Jean Sage, the boss of Renault's original works Formula 1 program, has died at the age of 68.
The Frenchman began his involvement in motorsport as a rally co-driver, sports car and Formula 3 racer in the 1960s, before establishing the Ecurie Elf-Switzerland team with Gerard Larrousse and Paul Archambeaud. The squad took Jean-Pierre Jabouille to the European Formula 2 title in 1976.
Larrousse became head of Renault's motorsport programs, and recruited Sage – who had also been his former co-driver – to spearhead the company's F1 project in 1977. Although Sage's Renault team never won the World Championship, it started the turbo engine revolution, won 15 races with Jabouille, Rene Arnoux and Alain Prost, and came within two points of claiming the 1983 title.
Sage stayed at Renault beyond the end of its factory team program in 1985, but left after it temporarily quit as an engine supplier too at the end of 1987. He subsequently ran a Ferrari sports car team in the IMSA GT series and contested historic events.