The Gazette from Montreal, Quebec, Canada on June 4, 1998 · 12
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The Gazette from Montreal, Quebec, Canada · 12

Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Issue Date:
Thursday, June 4, 1998
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1 1 .EARLY THE GAZETTE, MONTREAL, THURSDAY, JUNE 4, C5 GRAND PRIX '98 'Have you Villeneuve in spotlight on the Letterman show RANDY PHILLIPS The Gazette The toughest question Jacques Villeneuve faced in a brief appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman Tuesday night was whether he ever' had the urge to urinate while in his car during a Formula One race. "In a long race, do you ever have to take a leak?" asked Letterman with a straight face. After a pause to collect his thoughts the reigning F-l world champion said: "Yeah, but the problem is that you're working so hard it's very, very hard to..." "He was ahead by one point. Had we crashed together, he would win." "Yeah, I guess it's all a matter of concentration," shot back Letterman amid the laughter of the live audience in the Ed Sullivan Studio in Manhattan. Villeneuve's visit with the television talk show icon lasted a little more than five minutes. Letterman, a huge fan of Formula One, spent much of the time rehashing events of last season, which culminated with the 27-year-old native of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu winning the drivers' title in only his second season. "Last year was really a dogfight between you and Michael Schumacher and you got into trouble for shooting your mouth off. What was that all about? Why can't you say what you think and not get into trouble?" asked Letterman. "You have to be politically correct," Canadian race special for CBC commentator Williams PAT HICKEY The Gazette Brian Williams goes out of his way to avoid cliches, but the veteran CBC sports commentator said he had no choice but to resort to a hackneyed phrase when describing the Player's Grand Prix of Canada. "I hate to use the expression, but it's a world-class event," said Williams, who will anchor the CBC's coverage of the race this weekend. "There's something special about coming to Montreal to cover the race," said Williams, noting that this will be his 14th or 15th Grand Prix. "There aren't too many cities in North America that could hold this event. New York, maybe. Or Chicago. But you saw what a disaster it was in California and Arizona. You need a certain level of sophistication to hold this race and Montreal is perfect. "The race itself is only part of the Grand Prix weekend. It's the people who attend the race that make it special. There are jet-setters, the Grand Prix fans who follow the races around the world and there are fans from across Canada who recognize that it's more than a race, it's an event. "My favourites are the Ferrari fans. They come to Montreal in their Ferrari shirts and jackets and their hats and you can recognize them a block away." Williams, who also works on the two Canadian races in the CART series, said the difference in the fans is as great as the difference in the two series. While Formula One and IndyCar racing both feature open-wheeled cars, there is a greater emphasis on technology and engineering in Formula One. "Formula One is concerned with cutting-edge technology," said Williams, Air conditioning AMFM Fietght ad PD.I. Mdifei ' ffPiW y . . -:,-,: ...",' !;. " V oMf "mnrmt I Imllnt llmr ami (Iimim ftr. haunt mm mm 1WH nm t.df l (mW MWK). ami aallalilr anil IhrmnA llimla Canada tlnaarr lnr..O..:. MowhK lra natamife far annual allimanr. (atmitM af 90.10 prr hai mar), latra. llivnM aiat iHMirainv Mlra. tl nl a( kaar tu mat rHurn lha far Oi drab ar min-haw ll far a irrnritnnlnrn amanitl. tiatnhlt tamnil a Wt.TJIT mar 4 manll. 1.11. a UAi?.?o lalal .IiIIi.iUhi a Wi.Vi7.?n. Inntn oatHM-al nta ar rrtulrnl. latra. Ilrnwr. InHiranrr aa aril a Irrlilil ami Fil l. Unl Im UMlnlrmurr trfrlm larlmlnl, Irani U-lmir llun4.Hr IWafaar. K . ; learned A Jacques Villeneuve talked with David replied Villeneuve. "If someone has a spin and hits a barrier, you have to look as if you're going to cry." "But it's supposed to be a sport," the host countered. "It is, and you have to push yourself so much to the limit. (But) I think it's become so much of a business that that side of it is forgotten," Villeneuve said. "So, it's you and two-time world champion Michael Schumacher going right down to the final race and it's so complicated: if he does this, you win; if you do that, he would win. Right to last race and he's ahead (in the standings) by one point," said Letterman. "That was the problem," Villeneuve "and I think the fans appreciate the excellence of a team like McLaren, which is dominating the series this season. I think everyone would like to see close, competitive races, but it's not as important as it is to a CART fan." Having said that, Williams said he feels that Sunday's race might be more competitive than some of the earlier stops on the circuit and he's expecting a surprise or two from Quebec native Jacques Villeneuve. "The Villeneuve name is magic in Quebec and I know that he wants to do well because the track is named after his father and he feels he made a bad mistake which took him out of last year's race. He wants to make up for that. They've basically rebuilt the whole back end of his car and they had some encouraging results in testing last week at Monza (Italy)." The revamped Williams did have some good results last week, as Villeneuve found himself sandwiched between McLaren drivers Mika Hakki-nen and David Coulthard in the time trials over the Italian track. "The irony is that Villeneuve is probably a better driver than he was when he won the world driving title last season," said Williams. "He did a great job of moving up from 13th to 5th two weeks ago in Monaco and he had a fourth at San Marino. If they get the car sorted out, he could surprise a few people here in Montreal" For most of his Grand Prix broadcasting career, Williams has been working with analyst Jackie Stewart. But the former world driving champion started his own team last season and has been replaced by Dr. Jonathan Palmer, whose resume includes careers as a Formula One driver, a medical doctor, businessman and broad s, stereo v illi CD player Alloy wheels Leather trimmed steering heel Cruise control anything about hair 9 V-M 'fc- "v: Letterman during taping in New York Tuesday. said, "He was ahead by one point. Had we crashed together, he would win." "So, if a person was thinking this, he says to himself: 'Well if, the kid, the Canadian with hair, gets close to me, all I have to do is take him out (and), bingo, I'm three-time world champion," Letterman said. "Now, you knew that going into the race?" "I knew that, because he had done it in 1994 to Damon Hill, and he won the championship. Even before (the last race last year) I kept saying to everybody 'let's hope that he doesn't do that again.' I put it out so that people were aware," said Villeneuve. Letterman: "Let's point out that this caster. The two worked together for the first time last season and Williams said the transition was seamless. "The fact that's worked as a broadcaster made it very easy," said Williams. "I think the analysts play a larger role here than in Europe and I think Jonathan and (pit reporter) John Watson enjoyed working with us." Watson, another F-l veteran, also made his CBC debut last year and turned in a strong performance, including an outstanding interview after the local hero crashed on the second lap. In addition to the actual race coverage, the CBC production will include a number of features. "We'll look at some of the questions raised by Formula One, such as how much of it is car and how much of it is the driver? We have a feature on the problems facing the Stewart team. And we'll look at some of the teams like Prost, Arrows, Minardi, the teams that don't make it to the podium, and we'll look at why they continue. On Sunday, we'll look at the McLaren team and we have an interview with Villeneuve." CBC will cover Saturday's qualifying on a tape-delayed basis at 5 p.m. (it's live at 1 p.m. on Radio-Canada) and the race-day coverage Sunday begins at noon on Radio-Canada and 12:30 p.m. on CBC. Both networks will use the host broadcaster feed that will be seen around the world. Former CBC hand Michel Quidoz will be the executive producer for the feed produced by F-l Productions Canada. The feed will employ 23 cameras, about three times as many as used on a Saturday night hockey game. CBC and Radio-Canada will each have two cameras in the pits, as well as two cameras in the broadcast booths. J " : f J JF """"" V . -V 111 ALAN SINGER, AP is illegal." "Well, what is legal?" Villeneuve asked, smiling. "That's not the point. The point is to complete the course in the least amount of time. It's not to run into guys," Letterman said. "Yes, but you can always say 'I didn't see the guy,'" Villeneuve said. Letterman asked Villeneuve why he lasted only two laps in last year's Player's Grand Prix of Canada. "I just crashed. I told myself I did a beginner's mistake," said Villeneuve. "I honestly don't know (what happened). I just went into the corner too fast. I didn't see it coming. Gilles Villeneuve was respected by all and became a true Canadian racing hero with flair and an honest love of speed. Canada Post is proud to commemorate Gilles' legacy on a variety of collectible products. Villeneuve, A Racing Legend is a hardcover coffee table book that provides a comprehensive look at the racing career of Villeneuve. The book includes a bonus souvenir sheet of eight stamps (the souvenir sheet is also sold separately). Other products include domestic and international rate stamp panes, t-shirts and Official First Day Covers which feature a special cancellation. These limited edition Souvenir 8 Mjmpi (.) VISIT YOUR PART1C1PAHNG RETAIL POSTAL OUTLET FOR THESf FAST MOVING PRODUCTS TODAY! with purpose. 411 iwmlh. (lotal Iraar uMlntlM ll:M4). Ihmn paimm! iitS'i.lW anil iiiir mniilli'. iniiniFlU rrinlml. '.M km -i-trarIINMNNI kin V-ura llnOO-d aarranli. f MTk Wlimil rliiaiwlHa O.Mi. Um Irriii. atiiilaliH. r milri iSMnlM. (H.i) rlra. nrr ynur V ara Ih-alrr far murr ilnalla. colour?' "It was too bad, because we had a very good car for the race I was taking it easy and thinking after a few laps, I'd start pushing, and go after Michael and overtake him. But I didn't get to that point There was a nice Quebec flag on the wall and I just went right for it" Letterman: "It was after that race that you changed your hair colour (to blond) and everybody went crazy over that, saying 'Oh my god, what's he doner" Villeneuve responded by saying that dyeing his hair was his way of trying to get everybody to lighten up following a serious crash by Frenchman Olivier Panis at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, in which he broke both of his legs. "Panis crashed and broke his legs. They stopped the race and everybody got out of their cars almost crying and saying this is terrible, the sport is dan- "I just crashed. I told myself I did a beginner's mistake." gerous," said Villeneuve. "Well, I got to the next race and said 'Now relax, peo1' pie. It's only two broken legs. People who ski break their legs all the time and nobody cares.' So I said that and had already died my hair." "Have you learned anything about hair colour or about keeping your mouth shut at this point?" Letterman asked. "Well, my hair's still blond. I don't want to change it back because (people) might get scared," Villeneuve answered. "But seriously," said Letterman, "Formula One is nothing but babes, am I correct?" "Really? Well, you can say that because, when you go there, you're not working. But we are working hard when we're there," Villeneuve said with a grin. - . COLLECTIBLE PRODUCTS ON SALE NOW FOR A LIMITED TIME. HURRY, THEY'RE OOINO FAST! ' Hankow -S , Souk IM m items are as dynamic and unique as the man whose story they tell. MS Shtct with ami toltkf Acuta reliable dealers ACL'RA BROSSARD 9100TaschertMu Blvd. Brossard IUC1ANI ACURA 4040 Jean-Talon Street W. Montreal LES CALERIES ACURA 7100 Mvtrupolitain Blvd. E Anjou ACURA GABRIEL 4648 St Juan Blvd. Oillard-dM-Onrvaux ACURA PLUS 255 de la Scignrane Blvd. Blainvillv ACURA DE LAVAL 2500 Choirodey Blvd. Laval (S Diivei by passion, acura

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