Francois Migault

Francois Migault

4/12/1944

Talented Formula 2 and 3 driver. Drove in F1 for Connew in 1972 and BRM in 1974. He later had guest outings for both Hill and Williams. He finished second at Le Mans in a Gulf Mirage in 1975.

François Migault was born in Le Mans, France. A former Volant Shell winner, Migault shone in Formula 3 during the 1970 and 1971 seasons driving a Tecno.

In Formula 2 he finished fourth at Albi and fifth at Rouen, before he making his first attempt in F1 with Connew in 1972.

Migault was hired to drive five races for them: Monaco, France, Britain, Germany, and Austria. They missed Monaco as the car was not ready. Then on the way to the French Grand Prix at Clermont-Ferrand the transporter broke down near Le Mans.

The car finally made it's debut at the British Grand Prix but the weekend was marred by problems. The ride height on the car kept dropping as the springs had been manufatured from inferior grade steel though it was a cracked upright that prevented further participation. Migault had managed a 1m 30.3sec, a full 3 seconds slower than Pescarolo's Williams March, the last car to line up on the grid.

In Germany the team was barred as they did not have an entry but in Austria, Migault managed to qualify. This was partly due to Henri Pescarolo crashing in practice which promoted the Connew to the 25th and last qualifying spot all be it three seconds down on the rest of the field. He had caused some angry faces though, spraying oil from the catch tank over the track in the first qualifying session.

Peter Connew had imposed a 9500 rpm rev limit as they could ill afford a blown engine. In the race Migault picked up places and at one point was lying 17th. But on lap 22 a suspension pick-up broke, the car weaving back and forth across the straight fortunately coming to a halt undamaged.

An appearance the the Rothmans 50,000 over the August Bank Holiday was Migault's last time behind the wheel, and it was short as the engine failed in practice. Sadly that was the end of the Connew apart from a brief appearance at Brands at the end of the year. With David Purley driving the car came to a halt on the warm up lap when a wire pulled out of the kill switch.

Francois marked time somewhat in 1973 with the F2 Pygmee, before joining Beltoise and Pescarolo in the Motul-backed BRM team for 1974 after Niki Lauda and Clay Regazzoni moved to Ferrari. Migault qualified for most of the races, but his best result was a fifth place in the International Trophy.

Subsequently he made a couple of guest appearances in 1975 for Hill and Williams, before spending 1976 back in Formula 2 with the works Osella, all with little success.

In sports cars, Francois had shared a Matra with Jabouille to take third place at Le Mans in 1974, and in 1976, he finished second in the Mirage GRS. He became a regualr competitor at his local Sarthe circuit, his last race there was in 2001, although outright success eluded him. In the nineties he was active in the USA, racing a Kudzu-Buick in IMSA.

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