Posted 10 March 2003 - 16:40
The loss of Barry Sheene reminds me of how similar both were. You just don't get people like that these days, people with supreme talents, but Jack Nicholson like crazy daredevil attitude. Maybe that's inevitable - I mean, not only would Gilles find it nearly impossible to get a drive these days, but also he would not have found it so alluring to him in the first place. Both people were supreme risk takers, and did so willingly, for it was what they loved the most on Earth. It was all the more remarkable how lovable they were off track, despite their ferocious competitiveness, one really felt that if you were their friend, you would be there for life, not just when it suited them.
For many reasons the sport these days is more sterile, and less friendly. An open man like Gilles would have found that strange. Perhaps these days Gilles would have been drawn to motorcycling, where money and image counts for less, where poorer people can still make an impact, a sport more in tune with F1 of old.