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Dijon 1979 | This battle was true racing

Updated: Oct 1, 2023

The race at Dijon in 1979 between Gilles Villeneuve and René Arnoux is often regarded as one of the most thrilling and memorable battles in Formula 1 history. It took place during the French Grand Prix on July 1, 1979, at the Dijon-Prenois circuit.

At the time of the race, both Gilles Villeneuve and René Arnoux were competing for Ferrari and Renault, respectively. The 1979 season was highly competitive, with both drivers aiming for their first Formula 1 victory.

The battle between Villeneuve and Arnoux unfolded in the closing stages of the race. Arnoux, who was running in second place, had been closing the gap to Villeneuve, who was second as Jean-Pierre Jabouille was in first. What followed was a thrilling wheel-to-wheel duel that showcased the raw talent, determination, and competitive spirit of Villeneuve and Arnoux.

On lap 47 Arnoux made his move on Villeneuve, attempting to pass him on the inside of the hairpin. However, Villeneuve aggressively defended his position, leaving no room for Arnoux. The two cars touched wheels, but both managed to continue without significant damage.

On lap 48 Arnoux refused to give up and launched another attack on Villeneuve, this time on the outside of the same hairpin. They went side by side through the corner, rubbing wheels once again. Villeneuve held his ground and managed to maintain his position.

In an incredible display of racing prowess on lap 49, Arnoux made a stunning move on the outside of Villeneuve at the same hairpin. The two cars came extremely close, almost colliding, but Arnoux completed the pass successfully, taking second place.

On lap 50 Villeneuve, The father of son Jacques Villeneuve who would hit the Wall of Champions, fought back immediately. He regained the lead by outbraking Arnoux into the same hairpin, displaying his exceptional car control and determination.

The battle between Villeneuve and Arnoux captivated the crowd and the motorsport world. Despite the fierce competition, there was immense respect and admiration between the two drivers for their thrilling wheel-to-wheel racing.

Oh and Jean-Pierre Jabouille won the race. However, the race is remembered not only for the incredible display of skill, bravery, and sportsmanship by both Villeneuve and Arnoux.

The race at Dijon in 1979 remains one of the most iconic moments in Formula 1 history. It exemplifies the spirit of intense competition, respect, and dedication that defines the sport. The battle between Villeneuve and Arnoux is often cited as a prime example of wheel-to-wheel racing at its best, showcasing the essence of Formula 1.

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