33 years to the day after his untimely death, Canada’s late, great Formula One star Gilles Villeneuve was remembered by Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene on Friday.
Arrivabene was pictured in Spain wearing an armband featuring the number 27 – digits that became synonymous with Villeneuve during his spectacular career with Ferrari.
To many, Villeneuve remains the personification of the Grand Prix gladiator. Revered for his natural talent, supreme car control and audacious nerve behind the wheel, he is widely considered to be among the greatest talents the sport has ever produced.
He competed in 67 Grands Prix, winning six, including a memorable first victory on home soil in 1978 – the first year of a ‘dream’ move to Ferrari. But Villeneuve was about more than just statistics. His scintillating, wheel-banging fight for second with Renault’s Rene Arnoux in France in 1979 remains one the most memorable F1 battles, just as Villeneuve remains one of the sport’s most enduring and endearing legends.
His career was tragically cut short on May 8, 1982, when he crashed heavily in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder.
Villeneuve’s legacy lives on however, not least through son Jacques, who became a Formula One world champion with Williams in 1997. Canada’s Grand Prix venue in Montreal also bears his name.
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