Lewis Hamilton and Gilles Villeneuve

LEWIS Hamilton is getting a bit of a hard time at the hands of the Oz Police.

OK, he was hooning. It was, as he said, a little silly. But…. He’s a Grand Prix driver. The best in the world. Surely, although rules iz rules, a teeny leniency could have overridden the need to make quite such an example of him?

The fact a motorcyclist was killed on a nearby road did LH no favours. But, at the same time, I think of the Italian mindset. Where such abandon is, well, not encouraged exactly (certainly not if it’s dangerous), but not frowned upon either.

Then, I think back to Gilles Villeneuve, to Gerald Donaldson’s magisterial book, to the tails of how one of my favourite drivers ever used to set a challenge to his team-mates.

Such as? Well, the drive back from Modena to home in Switzerland.? Let’s see, went the challenge, who can bomb our road-going Ferraris for the furthest, without lifting our foot from the floored accelerator…

OK. It’s a bit foolhardy. But tell me there’s not a part of you that also doesn’t think it’s quite cool…

Mind you, Donaldson also tells us of something else the Australian Police wouldn’t like: Villeneuve’s tendency to enter said Ferrari, floor throttle, start it up, dump the clutch and spin-turn away from a standing, well, park.

Just like Hamilton, a total hero. And if you want to know why I used the above image, of the 1979 French Grand Prix, check this out:

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