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#101 midgrid

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 18:01

b) A 'standard' all-results count championship scoring system rather than the ridiculously complicated one they used that year


This is incorrect. Had all results counted towards the championship, then this would have been the result:

1. Scheckter - 60 points
2. Villeneuve - 53 points
3. Jones - 43 points

Using the "best-of" rule for the actual points totals that year:

1. Scheckter - 51 points
2. Villeneuve - 47 points
3. Jones - 40 points


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#102 RayInTorontoCanada

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 18:47

This is incorrect. Had all results counted towards the championship, then this would have been the result:

1. Scheckter - 60 points
2. Villeneuve - 53 points
3. Jones - 43 points


"Had" this-or-that happened also would assume that Villeneuve was "free" to actually "race" as opposed to "holding station" and being "loyal", etc...

That wasn't the case.

Monza was a 6 point swing (on the 9-6-4-3-2-1 scale) in favour of Scheckter because Villeneuve held station in 2nd.

There were two Grand Prix after that, I believe.

Regardless, It is what it is. Villeneuve was never a "WDC". Life can be a bitch sometimes, etcetera, etcetra...

Edited by RayInTorontoCanada, 05 April 2012 - 18:59.


#103 as65p

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 19:56

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.)


Thanks for the details. :up: Didn't remember it that well... I was 15 and spent basically all season mourning about my favourites Andretti/Lotus not winning anymore.  ;)

#104 E.B.

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 20:22

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.


Sorry, but you are wrong. The 1979 season was unique in one crucial respect.

It was the only split season championship in which the second part of the season had more races than the first part. This meant that the middle race would ordinarily have been included in the first part of season.

The middle race was Dijon. Anyone remember Dijon 1979?!!! Villeneuve scored that brilliant 2nd place, but under the unique 1979 rules that race made no difference to his end of season points total. Under the more usual scenario (an 8-7 split for a 15 race season), Gilles would have kept those incredibly well earned 6 points, and with it the WDC.

Not that it matters too much, of course, except to those who think the WDC is the sole criterion for ranking drivers.


#105 PayasYouRace

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 20:59

Sorry, but you are wrong. The 1979 season was unique in one crucial respect.

It was the only split season championship in which the second part of the season had more races than the first part. This meant that the middle race would ordinarily have been included in the first part of season.

The middle race was Dijon. Anyone remember Dijon 1979?!!! Villeneuve scored that brilliant 2nd place, but under the unique 1979 rules that race made no difference to his end of season points total. Under the more usual scenario (an 8-7 split for a 15 race season), Gilles would have kept those incredibly well earned 6 points, and with it the WDC.

Not that it matters too much, of course, except to those who think the WDC is the sole criterion for ranking drivers.


That's interesting. I didn't know that. Though what I said wasn't technically wrong. It was still the same system, just that that year was unique in that x<y rather than x>y. I'll admit to being not completely accurate.

It is annoying when someone comes along and says "if the points system had been different so and so would have been champion". 1979 and 1988 are the most common ones for this sort of thing. Of course the system wouldn't have seemed particularly unusual going into the season. As for your last line, couldn't agree more.

#106 jj2728

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 21:40

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.)


Yep, that's the way it was. I guess I remembered correctly.

#107 E.B.

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 21:41

That's interesting. I didn't know that. Though what I said wasn't technically wrong. It was still the same system, just that that year was unique in that x<y rather than x>y. I'll admit to being not completely accurate.


Yes, fair enough, sorry. A rubbish system IMO anyway, although I did like the "best of" rule across the whole season, especially in those days of poor reliability.



#108 jj2728

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 21:43

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


Thanks for this Mark. it should help put to rest the notion that Gilles was a destroyer of tyres, knew nothing of the technical side, and was nothing but wild and crazy in his driving. Those of us who saw him race knew better.

#109 FenderJaguar

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 22:08

Mark Hughes. Thank you. That was so nice. Great.

#110 scheivlak

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 22:42

Under the more usual scenario (an 8-7 split for a 15 race season), Gilles would have kept those incredibly well earned 6 points, and with it the WDC.

In that case Jody's fate would have been still pretty cruel: gaining 7 points more over the season and still losing the title because of an arbitrary split.


#111 HP

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 23:40

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

Glad Mark Hughes posted what he did. Hopefully you read it too.

The Ferrari engines of that time were powerful, but driveability was worse than all other engine, even if you tried. So that will put more stress on the tires.

Plus it's simple physics. Same tire, more hp, quicker tire degradation. On my 900cc bike I can use a set of rear tires within 2000 km, or use them for 20000 km. What's the difference? I go on Germany's highways without speed limit, the tire get's hobbled up in no time, or I open the throttle quickly everywhere and the tire get's hobbled up too. When I keep revs (and therefore hp) low, don't shift gears, and coast, instead of race, then I can keep tires longer.

But we are talking racers here. And telling an F1 racer not to use his power advantage is an useless thing, more so in Gilles time, where communication happened through the pit board. I fear these days the pits would have talked Gilles into mediocrity.


#112 marchi-91

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:11

Have you ever tried to put together a serious racing effort? I actually like him as a racing journalist. His blog is very good and his webcasts "The Flying Lap" are a very good effort, much better than most. :up:


And windsor has?

#113 JacnGille

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:13

Mark Hughes. Thank you. That was so nice. Great.

:up:

#114 Les

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 15:09

Good news that Ferrari are going to mark the 30th anniversary of his death next month:

http://notepad.badge...-villenueves-de

#115 halifaxf1fan

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 15:25

Good news that Ferrari are going to mark the 30th anniversary of his death next month:

http://notepad.badge...-villenueves-de



It is hard to believe it has been 30 years. I remember it as if it was yesterday.

It will be great to see Jacques driving his father's Ferrari at Fiorano, a Villeneuve in a Ferrari once again. Well done Ferrari.

Edited by halifaxf1fan, 09 April 2012 - 03:16.


#116 arttidesco

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 18:05

Thanks to my fellow TNFer's for pointing this thread out and thanks to Mr Hughes for illustrating something I have always felt but lacked any evidence to confirm, namely that GV was the best period. :up:

#117 halifaxf1fan

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 18:46

Thanks to my fellow TNFer's for pointing this thread out and thanks to Mr Hughes for illustrating something I have always felt but lacked any evidence to confirm, namely that GV was the best period. :up:



That Mr. Hughes is a good guy!

#118 Slowinfastout

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 18:52

JV already drove his father's car at Goodwood I believe, so it isn't a first.. but bring it on anyway, I hope the event at Fiorano will be properly covered because I want to see as much as possible of that!

here's a cool vid from the Goodwood thing:

#119 halifaxf1fan

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 19:18

JV already drove his father's car at Goodwood I believe, so it isn't a first.. but bring it on anyway, I hope the event at Fiorano will be properly covered because I want to see as much as possible of that!

here's a cool vid from the Goodwood thing:



Thanks. That was good.

Look how little protection Gilles had around his feet!

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#120 Les

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 21:32

JV already drove his father's car at Goodwood I believe, so it isn't a first.. but bring it on anyway, I hope the event at Fiorano will be properly covered because I want to see as much as possible of that!

here's a cool vid from the Goodwood thing:


Indeed it would be nice if Sky gave it proper coverage. Maybe they could make Gilles a feature of the 'Legends' series? I know an interview is impossible but it would be nice to see Gilles & other dead legends featuring achieve footage and interviews with those involved.

#121 JacnGille

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 00:46

Good news that Ferrari are going to mark the 30th anniversary of his death next month:

http://notepad.badge...-villenueves-de

:clap:

#122 TheBunk

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 02:48

Good news that Ferrari are going to mark the 30th anniversary of his death next month:

http://notepad.badge...-villenueves-de


Nice!

#123 SeanValen

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 03:38

In the way we had Enzo Ferrari the car after Mr Ferrari himself. I would like a Ferrari named after Gilles one day, him and Enzo got on well as well, it would be fitting.



#124 Aviator

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 07:18

Apart from his very loved ones- only few persons on our sad planet really felt [not realized, or understood, or saw or whatever] but really felt what Gilles -that exceptional human being- was. Anyway, 30 years ago I experienced the most painful Saturday of my life. 30 years later the pain is getting worst. Maybe it is because I am getting older. Yeah, Ferrari is "honoring" the man. Better late than never you will say. Sure...

#125 sopa

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 14:28

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:


The problem is that his career was too short and that's why people are reluctant to really elevate GV into the status of an all-time great. He was just starting out his fifth full season in F1 before fatal accident.

For example imagine Senna had died in early 1988. Surely he would have gone into history as a mighty talented and perhaps potentially the fastest driver of his time (which he was considered to be while at Lotus), but would he be an all-time great? Not sure, having not proven himself properly with WDC's yet.

Edited by sopa, 09 April 2012 - 14:29.


#126 Tombstone

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 21:10

I would like a Ferrari named after Gilles one day ... it would be fitting.


It would spin at almost every turn, handle like **** and chew it's tyres.



Hey, maybe Massa's already driving it?

#127 JacnGille

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 01:18

:lol:


#128 PLAYLIFE

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:28

Throw the statistics and team-mate comparisons out the door, they mean little.

The fact that Gilles' peers spoke so highly of him both as a man and as a driver, to me, proves that he was as good as what he's been made out to be.
To be complimented by his peers while he was alive, not just after he died, says everything.

Those accolades mean a hell of a lot more than a stats table in a book.

#129 Henri Greuter

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:58

In that case Jody's fate would have been still pretty cruel: gaining 7 points more over the season and still losing the title because of an arbitrary split.



Imagine the cruelty of 1988: Over the entire (16 race) season Prost scored 11 points more than Senna. 11 Points! A number of points that only 8 (!) other drivers besides managed to score in the entire season besides himself and Senna. Ony 10 drivers scored 11 or more points that season!
And still because of only the best 11 of of 16 counting for the title Prost loses out for the title to Senna with 3 points.....

Henri

Edited by Henri Greuter, 10 April 2012 - 08:59.


#130 Henri Greuter

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:02

Throw the statistics and team-mate comparisons out the door, they mean little.

The fact that Gilles' peers spoke so highly of him both as a man and as a driver, to me, proves that he was as good as what he's been made out to be.
To be complimented by his peers while he was alive, not just after he died, says everything.

Those accolades mean a hell of a lot more than a stats table in a book.




I read the latest edition of Motor Sport.
Contains a number of eye openers by people who know better than the majority of us writing in this thread, including me.


Henri

#131 JacnGille

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 12:49

The fact that Gilles' peers spoke so highly of him both as a man and as a driver, to me, proves that he was as good as what he's been made out to be.
To be complimented by his peers while he was alive, not just after he died, says everything.

Those accolades mean a hell of a lot more than a stats table in a book.

:up:

#132 RayInTorontoCanada

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 18:48

There is some body of thought which suggests the greatest F1 grid ever assembled was at Rio for the 1982 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Some say that the current grid is 'the greatest', the most talented ever.

Regardless, even if the Rio grid of 1982 is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, ever, then there is a body of thought which suggests that the drivers on that grid rated Villeneuve as the fastest of them all.

Now, 'fastest' doesn't always translate to 'best'. But there were way too many drivers - not all mind you - that thought Gilles was the best of them at that time.

Edited by RayInTorontoCanada, 10 April 2012 - 18:49.


#133 jj2728

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 20:19

I read the latest edition of Motor Sport.
Contains a number of eye openers by people who know better than the majority of us writing in this thread, including me.
Henri


Don't have the latest edition yet Henri, what was said?

#134 jcbc3

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 20:27

A wise man once said: You are what your record say you are.

I will give you that Villeneuve was the fastest Ferrari driver in the years 1980, 1981 and the first couple of races in 1982. He was patently not the fastest Ferrari driver in 1978 and 1979. As has been shown before. I am sorry, but in order to be considered one of the greatest you need a larger body of work in my opinion.

#135 Mandzipop

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 21:14

Posts deleted. Can we please stay on topic.

#136 scheivlak

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 22:45

There is some body of thought which suggests the greatest F1 grid ever assembled was at Rio for the 1982 Brazilian Grand Prix.

OT: I won't say that of a grid including Slim Borgudd, Chico Serra and Eliseo Salazar  ;)
Compare that with the 1967 Monaco grid where every driver had finished or would finish at least in the top 3 of a WDC GP..... which could be said of the three DNQ's as well!

Slightly more on topic:

I remember I was there when Villeneuve first drove the Ferrari at Fiorano. He spun wildly about three times and, with everything wreathed in smoke, he came into the pits. Forghieri looked at him, shaking his head, and said, 'Gilles, this is a Formula One Ferrari, it is not a Formula Atlantic car. You cannot stop it like an Atlantic car. You cannot use the brakes like that!'
"'Brakes?' Villeneuve said. 'What do you mean, brakes? I haven't even touched them yet...'
"You should have seen Forghieri's face!"


http://www.autosport...icle.php/id/314


#137 RayInTorontoCanada

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 00:08

OT: I won't say that of a grid including Slim Borgudd, Chico Serra and Eliseo Salazar ;)
Compare that with the 1967 Monaco grid where every driver had finished or would finish at least in the top 3 of a WDC GP..... which could be said of the three DNQ's as well!

Slightly more on topic:


Aha ha! Well yes, of course. :) But look who was on it from the Sharp End:

Prost & Villeneuve (sharing Row 1) Lauda, Rosberg, Piquet, Mansell, Reutemann, Laffite, Arnoux. Pironi...

It's rightly regarded one of the greatest grids.

The 1967 Monaco Grid you mentioned was another. The Italian GP grid of 1978 another. The first four rows of the 1991 Italian GP another. The current grid is yet another. Imagine if Kubica hadn't been in that rallying accident? We would be looking at the greatest depth of talent ever on one single grid, frankly. :up:

We are in a Golden Age once again!

#138 FigJam

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 01:29

A wise man once said: You are what your record say you are.

I will give you that Villeneuve was the fastest Ferrari driver in the years 1980, 1981 and the first couple of races in 1982. He was patently not the fastest Ferrari driver in 1978 and 1979. As has been shown before. I am sorry, but in order to be considered one of the greatest you need a larger body of work in my opinion.


1978 & 1979 were Gilles first 2 seasons in F1...were they not?



#139 jcbc3

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:22

1978 & 1979 were Gilles first 2 seasons in F1...were they not?


Indeed. But people are calling Villeneuve among the greatest. Compare the other greats first two years to their team mates at the time and you'll see that they were instantly better. Also remember that Villeneuve were dominating a completely disinterested Jody in 1980 and a journeyman driver in 1981 and '82. I am still agreeing that Villeneuve was one of the very best drivers during those years. I am saying that that does not make him an all time great.

Someone mentioned that if Senna had had as short a career as GV, we wouldn't have known how good he was. My counter argument is that if Baghetti had stopped hid career short we would have thought of him as the best talent ever. My point being that you can not proclaim anyone great without them having had a comparatively full career.

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#140 PayasYouRace

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:11

Indeed. But people are calling Villeneuve among the greatest. Compare the other greats first two years to their team mates at the time and you'll see that they were instantly better. Also remember that Villeneuve were dominating a completely disinterested Jody in 1980 and a journeyman driver in 1981 and '82. I am still agreeing that Villeneuve was one of the very best drivers during those years. I am saying that that does not make him an all time great.

Someone mentioned that if Senna had had as short a career as GV, we wouldn't have known how good he was. My counter argument is that if Baghetti had stopped hid career short we would have thought of him as the best talent ever. My point being that you can not proclaim anyone great without them having had a comparatively full career.


Perhaps you should look at the stories behind the statistics to get a more complete picture.

#141 jcbc3

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:22

Perhaps you should look at the stories behind the statistics to get a more complete picture.


Let's take the 11 seconds faster story.
How many ventured out? How many did of these made a real effort? Who went out?

So let's say that it was an unimaginable act of fantastic driving. But 11 seconds?
Maybe the Ferrari was imminently better suited to the conditions? Maybe Villeneuve was an ace in slippery conditions (which would make sense considering his earlier exploits). And then again maybe he wasn't ace in drier conditions (as his records in qualifying show).

Problem is that as long as these, in my opinion, relevant questions can be asked you can't with any kind of certainty annoint GV one of the greatest ever.

We are talking opinions. They are like a-holes. Everybody has one. You have yours. I have mine.

:kiss:

#142 Henri Greuter

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:14

Let's take the 11 seconds faster story.
How many ventured out? How many did of these made a real effort? Who went out?

So let's say that it was an unimaginable act of fantastic driving. But 11 seconds?
Maybe the Ferrari was imminently better suited to the conditions? Maybe Villeneuve was an ace in slippery conditions (which would make sense considering his earlier exploits). And then again maybe he wasn't ace in drier conditions (as his records in qualifying show).

Problem is that as long as these, in my opinion, relevant questions can be asked you can't with any kind of certainty annoint GV one of the greatest ever.

We are talking opinions. They are like a-holes. Everybody has one. You have yours. I have mine.

:kiss:



This was mentioned in the MotorSport feature on Gilles.


You kind of ridicule the 11 seconds at Watkins Glen, yes it was only 10.7. And how many others went out and so on.
A friend of mine was there that day at Watkins Glen and he still tates that practice session of Gilles one of the best ever performances of any driver ever if it came to showing his skills and level of car control and the highlight of the day and the entire weekend.

Largely forgotten from that event is that Gilles had a battle with Alan Jones (who always spoke highly about Gilles) and eventually Gilles went on to win the race but in the final moments of the race his oil pressure was nearly gone.
Nevertheless, Gilles nursed his car home and won the race.

Car breaker? Hard on his equipment all the time?

But despite al the actions he did, I have rarely heard and read about drivers who complained about his actions and considered him dangerous to himself and others. To himself yes, but not with others. He was tough in a straight duel but never, ever unfair or ruthless like some drivers, a certain Brazilian in particular who sometimes are compared with him.
Jarama 1981 a perfect example. No-one could pass him yet none of the four driver behind him ever accused Gilles of blocking them or making it dangerous to even try to overtake him. Yes he was holding them up but they simply couldn't get by him and none of the drivers complained about it.

I am not going to try to change your opinion, you have yours and you stick to it.
But as some say, he was indeed overrated in some aspects, but at the same time he is also underrated in a number of other aspects.

He wasn't the best ever, and some of his actions I have doubst and hesitations about to herald them. But he has done miracles with inferior cars that to this day I still find difficult to believe that it ever happened and that makes him for me one of the very best of all time and my definite favourite. The more while he did not need dirty tricks and disgusting acts within his team or on track to achieve it.

Henri

Edited by Henri Greuter, 11 April 2012 - 09:32.


#143 PayasYouRace

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:37

Let's take the 11 seconds faster story.
How many ventured out? How many did of these made a real effort? Who went out?

So let's say that it was an unimaginable act of fantastic driving. But 11 seconds?
Maybe the Ferrari was imminently better suited to the conditions? Maybe Villeneuve was an ace in slippery conditions (which would make sense considering his earlier exploits). And then again maybe he wasn't ace in drier conditions (as his records in qualifying show).

Problem is that as long as these, in my opinion, relevant questions can be asked you can't with any kind of certainty annoint GV one of the greatest ever.

We are talking opinions. They are like a-holes. Everybody has one. You have yours. I have mine.

:kiss:


Sounds like you've already made your mind up. I'd rather see things with a more open mind, and agree with Henri's post.

#144 scheivlak

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:38

You kind of ridicule the 11 seconds at Watkins Glen, yes it was only 10.7.


Actually, it was only 9.6 seconds :D

#145 Henri Greuter

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 10:12

Actually, it was only 9.6 seconds :D



So be it, even if it was only 5 or less....
I am not surprised that the time difference is exaggerated. Some unheard aff performances seem to become exaggerated over time and I'm pretty sure that to some of Gilles' heroics has happened the same. I won't deny that. I took the 10.7 since I read it recently, in this thread perhaps?


My friend who was there told me about that day that it had been a miserable day and a wasted one at the track since conditions were so bad that it made little sense to get out.
But among the things he told me about seeing Gilles drive that session was that this performance really had made the day worthwhile. not only because Gilles was one of a few drivers who went out and at least had the audience seeing and hearing an F1 car that day. But also the manner how he drove his car that session was a sight to behold and something rarely seen before and ever since. Not only because there was so much else that happened that day to discuss but it was the talk of the day for him and his friends that day.
My friend's prime interest was and is Indy and dirtcar racing but he liked F1 at the Glen too and went whenever he had the chance. He didn't became a Gilles fan because of what he had seen. But to this day he still rates Gilles in the rain at the Glen in '79 as one of the most spectacular displays of a race car being driven at speed and an ultimate example of car control. as he said it to me: "Worth the soaking of that day....."

Henri

Edited by Henri Greuter, 11 April 2012 - 10:13.


#146 PLAYLIFE

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 10:21

We are talking opinions. They are like a-holes. Everybody has one. You have yours. I have mine.

:kiss:


Yup precisely.

This was my point. Opinions from his peers are worth their weight in gold. Forget yours, mine and everyone else's on this board. Listen to the guys who knew him, knew his skill, knew what his car was capable of etc.

If drivers at the time said he was the best of their era, then he was the best of their era.

#147 PLAYLIFE

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 10:36

I don't know the source so I can't verify how legitimate it is, but there is a quote floating about from Jody Scheckter regarding the Glen '79:

"I scared myself rigid that day. I thought I had to be quickest. Then I saw Gilles's time and — I still don't really understand how it was possible. Eleven seconds."

If someone knows the source and can verify the quote that would be great (so we can put this potentially urban myth of a gap to sleep once and for all!).

#148 as65p

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 10:43

My friend who was there told me about that day that it had been a miserable day and a wasted one at the track since conditions were so bad that it made little sense to get out.
But among the things he told me about seeing Gilles drive that session was that this performance really had made the day worthwhile. not only because Gilles was one of a few drivers who went out and at least had the audience seeing and hearing an F1 car that day. But also the manner how he drove his car that session was a sight to behold and something rarely seen before and ever since. Not only because there was so much else that happened that day to discuss but it was the talk of the day for him and his friends that day.
My friend's prime interest was and is Indy and dirtcar racing but he liked F1 at the Glen too and went whenever he had the chance. He didn't became a Gilles fan because of what he had seen. But to this day he still rates Gilles in the rain at the Glen in '79 as one of the most spectacular displays of a race car being driven at speed and an ultimate example of car control. as he said it to me: "Worth the soaking of that day....."

Henri


I think everyone would have felt privileged that day watching it happen. Yet, the bolded applies too, and it certainly explains the gap. I mean, GV wasn't seconds faster than his peers in every wet session, or was he? The only logical explanation is that nobody else tried nearly as hard, because, well, it made little sense.

I think, this" to-hell-with-everything-I'm-driving-the-socks-off-that-thing-no-matter-what" attitude of GV is what made him unique and a hero, and rightfully so. But as a gauge to his ultimate speed and potential compared to the acknowledged greats of F1, pointing to performances like that famous Watkins Glen practice is simply misleading.

#149 scheivlak

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 11:08

I don't know the source so I can't verify how legitimate it is, but there is a quote floating about from Jody Scheckter regarding the Glen '79:

"I scared myself rigid that day. I thought I had to be quickest. Then I saw Gilles's time and — I still don't really understand how it was possible. Eleven seconds."

If someone knows the source and can verify the quote that would be great (so we can put this potentially urban myth of a gap to sleep once and for all!).

There have been at least two threads on TNF here about that, don't have the time now to find them.
Conclusions IIRC:
- It was 11 seconds when Gilles crossed the line, later Jody put it down to "just" 9.6 seconds.
- There were just 5 or so drivers on the track during the entire session as it was completely flooded, and nobody had the guts to try to go the limit - apart from Gilles.
Jody was second with some margin on the others.

Edited by scheivlak, 11 April 2012 - 11:10.


#150 Henri Greuter

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 11:24

I think everyone would have felt privileged that day watching it happen. Yet, the bolded applies too, and it certainly explains the gap. I mean, GV wasn't seconds faster than his peers in every wet session, or was he? The only logical explanation is that nobody else tried nearly as hard, because, well, it made little sense.

I think, this" to-hell-with-everything-I'm-driving-the-socks-off-that-thing-no-matter-what" attitude of GV is what made him unique and a hero, and rightfully so. But as a gauge to his ultimate speed and potential compared to the acknowledged greats of F1, pointing to performances like that famous Watkins Glen practice is simply misleading.




I think I understand what you try to say.and I can get along with that mind of thinking.
Do you feel the same about Senna in Monaco '88 when he had pole locked up by a large margin already but still wanted to go out and went out to go even faster? (which to his credit he did achieve and gave us another memorable moment in racing but one of which you may also wonder what........)


henri