Lewis Hamilton is doing me a favour.
Every now and again I get into an argument with Mark Hughes - well, let's call it a spirited discussion. It's about who was quicker/better, Gilles Villeneuve or Ayrton Senna. In keeping with half the world I was a huge fan of both, but happen to think that Ayrton was superior. Mark is in Gilles' corner.
It's true that Gilles never got himself into a proper car until 1982, the year he died. He did some wonderful things with Ferrari's 312T4 in 1979 but by then the Scuderia, hamstrung by the dimensions of its flat 12 boxer engine, was fighting an unequal struggle against an ever-expanding portfolio of 'wing' cars. Poor Villeneuve had just four full seasons at the top level and results are no way to judge him.
One of my lines of attack is that no way, not in a month of Sundays, would Ayrton have been outqualified 12-4 by Carlos Reutemann in his first season of F1, as Gilles was.