-- "Ragged Edge", Nicholas Watts

Gilles Villeneuve

January 18, 1950 - May 8, 1982

"Gilles was the fastest driver in the history of motor racing. But more important for me is that he was the most genuine person I have ever known."
	-- Jody Scheckter (world champion, who, as teammate, Gilles
		basicallly gave the championship to in 1979)

Some Words About Gilles

"He was a totally uncomplicated non-political guy with no hangups whatsoever. He was totally and completely honest. If he were testing, and the car was rubbish, he'd come in and say 'Look, it's rubbish; I don't mind, don't get me wrong, I'll drive it all day and love every minute of it, but I thought that you ought to know the car's rubbish.' The Old Man (Ferrari) loved him for this."

	-- Harvey Postlewaithe

"His car control was extraordinary, ever compared with the many talented drivers I have had the opportunity to drive against over the years. He drove a Grand Prix car to the absolute limit of its ability."

	-- Jackie Stewart (multiple world driving champion)

"I think Gilles was the perfect racing driver. He had the best talent of all of us."

	-- Niki Lauda (multiple world driving champion)

"I know that no human being can perform miracles, but Gilles made you wonder sometimes."

	-- Jacques Laffite

"Niki Lauda always said that Villneuve was the best of their era. ... Behind the wheel of a racing car he was fearfully quick, never stopped trying, and could extracticate himself from the most precarious situations with deft brilliance."

	-- Alan Henry

"The crowds loved him because he, of all the men out there, was so clearly working without a net."

	-- Nigel Roebuck

"He also never drove anywhere at anything less than an absolutely flat-out pace, be it on the road or the track..."

	-- Harvey Postlewaithe

"In a situation like that I know I would have been scared stiff. But I am sure that when Gilles felt his Ferrari take off, his last thought was anger, plain and simple, because he knew that he has spoiled that one perfect lap."

	-- Eddie Cheever

"His death has deprived us of a great champion - one that I loved very much. My past is scarred with grief; parents, brother, son. My life is full of sad memories. I look back and see the faces of my loved ones, and among them I see him."

	-- Enzo Ferrari

"His death signifed the passing of a certain approach. He was the last person who had the totally un-inhibited joy of driving a racing car."

	-- Alan Henry

"Quite seriously, I've never felt anything like the same about racing ever since. I nearly packed it up."

	-- Nigel Roebuck

"I was at home in Monaco that Sunday. A friend of mine called from Zolder and said 'Gilles has had a big accident, and it doesn't look good at all.' So I phoned Joann, and shot up to her place very quickly. From then on it was chaos and disaster. You don't want to think about it."

	-- Jody Scheckter

"The kids were just 8 and 10 years old and seemed to be doing much better than I expected. That first night they both went upstairs to bed, and later I went up to check on them. They were asleep. When I saw Melanie I started crying. She had a picture of her dad with her. She was holding it in her arms."

	-- John Lane

"I will drive flat out all the time. I love racing."

	-- Gilles Villeneuve

"Gilles was the fastest driver in the history of motor racing. But more important for me is that he was the most genuine person I have ever known."

	-- Jody Scheckter


If there's been a finer epitaph ever spoken than Jody's words about Gilles as a person ("the most genuine person I have ever known"), I don't know what it is. I don't think anyone could possibly have a higher goal in life than to have that said of them. To me, this ranks right up there with Simonides' "Go tell the Spartans, passer-bye, that here, obedient to their word, we lie."

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