“The guy never gave up”

11. Jun 2024 
by Ziv Knoll

Australian Alan Jones, the 1980 F1 World Champion, raced for many years against the legendary Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, in his colourful style he remembers: “Know what I remember most about Gilles? I was behind him in the early laps at Monaco in ’81, me in the Williams FW07 and him in that shit-box Ferrari turbo.”

Jones continues: “He was holding me up a bit, and we both knew it. Now, most guys in that situation will sit there, and be bloody-minded about it, but Gilles was smarter than that. That old tank of his was heavy as hell, and he knew that if he stayed ahead of me he soon wasn’t going to have any brakes.”

“So he let me by into Mirabeau (picture above) – by which I mean that he left me a gap about an inch wider than my car! He didn’t make it easy, but it was there if I wanted it – and I absolutely knew that the gap wouldn’t close once I was into it. Which wasn’t true of someone like Piquet.”

Alan Jones concludes: “I had trouble later in the race, and Gilles re-passed me and won – and the greatest compliment I can pay him is to say that, while I wasn’t exactly delirious with joy, it had to happen, I was glad that he was the one to benefit from it. The guy just never gave up. A lovely bloke, and a fantastic racing driver – the best I ever raced against…”

We can only agree with Alan Jones, and even tough Gilles Villeneuve only won 6 Grand Prix in his (too) short career, he is widely considered as one of the fastest, if not the fastest and bravest drivers that has ever been. Legendary Gilles…


Source: DR

Leave a comment