Belgian GP 1980- Zolder
Gilles Villeneuve streames his Ferrari T5 round the Zolder circuit
during qualification for the 1980 Belgian GP
watercolour 42 x 29 cm
Gilles Villeneuve scored just six Grand Prix wins in his short career and never became World Champion. More often than not, his races seemed to end with his Ferrari stuck in a gravel trap or wedged up against a barrier. But he drove with a passion and style which endeared him to fans, including many of the current F1 drivers. In an era of robots, Gilles stood out, but only rarely did he have a car worthy of his talent. He made his mark in snowmobile racing in Canada, but cars were more attractive because they were faster! He was soon established as one of the leading lights in formula Atlantic and made a massive impression when James Hunt and other stars made guest appearances at Trois Rivières. Thanks to Hunt, he got to drive a third McLaren at the 1977 British GP. McLaren boss Teddy Mayer didn’t want to take him full-time and before the end of the year he replaced the departed Niki Lauda at Ferrari. In the early days, there were lots of accidents, but the talent and sheer speed was evident. The first win came in Montreal in 1978 and a year later he gave team-mate Jody Scheckter a close run for the title. Miraculous wins at Monaco and Jarama in 1981 helped to shape the legend. He finally had a decent car again in 1982, but he died at Zolder when, as usual, he was running flat-out
(Source: Autosport magazine)
Marie-Jeanne with Gilles Villeneuve, Marco Piccinini and Rob Walker.