An attentive visitor to an early eighties grand prix grid may well have had his or her curiosity aroused by an unusual sight; a slightly unkempt figure lying in the unorthodox position of back against grass verge, eyes closed, hands behind head and bandied legs pointing skywards against Armco.
Rene Arnoux possessed an informal manner but his uncompromising prowess behind the wheel resulted in 18 pole positions and seven wins. The determination required to rise from a humble background to the sybaritic lifestyle of a Ferrari driver perhaps explains much: the all-out wheel-banging over 'minor' placings, the stubbornness when being lapped and the slight air of the maverick.
A spell in the doldrums at the end of a 12-year career in Formula 1 served to take the shine off Arnoux's early achievements, but this was a man who vied with Alain Prost to become France's first world champion.
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