Formula 1 in memory of Gilles Villeneuve

Gill, who died on the track at the age of 32, was a vehicle for understanding life: something halfway between actor James Dean, who also died young, and Philip Petty, who walked the tightrope between the Twin Towers.

Formula 1 is boring. How many times have we heard this sentence repeated, similar, vulgarly, to those who say “there are no more half-chapters”? This may be true for a few years. Now, for example, this is no longer the case. And single-seat racing certainly wasn’t boring when Gilles Villeneuve was driving a Ferrari. Today, the Canadian driver will be 72 years old and probably be a commentator on track racing. But I can’t imagine him sitting in front of a microphone or a computer keyboard.


Gilles Villeneuve was fast. He wasn’t just driving fast. His private life was fast. It was fast. Thirty-two, that’s the age he died. His father had a profession that was the opposite of Giles’ young passion: he was a pianist. In praise of absolute slowness. Jill had just started running on the ice with his snowmobiles. He became the world champion. It shot off like an arrow across the white surface, controlling that little chariot. He was small in stature, had deep and talkative eyes, evoking tenderness and respect, at the same time. To me he always seemed like a grieving hero, carrying with him something that seemed an omen. Maybe that’s why I loved him so much.

How many duels?

It was a way to make sense of life, Jill. It seemed like something between James Dean, who died at the age of twenty-four in a car accident, and Philip Petty, the man who walked a steel rope between the Twin Towers. She remembers the most legendary episodes of his sporting life: when he ran with a broken wing, or crazy decision, in Zandvoort, after a tire slalom, to continue on three wheels, causing a spark on the asphalt and enthusiasm in the stands. In the same year, in France, Villeneuve gave birth, together with Rene Arnault, to one of the most exciting duels in the history of modern cars.

Imola crime

Another duel, this time between the brothers, was organized at Imola in 1982. This time his opponent was teammate Didier Pironi. Rivers of ink have been written on those courses where much more is consumed than winning at the Grand Prix circuit in San Marino. “Slow,” they wrote from the pits, while he was in the lead. Jill lifted his foot off the gas pedal to maintain its position and not endanger the car. On the other hand, Peroni overtook him, accelerating. Giles thought he did it to entertain the audience and agreed with what he believed to be pure entertainment. But Peroni, other than “slow”, was serious and at the end of that unusual, adrenaline-filled duel, he won the jackpot.

never a hero

Villeneuve was furious, feeling betrayed by his teammate and Ferrari. He did not hide, nor did he hide his anger with hypocritical terms of circumstance. He told reporters and his colleagues that he was not satisfied. Thirteen days later, during auditions in Belgium, Jill will make his last flight, the Fatal Flight. At that time in Formula 1, people died easily and safety was not what it is today. Jodi Schecter said of Jill that he was the fastest driver in history. Villeneuve never won a world championship. Yet he is in everyone’s memory. pass quickly. But she stayed.