The short video was released by the makers of Villeneuve Pironi, a feature-length documentary, which charts Villeneuve and team-mate Didier Pironi‘s explosive, tragic 1982 F1 season.
The pair’s friendship switched to animosity at the 1982 San Marino Grand Prix, when Pironi ignored team orders and overtook the leading Ferrari, costing Villeneuve a deserved win.
The anger was still evident two weeks later when Villeneuve left the pits at Zolder on a mission to best Pironi in qualifying. He never returned.
“He was just this really down to earth guy coming from this little town in Canada,” says Joann in the video, which will form part of the documentary. “His way of driving, his personality, the fact that he had learned to speak Italian: all that made him likeable.
“He just embraced the whole thing. I think he just could deal with pressure in a different way. It didn’t look that way from the outside because he just seemed so calm.”
Nigel Roebuck and Maurice Hamilton, who witnessed the 1982 season first-hand, have written a new account of the Ferrari drivers’ rivalry in the June 2022 issue of Motor Sport.
Villeneuve Pironi is due to be released this autumn by Noah Media Group and Sky Studios, using archive footage of the drivers and interviews from both families to tell the story in greater depth.
Further footage from the documentary will be broadcast during coverage of the Miami Grand Prix, including interviews with Villeneuve’s children Melanie and F1 champion Jacques.