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Windsor on Gilles Villeneuve


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#51 cheesy poofs

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 03:33

http://www.auto123.c...os?artid=141665

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#52 ViMaMo

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:32


Okay, enjoyed the bit on Gilles. Nice read, with funny bits and info. But i dared to tread on some of his other writing on the same blog.

Note on Kimi's driving

And I have to remind myself, Peter Windsor is bad for your 'digestion'. OMG, this guy is like Jim Carrey, enjoyable when he tones it down but my mistake on reading the Kimi article. :D


#53 JacnGille

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 13:31

http://www.auto123.c...os?artid=141665

:up:

#54 RayInTorontoCanada

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 13:46

GV was nuts.


I actually want to make a comment on the above line.

Gilles was way, way less "nuts" than, say, a driver like Ayrton Senna.

Yes, Villeneuve took some big risks with his own life. But he stopped at the point where his risks put other drivers in danger.

Whereas Villeneuve put his own neck on the line, Senna - and, to be fair, even Schumacher - had, at times, no problem putting other driver's lives in danger.

Senna and Schumacher actually gunned for other drivers when it suited their purposes.

Villeneuve, unlike them, was hard but utterly fair. Andretti, Rosberg, Prost, Lauda, Scheckter ... they'd all tell you that.

Edited by RayInTorontoCanada, 03 April 2012 - 13:49.


#55 as65p

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 18:21

I actually want to make a comment on the above line.

Gilles was way, way less "nuts" than, say, a driver like Ayrton Senna.

Yes, Villeneuve took some big risks with his own life. But he stopped at the point where his risks put other drivers in danger.


Nice myth, but that's not really possible when racing with other cars on track. If a driver is prepared to take extreme risks, in many cases it also endangers those around him (minus obviously the situations where no other cars is within close range).

Take the way he lost his life. Essentially a misunderstanding with another driver, but also one of those cases where GV did go for risk vs. caution. That could also have gone the other way and cost J. Mass' life instead of his own, or even both.

I'm not saying GV did anything wrong, BTW. Like many, I loved his approach. But the idea that his risky driving style didn't concern others is just bollocks. He wasn't racing alone on track.

#56 BoozeBaron

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 19:17

I don't understand this attitude. Certainly, we are all free to attribute as much or as little credibility to any journalist as we see fit, but why would the failure of USF1 damage his credibility on this topic. It could hardly be less related to USF1, or commercial F1 matters. And while it did not enhance the reputations of those involved, there is no reason to believe that it colours journalism on historical topics.

That is not to say I think he is a great, or even impartial, journalist though I do sometimes find him entertaining. I just think USF1 is irrelevant.


Peter who?

I share the OP (against PW) in that, he has no credibility after the USF1 fiasco - "Why" does this matter? Because it shows his true colours and that he's not unbiased - or to be trusted (across the board) - YES, F1 teams are VERY hard to field from scratch, no question about it - but he ran and hid from the American public that had bought into all his promises, hype, and from those of us who drank the Kool-Aid...

All he owes us is; a solid explanation, and an apology, and us dumb yanks are quick to forgive... Easy peasy...

Conversely - People who run from their broken promises - who then snake their way back onto TV and into F1 by just letting things blow over... ain't gonna cut it here... I know, a myopic view - and we're cutting our noses off to spite our faces - but I won't watch, read or listen to him anymore - and think channels like SpeedTV (USA) are doing the F1 community (American) a disservice by reinstating him on their site and allowing TFL videos etc - I will confess that I used to really enjoy his grid-walks and pre-race interviews (despite the clear love affair with LH) - But now? I can't stand the sight of the man - Just can't be bothered...

Just my opinion - Anyone else who wants to watch, read or listen to him - knock your socks off - just sharing some of the common distaste we have for those that break their word, and then run like cowards....

Edited by BoozeBaron, 03 April 2012 - 19:19.


#57 TheBunk

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 04:03

Yes, Villeneuve took some big risks with his own life. But he stopped at the point where his risks put other drivers in danger.


I think Roebuck once mentioned how hed share a ride with GV in his road Ferrari from Monaco to Marannello and never got so scared in his life as Gilles doing 200kmh on busy roads with other commuters.

#58 Henri Greuter

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 06:43

Back to the topic, as someone who wasn't around during Gilles's time i always struggle to know wether or not he was as good as the "legend" suggests, perhaps he was and their are many, many more people better informed than me to pass a valid judgement but his record isn't "all that", although i am aware that for the better part of his career he drove dogs he was still beaten to the 79 WDC by Scheckter. Again though, i'm really not very informed on Gilles.



I think that the best observation how good Gilles was are the following comments.

Gilles worst F1 car ever was the 1980 Ferrari 312T5. That year he scored only 6 points for the drivers title. Nevertheless, in the top 10 rating for the drivers in the Autocourse Annual, Gilles was classified third. This because despite the fact he had a worhtless car, his attidude in the races was second to none and simply never gave up.
HGilles himself had said about 1980 that it was more difficult for him to finish in the top six in 1980 then it was to win the year before.

His victories at Monaco and Jarama '81 had indeed not been possible without the bad luck that befell Piquet and Jones in Monaco and Jones at Jarama. But the sheer fact that he was in a position to benefit from their mishaps is an amazing feat in itself, given the car he drove that year.
Also strange: Jarama 1981; Never have I read anything anywhere about Gilles being told that he was blocking the drivers behind him. I recall a race by Senna in 1987 at I believe Estoril or Spain when he held up a train behind him and there was complains about him blocking. Mind you that this was a Pre-Mclaren era Senna race.

Gilles was definitely not a perfect driver. Definitely not. But his car control is top 3 if not absolute best of them all. And because of that as well as his commitment to never give up and make the best of it, he had his car in positions where, by right it should not be at a number of occasions.
No he wasn't the best ever resultswise. But watching him driving was a sight to behold and cherish. I am glad I have seen it with my own eyes and my own life time.
A qoute from Jacques Lafitte to close; "I am so sad he's gone but I'm so glad he was here."


Henri








#59 Cavani

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 08:20

the thing is -but no offense intended at all- drivers who died in a racing incident in the track are usually given extra credit and value because they sacrificed their life for racing and the enjoyment of themselves and the fans . i mean senna is mentioned now in every current driver comparison and we always relate best current drivers to senna but not often we see Prost,Nelson piquet, jackie stewart or other great drivers in such comparisons

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#60 as65p

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 09:39

but not often we see Prost,Nelson piquet, jackie stewart or other great drivers in such comparisons


I think that's true only for Piquet. The other two are hardly missing in anyones top list.

Of course in general you're right about death on track helping the subsequent legend building. Funnily enough nobody ever mentions how that goes for Jim Clark too.

#61 Henri Greuter

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 10:55

I think that's true only for Piquet. The other two are hardly missing in anyones top list.

Of course in general you're right about death on track helping the subsequent legend building. Funnily enough nobody ever mentions how that goes for Jim Clark too.



With respect to Clark; could this by chance be related with the fact that back in the 60's there was little TV coverage and most fans relied on info supplied in newspapers and magazines.
The fan appeal was less in that period of time I think. Once racing got more TV coverage the drivers became more househould names and legend building became a bit easier because many more people had seen the stuff legends were built for or, believed they had seen it and blew the facts out of proportions.
But it may also be because of the fact that Clark appeared to have far less memorable race wins and races beyond belief because Clark was so dominant that the heroics like those of Gilles, Senna and/or MS were rarely needed. Something I have with Prost as well. I don't remember many memorable race wins for Prost but he surely won heaps of races. nonetheless.

henri


#62 as65p

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 12:13

With respect to Clark; could this by chance be related with the fact that back in the 60's there was little TV coverage and most fans relied on info supplied in newspapers and magazines.
The fan appeal was less in that period of time I think. Once racing got more TV coverage the drivers became more househould names and legend building became a bit easier because many more people had seen the stuff legends were built for or, believed they had seen it and blew the facts out of proportions.
But it may also be because of the fact that Clark appeared to have far less memorable race wins and races beyond belief because Clark was so dominant that the heroics like those of Gilles, Senna and/or MS were rarely needed. Something I have with Prost as well. I don't remember many memorable race wins for Prost but he surely won heaps of races. nonetheless.

henri


I think yo misunderstood me. Clark is a legend, and while their deaths on the race track are often (and rightfully) mentioned as having contributed to the mythical status of Senna and Villeneuve, it isn't so much for Clark.

#63 RayInTorontoCanada

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 12:42

Nice myth, but that's not really possible when racing with other cars on track. If a driver is prepared to take extreme risks, in many cases it also endangers those around him (minus obviously the situations where no other cars is within close range).

Take the way he lost his life. Essentially a misunderstanding with another driver, but also one of those cases where GV did go for risk vs. caution. That could also have gone the other way and cost J. Mass' life instead of his own, or even both.

I'm not saying GV did anything wrong, BTW. Like many, I loved his approach. But the idea that his risky driving style didn't concern others is just bollocks. He wasn't racing alone on track.


Two things:

1. In the post of mine you quoted, you forgot the part about Senna and Schumacher actually gunning for other drivers. Villeneuve never, ever stooped to that low level. And, thus, what I said was in relation to the "nuts" comment. I don't think Gilles was "nuts". Senna was closer to being "nuts" than Villeneuve, i.m.o.; and

2. That one moment you cite is the one moment where Villeneuve's state of mind was at sea because of the way Pironi betrayed him at Imola at the previous meeting.

#64 Matt Hughes

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 12:42

Clark and Senna were both considered legends of the sport well before their death. With Gilles it's a matter of taking what he managed in not particularly ideal circumstances and wondering what he could have done with the kinds of car Prost and latterly Senna got their hands on at McLaren. Listening to comments from his rivals - notably Niki Lauda and Prost himself - kind of gives you the impression they all knew that Gilles was at least as good as them.

Regarding Villeneuve being beaten to the title by Sheckter in 1979; true, but had it been for:

a) Gilles not losing out due to Sheckter barging Regazzoni into him at Zolder
b) A 'standard' all-results count championship scoring system rather than the ridiculously complicated one they used that year
c) Gilles not being a gentleman and overtaking rather than sitting behind Jody at Monza

Then Canada would have had its first world champion in 1979, not 1997.

Edited by Matt Hughes, 04 April 2012 - 12:46.


#65 JacnGille

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 12:44

I think that the best observation how good Gilles was are the following comments.

...


Henri

:clap:

#66 HP

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 13:02

I remember the race differently, probably being annoyed that Jones was out, I only saw a driver who had destroyed his tyres (as usual) and was seriously holding the field up but couldn't be passed as he had 100hp more ...

http://v.youku.com/v...UwOTM4NjA4.html

That added horsepower always played a part in faster tire degradation.

#67 HP

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 13:35

Nice myth, but that's not really possible when racing with other cars on track. If a driver is prepared to take extreme risks, in many cases it also endangers those around him (minus obviously the situations where no other cars is within close range).

Take the way he lost his life. Essentially a misunderstanding with another driver, but also one of those cases where GV did go for risk vs. caution. That could also have gone the other way and cost J. Mass' life instead of his own, or even both.

I'm not saying GV did anything wrong, BTW. Like many, I loved his approach. But the idea that his risky driving style didn't concern others is just bollocks. He wasn't racing alone on track.

Watch Le Mans and some of the accidents of recent memory there. If a slower driver wants to make place for a fast approaching driver, there is always the chance that there is a misunderstanding. I know it myself. If someone is fast approaching behind me, I let them do their stuff and simply hold my line. Because the driver behind me has 4 choices: brake, go left or go right. The 4th option he (and I) won't take at a huge speed differential and that is expect the other driver in front to make a quick getaway. If I am in the position of fast approaching another car, I definitely wouldn't bet any money that the driver ahead of me disappears to somewhere. Not to blame Mass, but the safest option would have been to stay where he was and risk getting a rap by Ferrari and Villeneuve. Villeneuve's best option would have been to abort his lap, but well, Mass was doing something I consider to be very dangerous. It was also idiotic from Mass to coast on the racing line. In the end it was a racing incident, but an easy avoidable one.

But more hideous, the FIA expect these days slow drivers getting out of the way in qualifying. If they don't, there is a loss of qualy places, sanctioned by the FIA. In terms of safety, it's better to have a driver, a team, and a horde of fans complaining about a driver getting in the way of a fast lap, rather than having the same thing happen that happened to Gilles. But for that to understand, one probably must have witnessed the days were death was a very real prospect at every race, where cars were real death traps, as opposed today, where they thankfully protect a driver well enough from the worst. I fear that current regulations in that regard have more to do with viewership numbers, than driver safety.

Edited by HP, 04 April 2012 - 13:39.


#68 HP

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 13:46

Clark and Senna were both considered legends of the sport well before their death. With Gilles it's a matter of taking what he managed in not particularly ideal circumstances and wondering what he could have done with the kinds of car Prost and latterly Senna got their hands on at McLaren. Listening to comments from his rivals - notably Niki Lauda and Prost himself - kind of gives you the impression they all knew that Gilles was at least as good as them.

Regarding Villeneuve being beaten to the title by Sheckter in 1979; true, but had it been for:

a) Gilles not losing out due to Sheckter barging Regazzoni into him at Zolder
b) A 'standard' all-results count championship scoring system rather than the ridiculously complicated one they used that year
c) Gilles not being a gentleman and overtaking rather than sitting behind Jody at Monza

Then Canada would have had its first world champion in 1979, not 1997.

As much as I would have loved Gilles being crowned WDC, those if's are not really helpful. We might just as well construct a case for every season why another driver than the actual one could have won the WDC.

Actually, this preference with the WDC leads to distorted views anyway. If I analyze GV (and others of course) on a race by race basis, it's pretty obvious to me (and many others) why GV was considered one of the greatest of his time.

#69 jcbc3

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 15:05

...) why GV was considered one of the greatest of his time.


Nailed it. '..of his time'.

#70 milestone 11

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 16:28

Yes, Villeneuve took some big risks with his own life. But he stopped at the point where his risks put others drivers in danger.


I think Roebuck once mentioned how hed share a ride with GV in his road Ferrari from Monaco to Marannello and never got so scared in his life as Gilles doing 200kmh on busy roads with other commuters.

I wasn't aware of the Roebuck incident. I am though aware of what Sid Watkins said in his book "Life at the Limit"

"I once met Gilles in the lobby of the hotel in Sao Paulo and he offered me a lift to Interlagos.
Madame Villeneuve was with him, so when we got to his rented car, I moved to sit in the rear, but Madame insisted that I sit in the front.
Gilles in a road car was frightening and when I turned to speak to his wife, she was not visible as she had taken to the floor. She indicated that this was normal for her and I soon found out why.
Villeneuve believed in the `gap theory,' i.e., that there was always a space into which he could move when faced with a high-speed collision. He ignored all red lights, gently bouncing off parked cars or lamposts, talking all the time and and never pausing or hesitating in the traffic."



#71 halifaxf1fan

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 16:46

I think that the best observation how good Gilles was are the following comments.

Gilles worst F1 car ever was the 1980 Ferrari 312T5. That year he scored only 6 points for the drivers title. Nevertheless, in the top 10 rating for the drivers in the Autocourse Annual, Gilles was classified third. This because despite the fact he had a worhtless car, his attidude in the races was second to none and simply never gave up.
HGilles himself had said about 1980 that it was more difficult for him to finish in the top six in 1980 then it was to win the year before.

His victories at Monaco and Jarama '81 had indeed not been possible without the bad luck that befell Piquet and Jones in Monaco and Jones at Jarama. But the sheer fact that he was in a position to benefit from their mishaps is an amazing feat in itself, given the car he drove that year.
Also strange: Jarama 1981; Never have I read anything anywhere about Gilles being told that he was blocking the drivers behind him. I recall a race by Senna in 1987 at I believe Estoril or Spain when he held up a train behind him and there was complains about him blocking. Mind you that this was a Pre-Mclaren era Senna race.

Gilles was definitely not a perfect driver. Definitely not. But his car control is top 3 if not absolute best of them all. And because of that as well as his commitment to never give up and make the best of it, he had his car in positions where, by right it should not be at a number of occasions.
No he wasn't the best ever resultswise. But watching him driving was a sight to behold and cherish. I am glad I have seen it with my own eyes and my own life time.
A qoute from Jacques Lafitte to close; "I am so sad he's gone but I'm so glad he was here."


Henri



:up: :up: :up: :up: :up:

#72 RayInTorontoCanada

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 17:06

Nailed it. '..of his time'.


Well, according to Enzo Ferrari (THE Enzo Ferrari), he was the "greatest since Nuvolari". That includes Fangio through Lauda.

I don't know if anyone here on these forums knows more than what Enzo Ferrari or Alain Prost knew at that moment in history. Perhaps they do!?

Obviously, Moss, Clark and Stewart never drove for Ferrari in Formula One so, perhaps, Commendatore' Enzo was benchmarking only those drivers who actually walked through his factory at Maranello or those who he ran at Alfa Romeo before that?

In addition, the top guys from '...his time' - the Prosts and Rosbergs and Hunts - thought of Villeneuve as the best of their lot.

Finally, as I said earlier, Ron Dennis was prepared to pay him more than any other driver...and he was already the highest paid driver on the grid. You don't get to be top earner as a Canadian (Canada being a relatively small market in terms of sponsors/sponsorship at the time) unless you're actually perceived as the best or fastest (or co-best/fastest).

Edited by RayInTorontoCanada, 04 April 2012 - 17:49.


#73 as65p

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 17:27

Two things:

1. In the post of mine you quoted, you forgot the part about Senna and Schumacher actually gunning for other drivers. Villeneuve never, ever stooped to that low level. And, thus, what I said was in relation to the "nuts" comment. I don't think Gilles was "nuts". Senna was closer to being "nuts" than Villeneuve, i.m.o.


True the bolded, I don't agree with your definition of "nuts", but that's just semantics.



#74 FerrariFanInTexas

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 20:15

Back to the topic, as someone who wasn't around during Gilles's time i always struggle to know wether or not he was as good as the "legend" suggests, perhaps he was and their are many, many more people better informed than me to pass a valid judgement but his record isn't "all that", although i am aware that for the better part of his career he drove dogs he was still beaten to the 79 WDC by Scheckter. Again though, i'm really not very informed on Gilles.


In 79 Gilles played second chair to Schekter. He could have fought with his teammate in several of the races, but instead held station, as Schekter was due the title that year by Team decree (I believe by reason of having more points by a certain race).

This is actually one of the reasons he was so incensed when Pironi did not hold station in 82 and took a win from Gilles. Gilles had done his duty in 79, and by 82 the car was good enough that it could challenge for the championships. He considered Pironi passing him in the very latest stages of the race as a major betrayal that strained his relationship with not only his teammate but the Team itself.

This is one of the reasons Ferrari had such firm team orders in later years. Enzo was convinced that Gilles' anger and disappointment led him to take more risks thereafter, which indirectly led to his death. The Old Man was apparently quite fond of GV and took his death very hard. He did not want a repeat of his drivers fighting needlessly with each other.


#75 halifaxf1fan

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 20:50

In 79 Gilles played second chair to Schekter. He could have fought with his teammate in several of the races, but instead held station, as Schekter was due the title that year by Team decree (I believe by reason of having more points by a certain race).

This is actually one of the reasons he was so incensed when Pironi did not hold station in 82 and took a win from Gilles. Gilles had done his duty in 79, and by 82 the car was good enough that it could challenge for the championships. He considered Pironi passing him in the very latest stages of the race as a major betrayal that strained his relationship with not only his teammate but the Team itself.

This is one of the reasons Ferrari had such firm team orders in later years. Enzo was convinced that Gilles' anger and disappointment led him to take more risks thereafter, which indirectly led to his death. The Old Man was apparently quite fond of GV and took his death very hard. He did not want a repeat of his drivers fighting needlessly with each other.



This is exactly correct.

#76 jj2728

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 21:26

In 79 Gilles played second chair to Schekter. He could have fought with his teammate in several of the races, but instead held station, as Schekter was due the title that year by Team decree (I believe by reason of having more points by a certain race).


Yeah and I'm going from memory here, but I think Scheckter had until Monaco (which he won) to prove himself the team leader.

#77 JacnGille

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 00:37

Yeah and I'm going from memory here, but I think Scheckter had until Monaco (which he won) to prove himself the team leader.

Yes, that's what was agreed upon.

#78 RayInTorontoCanada

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 03:52

Yeah and I'm going from memory here, but I think Scheckter had until Monaco (which he won) to prove himself the team leader.


Pretty dumb given it's always the end of May!

Imagine Button is ahead of Hamilton on points by Monaco...end of May. Imagine it! :drunk:

Again, pretty dumb...especially given that season's points system was a division system. Max points scored in 1st half...and max points scored in 2nd half.

Rubbish!

#79 cheapracer

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:33

That added horsepower always played a part in faster tire degradation.


No, the way you abuse your extra hp does it. There's not a sensible person alive who would agree Gilles had car sensitivity.


Well, according to Enzo Ferrari (THE Enzo Ferrari), he was the "greatest since Nuvolari". That includes Fangio through Lauda.

I don't know if anyone here on these forums knows more than what Enzo Ferrari or Alain Prost knew at that moment in history. Perhaps they do!?


Apparently I do, a car wrecking, 6 times GP winner up against multiple WDC - I know who I would rather have in my team. Those are emotional comments not factual ones. Niki was one of the few who actually told Enzo to his face what he truly thought of him.


Watching Prost or Jones drive was usually like watching paint dry. Watching Gilles drive anything, anytime, anywhere was 100% entertainment, something F-1 has not had enough of for decades.


You mean Alan Jones 1979 Driver of the Year by a British magazine (was it Austosport?) - that was by readers votes/choice.

Jones was extremely spectacular, threw the car around like few others could in ground effect days and had no aversion to going sideways at all, difference being Jones and of course Prost, could set cars up properly, Gilles famously could not and that's a fact, not a slight on him. Ferrari would often make various changes for Gilles and there would be no difference in his lap times and Gilles couldn't really tell them what was different. Ronnie Peterson was a bit the same.


Actually, this preference with the WDC leads to distorted views anyway. If I analyze GV (and others of course) on a race by race basis, it's pretty obvious to me (and many others) why GV was considered one of the greatest of his time.


Re; WDC - It's everything, that's why they are there.

Gilles was not the greatest of his time, he was the Fan's favourite and easily the most spectacular driver F1 has seen otherwise his factual driving record stands and make all the excuses you want to, it ain't nearly as spectacular as his driving was. FWIW, I watched every race he drove live at the time.

Edited by cheapracer, 05 April 2012 - 04:38.


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#80 Henri Greuter

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:11

Pretty dumb given it's always the end of May!

Imagine Button is ahead of Hamilton on points by Monaco...end of May. Imagine it! :drunk:

Again, pretty dumb...especially given that season's points system was a division system. Max points scored in 1st half...and max points scored in 2nd half.

Rubbish!



Please keep in mind that in 1979 the season had only 15 races and Monaco was the 7th race that season thus almost halfway. It was also the last race of the first half of the seasin of which the best 4 results counted for the title that year. Scheckter's best 4 scores were 2 victories and 2 second places. Gilles had two victories and a fifth. So by then Scheckter had etablished himself in a better position based on his scores in the first half of the season. That was a big gap Gilles had to make up. He needed 4 victories in those last eight races....


If it comes to favouring drivers: 2 yars ago is the best example. Had Red Bull ordered Vettel to support Webber in the last three races of the season since he had the better position in the season standings.....




Henri

#81 garoidb

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:24

Pretty dumb given it's always the end of May!
Imagine Button is ahead of Hamilton on points by Monaco...end of May. Imagine it! :drunk:

Again, pretty dumb...especially given that season's points system was a division system. Max points scored in 1st half...and max points scored in 2nd half.

Rubbish!


It was the 7th race of 15, more or less the half way mark. And, as you say, they had that strange points system that year. In 2012, Monaco is the 6th race of 20.

That is not to say I have any knowledge of whether such an arrangement was in place or not. It seems widely acknowledged that team orders were in place by Monza.

#82 as65p

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:55

It was the 7th race of 15, more or less the half way mark. And, as you say, they had that strange points system that year. In 2012, Monaco is the 6th race of 20.

That is not to say I have any knowledge of whether such an arrangement was in place or not. It seems widely acknowledged that team orders were in place by Monza.


I think it was more the general perception that Scheckter was no.1, not some specific deadline in Monaco (never heard of that either). Scheckter was brought in as the supposed lead driver, he was the one expected to deliver, and he duly did. He was the replacement for Reutemann, Ferraris former no.1 who had outscored GV massively in 1978. All in all it was more a case of GV being better than expected in 1979 - but in the end still not quite good enough to beat Scheckter. That decisive race in Monza he was 5th on the grid to Scheckters 3rd. That there were teamorders that day is undisputed, yet this also means that GV spending the whole race on Scheckters gearbox is irrelevant, as Scheckter was simply pacing himself knowing his teammate wouldn't attack. It's anyones guess how a real race between the two would have ended that day.

#83 PayasYouRace

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:55

It was the 7th race of 15, more or less the half way mark. And, as you say, they had that strange points system that year. In 2012, Monaco is the 6th race of 20.

That is not to say I have any knowledge of whether such an arrangement was in place or not. It seems widely acknowledged that team orders were in place by Monza.


This isn't just a reply to you, but the points system wasn't strange that year. It was the same system that was in use since 1967, i.e. best a from the first x races, and best b from the second y races. It had been the norm for over a decade by that point.

Pretty dumb given it's always the end of May!

Imagine Button is ahead of Hamilton on points by Monaco...end of May. Imagine it! :drunk:

Again, pretty dumb...especially given that season's points system was a division system. Max points scored in 1st half...and max points scored in 2nd half.

Rubbish!


Not only was Monaco the 7th race of 15 as others have pointed out, but the season started in January in Buenos Aires.

Edited by PayasYouRace, 05 April 2012 - 07:59.


#84 AlainProstX

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:16

This is actually one of the reasons he was so incensed when Pironi did not hold station in 82 and took a win from Gilles. Gilles had done his duty in 79, and by 82 the car was good enough that it could challenge for the championships. He considered Pironi passing him in the very latest stages of the race as a major betrayal that strained his relationship with not only his teammate but the Team itself.


IIRC Pironi found himself guilty after Gilles death. There were rumors about him naming one of his sons Gilles.

#85 engel

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 09:19

IIRC Pironi found himself guilty after Gilles death. There were rumors about him naming one of his sons Gilles.


it wasn't a rumor AFAIK his sons were born shortly after he died and his girlfriend named one Gilles-Didier (and the other Didier-Gilles)

http://www.aubistro....erine-goux.html

Edited by engel, 05 April 2012 - 09:21.


#86 piszkosfred

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 09:31

Something I have with Prost as well. I don't remember many memorable race wins for Prost but he surely won heaps of races. nonetheless.

henri


1982 Kyalami, 1986 Adelaide, 1988 Paul Richard, 1990 Mexico.

#87 Henri Greuter

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:35

1982 Kyalami, 1986 Adelaide, 1988 Paul Richard, 1990 Mexico.


I can't go along with Adelaide. never saw Kyalami but read about it and that was indeed a miraculous recovery, one of the few I remember, the other ones don't ring a bell to me (yet?) (Side note: Prost's performance in the early part of Canada 1981, leading in the rain with a turbocharged car is one of my most impressive memories of Prost, he retired so thats why few people remember that one.)

But if people out here don't want to rate Gilles performances at Monaco and Jarama on his own merits but credit it to misfortune of Alan Jones (both races) and Piquet (Monaco) then I credit Prost's Adelaide victory to him being the lucky one who benefitted from the mishaps that befell two faster drivers that race: Mansell and Piquet.
And the 1986 Mclaren was at least third if not second best car in the field that year. the 1981 Ferrari definitely nowhere near as good in 1981 copmpared with its opponents.
But Adelaide 1986 itself: Memorable race, no question about that.

Henri



#88 piszkosfred

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 12:07

I can't go along with Adelaide. never saw Kyalami but read about it and that was indeed a miraculous recovery, one of the few I remember, the other ones don't ring a bell to me (yet?) (Side note: Prost's performance in the early part of Canada 1981, leading in the rain with a turbocharged car is one of my most impressive memories of Prost, he retired so thats why few people remember that one.)

But if people out here don't want to rate Gilles performances at Monaco and Jarama on his own merits but credit it to misfortune of Alan Jones (both races) and Piquet (Monaco) then I credit Prost's Adelaide victory to him being the lucky one who benefitted from the mishaps that befell two faster drivers that race: Mansell and Piquet.
And the 1986 Mclaren was at least third if not second best car in the field that year. the 1981 Ferrari definitely nowhere near as good in 1981 copmpared with its opponents.
But Adelaide 1986 itself: Memorable race, no question about that.

Henri


1988 Paul Richard: He won against Senna with a great overtake after a bad stop.
1990 Mexico: started from 13th and beat them all.
1986 Adelaide: after his very slow pitstop (17 sec,puncture) Prost was 50 sec behind the leader, yet when Piquet had to pit he was able to move ahead of him. So his pace was very good that day.

#89 Mark P Hughes

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 12:13


Mark Hughes, Autosport F1 reporter here. I've been following the Gilles Villeneuve thread and read your comments with interest. I’m reluctant to join the forum discussion because it rightly belongs to readers, not journalists. But while fully respecting the views of everyone on here, on Gilles there's one particular bit that actually I thought I could supply you with a bit more detail on, if you're interested. The bit where cheapracer says:

“No, the way you abuse your extra hp does it. There's not a sensible person alive who would agree Gilles had car sensitivity.”

I would argue that actually the common perception of Gilles lacking sensitivity is a myth, however destructive he may have been. His tyre sensitivity was amazingly good - as I believe I can show you with both the history books and the recollections of those I've interviewed over the years. I happen to have all this stuff handy because I've just been writing features for the forthcoming 30th anniversary of his death.

Some hard facts first:

Montreal 1978. He chose the 143 compound Michelin, significantly softer than the 135 chosen by Reutemann and the Renaults. Michelin advised they did not think it could do a race distance. He proved them wrong and won the race.

Long Beach 1979. He made the exact same choice of 143 compound. Again his team mate (Scheckter) and the other Michelin runners went for the harder compound. Michelin again said they thought it was marginal - he again proved them wrong and won the race.

In 1980, the T5 was such a dog of a car often it could not make its tyres do a full distance. The Michelins had developed to work on the ground effect Renault by now. Neither Scheckter nor Villeneuve could make them last but Villeneuve almost always made them last longer than Scheckter - whilst invariably being well ahead of him. Here are the numbers from that year at the races where they had to stop:

Brazil. GV stopped L8. Scheckter L9. (the exception that proves the rule!)
Long Beach. Scheckter L4. Villeneuve lap 39 (though this was because Scheckter had flat spotted)
Monaco. Scheckter lap 13. Villeneuve lap 21.
France. Scheckter lap 11. Villeneuve lap 21.
Germany. Villeneuve lap 13. Scheckter lap 17 (another one!)
Austria. Scheckter lap 8. Villeneuve lap 20.
Holland. Scheckter lap 10. Villeneuve lap 17.

Miss out the anomalous one where Scheckter has flat spotted and on average Gilles was making those tyres last about 5 laps longer than Scheckter.

Now here's some quotes I got from various people about this particular point (Villeneuve's tyre usage).

Pierre Dupasquier (Michelin): "Yes, he was a little crazy. But I tell you, he was not hard on the tyre! He had fantastic feel and sensitivity. I could not believe it at first, but he was giving us really good direction from when we first started testing with Ferrari, much better than we were getting with Renault. Of the two Ferrari drivers at that time, Reutemann was very sensitive too, but Gilles could actually make them last longer. At Montreal we told him no way were those tyres going to last - but they did. He was like a magician with tyres! I know people dont realise this because the image is of him driving with three wheels and locking up fighting Arnoux, but those instances were not about making the tyres last. When he again made the choice of the soft tyre for Long beach in '79 I was again concerned, but by this time I had more faith in him because of what he had done in Montreal - and also what he had done one race before Long Beach at Kyalami. If you remember, there he came from half a minute back to catch Scheckter, made Jody work his tyres too hard and then just cruised past."

Scheckter: "He loved the image he had at Ferrari as the daredevil. But it was just for show. I used to ride with him from Nice and all the way there he would drive perfectly normal but as soon as he got near the factory and people were recognising him, he'd be wheelspinning and sliding and driving like a crazy man. It was just show. He was actually a very sensitive driver, he seemed to have a better feel for tyres than I did, could seem to make them last better even when he was going faster. That wasn't really an issue for me in '79, but it certainly was in '80."

Bruno Giacomelli: "He was not only fantastically quick. He had everything. He knew a lot of the technical side - in fact, he was a connoisseur of that. He knew exactly what the car was doing and he could talk about it very well. He was a very sensitive driver actually. He was certainly the greatest driver I ever saw - a guy that was going to win many, many world championships. When he first arrived in F1 his driving style was not really suitable for F1. He was still quick but the style made him have accidents too. But he learned and though he remained spectacular, he became smooth as well. People get the two confused. You can still be super-smooth but be right on the limits, using all the track and more. People saw him pushing like hell because his cars weren't competitive in 1980 and '81 - up on the grass, crazy things - but I tell you, he was smooth in the way that he used the car, in the inputs he made into it. You could see that just following him. He had one of the smoothest styles of all of us."

There's more, but I've probably bored you enough. I, like some of you, watched every race Gilles did live. For me, he was head and shoulders above the others - and quite a few (but not all) of his peers agreed. Laffite, Lauda, Arnoux, Prost, Tambay all are on record as saying he was the best of them all.

Anyway,
Best wishes
Mark




#90 Henri Greuter

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 12:34

Mark Hughes, Autosport F1 reporter here. I've been following the Gilles Villeneuve thread and read your comments with interest. I’m reluctant to join the forum discussion because it rightly belongs to readers, not journalists. But while fully respecting the views of everyone on here, on Gilles there's one particular bit that actually I thought I could supply you with a bit more detail on, if you're interested. The bit where cheapracer says:

“No, the way you abuse your extra hp does it. There's not a sensible person alive who would agree Gilles had car sensitivity.”

I would argue that actually the common perception of Gilles lacking sensitivity is a myth, however destructive he may have been. His tyre sensitivity was amazingly good - as I believe I can show you with both the history books and the recollections of those I've interviewed over the years. I happen to have all this stuff handy because I've just been writing features for the forthcoming 30th anniversary of his death.

Some hard facts first:

Montreal 1978. He chose the 143 compound Michelin, significantly softer than the 135 chosen by Reutemann and the Renaults. Michelin advised they did not think it could do a race distance. He proved them wrong and won the race.

Long Beach 1979. He made the exact same choice of 143 compound. Again his team mate (Scheckter) and the other Michelin runners went for the harder compound. Michelin again said they thought it was marginal - he again proved them wrong and won the race.

In 1980, the T5 was such a dog of a car often it could not make its tyres do a full distance. The Michelins had developed to work on the ground effect Renault by now. Neither Scheckter nor Villeneuve could make them last but Villeneuve almost always made them last longer than Scheckter - whilst invariably being well ahead of him. Here are the numbers from that year at the races where they had to stop:

Brazil. GV stopped L8. Scheckter L9. (the exception that proves the rule!)
Long Beach. Scheckter L4. Villeneuve lap 39 (though this was because Scheckter had flat spotted)
Monaco. Scheckter lap 13. Villeneuve lap 21.
France. Scheckter lap 11. Villeneuve lap 21.
Germany. Villeneuve lap 13. Scheckter lap 17 (another one!)
Austria. Scheckter lap 8. Villeneuve lap 20.
Holland. Scheckter lap 10. Villeneuve lap 17.

Miss out the anomalous one where Scheckter has flat spotted and on average Gilles was making those tyres last about 5 laps longer than Scheckter.

Now here's some quotes I got from various people about this particular point (Villeneuve's tyre usage).

Pierre Dupasquier (Michelin): "Yes, he was a little crazy. But I tell you, he was not hard on the tyre! He had fantastic feel and sensitivity. I could not believe it at first, but he was giving us really good direction from when we first started testing with Ferrari, much better than we were getting with Renault. Of the two Ferrari drivers at that time, Reutemann was very sensitive too, but Gilles could actually make them last longer. At Montreal we told him no way were those tyres going to last - but they did. He was like a magician with tyres! I know people dont realise this because the image is of him driving with three wheels and locking up fighting Arnoux, but those instances were not about making the tyres last. When he again made the choice of the soft tyre for Long beach in '79 I was again concerned, but by this time I had more faith in him because of what he had done in Montreal - and also what he had done one race before Long Beach at Kyalami. If you remember, there he came from half a minute back to catch Scheckter, made Jody work his tyres too hard and then just cruised past."

Scheckter: "He loved the image he had at Ferrari as the daredevil. But it was just for show. I used to ride with him from Nice and all the way there he would drive perfectly normal but as soon as he got near the factory and people were recognising him, he'd be wheelspinning and sliding and driving like a crazy man. It was just show. He was actually a very sensitive driver, he seemed to have a better feel for tyres than I did, could seem to make them last better even when he was going faster. That wasn't really an issue for me in '79, but it certainly was in '80."

Bruno Giacomelli: "He was not only fantastically quick. He had everything. He knew a lot of the technical side - in fact, he was a connoisseur of that. He knew exactly what the car was doing and he could talk about it very well. He was a very sensitive driver actually. He was certainly the greatest driver I ever saw - a guy that was going to win many, many world championships. When he first arrived in F1 his driving style was not really suitable for F1. He was still quick but the style made him have accidents too. But he learned and though he remained spectacular, he became smooth as well. People get the two confused. You can still be super-smooth but be right on the limits, using all the track and more. People saw him pushing like hell because his cars weren't competitive in 1980 and '81 - up on the grass, crazy things - but I tell you, he was smooth in the way that he used the car, in the inputs he made into it. You could see that just following him. He had one of the smoothest styles of all of us."

There's more, but I've probably bored you enough. I, like some of you, watched every race Gilles did live. For me, he was head and shoulders above the others - and quite a few (but not all) of his peers agreed. Laffite, Lauda, Arnoux, Prost, Tambay all are on record as saying he was the best of them all.

Anyway,
Best wishes
Mark





Mr Hughes,

First: you don't bored me!
Secondly, thanks for sharing your info with us. I think a number of people out here have to think twice.....

I recall another forgotten performance of Gilles, perhaps you can add to that?

Long Beach 1978. Timing went down in the final qualifying session and the eventual grid was accroding times measuered by the legendary time keeper of Ligier; Michelle Dubosq, who was one of few people capable of timing almost an entire starting field. Times were looked over by Ecclestone and some others and that was the determined grid. But the story goes that actually Gilles Villeneuve had been the fastest overall but putting a driver in his 6th GP on Pole was seen as impossibel given the fact that so many times were lost. Thus Gilles' fastest time by Michelle was put in doubt and erased as being likely a timing error.


henri



#91 Henri Greuter

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 12:38

1988 Paul Richard: He won against Senna with a great overtake after a bad stop.
1990 Mexico: started from 13th and beat them all.
1986 Adelaide: after his very slow pitstop (17 sec,puncture) Prost was 50 sec behind the leader, yet when Piquet had to pit he was able to move ahead of him. So his pace was very good that day.



Thanks for sharing and updating. Can get along with 1988 and 1990 but 1986 remains in doubt for me.

Henri

#92 Mark P Hughes

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 12:43

Mr Hughes,

First: you don't bored me!
Secondly, thanks for sharing your info with us. I think a number of people out here have to think twice.....

I recall another forgotten performance of Gilles, perhaps you can add to that?

Long Beach 1978. Timing went down in the final qualifying session and the eventual grid was accroding times measuered by the legendary time keeper of Ligier; Michelle Dubosq, who was one of few people capable of timing almost an entire starting field. Times were looked over by Ecclestone and some others and that was the determined grid. But the story goes that actually Gilles Villeneuve had been the fastest overall but putting a driver in his 6th GP on Pole was seen as impossibel given the fact that so many times were lost. Thus Gilles' fastest time by Michelle was put in doubt and erased as being likely a timing error.


henri



Hi Henri,

Yes, the timing did go down but they took the grid from the hand-held watches of those in the tower after the system went down and it seems - understandably - there was a bit of panic and confusion. I dont think Michelle Dubosq was consulted but she volunteered her times later and it was agreed that these actually tallied much more closely with those of each team. Her list had Gilles on pole, yes. Her full list was published in the following week's Autosport (ie the week after the race report issue) on one of the news pages.

#93 Henri Greuter

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 12:58

Hi Henri,

Yes, the timing did go down but they took the grid from the hand-held watches of those in the tower after the system went down and it seems - understandably - there was a bit of panic and confusion. I dont think Michelle Dubosq was consulted but she volunteered her times later and it was agreed that these actually tallied much more closely with those of each team. Her list had Gilles on pole, yes. Her full list was published in the following week's Autosport (ie the week after the race report issue) on one of the news pages.


Thank you sir,
I can't buy Autosport over here in my area in the Netherlands anymore but somehow I MUST get hold of that upcoming edition with articles about Gilles.

Henri


#94 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 13:05

I think that the post by Mark Hughes is adding some interesting details, namely the choice of soft over hard tires by Villeneuve. I for one is of the opinion that Gilles Villeneuve was not quite what he is now seen as being, I am perfectly okay with him being a very very good F1 driver, I just have trouble seeing him as a great F1 driver, comparable to Clark, Stewart, Prost.

On his day majestically fast, but not all races saw he be that driver, I may be giving him too little credit, but some here give him too much.

:cool:

#95 Slowinfastout

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 13:12

Always struck me how GV is often misunderstood by certain people as if he was exclusively a reckless driver. I read (and listened) pretty much all I could find about him, apart from watching many of his races, and personally I think he was the ultimate sportsman.

#96 RayInTorontoCanada

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 13:18

Mark Hughes, Autosport F1 reporter here.

...

There's more, but I've probably bored you enough. I, like some of you, watched every race Gilles did live. For me, he was head and shoulders above the others - and quite a few (but not all) of his peers agreed. Laffite, Lauda, Arnoux, Prost, Tambay all are on record as saying he was the best of them all.

Anyway,
Best wishes
Mark


Mr Hughes,

Thank you very much for your input into this thread and for taking the time out of your busy schedule to debunk the 'destroyer of tyres' myth. How on earth a driver could lack sensititvity for his tyres when he was nigh on 11 seconds faster than anyone else in the wet of Watkins Glen practice is beyond me.

In addition to the Laudas, Prosts and Rosbergs, James Hunt rated Gilles as early as 1977.

Lastly, I recall Mario Andretti's recollections in his 1978 championship season book - by Nigel Roebuck - where the American JPS Lotus driver stated that Gilles "had really matured" by then (Monza, 1978) when musing over their battle for the early leadership of that season's (tragic) Italian Grand Prix. It was Villeneuve's first full season.

Once again, thanks for taking the time to provide your thoughts in this thread.

Kindest regards,

Ray In Toronto, Canada

Edited by RayInTorontoCanada, 05 April 2012 - 13:21.


#97 Slowinfastout

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 13:40

In addition to the Laudas, Prosts and Rosbergs, James Hunt rated Gilles as early as 1977.


Gilles really made his name in the 1976 Formula Atlantic race in Trois-Rivieres, he handily won the race ahead of Alan Jones, James Hunt, Vittorio Brambilla, Bobby Rahal and Patrick Tambay.

GV had a ten seconds lead over Jones and Hunt, so that opened some eyes.. James Hunt tipped McLaren and the rest is history.

Also, Rosberg lost the Formula Atlantic title to GV the next year, so I guess he had no choice but to rate him as well. :)

Edited by Slowinfastout, 05 April 2012 - 13:41.


#98 RayInTorontoCanada

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 13:48

Gilles really made his name in the 1976 Formula Atlantic race in Trois-Rivieres, he handily won the race ahead of Alan Jones, James Hunt, Vittorio Brambilla, Bobby Rahal and Patrick Tambay.


Indeed. I only used the 1977 timeframe in my earlier post in order to be more 'conservative' because it was during that summer's British GP meeting at Silverstone where Gilles first stepped into an F1 car as Marlboro McLaren's 3rd driver - thanks, as you say, to Hunt's recommendation.

Edited by RayInTorontoCanada, 05 April 2012 - 15:42.


#99 discover23

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 17:32

I've been noticing lately that Windsor is getting a lot of press time which is a bit surprising after the USF1 fiasco - when a lot of people were saying that his career and credibility had suffered tremendously.

Edited by discover23, 05 April 2012 - 17:33.


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#100 midgrid

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 17:57

I think it was more the general perception that Scheckter was no.1, not some specific deadline in Monaco (never heard of that either). Scheckter was brought in as the supposed lead driver, he was the one expected to deliver, and he duly did. He was the replacement for Reutemann, Ferraris former no.1 who had outscored GV massively in 1978. All in all it was more a case of GV being better than expected in 1979 - but in the end still not quite good enough to beat Scheckter. That decisive race in Monza he was 5th on the grid to Scheckters 3rd. That there were teamorders that day is undisputed, yet this also means that GV spending the whole race on Scheckters gearbox is irrelevant, as Scheckter was simply pacing himself knowing his teammate wouldn't attack. It's anyones guess how a real race between the two would have ended that day.


Villeneuve had a better start to the season than Scheckter, and after the Long Beach Grand Prix (round four of the championship) was ahead of him in the championship. Prior to the Spanish Grand Prix, elements of the Italian media were advocating that Villeneuve be "promoted" to number-one driver; in response, Ferrari issued a press release stating that Villeneuve, as points leader within the team, was free to fight for the championship against Scheckter (as opposed to, say, Mario Andretti and Ronnie Peterson within Lotus the previous year), and that a possible review of the drivers's statuses might be necessary later in the season. Of course, Scheckter then proceeded to win the Belgian and Monaco GPs, giving himself a handy boost in the championship and ensuring that he remained the team's de facto number-one driver due to his senior status. (The source of this information is Gerald Donaldson's biography of Villeneuve.)