The Legend of 27 - Gilles Villeneuve - Monaco 1981

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Gilles Villeneuve in the Ferrari V6 at the 1981 Monaco Grand Prix Formula One Art Print by Stuart Booth


Another Monaco classic, and forever after the race number ‘27’ would be associated with Gilles Villeneuve.  For the 1981 season Ferrari were using a turbocharged V6, which although powerful was installed in a relatively crude chassis, a combination far from ideal for the Monte Carlo street circuit.  Villeneuve somehow managed to manhandle the Ferrari into 2nd on the grid, whilst his team mate Pironi could only manage 17th.  In the race the French Canadian initially ran second to Piquet’s Brabham until overtaken by Alan Jones in the Williams.


Late in the race Piquet crashed whilst lapping back markers leaving Jones with an apparently comfortable lead, until the Williams encountered fuel vaporisation and was forced into a quick pit stop. Villeneuve sensing his chance closed in and with four laps to go squeezed past Jones in front of the pits and held on to take an unexpected and memorable victory.

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