Gilles Villeneuve won only six of his 67 grands prix and has not a single world championship to his name. History, though, goes beyond numbers and will remember the diminutive French Canadian as one of the sport's greatest competitors.
Perhaps Villeneuve's finest moment was his performance in a sodden practice session for the US Grand Prix East at Watkins Glen in 1979. His Ferrari team-mate Jody Scheckter, the new world champion, was confident of being comfortably fastest, until he looked at the timesheets; Villeneuve was over 9.5 seconds quicker.
A horrific accident in qualifying for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix ultimately claimed Villeneuve's life. Speaking at his funeral Scheckter said: "I will miss Gilles for two reasons. First, he was the fastest driver in the history of motor racing. Second, he was the most genuine man I have ever known."
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|Born||18 Jan 1950|
|Died||8 May 1982|
|Active years||1977 - 1982|