Gilles Villeneuve’s wife opens up on F1 legend's tragic death in new TV show to mark 40th anniversary on day of Miami GP

FORMULA ONE legend Gilles Villeneuve's wife Joann has opened up on the Canadian's death ahead of the 40th anniversary of his passing.

Sunday's Miami Grand Prix marks 40 years to the day that Villeneuve lost his life at the Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder aged just 32.

The ex-Ferrari ace accidentally collided with German driver Jochen Mass during the final qualifying session.

Villeneuve won six Grand Prix's during his six-year spell in F1, with the Quebec native finishing second in the 1979 championship.

His son Jacques followed in his father's footsteps and famously won the world championship in 1997 where he remains the only Canadian to win the title.

Speaking ahead of the Miami GP, Villeneuve's family have spoken of the racing icon as part of the upcoming documentary 'Villeneuve Pironi'.


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The TV show will tell the story of Villeneuve and his ex-Ferrari team-mate Didier Pironi.

It is being produced by Sky Studios and Noah Media Group, with the documentary set to be released later this year.

In a clip released by Sky, Villeneuve's wife Joann commented on his driving style, where she revealed he loved kissing the guard rails.

She said: "Ferrari was known in Canada, but it wasn't the way it is now, or it wasn't like it is in Italy, which Ferrari is the brand to have.

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"He was just this really down to earth guy coming from this little town in Canada.

"His way of driving, his personality, the fact that he had learned to speak Italian and all that made him likeable.

"He was just a true racer at heart, so he just embraced the whole thing, and he was someone who I think could just deal with pressure in a different way.

"And actually that was sort of his way of living, it didn't look that way from the outside because he just seemed so calm.

"But from the inside, it was the edge of it is where you have to be.

"To him, the best thing that could happen is when the rear tyres would just touch the guard rail and he would come back with this huge smile on his face.

"And he would say, 'I kissed the guard rails everywhere. Perfect'."

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