Remembering Canada’s greatest Formula 1 driver, Gilles Villeneuve


As 19-year-old driver Lance Stroll anticipates the start of the 2018 Formula 1 season, he hopes to duplicate a feat that fellow Canadian Gilles Villeneuve accomplished 40 years ago: score an F1 victory in only his second season on the circuit. Claiming Villeneuve’s title as the “greatest Canadian F1 driver of all time” will be much more difficult.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/02/05/remembering-gilles-villeneuve

 During the late 1970’s I used to visit with Grandmother on most

weekends, arriving on Friday evening and leaving for the drive home after
supper on Sunday. During Sunday afternoons the television was usually
tuned to CBC sports. Quite often a live Formula 1 race was being broadcast and as a teenaged Canadian I watched with fascination as Gilles
piloted his Ferrari around the race circuit. This was what started my lifelong
interest in motorsport, and sports car in general. I credit Gilles as the
inspiration for this continuing love for sports and racing cars. I wanted to
be a race car driver myself, but I never got started. There was no place to
drive even a go-cart on the Island that I live on. But that is all right, my interest remains; that is the important thing. Years later I would make my
first pilgrimage to Monteal for the annual Canadian Grand Prix. It was a thrill to watch the greats of the 80’s and 90’s race there, but my favourite
race was the Canadian Grand Prix of 1997… the year that Jacques became world Formula 1 Champion. He didn’t win at Montreal that year, but he went
on to victory as the season progressed. Great memories for this proud Canadian race fan. Thanks go out posthumously to Gilles and my late Grandmother for being the inspirations for my love and fascination with
motorsport. Salut Gillies ; thank you Grandma, May you both rest in
peace. Darren.