ibsey wrote: DOSBoot wrote:
JeremyMcClean wrote:What if Didier Pironi had kept his place and didn't overtake Gilles Villeneuve in San Marino 1982?
I think Villeneuve still would have his fatal accident anyways. (According to some sources, he wasn't in a bad mood like some people assumed.) Didier probably wouldn't have had the antiapathy towards his after Villeneuve's death, and would have been under less pressure to win the championship. But still has his career ending injuries later that year.
Please can you name the sources which suggest that Villeneueve wasn't in a bad mood like some people assumed?
As IIRC according to his biography by Gerald Donaldson, several people, including his own wife, noted how Villeneueve was in a bad mood in the aftermath of what Didier had done. Particularly a Belgian Business partner of GV’s who had dinner with him, on the Friday evening just before his crash.
Unfortunately I’m currently posting from an internet café, so I can’t go into anymore detail than that at the moment. However when I am next online in a couple of weeks time, I will quote what exactly was written, as I found it especially interesting insight into GV’s frame of mind.
Ok now had the chance to expand on my previous post. Here's what was written about GV in his biography on the night prior to his death;
'Villeneuve was staying at the hotel near Zolder, and on Friday evening he had dinner with Philippe de Laey, a Belgian business colleague, who had helped him secure some sponsorship back in his Formula Atlantic driving days in North America. De Laey remembers that Villeneuve was still livid about his team-mate Didier Pironi's treachery at the previous race two weeks earlier in San Marino. Pironi had denied him victory by passing him, unopposed, on the last lap. Villeneuve also felt there was a Ferrari conspiracy against him. He was distracted and preoccupied to a very noticeable degree, disturbed by an apparent lack of support from Ferrari manager Marco Piccinini and the team, who refused to censure Pironi for his conduct. Had they done so it would probably have ended there and then, but they didn't - which was hardly surprising, as Pironi and Piccinini were very close friends. Piccinini had been best man at Pironi's wedding a few weeks before, an event to which Villeneuve had not even been invited.
Instead, Villeneuve insisted to everyone he met that he was going to get revenge by beating Pironi at every opportunity, on every lap, every time they were on the track. This was nothing new, since being faster than anybody else was all Villeneuve really cared about, but his hatred of Pironi was so deeply felt that many observers feared it was impairing his judgement.'
Also Nigel Roebuck who was very close to & has written many articles on Gilles Villeneuve, has stated serveral times how it frightened him how angry GV was over Imola 1982, when they spoke on the tuesday after that race. For your ease I will sum up Nigel Roebuck thoughts on the matter which are;
“We know what happened in 1982: Pironi ‘stole’ the victory from Villeneuve at Imola, and two weeks later, at Zolder, Gilles was killed at the end of qualifying. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind – after talking at length to Villeneuve on the phone a couple of days after Imola, and again on the Friday at Zolder – that Pironi’s duplicity was responsible for the all-or-nothing frame of mind in which he went to his last race.”
Source; http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/ask_n ... 82-winner/
If all the above isn't proof enough, well here's GV on his relationship with Pironi after Imola 1982;
"I haven't said a word to him and I'm not going to again. Ever. I'll do my own thing in future. It's war."
So there can be no doubt that GV was in a bad mood after what happened at Imola 1982 (particularly after GV had always treated Pironi well). Also remember that around this time, GV had just learnt that two Milianese businessmen, whom were supposedly helping him set up his own F1 team, had actually been trying to con him out of the rights to his name. Also remember the the whole atmosphere in F1 around Zolder was very poisonous. What with the FISA/FOCA war, the drivers stike at South Africa etc. Also IIRC, just before Imola 1982 GV was apparently suffering problems in his marriage.
So considering all of the above, it is understandable how GV, who besides being very angry with Pironi, probably also felt his whole world was turning against him & he wasn't sure who he could trust anymore? Which might help explain why, for instance, he felt there was a Ferrari conspiracy against him.
Also remeber the type of personaility GV was; an "innocent believer" as Forghieri described him. Certainly someone who didn't really understand other people's political games. Also there are stories contained within his biography which highlight how emotions could eat away at GV. One such story that springs to mind, is when in his early racing days (possibly Formula Alantic) he 'borrowed' a car part from a garage, without the owner knowing about it. However many years later he still felt so guilty about this, so he requested his manager send a cheque to that particular garage owner.
Finally remember at Zolder 1982 GV didn't have his family around him as was normal throughout his his racing life. So considering all of the above, it not too difficult to understand what Nigel Roebuck means when he says, GV went to Zolder with 'an all-or-nothing frame of mind.
JYS (who also reckonised how angry GV was on the podium at Imola 1982) talks alot about the neccessility to 'remove emotion' from your driving & just how dangerous emotions could be in a racing car. Simliarly Fangio reckonised the importance of being in the right state of mind prior to a race after his accident at Monza 1952.
Therefore considering all of the above, I personally doubt Gilles would have had his fatal accident had Pironi not 'stolen' the victory at Imola 1982. Perhaps if all the other stuff wasn't happening in GV's life at that particular time, he may have been able to deal with Pironi's head games better? But ultimately I think that deception by Pironi was the thing that tipped GV over the edge.
Furthermore at Zolder 1982, GV didn't appear to have anyone to help him get into a suitable 'frame of mind' & ensure all of these problems didn't influence his driving. From personal experience, whenever I was angry or frustrated during a race (i.e. from personal issues or even just a backmarker holding me up during a race etc) usually I found myself driving more aggressively as a result & my judgement calls tended to be poorer. Therefore I learnt the importance of throwing away my emotions during a race.
However GV doesn't strike me as the sort of driver who would pay alot of attention to 'mind management' & 'removing emotion from his driving' (as JYS puts it). Instead, I believe his emotions usually showed through into his driving. Which is partly why fans loved him, because he always drove with his heart. Usually he was simply happy just to be driving a racing car & it showed in the way he would slide the car or 'light' up the rear wheels.
However, I believe GV's emotions were negative at Zolder 1982. Therefore instead of simply 'enjoying' driving a racing car. That particularly weekend he was 'obsessed' with beating Pironi. In short I believe this mind set was destructive, as GV perhaps should have reckonised Zolder was a track Pironi had excelled at in the past (won in 1980 & a rare 'winning round' against GV both in qualifying & the race in 1981). Whereas GV had never finished on the podium at Zolder in the past. Therefore I believe GV in 1982 tried too hard to over extend himself in his efforts to beat Pironi.
Recently, this was briefly discussed in the 'Senna Movie' thread, where in response to this opinion Wallio stated GV was a risk taker & he may well have taken the same risk had Pironi not stuffed him over. Which after much consideration, Personally I do not agree that that. Even though I acknowledge GV as a massive risk taker, usually. Had Pironi & him remained on friendly terms at Zolder in 1982, personally I doubt whether he would have been quite so obessed with beating his teammate. Therefore taking the massive risks he did in order to do so. Thus in his 'worng frame of mind' I question whether he would have;
1. Been pushing so hard when his qualifying tyres were past their best?
2. Ignored the 'pit in' signal?
3. Taken the risk that he did with Jocen Mass at that corner? Particularly when you consider other 'factors' which GV had mentioned that weekend i.e. qualifying traffic problems Villeneueve was complaining about at Zolder, problems with the Ferrari's steering lock at that particular coner etc.
Perhaps the best proof for me, that GV wouldn't have taken these risks under normal circustances is qualifying for the 1981 Belgian GP, where Pironi outqualified GV. As far as I know, GV didn't take anything like the same risks in the 1981 qualifying session at Zolder (or any other track where he had been outqualified) as he had in Zolder 1982. Nor was he particularly bother about being outqualified by Pironi that weekend. Since he was comfortable in the knowledge that he was ultimately faster than the Frenchman over the course of the year.
The difference in 1982 was GV had stated he was...
"going to get revenge by beating Pironi at every opportunity, on every lap, every time they were on the track"
...& unfornately for GV that wasn't happening in the 1982 qualifying session.
So in short I don't believe GV would have taken the risks he did in Zolder 1982, if Pironi & him had still been friendly towards one another. Simply because he wouldn't have been trying as hard to beat Pironi in that instance. Also had GV been in the correct 'frame of mind' perhaps he may have recognised something was wrong earlier than perhaps they did & lifted off sooner, as a result.