Villeneuve versus Pironi 29 years ago...

The mistake was believing Pironi was going to let him win, which is apparently what Gilles thought was going to happen.

The mistake was Gilles thinking that he wasn't the only Ferrari driver being told by manager Piccicini to save fuel...and that Piccinini being Pironi's best man at his wedding wouldn't translate into duplicity.

I remember the race (and the unfortunate events that followed in the next race) as if it were yesterday...and i've read tons of stuff about the final laps of that GP over the years.

Let's give Villeneuve some credit. Hamilton was told to conserve fuel last year in Turkey and Button over-took him. The difference between 2010 and 1982 is that there is radio now...and bits of it is broadcast to the tv public.

PS

This thread has morphed into something wider than what i'd intended...but it's all good stuff and very interesting nonetheless. (My original intention was to have a list of 'Aces' or near-Aces losing a GP through a driving mistake of their own making while the race was well in their grasp or with only a few laps to go. But, as I said, this is all very interesting and i'm enjoying it!)

Cheers all! :)
 

KekeTheKing

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The difference between 2010 and 1982 is that there is radio now...

Among other things....

Gilles must have been mad at himself for letting this race fall through his fingers as well. He did go off at one point and hand the lead over to Pironi. (5:23 of my Overtaking Video), and he should have had plenty of time to realize that Didier and his engineers weren't setting up for a LeMans type photo op finish.

I'm not as connected emotionally with this race and this driver though Ray, so I don't expect you to see things as I do. Either way, I agree that I shouldn't have really included it on this list.
 
Gilles must have been mad at himself for letting this race fall through his fingers as well. He did go off at one point and hand the lead over to Pironi. (5:23 of my Overtaking Video)...I'm not as connected emotionally with this race and this driver though Ray, so I don't expect you to see things as I do.

Because of the seriously depleted field - Williams, Brabham, McLaren, Lotus, etc weren't at this event - Gilles figured that they were 'putting on a show' for the Tifosi because there weren't that many cars circulating for the Italian fans to see.

In addition, Gilles was told to save fuel (like Hamilton was in Turkey, 2010...and you saw how joyless Lewis was on the podium even though he'd won the race.) So, I don't know where you're getting some of your information.

I'm 'connected emotionally' to this race and driver? Since i'm new here, who are you connected to, Keke?

(It would be good to know these things about people we're sharing our interest with.)

Cheers, Keke. :)
 

KekeTheKing

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Because of the seriously depleted field - Williams, Brabham, McLaren, Lotus, etc weren't at this event - Gilles figured that they were 'putting on a show' for the Tifosi because there weren't that many cars circulating for the Italian fans to see.

I don't believe that for one minute. The Tifosi could not have cared less about the other cars circulating, or how many there were. They were there to see a Ferrari victory, and if they were the only 2 cars left on the circuit, so be it.

I'm 'connected emotionally' to this race and driver? Since i'm new here, who are you connected to, Keke?

That wasn't a slight towards you Ray, I'm just going off what you've posted about Gilles, your boyhood idol and countrymen. I recall your post in the 1982 Season thread, and you quite clearly spell out your allegiance to Villeneuve. And obviously with the tragedy that came soon after this race, the events have probably taken on a slightly different meaning to you as opposed to some others who may not be as close to the situation.

It's no secret that I'm a Hamilton man these days, and I think my Username/Avatar combo gives away the fact that if I could go back in time and support a driver from days gone by, Keke would be the guy.
 
I don't believe that for one minute. The Tifosi could not have cared less about the other cars circulating, or how many there were. They were there to see a Ferrari victory, and if they were the only 2 cars left on the circuit, so be it...It's no secret that I'm a Hamilton man these days, and I think my Username/Avatar combo gives away the fact that if I could go back in time and support a driver from days gone by, Keke would be the guy.

They were going to get a Ferrari victory anyway. There was no one else in sight after the Renaults blew their turbos...Unless...unless they both ran out of fuel fighting for the lead or took each other off.

So you're saying Gilles wasn't told to save fuel?

Hamilton and Keke Rosberg...two great drivers. No question. I saw most of Keke's career at the sharp end (1982-86) and the tail end of his time before he joined Williams. Awsome guy. You should know that Keke held Gilles in very high esteem indeed, FYI.
 

KekeTheKing

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So you're saying Gilles wasn't told to save fuel?

I'm not saying that at all. In my video I show the footage of the Pit Board saying "Fuel" and "Slow". I even freeze the image and circle the pit board info so that all the viewers can plainly see what the drivers were being told. Like I said, I've studied this race in detail.

For sheer excitement on the circuit, I would put Villeneuve, Rosberg, and Hamilton right at the top of the list.
 
In my video I show the footage of the Pit Board saying "Fuel" and "Slow". I even freeze the image and circle the pit board info so that all the viewers can plainly see what the drivers were being told.
Admittedly, I have not seen your video. So, you can understand the duplicity of it all, right? How can you blame Villeneuve for 'losing' the race when they were either marginal on fuel...or Piccicini was favouring Pironi because Pironi had made Piccicini the best man at his wedding.

You as a Hamilton fan would know how he (Hamilton) felt in the exact same circumstances in Turkey in 2010 when he was told to save fuel and Button overtook. You do see that, right? Hamilton had won his first race of the year but wasn't exactly brimming with joy on that Istanbul Park podium.

PS

Where may I access your video, Keke? Thanks in advance.
 

KekeTheKing

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Where may I access your video, Keke? Thanks in advance.

It's in my first post. I made it when I was working on my 1982 overtaking project. Here it is again;


So when do you reckon that Gilles realized he was involved in an actual "race" to the finish. Even if he ran out of fuel he would have finished 3rd.
 
So when do you reckon that Gilles realized he was involved in an actual "race" to the finish. Even if he ran out of fuel he would have finished 3rd.

When do you reckon Ferrari changed their age old rules about preserving their 1-2 while well out in the lead...especially when they were "marginal on fuel"...and figured that they should just let them "race" to the finish? When did their agreement/understanding to hold station in such circumstances get blown to oblivion all of a sudden?

Further, what top team will allow their two drivers to "race" to the finish when they are marginal on fuel and have a 1-2 in their pocket with no one else to worry them from behind? Can you think of any occassion?

PS

Thanks for the video! :)
 

KekeTheKing

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When do you recon Ferrari changed their age old rules about preserving their 1-2 while well out in the lead...especially when they were "marginal on fuel"...and figured that they should just let them "race" to the finish? When did their agreement/understanding to hold station in such circumstances get blown to oblivion all of a sudden?

That's irrelevant to whether or not Villeneuve realized he wasn't in for a staged finish. I won't pretend to know the machinations going on in the Ferrari pits and at Maranello that day, but I simply cannot believe that Gilles did not come to the stark realization at some point that Pironi was actually racing him.
 
That's irrelevant to whether or not Villeneuve realized he wasn't in for a staged finish...but I simply cannot believe that Gilles did not come to the stark realization at some point that Pironi was actually racing him.

I don't know as I wasn't there and I was a boy and not a mind reader but, from all accounts, he was told to save fuel and many teams have an understanding to not risk a guaranteed 1-2 in such circumstances...but if i'm to bet, i'd bet that he came to that 'stark realization' only coming out of Tamburello into the Tosa on the last lap.

He was obviously too naive or too trusting. I learned from that personally. I don't trust anyone apart from immediate family. That lesson came from that point in time.

The lesson of Imola 1982: Don't Trust Anyone.
 

KekeTheKing

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I can accept your viewpoint Ray, but just clarify one thing for me. Were they actually racing each other and overtaking legitimately throughout the race, or was it just a "show" for the fans?
 
I can accept your viewpoint Ray, but just clarify one thing for me. Were they actually racing each other and overtaking legitimately throughout the race, or was it just a "show" for the fans?

You mean following Arnoux's turbo failure?

Keke, my friend, all I can say is that, according to reports, Gilles' lap times weren't consistently fast enough to suggest he was "fighting" for the lead. [Meaning that otherwise they would have been consistently fast. Meaning he was in fuel save mode as per instructions.] I don't have all the lap time data but pundits said that he slowed on the 'save / fuel' boards ... only to then have Pironi pass him.

I don't have the radio transmissions (I don't even know if they had radio that year) but, from race reports and interviews, Villeneuve believed that Pironi passing him under the 'save/fuel' boards was for the purposes of "putting on a show for the Tifosi". He said so.

Had he believed it was anything else, I doubt he would have let Pironi anywhere near him. He would have rather run out of fuel and finished last than finished 2nd to Pironi that day in such a situation.

I think you know that, Keke.
 

KekeTheKing

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You mean following Arnoux's turbo failure?

There were 5 lead changes after that point and they had swapped P2 5 times before that. They were never more than 3 seconds apart the entire race. Maybe it was for "show", it really doesn't matter at this point though.

But seeing that they couldn't even find anyone to award the 6th place point to, running out of fuel seems a rather trivial concern. Hell, they could have taken each other off on Lap 68 and still finished 3rd and 4th.

Gilles was expecting the same No. 1 treatment that he gave Scheckter, but Pironi had other ideas. That much we can agree on.

 
Gilles was expecting the same No. 1 treatment that he gave Scheckter, but Pironi had other ideas. That much we can agree on.

Ferrari had the save fuel boards out and Gilles, as he explains in that interview, slowed down and the lap times indicated so. When Pironi over took, the lap times were faster.

I think you can figure it out. I can't agree that Gilles was expecting Number 1 treatment. I think he was expecting to not be passed when the save fuel boards were being shown...and then re-passed again. I do agree that Pironi had other ideas but Pironi couldn't beat Villeneuve on pure talent. He needed to make Piccicini, the team manager, his best friend in order to find a political advantage...and he got it after making Piccicini best man at his wedding.

Why do you think Ferrari/Piccicini stayed quiet after the matter. I mean, why have an order to save fuel in the first place?

Can you answer?

Can you imagine Lewis - in Turkey 2010 - slowing down to save fuel and have Button go by and stay ahead...with Whitmarsh having been Button's best man at his wedding only weeks earlier?

Do you think Lewis was expecting Number 1 treatment in Turkey last year? Or do you think he was merely expecting the team to maintain a safe 1-2 with enough fuel to finish and take the win because he was ahead?
 
The bottom line, Keke my friend, is this:

Why have a save fuel board out if you want your drivers "racing" to the end?

Also, imagine a situation where Whitmarsh is now Button's best man at Button's wedding...and Hamilton is sent a message to save fuel ... only for Button to pass him anyway.
 

KekeTheKing

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Ray, old chap,

It's clear to me that Villeneuve wanted to hold station; it's what he did for Scheckter, and it was what he considered Ferrari policy. After having been passed for the lead on Lap 53, it should have been clear to Gilles that whatever pit boards had been held out, whatever driver policy he had followed during his career, they were now completely irrelevant to the (2-car) motor race he was currently involved in. He had to try very hard to get back past Pironi on Lap 59, and should have known that it wasn't going to be done and dusted until he took the checkers.

There's one big difference between the other race you keep bringing up, Turkey 2010, and Imola 82. At Turkey, when Lewis realized he was in an actual race, he turned up the wick. After snatching the lead back from Button, he proceeded to pound in about 4-5 hot laps, sending a message to the pit wall and the fans that if he wanted to, he could run away from Jenson. There was very little doubt left as to who was faster that day.
 

KekeTheKing

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Why have a save fuel board out if you want your drivers "racing" to the end?

Ray, my buddy, you're not grasping my position. I do not care what the pit boards said. I do not care about what Ferrari might have wanted their drivers to do. All I care about is WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED. Pironi was RACING Villeneuve. At some point, I would think Lap 53-58, Gilles MUST have realized this was the case. He took the lead back on Lap 59 and was undoubtedly RACING to the finish.
 
The other differences, Keke my dear new friend, is that Lewis had plenty of laps left ... and the fuel wasn't as critical as was the case in that Turbo era ... and Whitmarsh wasn't Button's best man at the wedding only weeks earlier...and there's plenty of data traces and radio transcripts and GPS info and "true" fuel info to back up Lewis' claim to the win. Lewis isn't as trusting as Gilles was...and likely because he had a lot of racism to deal with in junior formulae.

Villeneuve, in many peoples opinion at the time, only had one lap left in a 60 lap race...so you may hypothesize ad infinitum about what you may think should or shouldn't have happened...but you don't really have all the info. You only have your 'feelings' of the situation in hindsight and after years of contemplation.

I respect the members of CTA and will state right now that I don't really want to argue.

I'm wondering, however, just why you're taking the route you have on this matter.

Cheers.

PS

Ray, my buddy, you're not grasping my position. I do not care what the pit boards said. I do not care about what Ferrari might have wanted their drivers to do. All I care about is WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED. Pironi was RACING Villeneuve. At some point, I would think Lap 53-58, Gilles MUST have realized this was the case. He took the lead back on Lap 59 and was undoubtedly RACING to the finish.

I suspect Pironi was only thinking one way throughout the event... and probably figured that when his best man, i.e. the team manager, had the fuel save board out, it was to slow Villeneuve only.

Perhaps therein lies the disconnect in my thinking and yours...and perhaps therein lies the difference between Pironi's thinking and Villeneuve's.

Do you have the lap time data for the 2 cars at this Grand Prix?

I respect you and would like us to be 'friends', Keke. :)
 
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