Gilles Villeneuve Again
I was digging through the videos in YouTube this morning and came across yet more reminders of the bundle of determination that was Gilles Villeneuve. Regardless of whether you think he was the fastest of all time or just a little crazy, there is no doubting the man’s refusal to give up, no matter what happened.
Here are a few samples of Gilles in all his glory:
Dutch GP, Zandvoort, 1979 – Gilles gets a puncture in the left rear, slides off the road but keeps the engine running and drives back to the pits. On the way, the tire comes off and the wheel begins to do the same; Gilles keeps going, right front wheel waving in the breeze, so low is the rear corner of the car. When he entered the pits, expecting a new tire, the mechanics just looked and shook their heads…
Canadian GP, Montreal, 1981 – The race is held in pouring rain and cars are sliding off everywhere. Gilles has a bit of an altercation and crunches the front wing but, hey, that’s nothing to this guy; he continues undaunted. The wing folds up on itself and eventually falls off, leaving Gilles to finish the race in a car without a nose. He was third.
Spanish GP, Jarama, 1981 – Gilles manages to get into second spot before Jones exits and leaves him in the lead. The Ferrari’s tires are going off, however, and the car handles like a pig through the corners. A train of cars builds behind Gilles, all much faster than him now, but somehow he holds them off and wins. This was probably the victory he had to work hardest for – at the end he was exhausted.
That was Gilles Villeneuve, a racer through and through.