Jean-Pierre Beltoise, the 1972 Monaco Grand Prix winner, has died at the age of 77.

French newspaper L'Equipe reports that Beltoise passed away in Senegal after suffering two strokes over the New Year period. Beltoise had been in Dakar on holiday when he fell ill, with the Frenchman dying on Monday.

Beltoise started 86 grands prix, racing for both Matra and BRM and taking his only F1 victory for the latter in heavy rain in Monaco.

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Born in Boulogne Billancourt in Paris in 1937, Beltoise began racing motorbikes in the late 1950s and in 1961 took the French national 250cc title, one of 11 national championships he won. Beltoise also entered a number of international Grand Prix motorcycle races between 1962 and 1964, finishing sixth in the 50cc world championship in his final season.

Switching his attentions to cars, Beltoise enjoyed success in Formula 3 and Formula 2 before stepping up to F1 with Matra having won the non-championship Buenos Aires Grand Prix in 1967. His first podium came a year later in the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort as he finished second behind Jackie Stewart.

Beltoise most successful season in F1 came in 1969 when he finished fifth in the championship with three podiums, but it wasn't until his switch to BRM in 1972 that Beltoise finally took victory, winning in Monaco to secure what was to be the team's last grand prix win.

After retiring from F1 in 1974, Beltoise became a test driver for Ligier while also racing in touring cars and ice racing back in his native France.

Having married Francois Cevert's sister Jacqueline, Beltoise had two sons - Anthony and Julien - who are both also involved in racing, with Anthony having competed at Le Mans on three occasions.

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier described Beltoise's only grand prix win as "superb" as he paid tribute to his fellow Frenchman.

"Speaking on behalf of everyone at McLaren-Honda, I would like to pay tribute to Jean-Pierre Beltoise, who has recently passed away," Boullier said.

"A fine driver on two wheels as well as four, he achieved eight podium finishes in Grands Prix, the highlight being a superb victory in torrential rain at Monaco in 1972, the 17th and final Grand Prix win for the legendary BRM team.

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very sad time."