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Villeneuve moved by Leclerc's gesture despite commotion

Villeneuve moved by Leclerc's gesture despite commotion

18-06-2023 16:47 Last update: 18:17

During the Grand Prix weekend in Canada, there was some commotion over Charles Leclerc's helmet design, with which he wanted to honour the late racing legend, Gilles Villeneuve. Jacques Villeneuve tells his side of the story.

Ahead of the Formula 1 weekend in Montreal, Ferrari announced that Leclerc would drive with a helmet inspired by the design Gilles Villeneuve once drove with. However, on Saturday, the Monegasque driver was seen wearing his usual helmet again after an alleged disagreement with Villeneuve's family.

Even before qualifying, the issue had been resolved and Leclerc had obtained permission from the family to drive with the helmet, but the commotion caused outrage. On his Instagram page, Jacques Villeneuve explains the situation.

Villeneuve clarifies

"To clarify the situation regarding the recent incident where some individuals felt the need to insult me and my family over Charles Leclerc using my dad’s helmet, I want to provide some context," the 1997 world champion began.

When Villeneuve arrived at the circuit, he was called by his sister, who was angry that Leclerc used their father's helmet without having communicated it beforehand. "The entire family was taken by surprise, as we had not been informed beforehand. I immediately conveyed the message to Charles, who was kind enough to give me a call," he continued.

Villeneuve moved by Leclerc's gesture

This was followed by a "sincere conversation", according to Villeneuve, in which Leclerc "sincerely apologised for the situation". "I reassured him that I considered it a touching tribute and that I personally had no issues with it. However, I stressed the importance of him reaching out to my sister, as she is the one responsible for managing everything related to our dad."

The issue was resolved the same day and Leclerc was allowed to wear the helmet as normal, but Villeneuve stressed that he would have preferred there to have been prior consultation. "Unfortunately, the incident was blown out of proportion, turning it into an unnecessary controversy," the former F1 driver concludes.