Gilles Villeneuve as told by you
Maranello, 9 May –Yesterday was a Villeneuve day, as Jacques drove his father Gilles’ 312 T4 at the Fiorano track where he spent so much time playing as a little boy. We wanted to mark the thirtieth anniversary of Gilles’ death in a special way, not only by bringing the names of Ferrari and Villeneuve back on track together again, but also by assembling in Maranello a lot of the people who were in the Squadra Corse at the time, from the Engineer, Mauro Forghieri to the mechanics who new Gilles well and above all those who loved him.
Today, it’s the turn of you the fans to have your say, as we publish the most revealing of the hundreds of emails we received over the past two days.
Gilles Villeneuve in one word!!
Hope!! He grabed our heart with hope.
“Gilles was the reason, as a 7 year old boy in 1979, I fell in love with Ferrari. A love that still continues to do this day. RIP”
Gilles legacy lives on in everyone who lives their life by the credo that victory is always possible, no matter how desperate things may seem, as long as you never stop trying.
Sensational, spectacular, tremendous and what a showman, displaying courage and speed.
For ever Gilles
James Massoglia V.
Only Gilles Villeneuve has conquered our hearts this fast.*
I will always rembember Gilles Villeneuve. I was only 6 years old when he died and I still feel it was the saddest day of my life. I remember it like it was yesterday... Probably one of my first memories...
Many thanks for honouring him
He is my hero.
Sorry for my bad english... I'm french...
Thank you to Scuderia Ferrari for this beautiful tribute to Gilles Villeneuve. I saw Gilles Villeneuve for the first time in Atlantic series at the Circuit Mont-Tremblant Saint-Jovite. I attended his first Grand Prix of Canada at Mosport. I saw his victory at the Canadian Grand Prix on the circuit of Ile Notre-Dame in Montreal. I will never forget the morning of May 8, 1982, when I heard the sad news on the radio. Ferrari for me, has always represented excellence and passion. The tribute to Gilles Villeneuve given by Ferrari today to mark the thirtieth anniversary of his death shows how this team is one of the most prestigious in the world.
He was the "fifth element" for a generation of racing fans...
The ultimate "win-at-all-costs" sportsman, Gilles Villeneuve was not only one of the greatest natural talents in the history of motorsport, he is without a doubt the hungriest driver ever to set foot to the throttle of a Formula One car.
François J. Murray
Gilles Villeneuve was unique, no one will ever come close.
Gilles Villeneuve epitomized the spirit of racing, of sportsmanship, and of life itself.
Gilles could light up our sense, let us vent our passion and fill our hearts. Thanks for having organised this day and to have remembered it with us. I am proud of you and always will be…
There’s only one adjective to describe him: unique. How many Sunday spent in front of the TV, how many years watching F1, Ferrari but above all watching him, Gille. In every race, he was the show within the show: a super start, an incredible overtaking move, a thrilling duel like the one at Dijon, but above all a driving style that was unique and spectacular. Thanks Gilles for everything you have given us.
For me Gilles was the most naturally talented driver ever to grace the cockpit of a formula one car, the high priest of destruction as Enzo referred to him, could do more with a formula one car than most drivers could ever imagine, I miss him still to this day as he was my childhood hero showing the world how this little man from Berthierville PQ could dominate a racetrack even when given a non-competitive car in which to participate. Salut Gilles, Forza Ferrari, viva la Tifosi
Gilles Villeneuve was a superbly talented, focused, fearless, lovable friend and family man that Canada and the rest world are still proud of.
"Gilles Villeneuve was fast, fearless and spectacular and at the same time modest and honest, a rare combination".
I was lucky to have seen him drive on several occasions (on Zolder and Zandvoort between 1979 and 1982) and you just knew no one was faster than him. He was my youth hero and will always be my all time Ferrari favorite. I always remember him on this day since I was present on that terrible saturday, May 8th at Zolder, a day I will never forget.
Maastricht, The Netherlands
A crazy driving force, a driver without fear and with a foot as heavy as a rock!
Scuderia Ferrari Club Caprino Bergamasco
Ferrari was Gilles and Gilles was Ferrari, one was made for the other”
The driver who made me love F1 from the age of nine. He made me feel emotions I never felt since.
Who was Villeneuve? Villeneuve was THE driver.
Perverse at the wheel of a Formula 1 car, but not just any car, a Ferrari.
Explaining Gilles in one sentence is too restricting, but if you have to explain to a child what is F1, then explain who is Gilles.
Since a child, Gilles was the dream, the game, the legend, the example, the joy of seeing him and waving to him from the grandstands at Monza in 1981, through to the terrible day which was like losing one’s first love. It took a piece of my heart, a piece of my heart which for 30 years has cried tears and is not at peace.
Gilles Villeneuve "A LEGEND with a FERRARI Heart "
The Perfect Ferrari driver.
Poul Erik Skov
Gilles never gave up, he always fought, giving the utmost all the time, whatever the goal, he would fight against everyone and everything to show his true worth. That is Gilles! That is what Gilles taught us and that’s why he will always be in our hearts.
It’s why my son is called Gil!
On the thirtieth anniversary of Gilles’s death, the words of those who remember him always come from the heart, the heart of those who have him always in their thoughts and in words between friends. Here is a small poem dedicated to the legendary Ferrari driver, who now races on track alongside Enzo.
To Gilles, you left us too soon
Up in the starry sky you have gone
To the deafening sound of engines
Heard from the west to the east
With Enzo at the side of the track up there,
The number 27 leaves no one saddened.
We miss you and will miss you always, the legendary 27, winning always and forever.
STEFANO (SAN PIETRO IN CASALE-BOLOGNA)
Only the floor of the car prevented Gilles pushing harder on the throttle!
In all these years without you, it was like riding a motorbike without feeling the wind in your hair. You are still with us as I speak about you to my children.
Gilles: a man whose sole purpose was not necessarily to win a race but to show the world he was faster than anyone else on the race track - often staring death in the face while busy working towards it.
vivat gilles!! so nice you remember and cool jacq will drive the car!
"Always just read Gilles was great driver, but having seen his races now retrospectively, lord, easily my bestest driver of the era, a true racer!"
David from Slovakia
“Gilles Villeneuve was the one race driver who if he didn’t win the race, he almost always set the fastest lap – always demanding superior performance out of both himself and his race cars.”
I saw Gilles Villeneuve when I was a child racing the 312T4 at the Long Beach Grand Prix, and am still left with the memory of his driving skill and outright denial of failure being an option. I had the opportunity to see another 312T4 cirle the track, and while it lit up my memory of those days, one could never make a race car dance like Gilles could..
Los Angeles, CA
Gilles was determination, risk, tenacity, the desire to race and that was it. He didn’t care about anyone or anything. Championship points and race strategy were not important to him. Racing was all that mattered and he raced with his heart. A big and generous heart the like of which has not been seen since in Formula 1. Ciao Gilles. We miss you a lot.
The baby-faced driver in the red rocket which went over every limit.
To me Gilles was the ultimate sportsman,the everyman who was one of us who on sheer talent and passion made it all the way to the top team in international racing and never gave up regardless.