1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Gilles Villeneuve

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Rokas Charlapavicius, May 8, 2012.

  1. It's been 30 years since the death of one of the iconic figures Gilles Villeneuve. Gilles was a Canadian racing driver. An enthusiast of cars and fast driving from an early age, he started his professional career in snowmobile racing in his native province of Quebec. He moved into single seaters, winning the US and Canadian Formula Atlantic championships in 1976, before being offered a drive in Formula One with the McLaren team at the 1977 British Grand Prix. He was taken on by reigning world champions Ferrari for the end of the season and from 1978 to his death in 1982 drove for the Italian team. He won six Grand Prix races in a short career at the highest level. In 1979, he finished second by four points in the championship to team-mate Jody Scheckter.

    Villeneuve died in a 140 mph (225 km/h) crash caused by a collision with the March of Jochen Mass during qualifying for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder. The accident came less than two weeks after an intense argument with his team-mate, Didier Pironi, over Pironi's move to pass Villeneuve at the preceding San Marino Grand Prix. At the time of his death, Villeneuve was extremely popular with fans and has since become an iconic figure in the history of the sport. His son, Jacques Villeneuve, became Formula One world champion in 1997 and, to date, the only Canadian to win the Formula One World Championship.
  2. Chris Jenkins

    Chris Jenkins
    Driving til the wheels fall off

    Jacques is driving Gilles' 1976 Ferrari at Fiorano today :)
  4. [​IMG]

    • Like Like x 3
  5. For me the greatest :)
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Tom

    Staff Emeritus Staff

    I really wanted to write an article for Gilles as well but haven't had the time yet. Edit: made it - link.

    It's sad he passed away so early, he could've been one of the greatest drivers as well.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. such a waste of life and what a shame, he died doing what he loved he couldn't even ask for more then that.

    If he was alive today im sure the F1 drivers would look upto him just like they do with Artyon Senna, this guy had alot of talent to give.
  8. Alain Prost said "Gilles was the last great driver. The rest of us are just a bunch of good professionals."

    I agree with that :)
    • Like Like x 3
  9. I think it was the '79 car.
  10. Chris Jenkins

    Chris Jenkins
    Driving til the wheels fall off

    Yeh it was. My mistake.
  11. Gilles Villeneuve was fast and with the exception of the 1979 Ferrari (which was a good car), he was fast using mostly a bad car throughout his brief F1 career. But I would hesitate to call him "The Greatest". Gilles made a number of driving errors in his career, too many to call him "The Greatest". But he was fast and who knows what he could have done had he not died in 1982.

    If anyone ever wanted to see "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" of Gilles Villeneuve. All they need to do is watch the 1979 Dutch Grand Prix when Villeneuve passed Alan Jones on the outside (The Good), or when Villeneuve spins out because he took a chicane too fast, got a wheel on the curbs and spins (The Bad) or when Villeneuve rejoins the race missing his entire left rear tire and proceeds to leave car parts on the track as they disintegrate (The Ugly).

    RIP Gilles ... you were a fun one to watch.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. 31 years without Enzo's favourite. RIP Gilles