Selling courage, altruism and a mixture of anger and pride to explode on the track, in Gilles Villeneuve’s word. “The Last Great Driver”, as “certain” Alain Prost liked to call him, is able to sell himself a house to take himself into the world of Formula 1 to become a legend and fly away from the cursed Saturday of Zolder to descend into the legend of the motors world. Moving on to that circus he immediately baptized him with the nickname “The Pilot” for his reckless way of driving, so much so that fans and admirers of Ferrari, those at the time and who later learned to know him, fall in love with him. Fans who, forty years after the shocking death (anniversary Sunday), remember the actions of a thoroughbred stuntman at the wheel always on the edge of the shell as in the fencing in Dijon in the last overtaking with René Arnault or in the three-wheeled ride in Zandvoort.
A talent born, enough to convince Enzo Ferrari to take him to Maranello by snatching him from McLaren who fired the Canadian into F1 but then preferred Frenchman Patrick Tambay best. Cases of Destiny that green-lighted one of the most memorable red Ferrari stories of The Race Queen, a rare Academy Award-winning movie cut short with a predictable ending as much as dramatic. When, at the end of qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix, Villeneuve wanted at all costs to stay on track to do better than his companion and friend Didier Pironi. The same one who betrayed him in the previous Imola GP by ignoring the obvious (‘slow’) signal to the pits, which left the Canadian over a deserved victory, in a race dominated by the Reds in the absence of English cars (Lotus), Brabham and McLaren not proceeding to moving forward a regulatory issue regarding minimum weight). It was at 13:52 on May 8, 1982 that Gilles Villeneuve’s very fast life came to a sudden halt in exchange for a slower rally at No. 17, led by Jochen Maas. It had a massive impact at 225 km/h, which proved to be the killer of the Ferrari driver whose car got out of control and crashed onto a bridge.
A blow to the red heart for all the pony lovers who were lucky enough to enjoy the ‘Aviator’ years at Maranello (from 1977 to 1982) and which they will be able to relive thanks to the TV specials scheduled for the 40th anniversary of her disappearance. A first evening signed by Rai Documentari on May 10 on Rai Due with “Gilles Villeneuve – The Aviator”: the pilot who revived the legend of Nuvolari, and who is still remembered today as one of the most brave and lovable people ever. His wife Joanne speaks on Sky on the occasion in the preview clip taken from the documentary Villeneuve Pironi, also out on NOW, which explores the thrilling story of the F1 legend. “Gil – recalls the Canadian ace’s wife – thinks one has to live on the edge of the abyss. The best thing for him is to kiss the septum.” A legend that will forever remain in the memory of those who love Formula 1. Although the “Pilot” did not win the World Drivers’ Championship, the most sought-after goal was, however, fully deservedly passed by his son Jacques who thus managed to do better than his father by winning a championship Formula 1 with Williams in 1997. The pledge that brought the entire circus back in time to this title is, unfortunately only fictional, that the “biggest bastard you could race against (as Kiki Rosberg defined Giles)” could and should win with Ferrari from “Drake”. “.
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