Mr Tim Vickridge <email@example.com> sent me a copy of the Gilles Villeneuve Obituary written by Nigel Roebuck as it appeared in the May 13, 1982 issue of Autosport Magazine.
Gilles Villeneuve was my first, and only, Formula One hero. Better drivers have competed before and after Gilles' brief F1 career. But very few drivers have ever come close to capturing the hearts of fans around the world in quite the same manner as did Gilles Villeneuve.
There are many web sites dedicated to Gilles Villeneuve. Most of the photos here (see Images) have been borrowed from other pages. If anyone seriously objects to my using them on these pages, please let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I first started following the career of Gilles Villeneuve after seeing him drive a Formula Atlantic car at Mosport. I then had the pleasure of seeing each of his Formula One appearances at the Canadian Grand Prix, starting at Mosport, then the emotional first victory at Montreal. And we were sitting at the hairpin, in the rain, the year that the front wing of Villeneuve's Ferrari was damaged blocking his view. We all cheered wildly when the wing finally fell off as Villeneuve braked for the hairpin. I also once saw him drive at Hockenheim and at the Oesterreichring in Austria. I was his #1 biggest fan.
May 8, 1982, when Gilles Villeneuve died, was a black day for racing fans all around the world. But I prefer to remember Gilles Villeneuve for his many accomplishments. His exuberant style of sailing the Ferrari through corners in HUGE powerslides thrilled millions of fans wherever and whenever he performed.
A long time ago, I put together this photo collage from pictures cut out of various magazines. (See Mosaic for full-size.) It symbolizes Villeneuve's climb to success, depicting the hard work involved, the strain on his family relationship, the many setbacks and crashes, finally culminating in victory and his dream come true. He drove a Formula One Ferrari in a style in which race cars are meant to be driven! And his fans loved him for that.
Who can ever forget Villeneuve's wheel-banging duel with Rene
Arnoux? Here's an MPEG video of edited highlights from the last
3 laps of Dijon 1979, complete with Murray Walker
commentary!!! (Dijon79.mpeg See Note below.) Thank
you ever so much A J Samuels <email@example.com> for
providing this! It's FANTASTIC!
|NOTE: If you have any difficulty viewing the MPEG video, check the file properties of Dijon79.mpeg to confirm the mpeg file is exactly 2,017,284 bytes in size. If it's not, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to describe the problem. There seem to be some difficulties with my ISP file server. Sometimes the file is truncated before the download is complete, and other times the resultant file can even be larger than the original. Try downloading the file again. Or, you can find a similar video clip at Farzad's F1 Gallery in the "Movies" section under 1979.|
The Canadian CBC "National" news used to close each night with an Almanac segment. On Wednesday nights, the Almanac featured a Flashback to some significant event in Canadian history. On May 8, 1996, the Flashback segment was about Gilles Villeneuve. To be fair, this date in history was significant in that it was the 14th anniversary of the day that Villeneuve died at Zolder, Belgium. However, the manner in which the CBC presented this Flashback made me feel sick with anger. I was so incensed that I wrote a Letter to the CBC.
Some of you might remember seeing the letter, because I posted the text to <rec.autos.sport.f1>. By using this webpage, it's now possible to link photos to the text. Julie Miles <email@example.com> and Dennis Ruddell <firstname.lastname@example.org> kindly contributed many more photographs of Gilles Villeneuve in action. [Thank you Julie and Dennis!] I've used the photos in my letter to illustrate some of the high points of Gilles Villeneuve's career. Please see the Letter to the CBC and be sure to follow the links from there to see higher resolution copies of the photos. The links lead to more stories and photos on such items as the Blown Tire at Zandvoort, the Train at Jarama Spain, and the First Turbo Victory at Monaco.
For many, many more links to Villeneuve sites, visit the website of the Gilles Villeneuve Museum located in Berthierville, Quebec.
In honour of Gilles' son Jacques Villeneuve, Canada's first F1 Driving Champion, I added a page to this site with my thoughts on the final race of the 1997 season. It includes two MPEGs, pictures, and links to other sites.