Good Bye Gilles
May 8, 2007
25 years, and I mean twenty-five, have passed since this cursed 8th May! It was 13:52h on a grey Saturday on the Zolder circuit, which from then on should have been a bleak one, when the idol of myself and of millions of other fans disappeared forever, together with his legendary Ferrari with the number 27. I remember that I was just 10 years old and that it was just because of this Canadian guy with an angel?s face, that I was interested in Formula One. To be precise: from this Sunday afternoon in September 1979 at Monza, when Ferrari won the longed for title with Scheckter and where I for myself thought about the extraordinary race driven by Villeneuve, who practically followed his teammate to the chequered flag, without ever trying to overtake him, although he had the possibility and also the necessity, as also he was still fighting for the title. Ever after, admiring the heroic deeds of a driver who by many was considered a car-wracking fool, I got the bug of the famous "Villeneuve Fever" which, I am sure, many of my contemporaries have not yet forgotten. In these years I also understood without any doubt, that my future and my life were indissolubly connected to the world of racing and cars in general.All of this happened, thanks to this man, who for me and for everybody else was practically some kind of immortal half-god, able to interpret in a crystal clear way, just like a rough diamond, all that was and all that was about to come the authentic spirit of racing.I remember that when he died, first it seemed impossible to me and later I felt as if a friend had passed away, a loved person, someone I was connected to, as if he had been part of the family or my group of friends. Today, remembering Gilles many years later, I think that it was exactly his pure way, being beyond all the present and future logics, what made him one of all of our families; someone you like, because, deep inside, you want to be just like him. The fact that today I am in Maranello and write this short article about a great man with a certain emotion has also to be attributed to him, which is something I can never forget. I wanted to write these lines, which are reflecting my personal memory, hoping, that every single one of you does the same, and that you will be able to appreciate the special prepared with lots of care, even more.