRM team for the 1976 Formula One season. Jones would be entered for the French, British, German and Dutch Grands Prix, and would fail to pre-qualify for all of them, due to the BRM car being ill-handling, underpowered and heavy.

Ligier: 1977

Jones would drive for the Ligier Gitanes team in 1977, at the season-ending Japanese Grand Prix, replacing the retiring Belgian Jacky Ickx. He would retire from the race.

British Formula One Racing Team: 1978

Jones would then be entered by the British Formula One Racing Team for the 1978 British Grand Prix, partnering debutant Hope Stever. Jones nor Stever could not drag the ageing March 771 out of pre-qualifying for the race, earning the team a berth in the non-championship Tony Brise Memorial Trophy. However, the race would prove just as dismal for Jones, who beached the car and retired from the race. He would not enter another Formula One race in 1978, but pulled off some solid drives in Formula Two.

March Engineering: 1979-

Jones was extended a career lifeline in 1979 in the form of a full-season contract from the works March Engineering squad. He would partner 1978 French F3 champion Guillaume Gauthier, who had settled into the team towards the end of 1978 and started the season as March's de facto number 1 driver.

Larrousse: 1988-1989

Jones would be drafted into the Larrousse Calmels team at the 1988 German Grand Prix, replacing the underperforming Aguri Suzuki alongside Isabella Noriko. The Lola chassis would be hampered by an underpowered Ford Cosworth DFZ engine, with Jones registering a best finish of 12th at the Soviet and Italian Grands Prix.

Jones would remain at Larrousse in 1989 alongside Noriko, this time being powered by a Lamborghini engine. The season would start fairly poorly, the team failing to pre-qualify twice in a row at the Monaco and French Grands Prix, but over the season the car would improve enough for Jones to finish 6th at the German and the Australian Grands Prix, finishing 17th in the world drivers championship, with 2 points. Jones would then decide to retire from Formula One after the 1989 season, in order to focus on managing his son Sammy's motorsports career.

Later life after F1

Once retired from motorsport, Harvey returned home to live in Banbury and support his family, whilst helping and encouraging his son Sammy with his own racing aspirations. He was an active and often outspoken member of the community, most notably when the Alcan aluminium factory was threatened with closure. Jones fought passionately for the plant's continued existence and it is widely believed that the decision to close the factory in 2007, with the loss of almost 400 jobs, contributed to Harvey's deterioration in health and ultimate death. He left behind his wife Sarah, and son Sammy, dying in the summer of 2011, having lived to see his son establish his own racing team, the Jones Racing Group, earlier that year.

Complete Formula 1 Results

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 WDC Points
1976 Stanley BRM BRM P201B BRM P200 3.0 V12 ARG RSA USW ESP BEL MON SOV FRA
DNPQ
GBR
DNPQ
GER
DNPQ
AUT NED
DNPQ
ITA CAN USA JPN 0
1977 Ligier Gitanes Ligier JS5B Matra MS73 3.0 V12 ARG RSA USW ESP BEL MON FRA TUS SOV GBR NED GER AUT ITA USA CAN JPN
Ret
0
1978 British Formula One Racing Team March 771 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG RSA USW ESP BEL MON FRA TUS GBR
DNPQ
SUI NED GER AUT ITA CAN USA 0
1979 March Engineering March 791 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG
15†
BRA
9
RSA
6
USW
9
ESP
8
BEL
Ret
MON
Ret
EUR
10
SMR
Ret
FRA
4
GBR
5
GER
Ret
AUT
10
NED
C
ITA
Ret
CAN
7
USA
Ret
14th 6
1980 Penthouse Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 012 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG
Ret
BRA
3
USW
6
ESP
Ret
BEL
4
MON
2
MEX
9
SMR
4
FRA
4
GBR
Ret
GER
2
AUT
Ret
ITA
Ret
CAN
4
CPL
4
DUB
3
4th 36
1988 Larrousse Calmels Lola LC88 Ford Cosworth DFZ 3.5 V8 BRA SMR MON MEX CAN DET FRA GBR GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
YUG
Ret
SOV
12
ITA
12
BEL
Ret
JAP
Ret
AUS
14
0
1989 Larrousse Calmels Lola LC89 Lamborghini LE-3512 3.5 V12 BRA
10
SMR
8
MON
DNPQ
FRA
DNPQ
USA
Ret
CAN
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
6
HUN
Ret
SOV
Ret
POR
10
ITA
11
BEL
9
JAP
Ret
AUS
6
MEX
Ret
17th 2
  • A * denotes a season currently in progress.