It happened today – 9 October

It happened today – 9 October

On 9th October 1977, Gilles Villeneuve made his race debut at the wheel of a Ferrari. The world titles had already been assigned to Niki Lauda and the Scuderia, but the Austrian driver, now at loggerheads with Maranello opted out of the Mosport race and the final round of the season at Fuji: the team had already planned to run a third car for the young Canadian, who thus found himself as the Argentinian Reutemann’s only team-mate.

It was not the most glorious of debuts: seventeenth in qualifying, Gilles then had to retire a few laps from the end, because of a transmission problem. The other 312 T2 suffered a similar fate, as Reutemann had to stop with fuel feed problems on lap 20. For the record, the Grand Prix was won by the Wolf of Jody Scheckter, the driver who would soon become part of the Scuderia’s history.