Gilles Villeneuve

Joseph Gilles Henri Villeneuve (French pronunciation: ​[ʒil vilnœv]; January 18, 1950 – May 8, 1982), known as Gilles Villeneuve, was a Canadian racing driver. Villeneuve spent six years in Grand Prix racing with Ferrari, winning six races and widespread acclaim for his performances.

An enthusiast of cars and fast driving from an early age, Villeneuve 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 teammate 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 teammate, 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.

Gilles Villeneuve
Gilles Villeneuve 1979 Imola
Villeneuve in Imola, 1979
BornJoseph Gilles Henri Villeneuve
January 18, 1950
Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada
DiedMay 8, 1982 (aged 32)
Leuven, Belgium
Formula One World Championship career
NationalityCanada Canadian
Active years19771982
TeamsMcLaren, Ferrari
Entries68 (67 starts)[1]
Championships0 (2nd in 1979)
Wins6
Podiums13
Career points101 (107)[2]
Pole positions2
Fastest laps8
First entry1977 British Grand Prix
First win1978 Canadian Grand Prix
Last win1981 Spanish Grand Prix
Last entry1982 Belgian Grand Prix

Personal and early life

Villeneuve was born in Richelieu, a small town just outside Montreal, in the province of Quebec in Canada and grew up in Berthierville.[3] In 1970, he married Joann Barthe, with whom he had two children, Jacques and Mélanie.[4] During his early career Villeneuve took his family on the road with him in a motorhome during the racing season, a habit which he continued to some extent during his Formula One career.[5] He often claimed to have been born in 1952. By the time he got his break in Formula One, he was already 27 years old and took two years off his age to avoid being considered too old to make it at the highest level of motorsports.[6]

Niki Lauda said of him: "He was the craziest devil I ever came across in Formula 1... The fact that, for all this, he was a sensitive and lovable character rather than an out-and-out hell-raiser made him such a unique human being".[7]

His younger brother Jacques also had a successful racing career in Formula Atlantic, Can Am and CART.[8] Gilles' son, also named Jacques, won the Indianapolis 500 and CART championships in 1995 and became Formula One World Champion in 1997.[9]

Early career

Magnum MkIII Villeneuve Mont-Tremblant
Villeneuve's 1973 Magnum MkIII Formula Ford car, with which he won the Quebec Formula Ford championship.

Villeneuve started competitive driving in local drag-racing events, entering his road car, a modified 1967 Ford Mustang. He was soon bored by this[10] and entered the Jim Russell Racing School at Le Circuit Mont Tremblant to gain a racing licence. He then had a very successful season in Quebec regional Formula Ford, running his own two-year-old car and winning seven of the ten races he entered.[11] The next year he progressed to Formula Atlantic, competing there for four years, running his own car again for one of those seasons. He won his first Atlantic race in 1975 at Gimli Motosport Park in heavy rain. In 1976, teamed with Chris Harrison's Ecurie Canada and factory March race engineer Ray Wardell, he dominated the season by winning all but one of the races and taking the US and Canadian titles. He won the Canadian championship again in 1977.

Money was very tight in Villeneuve's early career. He was a professional racing driver from his late teens, with no other income. In the first few years the bulk of his income actually came from snowmobile racing, where he was extremely successful. He could demand appearance money as well as race money, especially after winning the 1974 World Championship Snowmobile Derby. His second season in Formula Atlantic was part-sponsored by his snowmobile manufacturer, Skiroule.[12] He credited some of his success to his snowmobiling days: "Every winter, you would reckon on three or four big spills — and I'm talking about being thrown on to the ice at 100 miles per hour. Those things used to slide a lot, which taught me a great deal about control. And the visibility was terrible! Unless you were leading, you could see nothing, with all the snow blowing about. Good for the reactions — and it stopped me having any worries about racing in the rain."[13]

Formula One career

After Villeneuve impressed James Hunt by beating him and several other Grand Prix stars in a non-championship Formula Atlantic race at Trois-Rivières in 1976, Hunt's McLaren team offered Villeneuve a Formula One deal for up to five races in a third car during the 1977 season.[14] Villeneuve made his debut at the 1977 British Grand Prix, where he qualified 9th in McLaren's old M23, separating the regular drivers Hunt and Jochen Mass who were driving newer M26s. In the race he set fifth fastest lap and finished 11th after being delayed for two laps by a faulty temperature gauge. The British press coverage of Villeneuve's performance was generally complimentary, including John Blunsden's comment in The Times that "Anyone seeking a future World Champion need look no further than this quietly assured young man."[15]

Despite this, shortly after the British race McLaren's experienced team manager Teddy Mayer decided not to continue with Villeneuve for the following year. His explanation was that Villeneuve "was looking as though he might be a bit expensive" and that Patrick Tambay, the team's eventual choice for 1978, was showing similar promise.[16] Villeneuve was left with no solid options for 1978, although Canadian Walter Wolf, for whom Villeneuve had driven in Can-Am racing, considered giving him a drive at Wolf Racing. Rumours circulated that Villeneuve was one of several drivers in whom Ferrari's team was interested, and in August 1977 he flew to Italy to meet Enzo Ferrari, who was immediately reminded of the pre-war European champion Tazio Nuvolari: "When they presented me with this 'piccolo Canadese' (little Canadian), this minuscule bundle of nerves, I immediately recognised in him the physique of Nuvolari and said to myself, let's give him a try."[17] Ferrari was satisfied with Villeneuve's promise after a session at Ferrari's Fiorano test track, despite the Canadian making many mistakes and setting relatively slow times, and Villeneuve signed to drive for Ferrari in the last two races of the 1977 season and the 1978 season.[18] Villeneuve later remarked that: "If someone said to me that you can have three wishes, my first would have been to get into racing, my second to be in Formula 1, my third to drive for Ferrari..."[13]

Villeneuve's arrival was prompted by Ferrari driver Niki Lauda quitting the team at the penultimate race of the 1977 season, the Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport Park near Toronto, having already clinched his second championship with the Italian team.[19] Villeneuve retired from his home race after sliding off the track on another competitor's oil. He also raced in the last race of that season, the Japanese Grand Prix at the Fuji Speedway near Tokyo but retired on lap five when he tried to outbrake the Tyrrell P34 of Ronnie Peterson. The pair banged wheels causing Villeneuve's Ferrari to become airborne. It landed on a group of spectators watching the race from a prohibited area, killing one spectator and a race marshal and injuring ten people. After an investigation into the incident no blame was apportioned and, although he was "terribly sad" at the deaths, Villeneuve did not feel responsible for them.[20]

Gilles Villeneuve imola 1979
Villeneuve sitting on his car at Imola in 1979.

The 1978 season saw a succession of retirements for Villeneuve, often after problems with the new Michelin radial tyres. Early in the season, he started on the front row at the United States Grand Prix West, but crashed out of the lead on lap 39. Despite calls in the Italian press for him to be replaced, Ferrari persisted with him. Towards the end of the season, Villeneuve's results improved. He finished second on the road at the Italian Grand Prix, although he was penalised a minute for jumping the start, and ran second at the United States Grand Prix before his engine failed. Finally at the season-ending Canadian Grand Prix, this time at the Circuit Notre Dame Island in Montreal (a circuit that was eventually named after him) Villeneuve scored his first Grand Prix win after Jean-Pierre Jarier's Lotus stopped with engine trouble.[21] To date, he remains the only Canadian to win the Canadian Grand Prix.[22]

GillesVilleneuve ReneArnoux Dijion1979
In the 1979 French Grand Prix Villeneuve and René Arnoux had a memorable duel for second place.

Villeneuve was joined by Jody Scheckter in 1979 after Carlos Reutemann moved to Lotus. Villeneuve won three races during the year and even briefly led the championship after winning back to back races in USA and South Africa. However, the season is mostly remembered for Villeneuve's wheel-banging duel with René Arnoux in the last laps of the 1979 French Grand Prix.[23] Arnoux passed Villeneuve for second place with three laps to go, but Villeneuve re-passed him on the next lap. On the final lap Arnoux attempted to pass Villeneuve again, and the pair ran side-by-side through the first few corners of the lap, making contact several times. Arnoux took the position but Villeneuve attempted an outside pass one corner later. The cars bumped hard, Villeneuve slid wide but then passed Arnoux on the inside at a hairpin turn and held him off for the last half of the lap to secure second place. Villeneuve commented afterwards, "I tell you, that was really fun! I thought for sure we were going to get on our heads, you know, because when you start interlocking wheels it's very easy for one car to climb over another."[24] At the Dutch Grand Prix a slow puncture collapsed Villeneuve's left rear tyre and put him off the track. He returned to the circuit and limped back to the pit lane on three wheels, losing the damaged wheel on the way. On his return to the pit lane Villeneuve insisted that the team replace the missing wheel, and had to be persuaded that the car was beyond repair.[25] Villeneuve might have won the World Championship by ignoring team orders to beat Scheckter at the Italian Grand Prix, but chose to finish behind him, ending his own championship challenge. The pair finished first and second in the championship, with Scheckter beating Villeneuve by just four points. During the extremely wet Friday practice session for the season-ending United States Grand Prix, Villeneuve set a time variously reported to be either 9 or 11 seconds faster than any other driver. His teammate Jody Scheckter, who was second fastest, recalled that "I scared myself rigid that day. I thought I had to be quickest. Then I saw Gilles's time and — I still don't really understand how it was possible. Eleven seconds!"[26]

The 1980 season was sub-par for Ferrari. Villeneuve had been considered favourite for the Drivers' Championship by bookmakers in the United Kingdom,[27] though he only scored six points in the whole campaign in the 312T5 which had only partial ground effects. Scheckter scored only two points and retired at the end of the season.

For the 1981 season, Ferrari introduced their first turbocharged engined F1 car, the 126C, which produced tremendous power but was let down by its poor handling. Villeneuve was partnered with Didier Pironi who noted that Villeneuve "had a little family [at Ferrari] but he made me welcome and made me feel at home overnight ... [He] treated me as an equal in every way."[28] Villeneuve won two races during the season. At the Spanish Grand Prix Villeneuve kept five quicker cars behind him for most of the race using the superior straight-line speed of his car. After an hour and 46 minutes of racing Villeneuve led second-placed Jacques Laffite by only 0.22 seconds. Fifth-placed Elio de Angelis was only just over a second further back.[29] Harvey Postlethwaite, who was hired by Ferrari to design the follow-on and much more successful 126C2 that won the Constructors' Championship in 1982, later commented on the 126C: "That car...had literally one quarter of the downforce that, say Williams or Brabham had. It had a power advantage over the Cosworths for sure, but it also had massive throttle lag at that time. In terms of sheer ability I think Gilles was on a different plane to the other drivers. To win those races, the 1981 GPs at Monaco and Jarama — on tight circuits — was quite out of this world. I know how bad that car was."[30] At the 1981 Canadian Grand Prix Villeneuve damaged the front wing of his Ferrari and drove for most of the race in heavy rain with the wing obscuring his view ahead. There was a risk of being disqualified but eventually the wing detached and Villeneuve drove on to finish third with the nose section of his car missing.[31]

The first few races of the 1982 season were promising. Villeneuve led in Brazil in the new 126C2, before spinning into retirement, and finished third at the United States Grand Prix West although he was later disqualified for a technical infringement. The Ferraris were handed an unexpected advantage at the San Marino Grand Prix as an escalation of the FISA–FOCA war saw the FOCA teams boycott the race, effectively leaving Renault as Ferrari's only serious opposition. With Renault driver Prost retiring from fourth place on lap 7 followed by his teammate Arnoux on the 44th lap Ferrari seemed to have the win guaranteed. In order to conserve fuel and ensure the cars finished the Ferrari team ordered both drivers to slow down. Villeneuve believed that the order also meant that the drivers were to maintain position but Pironi passed Villeneuve. A few laps later Villeneuve re-passed Pironi and slowed down again, believing that Pironi was simply trying to entertain the Italian crowd. On the last lap Pironi passed and aggressively chopped across the front of Gilles in Villeneuve corner and took the win. Villeneuve was irate as he believed that Pironi had disobeyed the order to hold position. Meanwhile, Pironi claimed that he had done nothing wrong as the team had only ordered the cars to slow down, not maintain position. Villeneuve stated after the race "I think it is well known that if I want someone to stay behind me and I am faster, then he stays behind me."[32] Feeling betrayed and angry Villeneuve vowed never to speak to Pironi again.[33]

In 2007, former Marlboro marketer John Hogan disputed the claim that Pironi had gone back on a prior arrangement with Villeneuve. He said: "Neither of them would ever have agreed to what effectively was throwing a race. I think Gilles was stunned somebody had out-driven him and that it just caught him so much by surprise." Hogan's company sponsored Pironi while he was at Ferrari. A comparison of the lap times of the two drivers showed that Villeneuve lapped far slower when he was in the lead, suggesting that he had indeed been trying to save fuel.[34]

Death

On May 8, 1982, Villeneuve died after an accident during the final qualifying session for the Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder. At the time of the crash, Pironi had set a time 0.1s faster than Villeneuve for sixth place. Villeneuve was using his final set of qualifying tyres; some say he was attempting to improve his time on his final lap, while others suggest he was specifically aiming to beat Pironi.[35] However, Villeneuve's biographer Gerald Donaldson quotes Ferrari race engineer Mauro Forghieri as saying that the Canadian, although pressing on in his usual fashion, was returning to the pits when the accident occurred.[36] If so, he would not have set a time on that lap.

With eight minutes of the session left, Villeneuve came over the rise after the first chicane and caught Jochen Mass travelling much more slowly through Butte, the left-handed bend before the Terlamenbocht double right-hand section. Mass saw Villeneuve approaching at high speed and moved to the right to let him through on the racing line. At the same instant Villeneuve also moved right to pass the slower car. The Ferrari hit the back of Mass' car and was launched into the air at a speed estimated at 200–225 km/h (120–140 mph). It was airborne for more than 100 m before nosediving into the ground and disintegrating as it somersaulted along the edge of the track. Villeneuve, still strapped to his seat, but without his helmet, was thrown a further 50 m from the wreckage into the catch fencing on the outside edge of the Terlamenbocht corner.[36][37]

Several drivers stopped and rushed to the scene. John Watson and Derek Warwick pulled Villeneuve, his face blue, from the catch fence.[38] The first doctor arrived within 35 seconds to find that Villeneuve was not breathing, although his pulse continued; he was intubated and ventilated before being transferred to the circuit medical centre and then by helicopter to University St Raphael Hospital in Leuven where a fatal fracture of the neck was diagnosed.[39] Villeneuve was kept alive on life support while his wife travelled to the hospital and the doctors consulted specialists worldwide. He died at 21:12 CEST (UTC+2).[36]

Legacy

Le grand gilles
A drawing of Gilles Villeneuve

At the funeral in Berthierville former teammate Jody Scheckter delivered a simple eulogy: "I will miss Gilles for two reasons. First, he was the most genuine man I have ever known. Second, he was the fastest driver in the history of motor racing. But he has not gone. The memory of what he has done, what he achieved, will always be there."[40]

Villeneuve is still remembered at Grand Prix races, especially those in Italy. At the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, the venue of the San Marino Grand Prix, a corner was named after him and a Canadian flag is painted on the third slot on the starting grid, from which he started his last race. There is also a bronze bust of him at the entrance to the Ferrari test track at Fiorano.[41] At Zolder the corner where Villeneuve died has been turned into a chicane and named after him.[42]

Circuit Gilles Villeneuve MAM2
"Salut Gilles" sign at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve start-finish line

The racetrack on Notre Dame Island, Montreal, host to the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix, was named Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in his honour at the Canadian Grand Prix of 1982. His homeland has continued to honour him: In Berthierville a museum was opened in 1992 and a lifelike statue stands in a nearby park which was also named in his honour.[41] Villeneuve was inducted into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame at their inaugural induction ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel, Toronto, Ontario on August 19, 1993.[43] He was also inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1983.[44] In June 1997 Canada issued a postage stamp in his honour.[45]

There is still a huge demand for Villeneuve memorabilia at the race-track shops and several books have been written about him. The number 27, the number of his Ferrari in 1981 and 1982, is still closely associated with him by fans. Jean Alesi, whose aggression and speed in the wet were compared to Villeneuve's, also used the number at Ferrari.[46] Villeneuve's son, Jacques, drove the #27 during his IndyCar and Indianapolis 500 winning season with Team Green, and has also used the number for occasional drives in NASCAR and the Speedcar Series.[47] Canadian driver Andrew Ranger used number 27 in the 2005 and 2006 Champ Car seasons, and continued using the number at NASCAR Canadian Tire Series since 2007.[48] Canadian driver and 2011 IndyCar Rookie of the Year James Hinchcliffe adopted the number 27 for the 2012 season when he joined Andretti Autosport (former Andretti Green Racing).[49]

A film based on the biography by Gerald Donaldson was announced in 2005, to be produced by Capri Films Inc, and with Christian Duguay named as the director,[50] but the film has yet to materialise.

In popular culture

The popular French comics series Michel Vaillant by Jean Graton is set in the world of motor racing and, although largely fictional, often includes real-life figures including drivers, officials and journalists. Villeneuve appears in a number of stories, and in Steve Warson contre Michel Vaillant (fr: "Steve Warson versus Michel Vaillant") becomes the 1980 World Champion (though in the 1981 season, covered in Rififi en F1 ("Trouble in F1"), Graton acknowledges Alan Jones as the real Champion)[51] and Quebec progressive rock and pop band The Box based their 1984 song "Live on TV" inspired by Villeneuve's televised death.

Helmet

Villeneuve's helmet carried a stylised 'V' in red on either side — an effect he devised with his wife Joann. The base colour was black.[52] His son, Jacques, used the same basic design, but like his contemporary, Christian Fittipaldi, he has changed the colours. British driver Perry McCarthy also used this design and colour scheme on his helmet, but with the design in reverse.[53]

Complete Formula One World Championship results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 WDC Pts.[2]
1977 Marlboro Team McLaren McLaren M23 Cosworth V8 ARG BRA RSA USW ESP MON BEL SWE FRA GBR
11
GER AUT NED ITA USA NC 0
Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 312T2 Ferrari Flat-12 CAN
12
JPN
Ret
1978 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 312T2 Ferrari Flat-12 ARG
8
BRA
Ret
9th 17
Ferrari 312T3 Ferrari Flat-12 RSA
Ret
USW
Ret
MON
Ret
BEL
4
ESP
10
SWE
9
FRA
12
GBR
Ret
GER
8
AUT
3
NED
6
ITA
7
USA
Ret
CAN
1
1979 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 312T3 Ferrari Flat-12 ARG
Ret
BRA
5
2nd 47 (53)
Ferrari 312T4 Ferrari Flat-12 RSA
1
USW
1
ESP
7
BEL
7
MON
Ret
FRA
2
GBR
14
GER
8
AUT
2
NED
Ret
ITA
2
CAN
2
USA
1
1980 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 312T5 Ferrari Flat-12 ARG
Ret
BRA
16
RSA
Ret
USW
Ret
BEL
6
MON
5
FRA
8
GBR
Ret
GER
6
AUT
8
NED
7
ITA
Ret
CAN
5
USA
Ret
12th 6
1981 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 126CK Ferrari V6 USW
Ret
BRA
Ret
ARG
Ret
SMR
7
BEL
4
MON
1
ESP
1
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
10
AUT
Ret
NED
Ret
ITA
Ret
CAN
3
CPL
DSQ
7th 25
1982 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 126C2 Ferrari V6 RSA
Ret
BRA
Ret
USW
DSQ
SMR
2
BEL
DNS
MON DET CAN NED GBR FRA GER AUT SUI ITA CPL 15th 6

References

  1. ^ "Gilles entered 68 races but only started 67". Grand Prix Racing. 2006-06-09. Archived from the original on 2 July 2007. Retrieved 9 July 2006.
  2. ^ a b Up until 1990, not all points scored by a driver contributed to their final World Championship tally (see list of points scoring systems for more information). Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.
  3. ^ Donaldson (2003) pp.11–13
  4. ^ Donaldson (2003) p.27–29
  5. ^ Donaldson (2003) pp.50–51, 114
  6. ^ Donaldson (2003) p.11
  7. ^ "Legends claimed by the track". BBC Sport. 2001-02-19. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  8. ^ "Jacques Villeneuve (Senior) injured". Inside F1, Inc. Retrieved 2009-02-20.
  9. ^ Donaldson, Gerald. "Hall of Fame: Jacques Villeneuve". Formula One Administration Ltd. Retrieved 2009-02-20.
  10. ^ Donaldson (2003) p.21
  11. ^ Donaldson (2003) p.30–31
  12. ^ Donaldson (2003) p.41
  13. ^ a b Roebuck (1986) p.211
  14. ^ Donaldson (2003) pp.63–67
  15. ^ Donaldson (2003) p.88. Denis Jenkinson noted "the smooth, confident way that he had driven" and Nigel Roebuck said that he had "demonstrated enormous natural talent."
  16. ^ Donaldson (2003) pp.90–91
  17. ^ Donaldson (2003) pp.107–108
  18. ^ Donaldson (2003) pp.95–104
  19. ^ Donaldson (2003) p.111
  20. ^ Donaldson (2003) pp.120–122
  21. ^ Fearnley (August 2006)
  22. ^ Beacon, Bill (2018-06-07). "Gilles Villeneuve's 1978 winning car to get show drive by son at Canada GP". National Post. The Canadian Press. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  23. ^ Donaldson (2003) p.184–187
  24. ^ Donaldson (2003) p.187
  25. ^ Donaldson (2003) pp.194–196
  26. ^ Roebuck (1986) p.208 gives the gap as 11 seconds. Walker (January 1980) reports the gap to be 9 seconds. Autosport (11th October 1979 p. 17) reports Villeneuve's lap to be 2:01.437 and second placed Scheckter's 2:11.089, a gap being 9.652 sec
  27. ^ Donaldson (2003) p.223
  28. ^ Donaldson (2003) p.240
  29. ^ Donaldson (2003) pp.253–256
  30. ^ Roebuck (1986) p.214
  31. ^ Fagnan, René (2017-05-19). "1981 Canadian Grand Prix – Gilles Villeneuve never surrenders". motorsport.com. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  32. ^ Roebuck (1999) p.182
  33. ^ Donaldson (2003) p.289
  34. ^ "Doubt over facts of Villeneuve-Pironi row". F1Fanatic.co.uk. 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-24.
  35. ^ Bamsey (1983) p.50, Lang (1992) pp.96–97, Watkins (1997) p.98 and Fearnley (May, 2007) all write that Villeneuve was attempting to beat Pironi. Jenkinson (June 1982) writes only that he "was in the middle of a last desperate bid to improve his grid position."
  36. ^ a b c Donaldson (2003) pp.296–298
  37. ^ Lang (1992) p.97
  38. ^ Fearnley (May, 2007)
  39. ^ Watkins (1997) pp.96–98
  40. ^ Donaldson (2003) p.304
  41. ^ a b Donaldson (2003) pp.305–306
  42. ^ "Zolder". Inside F1, inc. Retrieved 2009-02-08.
  43. ^ "Gilles Villeneuve". Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
  44. ^ Brazeau, Jonathan (2012-05-08). "Fan Fuel: Remembering Gilles Villeneuve". Sportsnet. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
  45. ^ "Villeneuve won six Formula One races". Canadian Stamp News. 2014-10-08. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
  46. ^ Andrews, Mark (1999). "Jean Alesi: The Wrong Time and the Wrong Place". atlasf1.autosport.com. Retrieved 2007-08-25.
  47. ^ McDonald, Norris (2007-09-04). "Burlington racer to be Villeneuve's NASCAR engineer". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  48. ^ "A few memories of Andrew Ranger in Champ Car". Auto123.com. 2007-04-04. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  49. ^ Pappone, Jeff (2012-01-13). "Car No. 27 is special for Hinchcliffe". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  50. ^ "Production team named for Villeneuve movie. (archived version)". crash.net, inc. Archived from the original on 2017-08-19. Retrieved 2017-08-19.
  51. ^ Dossiers Michel Vaillant 'Gilles Villeneuve' Archived 2009-08-01 at the Wayback Machine - review of a book on Villeneuve, published under the Michel Vaillant banner
  52. ^ Donaldson, Gerald (1989, 2003) Gilles Villeneuve p.95 Virgin Books ISBN 0-7535-0747-1
  53. ^ Garcia, Álex (2015-06-09). "Cascos históricos: Gilles Villeneuve" [Historical centers: Gilles Villeneuve] (in Spanish). Diario Motor. Retrieved 2019-05-09.

Books

  • Donaldson, Gerald (2003). Gilles Villeneuve: The Life of the Legendary Racing Driver. London: Virgin. ISBN 0-7535-0747-1.
  • Bamsey, Ian (1983). Automobile Sport 82-83. City: Haynes Manuals. ISBN 0-946321-01-9.
  • Lang, Mike (1992). Grand Prix! vol.4. Sparkford: Foulis. ISBN 0-85429-733-2.
  • Roebuck, Nigel (1986). Grand Prix Greats. Cambridge: P. Stephens. ISBN 0-85059-792-7.
  • Roebuck, Nigel (1999). Chasing the Title. City: Haynes Publications. ISBN 1-85960-604-0.
  • Watkins, Sid (1997). Life at the Limit: Triumph and Tragedy in Formula One. City: Pan Books. ISBN 0-330-35139-7.

Villeneuve 1982 - Allan de la Plante Villeneuve a Racing Legend 1995 - Allan de la Plante

Magazines

  • Fearnley, Paul (August 2006). "Profile: Ferrari 312T3". Motor Sport. Haymarket. pp. 52–61.
  • Fearnley, Paul (May 2007). "It's war. Absolutely war". Motor Sport. Haymarket. pp. 52–61.
  • Jenkinson, Denis (June 1982). "Grote Prijs van Belgie". Motor Sport. Motor Sport Magazine Ltd. pp. 708–712.
  • Walker, Rob (January 1980). "US GP Report". Road & Track. pp. 104–107.

All Formula One race and championship results are taken from:

  • Official Formula 1 website. Archive: Results for 1977 — 1982 seasons www.formula1.com Retrieved 6 February 2009

All Pre-Formula One race and championship results are taken from:

  • Donaldson (2003) pp. 310–315

Further reading

  • de la Plante, Allan; Lecours, Pierre (1982). Villeneuve. Macmillan. ISBN 0-7715-9851-3.
  • Henry, Alan. Villeneuve (Kimberley's Racing Driver Profile No. 3). London: Kimberley's. ISBN 0-946132-22-4.
  • Roebuck, Nigel (1990). Gilles Villeneuve. Richmond: Hazleton. ISBN 0-905138-70-8.

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Bill Brack
Canadian Formula Atlantic Champion
1976–1977
Succeeded by
Howdy Holmes
(1978 North American Champion)
None American Formula Atlantic Champion
1976
Preceded by
James Hunt
Brands Hatch Race of Champions winner
1979
Succeeded by
Keke Rosberg
Preceded by
Patrick Depailler
Formula One fatal accidents
May 8, 1982
Succeeded by
Riccardo Paletti
1978 Austrian Grand Prix

The 1978 Austrian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 13 August 1978 at Österreichring.

1979 Austrian Grand Prix

The 1979 Austrian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 12 August 1979 at Österreichring.

1979 Canadian Grand Prix

The 1979 Canadian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 30 September 1979 at the Circuit Île Notre-Dame, Montreal.

During practice Niki Lauda announced his retirement from Formula One. The Brabham team, who had replaced their Alfa Romeo-engined BT48 with the Cosworth DFV-engined BT49, recruited Argentine newcomer Ricardo Zunino as Lauda's replacement.

The organizers would not let the Alfa Romeo factory team compete unless they pre-qualified. They refused to do so but a compromise was reached where one of their drivers would be allowed to take part in practice. The other, Bruno Giacomelli, was not allowed to enter the race.

The race turned into a close duel between Alan Jones and Gilles Villeneuve that continued the entire race.

1979 Formula One season

The 1979 Formula One season was the 33rd season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 1979 World Championship of F1 Drivers and the 1979 International Cup for F1 Constructors which were contested concurrently over a fifteen-round series which commenced on 21 January 1979, and ended on 7 October. The season also included three non-championship Formula One races. Jody Scheckter of Scuderia Ferrari won the 1979 World Championship of F1 Drivers while Scuderia Ferrari won 1979 International Cup for F1 Constructors. Gilles Villeneuve made it a 1–2 for Ferrari in the championship, concluding a successful second half of the 1970s for Ferrari (three drivers' and four constructors' titles). Alan Jones finished the season strongly for Williams, finishing third in the championship and with teammate Clay Regazzoni scoring Williams's first ever Grand Prix win as a constructor. Scheckter's title was Ferrari's last drivers' title for 21 years, before Michael Schumacher won five consecutive titles for the team between 2000 and 2004.

As of May 2019, this is the only season the championship was won by a driver not from Europe, America, or Oceania.

1979 French Grand Prix

The 1979 French Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 1 July 1979 at Dijon.

It marked the first victory of a turbocharged car in Formula One, with Renault overcoming the reliability problems that had initially plagued their car. For Jean-Pierre Jabouille it was a victory on home soil, driving a French car (Renault), on French tyres (Michelin), powered by a French engine (Renault), burning French fuel (Elf). Jabouille was the first Frenchman to win the French Grand Prix since Jean-Pierre Wimille in 1948.

The race is perhaps best remembered for one of the fiercest battles ever for second place, between Ferrari driver Gilles Villeneuve and Renault driver René Arnoux, who on several occasions during the final laps touched wheels and swapped positions. The fight is often cited as one of the most memorable pieces of racing in Formula One. Villeneuve, who passed the finish line less than a quarter of a second ahead of Arnoux, later described the occasion as "my best memory of Grand Prix racing".

1979 Italian Grand Prix

The 1979 Italian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 9 September 1979 at Monza. It was the thirteenth race of the 1979 World Championship of F1 Drivers and the 1979 International Cup for F1 Constructors.

The 50-lap race was won by South African Jody Scheckter, driving a Ferrari, with Canadian team-mate Gilles Villeneuve second and Swiss Clay Regazzoni third in a Williams-Ford. Scheckter claimed the Drivers' Championship in the process, while Ferrari clinched the Constructors' Championship.

This race marked Scuderia Ferrari's 300th start in a World Championship event as a team.

1979 South African Grand Prix

The 1979 South African Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 3 March 1979 at Kyalami. The race, contested over 78 laps, was the third race of the 1979 Formula One season and was won by Gilles Villeneuve, driving a Ferrari. Teammate and local driver Jody Scheckter finished second, while Jean-Pierre Jarier finished third in a Tyrrell-Ford.

1981 San Marino Grand Prix

The 1981 San Marino Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Imola on 3 May 1981.

The race was the first to bear the title "San Marino Grand Prix", although the Imola circuit is in Italy and several non-championship Formula One races and the 1980 Italian Grand Prix had previously been held at the circuit. The Acque-Minerali chicane had been widened from the year before and was faster; the chicane in its original narrow configuration in 1980 was unpopular with drivers because it was very slow.

The Lotus team withdrew their entries because the FIA upheld the ban on the Lotus 88 and team owner Colin Chapman felt the 81s were no longer competitive.Didier Pironi held the lead until late in the race and was passed by Nelson Piquet, who eventually won the race. As well as being Michele Alboreto's Grand Prix debut, the race is also notable for the recovery of Gilles Villeneuve to seventh place, after misjudgement of tyre selection for the conditions. While the team did not qualify for the race, it was the first race entered by Toleman, which is now Renault Sport F1.

1982 San Marino Grand Prix

The 1982 San Marino Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 25 April 1982 at the Autodromo Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy. It was the fourth race of the 1982 Formula One World Championship.

The race was boycotted by many teams as part of a political war, unrelated to the event itself, involving the two dominant forces within Formula One, the Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile (FISA) and the Formula One Constructors' Association (FOCA). Only seven teams took part, giving a field of 14 cars.

The 60-lap race was won by Frenchman Didier Pironi, driving a Ferrari, with Canadian teammate Gilles Villeneuve second and Italian Michele Alboreto third in a Tyrrell-Ford. After the Renaults of René Arnoux and Alain Prost retired, Villeneuve led from Pironi before the Ferrari team ordered both drivers to slow down, with Alboreto far behind. Villeneuve interpreted this as an order to maintain position on the track; Pironi did not and thus overtook Villeneuve on the final lap, infuriating the Canadian to the point that he vowed never to speak to Pironi again. Villeneuve would lose his life in a crash during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix two weeks later.

1983 Canadian Grand Prix

The 1983 Canadian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on 12 June 1983. The race, contested over 70 laps, was the eighth race of the 1983 FIA Formula One World Championship and was won from pole position by René Arnoux, driving a Ferrari. Eddie Cheever finished second in a Renault, with Arnoux's teammate Patrick Tambay third.

2008 NAPA Auto Parts 200

The 2008 NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge race was the second running of the NAPA Auto Parts 200, a discontinued NASCAR Nationwide Series race held on August 2, 2008, at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec. The race was the 23rd of the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series season.

The pole position was won by Scott Pruett of Chip Ganassi Racing, while the race was won by JR Motorsports' Ron Fellows. The race was the first points race in NASCAR history to be run with grooved rain tires.

2012 NAPA Auto Parts 200

The 2012 NAPA Auto Parts 200 was the sixth running of the NAPA Auto Parts 200 race, a discontinued NASCAR Nationwide Series event that was held on August 18, 2012, at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec.

This was the final race ever held in Montreal for the NASCAR Nationwide Series and took place on a temporary road course. The scheduled total distance of the racing event was 200.5 miles or 322.7 kilometres. However, NASCAR officials decided to lengthen this race in an attempt to implement two attempts at a green-white-checkered finish. Kyle Busch was the most favored driver at this racing event; with sports gambling websites giving him 5-to-2 odds for winning.

2017 Canadian Grand Prix

The 2017 Canadian Grand Prix (formally known as the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada 2017) was a Formula One motor race that took place on 11 June 2017 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The race was the seventh round of the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship. It was the fifty-fourth running of the Canadian Grand Prix, and the forty-eighth time the event had been included as a round of the Formula One World Championship since the inception of the series in 1950, and the thirty-eighth time that a World Championship round had been held at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

The race was won by Lewis Hamilton who took pole, led every lap of the race and set the fastest lap. Joining him on the podium were Valtteri Bottas who finished second and Daniel Ricciardo who finished third. Mercedes dominated the weekend after a bad weekend at Monaco. Lance Stroll finished 9th and became the first driver from Canada to score a point since Jacques Villeneuve in the 2006 British Grand Prix.

2019 Canadian Grand Prix

The 2019 Canadian Grand Prix (formally known as the Formula 1 Pirelli Grand Prix du Canada 2019) was a Formula One motor race held on 9 June 2019 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It was the seventh round of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship. It was the fifty-sixth running of the Canadian Grand Prix, the fiftieth time the event had been included as a round of the Formula One World Championship since the inception of the series in 1950, and the fortieth time that a World Championship was held at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The race was won by Lewis Hamilton after a controversial penalty was given to race leader Sebastian Vettel.

Canadian Grand Prix

The Canadian Grand Prix (French: Grand Prix du Canada) is an annual auto race held in Canada since 1961. It has been part of the Formula One World Championship since 1967. It was first staged at Mosport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario as a sports car event, before alternating between Mosport and Circuit Mont-Tremblant, Quebec after Formula One took over the event. After 1971, safety concerns led to the Grand Prix moving permanently to Mosport. In 1978, after similar safety concerns with Mosport, the Canadian Grand Prix moved to its current home at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Notre Dame Island in Montreal.

In 2005, the Canadian Grand Prix was the most watched Formula One GP in the world. The race was also the third most watched sporting event worldwide, behind the first place Super Bowl XXXIX and the UEFA Champions League Final.Preceding the qualifying session in 2014, the Grand Prix organizers announced they had agreed to a 10-year extension to keep the Canadian Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve through 2024.

Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (also spelled Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in French) is a motor racing circuit in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It is the venue for the FIA Formula One Canadian Grand Prix. It has previously hosted the FIA World Sportscar Championship, the Champ Car World Series, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.

The venue hosted the Champ Car World Series Grand Prix of Montreal from 2002 to 2006.

Grand Prix of Montreal

The Grand Prix of Montreal was an annual auto race in Montreal, Quebec on the Champ Car World Series calendar.

NAPA Auto Parts 200

The NAPA Auto Parts 200 Presented by Dodge (French title: NAPA Pièces d'auto 200 présenté par Dodge) is a discontinued NASCAR Xfinity Series (then called NASCAR Busch and later NASCAR Nationwide Series) race that took place at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, Canada from 2007 to 2012.

It took place in August, replacing the Champ Car World Series and Atlantic Championship Grand Prix of Montreal. The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and NASCAR Canadian Tire Series have held a support race in every edition, the latter race being called NAPA Autopro 100 and the former having changed its name every season.

The inaugural 2007 race was the first major NASCAR (as opposed to CASCAR or NASCAR Canadian Tire Series) race in Canada in several decades. The 2008 race was the first official NASCAR points race from one of NASCAR's top three series to utilize rain tires and windshield wipers.The last race was in 2012 after the track promoter and NASCAR could not come to an agreement for the 2013 season due to the inability to schedule a top-level Sprint Cup event.

Notre Dame Island

Notre Dame Island (French: Île Notre-Dame) is an artificial island in the Saint Lawrence River in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It is immediately east of Saint Helen's Island and west of the Saint Lawrence Seaway and the city of Saint-Lambert on the south shore. Together with Saint Helen's Island, it makes up Parc Jean-Drapeau, which forms part of the Hochelaga Archipelago. To the southwest, the island is connected to the embankment separating the seaway and Lachine Rapids.

Parc Jean-Drapeau is registered as a leg of the Route Verte and Trans Canada Trail.

It houses the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, host of the Canadian Grand Prix of Formula One.

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