It was 33 years ago today that the racing world lost one of its’ most charismatic, beloved and talented drivers, Gilles Villeneuve. His infamous feud with Pironi and subsequent crash at Zolder have left generations of fans to only wonder what he might have acheived had his life not been cut so tragically short. Villeneuve was a driver like no other, his maiden win for Ferrari, in front of his home crowd made him an instant star.
…and when they presented me with this tiny Canadian, this miniscule bundle of nerves, I instantly recognized him in the physique of the great Nuvolari and I said to myself, let’s give him a try.
– Enzo Ferrari
Villeneuve began the tradition of great Canadian drivers, carried on by the loveable Greg Moore, the gritty Paul Tracy, the comedian James Hinchcliffe and Gille’s own son, 1997 World Champion Jacques. On this day we look back and honor the man, the myth, the legend that is Gilles Villeneuve. Here and some videos of Gilles at his best.
A great compilation of Murray Walker commenting on Gilles.
And here, showing off his daring commitment while driving nearly blind.
I know that no human being can do a miracle. Nobody commands magical properties, but Gilles made you wonder. He was that quick.
– Jacques Laffite
Images: Ferrari Spa.