Villeneuve: A hero for all times

Villeneuve: A hero for all times

AUTOSPORT.com editor Simon Strang was only a child when Gilles Villeneuve lost his life, but already he was a fan. That hasn't changed in the years since

I can still recall where I was when Gilles Villeneuve was killed: Safeway car park. I was eight years old, and my dad and I were listening to the news on the car radio while mum was doing the shopping. The announcer said that Villeneuve had suffered 'grave injuries' in an accident during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder.

Dad, fearful that he might lose control of this situation, told me that it didn't necessarily mean the worst and there was still hope. I held a vigil in front of the television that afternoon, driving the rest of the household mad with my incessant use of the Ceefax button on the remote until, finally, bedtime came, and I was sent upstairs none the wiser.

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