Patrick André Eugène Joseph Depailler (9 August 1944 – 1 August 1980) was a racing driver from France. He participated in 95 World Championship Formula One Grands Prix, debuting on 2 July 1972. He also participated in several non-Championship Formula One races.
Depailler was born in Clermont-Ferrand, Puy-de-Dôme. As a child, he was inspired by Jean Behra. In Formula One, he joined a Tyrrell team that was beginning a long, slow decline, eventually moving to the erratic Ligier team before finally ending up with the revived Alfa Romeo squad in 1980. Depailler was helping to advance this team up the grid when he was killed in a crash at Hockenheim on 1 August 1980, during a private testing session.
He won two races, secured one pole position, achieved 19 podiums, and scored a total of 141 championship points.
Depailler finished 0.9 seconds behind Peter Gethin in the 1972 Formula TwoPau Grand Prix. He battled Gethin closely
in a March 722 over the 70-lap course which curved through the French city. Both drivers lapped the field twice. Depailler came in 3rd with a time of 1:31:40.5 in an April 1973 Formula Two race at the Nürburgring. He was driving a Ford Alpine. In May 1974 Depailler qualified his March in 1st position in qualifying for the Formula Two Pau Grand Prix. He recorded a time of 1 minute 16.17 seconds for an average speed of 80.8 miles per hour. In June he crashed his March 742 through a guard rail during time trials for a Formula Two race in Salzburgring. Depailler was uninjured but qualifying was stopped so that workmen could replace a section of railing which was torn off in the accident.
In April 1976 the Renault sports car team suspended Depailler for three races after he was involved in a crash which knocked out both his car and the Renault of teammate Jean-Pierre Jabouille. The incident occurred on the second turn, slightly more than a mile after the beginning of a 180-mile (290 km) race at the Nürburgring. Depailler lost control and crashed, after which Jabouille also crashed while attempting to avoid his teammate. The drivers had been instructed not to contest the lead with each other. Depailler placed 2nd in the 1976 Swedish Formula One Grand Prix. He was 19 seconds behind winner Jody Scheckter. Depailler recorded a time of 1:47:17 over 72 laps. Depailler drove in the
International Race of Champions event at Riverside International Raceway in September 1978. He was behind the wheel of the Paul Newman entered Spyder-Chevy in the October 1978 California Grand Prix.