Talk:Gilles Villeneuve

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Good articleGilles Villeneuve has been listed as one of the Sports and recreation good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
July 22, 2006Good article nomineeListed
October 23, 2006Peer reviewReviewed
February 28, 2009Good article reassessmentKept
Current status: Good article

Villeneuve alive when medics arrived?[edit]

I heard somewhere that he was still barely alive when the medical teams reached him, maybe could be worth researcing?

According the Donaldson biography, which is a pretty highly regarded book, he was not declared dead until 9:12 that evening and had been maintained on a life support machine up to that point. There were attempts to resuscitate him immediately after the accident, but Prof Sid Watkins is of the view that the outcome was inevitable once the accident occured. This pretty much fits with what the article currently says. 4u1e 09:24, 7 July 2006 (UTC)


How do you pronounce his name?

Something like 'Geal (soft 'g', like 'generate') Veel - nerve' and camp up your French accent (Yes, I know, French-Canadian not the same as French!) Hope that helps, I don't know how that fancy phonetic notation works. If anyone does, they could add it to the article :) 4u1e
I've rather dubiously come up with this: ʒilə vilənœvə for pronunciation. Anyone know if that's right? 4u1e 21:34, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
No, the phonetic notation in the article is correct: ʒil vilnœv is the correct French-Canadian pronounciation. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 20:17, 2 May 2007 (UTC).
Good to know. I got the one used in the article with the help of some people on the help desk. Cheers. 4u1e 08:31, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Selected article[edit]

It has been suggested at Portal talk:Formula One that this article be used as a selected article. It is also suggested (by me, not by any higher authority) that the following work is needed before doing so:

  • Provide references
  • Tidying up structure with suitable headings
  • 'Family life' for example. The period of Gilles' early career was quite hard for his wife, and of course there is Jacques as well.
  • Probably split into something like:
Early and family life
Racing Career
Pre-Formula One (Snowmobile racing, anyone?)
Formula One
Death - Much of the current wording would end up in this section, or the next one
Legacy - Villeneuve has made it into racing folklore, so I think 'Legacy' is appropriate here. Wouldn't be for most drivers. Done 4u1e 06:51, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
Refs etc Largely done? 4u1e 11 July
  • Consider whether the list of quotes is a suitable format for this article (personal view, here, so don't take that as gospel!)
  • Suggest it would be more suitable to move most of them to wikiquote (and then put the wikiquote box at the bottom of this page) and maybe keep a couple to illustrate the article. 4u1e 3 July 2006
  • Well, I've taken executive action on this one - the quotes were all in Wikiquote already, so I've deleted them from here. 4u1e 11 July 2006
  • Usual spelling, grammar and wikilink checks.
  • Expand lead to provide suitable draw for readers. Think I've covered this. 4u1e

Feel free to knock any items off that list, or provide justification as to why they are not needed. Cheers. 4u1e 6 June 2006

I would also say that some more pictures would be good. 4u1e 19:09, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

One of Villeneuve in a 312T3 added (Thanks again to Barry Boor) 4u1e 11 July 2006

The current intention is that this article should be brought up to Good Article status by 16 July. I likes a challenge. 4u1e 19:10, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Article also needs a summary table of results - anyone feel like knokcing one up, using the model from Mark Webber or Damon Hill? 4u1e 11 July 2006

Done. Cs-wolves 14:18, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

  • Good work there Cs-wolves. I've been away for a few days, should have checked on that before setting my deadlines! :-D Give me 24 hours to have a look over it. Off the top of my head I'm still a bit concerned about NPOV (not from your work, but from the article as it was) and it probably still needs fuller references. I can sort those - I've got Donaldson's biography here. Maybe you can look at NPOV and I'll do the references and if we sort that out we can go on as selected article tomorrow night. Cheers 4u1e 22:15, 16 July 2006 (UTC)


Is there actually a Gilles Villeneuve museum near Ile Notre-Dame? I don't remember seeing one when I was there, it's not listed on the Parc Jean-Drapeau map (which includes Ile Notre-Dame), and the only reference to a Gilles Villeneuve museum I can find is in his hometown of Berthierville, far enough away from Montreal that it wouldn't be considered "near Ile Notre-Dame". --CanSpice 00:34, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

On that basis I've removed this bit, leaving only reference to the museum in Berthierville.

Selected Article[edit]

OK - I reckon this is pretty much there (Apologies for the delay over references!). I've put it on the portal as the 'Selected Article'. Well done to all those who contributed! I've also nominated it for Good Article status, which will probably take a couple of weeks to come through, judging by the backlog on the nominations page. Cheers! 4u1e 08:03, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

GA passed[edit]

I have passed the article as a Good article as I felt it was an excellent read. With some extra work this could easily be made a featured article. Pascal.Tesson 02:22, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Reversion of changes to Pre-F1[edit]

I don't normally so this, but I really feel that the changes made to the 'pre-Formula One' section recently did not benefit this article at all. I have reverted that section only to the version of around 25 August. There were some spelling and grammar errors, but I'm afraid that the worst thing was that the logic of the writing went completely. If anyone wants to go into I can cover it point by point. Always happy to discuss, either here or at my talk page.

I will work back in some of the extra information that had been added though. Cheers. --4u1e 17:58, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Watkins Glen 1979[edit]

I don't know which is correct, but I noticed that the page for Gilles states that he was eleven seconds faster than anyone else during wet qualifying at the above race whilst the page for the race states he was nine seconds faster. Knowing Gilles, it was probably a combination of the two! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mighty Antar (talkcontribs) 02:14, 26 January 2007 (UTC).

I've referenced it now, which helps :-) It is given as 11 seconds by Nigel Roebuck. I've not been involved in the 1979 race article, but the quote is worded differently and most likely comes from a different source (Road and Track). The probable answer is that one (or both) of the journalists got the figure slightly wrong in their notes and it's been carried over from there. If anyone has the full stats for that race, we could confirm either way.4u1e 19:41, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Journalist Richard Chartier says that it's 11 sec during the Sunday race, not during practice. BTW, the journalist has an interesting story, if it is true. Here is what he says about the Watkins Glen 1979 race:

Les essais du vendredi se déroulent au sec. Le lendemain, il pleut, mais on annonce sec pour dimanche, alors tout le monde reste dans les box puisque, de tout façon, les temps de la veille ne peuvent être battus pour la grille de départ. Tout le monde, donc, reste dans les box, samedi, sauf un : Gilles Villeneuve. Il en fait rire plus d’un à rouler d’une manière un peu dérisoire dans la flotte, affichant des temps sans intérêt. Mais surprise, le jour de la course, il pleut. Tandis que les voitures, une à une, partent en aquaplaning et s’écrasent dans le décor, Villeneuve contourne calmement les flaques – il ne les voit pas, il a simplement mémorisé où elles sont – et file sans ambage vers la victoire. Messieurs, échec et mât! Marcus wilby73 (talkcontribs) 14:14, 5 May 2007 (UTC).

Can you point out where Chartier says it's 11 seconds during the race? The only relevant bit I could see was the section you've given above, which doesn't give a figure for how much faster Villeneuve was, either in the wet session or in the race. Indeed it doesn't actually say he was faster (although he did win, which is a clue!). For those who can't read it, the interesting story is that Villeneuve (who won the race) 'calmly avoided the puddles - he didn't see them, he had simply memorised where they were - while other cars aquaplaned off the circuit'. 4u1e 06:54, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm pretty certain it's not 11 seconds during the race. Nelson Piquet had the fastest lap of the race - see here. 4u1e 07:03, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

To recap the sources supporting the current version:

  • "On Friday, the rain was heavy enough all day that only a few cars even took the track, and fewer still made any serious attempt at a lap time. Of the six that did actually record a time, Villeneuve was fastest by over nine seconds! Scheckter, second fastest, thought he was mad, but was also quite in awe of the Canadian's performance in the conditions." Rob Walker (January, 1980). "21st United States Grand Prix: Muddier Matters". Road & Track, 104-107.
  • "...during the first afternoon of practice at Watkins Glen in 1979, when conditions were as bad as I have ever seen at a race circuit. In places the track was flooded, and only eight drivers ventured out. One of those who did was Scheckter, who was second fastest behind team mate Villeneuve. Eleven seconds behind..." Nigel Roebuck, Grand Prix Greats (1986) p.208 (This is the ref used in the article at present.
  • "The patented Villeneuve display began on Friday when the track was soaked and few cars even ventured out of the pits. In fact, most drivers thought the flooded tarmac was simply undriveable." The section goes on to quote Denis Jenkinson, Nigel Roebuck and Jeff Hutchinson - including Roebuck's comment (presumably from the same notes) that Villeneuve was eleven seconds faster, with Scheckter second. It goes on to say "his car was less manageable on dry Michelins and on Saturday Gilles's best efforts produced only third on the grid behind Jones and Piquet". Gerald Donaldson, Gilles Villeneuve (1989, 2003) pp.203-4.

Although the details vary in the number of cars and the size of the gap, all accounts agree that the wet session was on Friday and that Villeneuve was fastest by a large margin over Scheckter. I note that Donaldson very probably based his account on Roebuck's and Walker's versions. Roebuck was present on the day, by his account. The others may or may not have been. 4u1e 08:24, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

By contrast Chartier says that the wet session was on Saturday and that no-one else went out on track. He does not offer an opinion on Villeneuve's speed. 4u1e, 9 May 2007, 09:55
This one has always puzzled me. There have been many references over the last 30 years to this but I have never seen any of the timing. Does anyone know if it was a just a single lap - which would point to the possibility of a timing error - or if it was a consistent gap? If it cannot be substantiated in a meaningful way then it probably should be regarded as myth, much as we'd all like to believe it to be true. I have heard that both Scheckter and Lafitte commented at the time but I have no readily available references. I certainly got the impression that they accepted it as a matter of fact.Flanker235 (talk) 10:42, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Mike Lang's Grand Prix! Vol 4 quotes times of 2:01.437 for Villeneuve and 2:11.029 for Scheckter and adds that Villeneuve "[pushed] his Ferrari to its absolute limit of adhesion ... for lap after lap", implying that it was a consistent effort, not just a single lap. DH85868993 (talk) 13:18, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the reference. I knew he was out there for longer than the others and Scheckter made the point that he was scared stiff in the conditions while Villeneuve pushed on. I'm not saying or implying that it should be removed either: the story is still promulgated by a lot of people, including many drivers who were there. I would just like to know if a record of the lap times still exists. Given my suspicions of the possibility of a timing error, I still think it would make sense to try to verify it.Flanker235 (talk) 03:13, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Lang gives the full list of times as: Villeneuve: 2:01.437, Scheckter: 2:11.029, Brambilla: 2:24.957, Jones: 2:37.742, Lammers: 3:10.436 and Arnoux: 3:46.012, and also says that Reutemann and Stuck each gave up after a single, untimed lap. I couldn't find the full list of times anywhere on the 'net for confirmation, but presumably the FIA or the U.S. sanctioning body (ACCUS?) would have an official record of the times, if you're that keen to verify them. DH85868993 (talk) 11:23, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. These are the only times I have seen so in the absence of anything contrary, that seems proof enough. Thanks for digging them up. I have not been able to find any other times myself. What I did find out was that the difference was far less the following day when it was dry. No matter. He won anyway.Flanker235 (talk) 08:47, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Cause of death[edit]

Le Journal de Montréal reports today that a mechanic failure on the Ferrari car---the accelerator being stocked down at full speed---was the cause of Gilles Villeneuve going so fast at this portion of the race in the deadiest round. Also, the same journal reports that the Ferrari team would have forgotten to put a metal plaque underneath the seat, a plaque needed to solidity the grip of the safety belt. The lack of the plaque weakened the grip of the safety belt which failed to tie Villeneuve to his seat and thus avoid the deadly injuries that he suffered from his falling down the ground after being projected so high and so fast.

Okay, I found the article here:

Here is an excerpt:

Gilles était donc dans sa dernière tentative pour devancer Pironi, tandis que Jochen Mass, avec sa March, roulait au ralenti à l'entrée d'un virage après son dernier tour rapide.

Le Québécois a été éjecté avec son siège, ce qui l'a tué sur le coup (...) Plus tard, on a su qu'on avait oublié de mettre une plaque sous son siège afin de solidifier les attaches des ceintures de sécurité.

Il y a cinq ans, lors du 20e anniversaire, nous avions dévoilé la cause de cet accident : un accélérateur coincé, tout simplement. De son vivant, Gaston Parent n'avait confié cette information qu'à quelques personnes. «À l'époque, j'avais signé des documents de confidentialité avec monsieur Ferrari concernant les véritables causes de l'accident ainsi qu'une renonciation d'engager des poursuites afin d'accepter, au nom des héritiers de Gilles, des avantages financiers, nous avait-il dit. Après 20 ans, il est temps que la vérité soit connue.» Cela n'a rien changé à la triste fin, sauf qu'il n'a pas été victime d'une erreur de pilotage, mais bien d'une défaillance mécanique.

Now that's interesting! I'm out of time now, but will come back and have a closer look at this later today. Cheers. 4u1e 08:28, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Couple of quick comments:

  • Looks good to include. Quick translation (don't hammer me on total accuracy, please!): "Five years ago, on the 20th anniversary [of Villeneuve's death], we revealed the cause of the accident: simply a stuck accelerator. In his lifetime, Gaston Parent [Parent was Villeneuve's manager, for want of a better term] only trusted this information to a few people. 'At the time, I signed confidentiality documents with Mr Ferrari concerning the true causes of the accident, as well as an agreement not to pursue [legal action] in order to obtain financial benefits for Gilles' inheritors. After 20 years, it is time that the truth be known.' This does not change the sad outcome, except that he was not a victim of driver error, but of a mechanical failure."
  • One quibble with the account of the crash in that article - it's a bit inconsistent about the seat, stating in one place (correctly according to other sources) that Villeneuve was still strapped to the seat when he was thrown out of the car. Elsewhere it seems to suggest that there was a problem with the straps holding Villeneuve into his seat.
  • Not to be Francophobe, but it would be best if we can find an original source for this story in English somewhere, in the interests of making it as accessible as possible on the English language wiki. If we can't, then obviously we'd use the French language one. 4u1e, 9 May 2007, 10:40

The article states that Villeneuve lost his helmet before he was thrown from the wreck. I have often wondered about this. The preferred helmet of the day was a GPA, which used a unique clamshell method of fastening from underneath, so there was no chin strap at all. Villeneuve definitely used one. I have never read anything in the way of a coroner's report on this so I have no idea why it happened. What did happen was that GPA helmets seemed to disappear while other brands like Bell and Arai became more popular. GPA, as a motorsport helmet manufacturer, apparently went out of business in the 1980s. Does anyone know if there is a connection between the two events?Flanker235 (talk) 03:14, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Gilles Villeneuve Stamp.jpg[edit]

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Dead links[edit]

I noticed there are 3 external links not working anymore. Maybe someone could remove them. Thanks Boatswain88 (talk) 15:10, 19 September 2008 (UTC) BetacommandBot 22:47, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Deleted 1, fixed 2 others. Thanks for pointing it out. DH85868993 (talk) 11:47, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Why the external link referred to http:/ is continuously erased from the "link section" of the article? Please, explain me the reason, thanks.

I've explained several times before, but let's go through it again. Your site is a self-published tribute site (in other words it is not a recognised authority on the topic). That is not to say that it's not a good site, but as you can imagine, we need to have rules about which sites can be linked, otherwise a page such as this would fill up with all sorts of spam. Those rules are set out on this page: Wikipedia:External Links, and specifically at item 11 here. It specifically says that we are to avoid "Links to blogs, personal web pages and most fansites, except those written by a recognized authority (this exception is meant to be very limited; as a minimum standard, recognized authorities always meet Wikipedia's notability criteria for biographies)." Your page falls within that category and is not suitable. I hope this makes it clear. I have removed the link again.
Can I recommend that you register for an account if you are going to spend much time on Wikipedia? It's difficult to talk to you because you're on a dynamic IP account, so you won't always see messages left for you. Cheers. 4u1e (talk) 15:21, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
OK, I understood. This means that the most referred and complete link about Gilles Villeneuve, without spam, without sponsor, without banner, without subscription and without any commercial purpose is ignored. If this for you is the meaning of "Free(?!) Encyclopedia"...
Because it's not created by a noted expert on the topic? Yes, I'm afraid so. 4u1e (talk) 13:41, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Many thanks and good luck to all your experts...
I'm sorry you take it personally. Please don't - no websites similar to yours are allowed as external links anywhere on Wikipedia. 4u1e (talk) 20:56, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

GA Reassessment[edit]

This discussion is transcluded from Talk:Gilles Villeneuve/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the reassessment.

This article has been reviewed as part of Wikipedia:WikiProject Good articles/Project quality task force in an effort to ensure all listed Good articles continue to meet the Good article criteria. In reviewing the article, I have found that this article has massive issues that need to be urgently addressed.

  • It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
The prose is poor, perhaps 4/10. Many sections are messy, and the article is improperly organised - it should be a chronology of his career with the most important races highlighted, not in a section of their own. Some parts of the article suffer from Peacock prose and other problems.
  • It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
Most of the online references are inproperly formatted, there are numerous [citation needed] tags and big banner tags indicating sourcing problems. It also looks like a number of references may be unreliable (Youtube?).
  • It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
Writing problems make it difficult to tell.
Writing problems make it difficult to tell.
  • It is stable.
  • It contains images, where possible, to illustrate the topic.
    a (tagged and captioned): b (lack of images does not in itself exclude GA): c (non-free images have fair use rationales):
  • Overall:
    a Pass/Fail:

I will check back in no less than seven days. If progress is being made, the article will remain listed as a Good article. Otherwise, it may be delisted (such a decision may be challenged through WP:GAR). If improved after it has been delisted, it may be nominated at WP:GAN again. Feel free to drop a message on my talk page if you have any questions, and many thanks for all the hard work that has gone into this article thus far. (If you are really busy, let me know and I'll give more time. I need to know however so I can see that someone is interested in addressing these concerns.) Regards--Jackyd101 (talk) 09:37, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Made a start on the most obvious stuff. The way I see it the remaining work is reformatting refs (probably easiest to use templates), adding refs where necessary, an end to end re-write with a particular eye to WP:PEACOCK. A week should be OK, but I've got quite a few RealLifeTM demands on my time at present so that assessment may change. Cheers. 4u1e (talk) 09:27, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
No problem, take your time. Thankyou very much for taking this article on.--Jackyd101 (talk) 10:02, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
Just an update: obvious there is still more to do here. However, since work is progressing I am very happy to extend this review as long as required.--Jackyd101 (talk) 22:51, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
Fixed ref 1 formatting, found BBC article for ref 7. I ahve given the article a quick prose rewrite, but will message Jacky for explanation of "Peacock prose" as I cannot find anything on it in Wiki. The content seems ok, maybe a little brief on the 1978 season, but will leave that up to others to discuss for now. --Chaosdruid (talk) 02:16, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
For peacock prose, see WP:PEACOCK. "exceptionally popular not only with fans" as copied below - is an excellent example of peacock prose - unqualified and unreferenced praise.--Jackyd101 (talk) 02:19, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

In reply to the message on my talk page, the article now seems to cover his F1 career adequately, although I notice one or two minor prose issues which will will hihghlight when I do my final review.--Jackyd101 (talk) 22:55, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Hi, sorry its been a while, I've been very busy that last couple of weeks. I will have to hold off on the prose review (Although I will come to it when I can), but I can safely say that this article is in no danger of being delisted and will certainly pass when the review is complete. Regards. --Jackyd101 (talk) 19:01, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Very nice article and thoroughly deserves to remain a GA.--Jackyd101


I think that I might be able to reference this with Gilles Villeneuve: A Photographic Portrait, but it would have to wait until my term ends in March.--Diniz(talk) 09:57, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Shall we leave it out for now, and put it in in March when you've got access to the book? I'll mostly be working with Donaldson's biography - there might be something in there, but I don't remember it if so. Cheers. 4u1e (talk) 10:09, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
By the way, identical wording appears at ddavid's site, so I'm not sure whether we've had a copyvio here for the last few years! 4u1e (talk) 18:50, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Number 27[edit]

The association with number 27 is a bit of a myth really - he only used it in 1981 and 1982! He used 12 for longer than he used 27. Readro (talk) 14:31, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

True and I've edited to suit. However, although he only used it briefly, there does seem to be a strong association with it (I imagine it's why Jacques has used it so frequently, for example). This is sort of why the word 'iconic' is appropriate around Gilles - myths and legends have grown up around him, some supported by the facts, others not. 4u1e (talk) 18:49, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree. I assume it's because he was using 27 when he died that it has become attached to him. Readro (talk) 18:53, 5 February 2009 (UTC)


Where was he born? Richelieu or St-Jean-sur-Richelieu? These are totally different places. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:34, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

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A Commons file used on this page has been nominated for deletion[edit]

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