Gilles Villeneuve  Canada

  • Full name Joseph Gilles Henri Villeneuve
  • Birth date January 18, 1950
  • Birthplace St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Canada
  • Date of death May 8, 1982 (32 years 110 days)
  • Place of death Louvain, Belgium
  • Relation Brother - J Villeneuve snr , Son - J Villeneuve
  • Teams Ferrari, McLaren
driver portrait
World Championship Career
Year Car Race Start Won Pod Class Best Pole Front Best Lap Hat Pts Pos
1977 McLaren, Ferrari 3 3 0 0 2 11 0 0 9 0 0 0 -
1978 Ferrari 16 16 1 2 10 1 0 2 2 1 0 17 9
1979 Ferrari 15 15 3 7 12 1 1 3 1 6 1 53 2
1980 Ferrari 14 14 0 0 8 5 0 0 3 0 0 6 14
1981 Ferrari 15 15 2 3 6 1 1 2 1 1 0 25 7
1982 Ferrari 5 4 0 1 1 2 0 1 2 0 0 6 15
Total 68 67 6 13 39 1 2 8 1 8 1 107
Race Circuit Date
First race British Grand Prix Silverstone July 16, 1977 Race results
Last race Belgian Grand Prix Zolder May 9, 1982 Race results
Profile

Some thought Gilles personified everything good about motor racing; his natural speed and spectacular style complemented by an open, irreverent character. Others said his flamboyance bordered on the reckless.

He dominated the Canadian Formula Atlantic scene, and wiped the floor at an invitation race at Trois-Rivieres at the end of 1976 that included World Champion James Hunt. That led to a drive with McLaren in the 1977 British Grand Prix, where he stunned everyone by running on the pace of the leaders in a two-year-old car. Unfathomably, McLaren did not take up an option on his services, but Ferrari signed him to replace Lauda at the end of 1977.

Gilles stayed with Ferrari until the end of his career. He scored his first win, on home soil in Canada, in 1978, and would have been World Champion in 1979, when he won three grands prix, had he not honourably stood by team orders at the Italian Grand Prix and sat behind team-mate Jody Scheckter, who took the title instead.

Then followed two years in hugely inferior cars (although he had two opportunistic wins in 1981) until in 1982 he finally had the equipment to win consistently. However, after having victory stolen from under his nose by team-mate Didier Pironi as he was cruising to the flag in the San Marino Grand Prix, Gilles was plunged into turmoil. He pledged never to speak to Pironi again, and, two weeks later, he crashed fatally during practice for the Belgian Grand Prix.

Reproduced from The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Formula One published by Carlton Books

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June 9, 2011

Gilles Villeneuve's Ferrari displayed at The Grand Evening in Montreal on Thursday

September 13, 2010

Gilles Villeneuve's helmet

September 13, 2010

Gilles Villeneuve's overalls, boots and gloves

     

Gilles Villeneuve Formula 1 photos

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