here are some of my favourite facts about the most equivocally ferrari driver to ever exist, gilles villeneuve.
instead of karting, he made his start in snowmobile racing which is why he was so rapid in corners and ballsy in the wet.
he mortgaged his house to buy a helicopter that he flew to races. to announce his arrival to the paddock he would do a fly-by as low to the ground as possible.
when he wasn’t flying helicopters he used to park his road cars by doing a 180° skid into the parking spot which drove enzo ferrari MAD.
once he drag raced his 1981 car (big red cadillac my beloved) against a supersonic airfighter, won and did a bunch of high speed doughnuts at the end of the runway.
this one time he took a couple of his sponsors on a joyride around toronto in one of their shitbox sedans. he literally went on verges and shit to go past traffic.
he played the trumpet bc why not.
literally just the entire zandfoort saga. crazy little man.
also i cannot express this enough; EVERYONE loved him. literally the drivers, team bosses, mechanics, you name it. the og small chaotic pleasant guy of the grid. we miss you gilles and ferrari are still not over you!!
i am still never going to be over the fact that michael schumacher has raced against a huge amount of iconic f1 drivers, beating almost every single one of them and becoming an all time great yet he has gone on record saying the only one he ever truly respected was mika häkkinen. just imagine this man who is at the pinnacle of motorsport being able to single out just one (1) other driver who he ever considered worthy of his time in his 20 years in the game despite the fact that they could only ever truly battle together for four of those years. mika was never going to tolerate michaels shit and he knew exactly how to communicate this with him unlike anyone else, and suddenly schumi was like !!! i have met my match !!! which was only intensified by the fact that mika was such a phenomenally fast, clean racer. their racing was so exhilarating and their fights so breathtaking that i can only urge any of you to watch their highlights (please, if nothing else, watch THAT spa 2000 overtake); it was such a golden era for the sport and then you see moments like when michael breaks down over the realisation that he has beaten senna’s record and the fact that mika - over michaels OWN brother - is the one to give him the support and understanding he needed at the time, to share the emotions rather than invalidate him, to tell the reporters to give them a moment, is such a clear sign of the mutual respect they had for each other as human beings first and racing drivers second. i know that the sport has gone above and beyond to try and be less toxic and instead more emotionally aware but i truly believe no one else will ever do it like them.