@Kingshark all those questions, and more, about Gille Villeneuve are answered by the excellent biography done by Gerald Donaldson. Sadly Gilles died 2 years before I was born and know only of him from books, videos and what other people say. But his talent is summed up nicely by Harvey Postlethwaite post ’81 when he talked about Gilles and the Ferrari 126C.
“That car…had literally one quarter of the downforce that, say Williams or Brabham had. It had a power advantage over the Cosworths for sure, but it also had massive throttle lag at that time. In terms of sheer ability I think Gilles was on a different plane to the other drivers. To win those races, the 1981 GPs at Monaco and Jarama — on tight circuits — was quite out of this world. I know how bad that car was.”
His place on the list doesnt bear thinking about, its an automatic and empthatic yes from me. What he could have done in F1 had he not be killed is to my mind, one of the big “what if” questions of the sport. Immensely popular, phenomenally quick and exciting. A (film) quote that comes to mind on him is “The light that burns twice as bright burns for half as long”.
Regarding the next 11, I doubt Peterson will be in it now and I say that only because Villeneuve has come in at #12, so I cant see Ronnie being there. I would like to think the names Lauda, Surtees, Alonso , Ascari, Moss, Prost, Stewart ,Fangio ,Senna, Schumacher, Clark are the top 11. Probably in/around that order (although top 3 could be anyones guess).