Gilles Villeneuve recalls in new family interview on the 40th anniversary of the death of F1 star

An exclusive recording of an interview with the Villeneuve family filmed as part of the upcoming documentary ‘Villeneuve Pironi’, which will tell the captivating story of two top-talented Ferrari drivers; The Miami GP is live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend

Last updated: 04/05/22 20:41


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40 years after the death of Gilles Villeneuve, his wife Joann talks about what her husband was like.

40 years after the death of Gilles Villeneuve, his wife Joann talks about what her husband was like.

The Miami Grand Prix this weekend is being held on May 8, marking the 40th anniversary of the day Canadian race driver Gilles Villeneuve tragically lost his life.

The Ferrari driver was killed in an accident at the Belgian Grand Prix in Zolder, at the age of 32, and his family marked the occasion with a touching and powerful interview about the heritage of the racing icon.

An exclusive recording of the interview was filmed as part of an upcoming documentary ‘Villeneuve Pironi’which will tell the captivating story of two top-talented Ferrari drivers: Villeneuve and Didier Pironi, forever separated by a historic and extremely controversial moment.

Produced by Noah Media Group and Sky Studios for Sky and NBCUniversal, it was released later this year.

In the video, shot at the recent Italian Grand Prix in Imola – a scene of a decisive moment in the tragic ‘Villeneuve Pironi ‘ story – Gilles’ wife Joann speaks eloquently about his life and the legacy of runners.

Villeneuve's wife Joann speaks in a new interview clip.  Credits: 'Villeneuve Pironi' (Noah Media Group and Sky Studios) Coming soon to Sky Documentary in the UK and Italy

Villeneuve’s wife Joann speaks in a new interview clip. Credits: ‘Villeneuve Pironi’ (Noah Media Group and Sky Studios) Coming soon to Sky documentaries in the UK and Italy

“Gilles believed the edge was where you need to be,” she said. – The best thing for him was kissing the guardrail.

His daughter Melanie and son of F1 world champion Jacques also appear in the documentary.

In addition to first-rate footage, pictures of Joann in Imola and an archival picture of Gilles with his family at the height of his racing career have also been released on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his death.

Gilles Villeneuve with his wife Joann and children Jacques and Melanie during the Italian Grand Prix in September 1978. Credits: 'Villeneuve Pironi' (Noah Media Group and Sky Studios) Coming soon to Sky Documentary in the UK and Italy

Gilles Villeneuve with his wife Joann and children Jacques and Melanie during the Italian Grand Prix in September 1978. Credits: ‘Villeneuve Pironi’ (Noah Media Group and Sky Studios) Coming soon to Sky documentaries in the UK and Italy

Charismatic and open, the Canadian rose from humble roots to realize his dream of a Formula 1 race. Naturally talented, Villeneuve’s fearless racing style delighted purists in the sport and captured the imagination of fans around the world. A favorite ‘surrogate son’ of the legendary Enzo Ferrari, in the early 1980s Gilles appeared destined to dominate F1 for the famous Italian team.

Villeneuve and Didier Pironi are the subject of an upcoming documentary.  Credits: 'Villeneuve Pironi' (Noah Media Group and Sky Studios) Coming soon to Sky Documentary in the UK and Italy

Villeneuve and Didier Pironi are the subject of an upcoming documentary. Credits: ‘Villeneuve Pironi’ (Noah Media Group and Sky Studios) Coming soon to Sky documentaries in the UK and Italy

In April 1982, Imola was the site of the now infamous “betrayal” between Ferrari’s teammates Gilles and Didier. It marked one of the most controversial moments in the history of the sport and ‘Villeneuve Pironi’ will tell this amazing story with the support of both families for the first time.

Melanie Villeneuve added: ‘We are thrilled to be working with Noah Media Group on the production of this documentary. John Mckenna, Torquil Jones and the whole Noah team have done a tremendous job, conducting extensive research, giving high-quality interviews and recordings to tell a story that is important to my family. ‘

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