Apertures: Gilles’ Office

Apertures: Gilles’ Office

Written and captured by Richard Kelley

Gilles Villeneuve's Ferrari 312T5 office remains his cathedral, where he danced with these pedals and steering wheel as he performed magic. It's no more than four feet of space, but three simple elements make this holy ground for the Ferrari Tifosi: the Rosso Corsa, Scuderia's Prancing Horse and a scrolled name – Gilles.

It's been 41 years since he left us, but those who knew him and witnessed his immense abilities will never find a more pure racer. Rain or dry, Gilles was always free to race for himself, and he planned on doing each lap on the limit for the sheer joy of it. Well before he belted up, he was already wearing his "race face". If he was conscious of worsening conditions, his demeanour never betrayed it.

© Richard Kelley

Gilles’ stats were as simple as his intentions:
The number of times he pitched and caught oversteer – infinite.
The number of times he lifted – zero.

© Richard Kelley

Monza could be filled threefold today or any other day to watch this slight, modest, and quiet genius drive his Ferrari beyond flat-out; every minute – every lap – until the fuel tank was dry. Then he would refuel and do it again.

© Richard Kelley

Salut Gilles, you were the driver we all secretly wanted to be.

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