Gilles Villeneve had 12 in the Ferrari Formula One car in the 1978 World Championship
1978 | 2018
13 August 1978 - The first podium of Gilles Villeneuve in the F1 world championship
3rd place in the Zeltweg Grand Prix (Austria)


by Ninni Radicini
The number 27 of Gilles Villeneve with the Ferrari

Gilles Villeneve with the Ferrari number 12 leaves the pits for the start of the Zeltweg Grand Prix 1978

Gilles Villeneuve, with the Ferrari number 12, leaves the pit lane of Zeltweg for the start of the Grand Prix. It is the 12th race (out of 16) of the 1978 Formula 1 World Championship. The Canadian driver is in his first season with Ferrari, although he had already arrived at the end of the 1977 Championship, racing the last two races - Canada and Japan - in place of Niki Lauda, already mathematically winner of the World Championship that year after the Gran Prix of Monza and then passed to Brabham (with this team will participate in the World Championships of '78 and '79). Gilles Villeneuve had his debut in F1 that same year (1977) with McLaren (Ford engine) in Great Britain, in the Grand Prix of Silverstone, reaching the finish line in 11th place.

Zeltweg Grand Prix - Austria, 13 august 1978 - Gilles Villeneve in the warm-up lap with the Ferrari number 12

After qualifying, in the front row the best lap times were by Ronnie Peterson and Mario Andretti, both with Lotus 79 (Ford engine) and competing for the World Championship. Gilles Villeneuve, with the 11th time, started in 6th row, between the two Brabham (Alfa Romeo engine) of John Watson (10th) and Niki Lauda (12th).

Drivers of the 1978 Formula 1 championship at the start of the circuit of Zeltweg, Austria

An S-shaped section in the circuit of the Zeltweg Grand Prix in Austria

In the Grand Prix of Zeltweg the Formula 1 cars
return to the track while it's raining

Gilles Villeneve with the Ferrari number 12 in the second round of the Zeltweg Grand Prix in Austria, 13 august 1978

The Zeltweg Grand Prix of 1978, whose first lap was characterized by the exit of the track of Mario Andretti (first in the World Championship), following a contact in an attempt to overtake Carlos Reutemann (Ferrari) for the reconquest of the second place. A subsequent heavy rain led to the suspension of the race. The wet circuit also determined a series of withdrawals for contacts between the single-seater outputs from the track. The 1978 World Championship was won by Mario Andretti with 64 points (the regulation from the F1 then awarded points to the first six at the finish line of each race, with 9 points for the winner). In second place, with 51 points, Ronnie Peterson, who died as a result of a surgical operation after an accident at the start of the Grand Prix of Monza (10 September). Lotus won the Constructors' World Championship with 86 points, followed by Ferrari with 58. Gilles Villeneuve started the Championship with an eighth place in the Argentine Grand Prix. Four retreats followed: in Brazil, South Africa, Long Beach, Montecarlo. The first points arrived in Belgium, with a fourth place in the Zolder circuit (where the tragedy occurred in 1982). Other three races followed but outside the points, in Spain (10th place), Sweden (9th place) France (12th), the withdrawal in Great Britain and the eighth place in Germany. Then the podium in the Austrian Grand Prix, where he came in third place, preceded by Patrick Depailler on the Tyrrell (back in the normal configuration after the six-wheel version in the World Championships in 1976 and '77) and the winner Ronnie Peterson.


Pos. Driver Constructor and number Laps Time Grid Points
1 Ronnie Peterson
Lotus-Ford 6
54 1h41'21''
1
9
2 Patrick Depailler
Tyrrell-Ford 4
54 +47''
13
6
3 Gilles Villeneuve
Ferrari 12
54 +1'39''
11
4
4 Emerson Fittipaldi
Fittipaldi-Ford 14
53 +1 lap
6
3
5 Jacques Laffite
Ligier-Matra 26
53 +1 lap
5
2
6 Vittorio Brambilla
Surtees-Ford 19
53 +1 lap
21
1



La Trinacria è il simbolo della Sicilia Ninni Radicini (Sicily) has written and published various articles on Germany (political-electoral-historical area). Articles on other topics have been published on various periodicals. He also published reviews and book prefaces. Co-author of the book Contemporary Greece 1974-2006 (La Grecia contemporanea 1974-2006) (book only in Italian edition).

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