Gilles Villeneuve


Inducted 1993 – Competitor – Road Racing


Gilles Villeneuve became a legend in his own time, a driver whose skill and daring personified the ideals of Grand Prix racing, the pinnacle of motor sport. With his flamboyantly aggressive, press-on-regardless style in scarlet Ferrari, he captured the imagination of a vast international audience as no other driver has in recent times.


Villeneuve’s esteem and popularity have grown since his tragic death in a terrible accident during qualifying at Zolder in Belgium on May 8, 1982. Canada’s Grand Prix circuit, in Montreal, is named for him and there are statues commemorating him in Europe where he is revered as one of the greatest racing heroes in the history of the sport.


Author Gerald Donaldson, an award-winning journalist and commentator, covered Gilles Villeneuve’s first and last Formula 1 races and many of those in between. In his full-length authoritative biography of the spectacular French-Canadian driver, Donaldson captures all the drama and emotion, humour and heartbreak of a life lived at the limit. The truth about Gilles Villeneuve is more remarkable than any fiction, a rags-to-riches saga of his rise from obscurity and triumph over adversity to achieve undreamed of fame and fortune. Beyond the breathtaking accounts of his epic races Donaldson’s book covers every aspect of the Villeneuve legend to reveal the private man behind the superstar image.