Gilles Villeneuve

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Joseph Gilles Henri Villeneuve (January 18, 1950May 8, 1982) was a Canadian Formula 1 racing driver.

Quotes[edit]

  • "I will drive flat out all the time … I love racing."
    • Henry, pg. 25
  • "The sport is more important than anything. More important than any of the people in it. Of course I say what I think. I always have, even if it upsets people like Ecclestone and Balestre. Why should I be afraid of them? The fans aren't here to see politicians and manipulators. They're here to see me. I am very secure in my feelings about racing. I make a lot of money from it, but one thing I can tell you for sure: if the money disappeared overnight, I would still be in racing, because I love it. The entrepreneurs would be gone."

About Gilles Villeneuve[edit]

  • "Gilles was a totally uncomplicated non-political guy with no hangups whatsoever. He was totally and completely honest. If we were testing .. and the car was rubbish, he'd come in and say 'Look, the car's rubbish … I don't mind driving the car, don't get me wrong, I'll drive it all day .. and I love every minute of it, but I thought that you ought to know the car's rubbish.' … The Old Man (Enzo Ferrari) loved him for this."
  • "He also never drove anywhere at anything less than an absolutely flat-out pace, be it on the road or the track..."
    • Harvey Postlethwaite - Henry, pg. 25
  • "I think Gilles was the perfect racing driver … He had the best talent of all of us."
    • Niki Lauda, triple Formula One World Champion - Donaldson, pg. 318
  • "His car control was extraordinary, even compared with the many talented drivers I have had the opportunity to drive against over the years. … [He drove a] Grand Prix car to the absolute limit of its ability."
    • Jackie Stewart, triple Formula One World Champion - de la Plante, pg. 122
  • I know no human being can do miracles but Gilles could really surprise us sometimes.
  • "Behind the wheel of a racing car he was fearfully quick, never stopped trying, and could extricate himself from the most precarious situations with deft brilliance."
  • "In a situation like that I know I would have been scared stiff. But I am sure that when Gilles felt his Ferrari take off, his last thought was anger, plain and simple, because he knew that he had spoiled that one perfect lap."
  • "His death has deprived us of a great champion - one that I loved very much. My past is scarred with grief; parents, brother, son. My life is full of sad memories. I look back and see the faces of my loved ones, and among them I see him."
  • "His death signified the passing of a certain approach. He was the last person who had the totally un-inhibited joy of driving a racing car."
    • Alan Henry, motorsport journalist and friend of Villeneuve - Donaldson, pp. 316-317
  • "Quite seriously, I've never felt anything like the same about racing ever since. I nearly packed it up."
    • Nigel Roebuck, motorsport journalist and friend of Villeneuve - Donaldson, pg. 316
  • "I was at home in Monaco that Sunday. A friend of mine called from Zolder and said 'Gilles has had a big accident, and it doesn't look good at all.' So I phoned Joann, and shot up to her place very quickly. From then on it was chaos and disaster. You don't want to think about it."
    • Jody Scheckter, 1979 Formula One World Champion and Villeneuve's teammate in 1979 and 1980 - Donaldson, pg. 319
  • "It was terrible when Gilles died. I cried that day and the next one too, even though I had to race... ...and I remember the feeling that we were all starting equal, from now. Villeneuve was gone. We all knew he had talent beyond our reach."
  • "The kids were just 8 and 10 years old and seemed to be doing much better than I expected. That first night they both went upstairs to bed, and later I went up to check on them. They were asleep. When I saw Melanie I started crying. She had a picture of her dad with her. She was holding it in her arms."
    • John Lane, long-time companion of the Villeneuves - Donaldson, pg. 319
  • "[Gilles] was the fastest driver in the history of motor racing. .. But more important for me is that he was the most genuine person I have ever known."
    • Jody Scheckter - Donaldson, pg. 322; de la Plante, pg. 3

Sources[edit]

  • de la Plante, Allan; Lecours, Pierre (1982). Villeneuve. Macmillan. ISBN 0-7715-9851-3. 
  • Donaldson, Gerald (1989). Gilles Villeneuve: The Life of the Legendary Racing Driver. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart. ISBN 0-7710-2846-6. 
  • Henry, Alan. Villeneuve (Kimberley's Racing Driver Profile No. 3). London: Kimberley's. ISBN 0-946132-224. 

External links[edit]

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