Jacques Villeneuve

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Jacques Villeneuve
Jacques Villeneuve at Mont-Tremblant 2010 01.jpg
Villeneuve in 2010
Born (1971-04-09) April 9, 1971 (age 43)
Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada
Achievements 1997 Formula One World Champion
1995 PPG Indy Car World Series Champion
1995 Indianapolis 500 Winner
Awards 1994 PPG Indy Car World Series Rookie of the Year
1994 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
4 race(s) run over 3 year(s)
2013 position 51st
Best finish 51st (2013)
First race 2007 UAW-Ford 500 (Talladega)
Last race 2013 Toyota/Save Mart 350 (Sonoma)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
NASCAR Nationwide Series career
9 race(s) run over 5 year(s)
Best finish 49th (2012)
First race 2008 NAPA Auto Parts 200 (Montreal)
Last race 2012 NAPA Auto Parts 200 (Montreal)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 6 1
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
7 race(s) run over 1 year(s)
Best finish 42nd (2007)
First race 2007 Smith's Las Vegas 350 (Las Vegas)
Last race 2007 Ford 200 (Homestead)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
NASCAR Canadian Tire Series career
3 race(s) run over 2 year(s)
Car no., team No. 24 (Erb Racing)
2013 position 43rd
Best finish 33rd (2009)
First race 2009 Tide 250 (St. Eustache)
Last race 2013 JuliaWine.com 100 (Trois-Rivieres)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 2 0
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality Canada Canadian
Active years 19962006
Teams Williams, BAR, Renault, Sauber, BMW Sauber
Races 165 (164 starts)
Championships 1 (1997)
Wins 11
Podiums 23
Career points 235
Pole positions 13
Fastest laps 9
First race 1996 Australian Grand Prix
First win 1996 European Grand Prix
Last win 1997 Luxembourg Grand Prix
Last race 2006 German Grand Prix
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Participating years 20072008
Teams Peugeot
Best finish 2nd (2008)
Class wins 0
Champ Car career
33 race(s) run over 2 year(s)
Years active 1994–1995
Best finish 1st (1995)
First race 1994 Australian FAI Indycar Grand Prix (Surfers Paradise)
Last race 1995 Toyota Grand Prix of Monterey (Laguna Seca)
First win 1994 Texaco/Havoline 200 (Road America)
Last win 1995 Budweiser Grand Prix of Cleveland (Cleveland)
Wins Podiums Poles
5 10 6
Statistics current as of November 17, 2013.

Jacques Joseph Charles Villeneuve, OQ (French pronunciation: ​[ʒɑk vilnœv]) (born April 9, 1971), is a Canadian automobile racing driver and amateur musician. He is the son of Formula One driver Gilles Villeneuve, and is the namesake of his uncle, who was also a racer. Villeneuve won the 1995 CART Championship, the 1995 Indianapolis 500 and the 1997 Formula One World Championship, making him only the third driver after Mario Andretti and Emerson Fittipaldi to achieve such a feat. To date, no other Canadian has won the Indianapolis 500 or the F1 Drivers' title.

Following two successful years in CART, Villeneuve moved into Formula One with the front running Williams team, alongside Damon Hill. In his debut season, Villeneuve challenged Hill for the title, winning four races and taking the fight to the final round in Japan, where the Canadian retired and Hill won the title. Villeneuve, however, did win the following year's title, this time challenging Michael Schumacher and once again taking it to the final round in Jerez. In the race, the two collided, resulting in Schumacher's retirement and subsequent disqualification from the 1997 World Championship, with Villeneuve going on to take third place in the race, and the overall title.

1997 would be the last year in which Villeneuve would win a championship level race and finish the season in the top three. Renault had pulled out of Formula One for 1998 and Villeneuve's Williams team had to fare with less competitive Mecachrome engines. Villeneuve moved to the newly formed British American Racing team in 1999 and stayed there for the next four seasons but, following poor results he was replaced by former British Formula Three Champion Takuma Sato. After a short run with Renault at the end of 2004, Villeneuve moved to the Sauber team for the 2005 season where he was outscored by his less experienced teammate Felipe Massa. The Sauber team were bought out by BMW for the following season and Villeneuve struggled to score points, taking seven points from eleven rounds before suffering an injury in Germany. The Canadian was replaced by Robert Kubica and soon BMW and Villeneuve parted company.

Outside Formula One, Villeneuve has taken on several new careers: in sportscar racing, racing for Peugeot in the 2007 and 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans, jumping to NASCAR in August 2007 and racing as an invited driver in the Argentinian Top Race V6 series and the Australian-based International V8 Supercars Championship. As a musician, he has released an album titled Private Paradise.

Personal and early life[edit]

Villeneuve was born in the Canadian city of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, to aspiring Formula One driver Gilles Villeneuve and his wife Joann. Although Villeneuve was born in Canada, he was in fact raised in Monaco.[1] Villeneuve also has two sisters: Melanie and Jessica Villeneuve, the latter being a half sister. Villeneuve' uncle, Jacques Sr., was also a racing driver and in 1985 at Road America became the first Canadian to win a CART race. When Villeneuve was eleven years old, his father was killed during the qualifying session for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder following a collision with Jochen Mass.

Villeneuve currently lives in Andorra, a microstate that is located in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain.[2] Previously he has lived in Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland, Monaco, and Montreal, Canada. Villeneuve was among the first group inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame.[3] He was also named Canada's Athlete of the Year, receiving the Lou Marsh Trophy in 1995 and 1997.[4] In 1998, he was made an Officer of the National Order of Quebec.[citation needed]

Villeneuve's first girlfriend was Sandrine Gros d'Aillon. They dated until the late 1990s.[5][6][7] Villeneuve was also engaged to Australian singer Dannii Minogue in the late 1990s and was once engaged to American ballerina Ellen Green. He married his Parisienne girlfriend Johanna Martinez on May 29, 2006, at a civil ceremony in Switzerland. After the ceremony, it was announced the Villeneuves were expecting a baby in November. Johanna gave birth to a son, Jules, on November 14, 2006. Their second son Jonas was born on December 23, 2007. The couple divorced in July 2009.[8] In June 2012, Villeneuve married Camilla Lopez.[9]

In January 2007, Villeneuve purchased a $3 million home in Westmount in Montreal. His mother was the real estate agent responsible for the sale of the home.[10] Villeneuve owned a trendy nightclub and restaurant in Montreal called Newtown, but he sold it in 2009.[11]

Racing career[edit]

Early career[edit]

In 1984, two years after his father's death, Villeneuve asked his mother if he could follow his father's footsteps and go motor racing.[12] His mother, Joann, promised she would allow him to drive a kart if he got good marks in one of his weakest subjects, mathematics. Villeneuve applied himself at school and soon got the marks he required for his mother to fulfill her promise.[12] A year later, Joann allowed him to drive a 100 cc kart at a kart track in Imola.[12] The owners of the track, Luigi and Massimo Buratti, were impressed by the Canadian and after proving himself in a 100 cc machine, he moved up to the 135 cc version before, on the same day, being allowed onto the Grand Prix circuit with a Formula Four car.[12]

Soon, Villeneuve's uncle, Jacques Sr., enrolled him at the Jim Russell Racing Driver School in Mont Tremblant, Quebec. Villeneuve's course lasted three days and in that time the Canadian demonstrated a great amount of concentration for a boy of his age.[12] At the end of his course, the young Canadian received his diploma and chief instructor Gilbert Pednault declared Villeneuve as the best student he'd ever seen.[12] During the summer of 1987, Villeneuve attended a racing school set up by former instructor Richard Spenard. In return for helping in the garage, the Canadian received guidance in terms of race craft as he attempted to hone his skills.[12] At the age of seventeen, Villeneuve was too young to obtain a racing license in both his native Canada and Italy and so, with help from the Canadian Automotive Federation, got a license from Andorra.[12]

In 1988, the seventeen-year-old entered the Alfa Cup and, against former Formula One drivers Johnny Cecotto and Mauro Baldi, finished the two legged race in tenth position.[13] Two weeks later at Monza, Villeneuve was up against the likes of Riccardo Patrese and Nicola Larini.[13]

Villeneuve competed in the Italian Formula Three series from 1989 through 1991, but failed to make an impression.[1]

In 1992, he raced in the Japanese Formula Three series with the TOM's team, winning three races and placing second in the championship, as well as third in the non-championship Macau Grand Prix.

Villeneuve soon received an invitation from Craig Pollock to compete as a one–off in the Trois Rivières Formula Atlantic race, Villeneuve finished the race third and Pollock was impressed by Villeneuve, leading him to arrange for the Canadian to race in the North American Toyota Atlantic series for the upcoming season.[1]

During the 1993 season, Villeneuve took seven pole positions and five race victories from the 15 races.[1] However, a few crucial driving errors cost the Canadian the series title and so finished his debut season third in the standings.[1]

CART IndyCar World Series[edit]

Villeneuve's 1995 Indianapolis 500-winning car.

His Forsythe-Green team took Villeneuve up a level into the IndyCar championship in 1994. In his first year, Villeneuve came second at that year's Indianapolis 500 and won his first race at Road America, the circuit where his uncle had become the first Canadian to win a CART race nine years before. Villeneuve finished the season in sixth position; 131 points behind champion Al Unser Jr. and also taking the Rookie of the Year award.

Villeneuve started the '95 campaign strongly, winning the first race on the streets of Miami. Along with the win in Miami came three other victories, the most significant of which came at Indianapolis for the Indy 500. Despite a mid–race two lap penalty, Villeneuve fought his way back up through the field to win the race by two seconds over Brazilian Christian Fittipaldi. His performances, as well as his family name, brought him to the attention of Frank Williams, Managerial Director of the Williams Grand Prix team. Williams signed him to his Formula One team for 1996 and Villeneuve began testing the Williams F1 car in 1995 after the IndyCar season. Villeneuve was the last CART IndyCar World Series champion before the 1996 CART/IRL split created two rival series: The Indy Racing League (IRL) and the Champ Car World Series.[14]

Formula One[edit]

1996–1998: Williams[edit]

Villeneuve driving for the Williams Formula One team at the 1996 Canadian Grand Prix.


1996

Villeneuve signed a two-year contract with Williams with an option year available to him as well.[1] Villeneuve impressed during his debut race in Australia, taking pole position and almost won the race. But due to an oil leak Villeneuve was forced to slow down and allow team mate Damon Hill to pass and take victory at the opening round of the Championship, the Canadian however did manage to hold onto second place. It would be another 11 years before another driver finished on the podium on his debut which was Lewis Hamilton during the 2007 Australian Grand Prix.

Villeneuve won his first Formula One race at the fourth round at the Nürburgring despite coming under pressure from the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher. Villeneuve won a further three races, his four race victories still stand as the most in a rookie season (matched by Lewis Hamilton in 2007), and managed to take the title to the final round in Japan. The Canadian and team mate Hill were the only drivers who could win the title, but with a gap of nine points between himself and Hill prior to the final race his chances of winning the title were slim. In the end, Hill won the race while Villeneuve retired on the 37th lap after his right–rear wheel came off.

Having won 4 races in his debut season, Villeneuve took the record for most wins in his first championship season. He also become the first driver in Formula One history to finish second in his first championship season. Both records were later equaled by Lewis Hamilton in 2007.

1997

Hill was dropped by Williams for 1997, making Villeneuve the team's lead driver. German Heinz-Harald Frentzen was brought in to replace Hill. Villeneuve once again challenged for the title, but instead of Hill, the Canadian found himself battling with then double World Champion Michael Schumacher.

Coulthard took the opening race in Australia but Villeneuve took the next two wins in Brazil and Argentina. Five more victories came that season at the Spanish, British, Hungarian, Austrian and Luxembourg Grand Prix. Villeneuve also claimed ten pole positions. His main rival Schumacher had five wins of his own to set up a showdown at the final race of the season.

At Suzuka, Villeneuve started on pole but was placed at the back of the grid after ignoring yellow flags during Saturday practice. An appeal by Williams saw his position reinstated. However, Villeneuve finished 5th but was disqualified from the race leaving Schumacher leading the Drivers Championship by one point.[15]

The title was decided at the final round in Jerez. Villeneuve came out on top and won the World Championship in only his second season, but the race was remembered for a collision between himself and title rival Schumacher. As Villeneuve passed Schumacher at the Dry–Sac corner during the 48th lap, the German turned into the Canadian's car; leaving Villeneuve with a damaged sidepod. Villeneuve recovered however and took third place and the title while Schumacher retired and was disqualified from the Championship.[16]

Villeneuve driving for Williams at the 1998 Italian Grand Prix.
1998

Villeneuve's career went into sharp decline following his World Championship title. Remaining with Williams in 1998 (and becoming the first Williams driver since Keke Rosberg in 1982 to stay with the team for his title defense), he struggled with an underpowered Mecachrome engine which were basically rebadged Renault V10 engines from the previous season that despite some development had been overtaken in power by both Ferrari and the Mercedes-Benz powered McLarens. He failed to win a single race (like Hill the previous season), although he did finish on the podium twice in Germany and Hungary. Villeneuve finished fifth in the Drivers' Championship with 21 points, 79 points behind Champion Mika Häkkinen in the McLaren-Mercedes.

1999–2003: BAR[edit]

Villeneuve driving for BAR in the team's first season, at the 1999 Canadian Grand Prix.
1999

In 1999, Villeneuve joined the newly founded British American Racing (BAR) team, co-founded and partly owned by Villeneuve's personal manager, Craig Pollock, and by Adrian Reynard. Joining him as his team mate was Brazilian Ricardo Zonta. There was a lot of media hype about the new squad, but despite the high expectations, BAR had a poor season, retiring from the first eleven races of the season -an unfortunate record- and not scoring a single Championship point. At times the car showed a promising pace, Villeneuve running in third place at Barcelona, but often, technical problems ruined his chances. Villeneuve suffered a high speed crash during practice at the Belgian Grand Prix at the Eau Rouge corner, from which he emerged unharmed.[17]

2000

Despite the lack of a competitive car in 1999, the Canadian remained loyal to Pollock's team as did Zonta. The Supertec engines of the previous season were replaced by Honda engines and the new BAR–Honda package proved to be more competitive with Villeneuve finishing in the points on seven different occasions and almost secured a podium finish at the United States Grand Prix.

2001
Villeneuve driving for BAR at the 2001 Canadian Grand Prix.

Zonta left BAR in 2001 to join Jordan as a test driver. The Brazilian was replaced by experienced Frenchman Olivier Panis. Villeneuve was involved in a crash at the Australian Grand Prix, the first race of the season, when he hit the back of Ralf Schumacher's Williams. A track marshal was killed when a stray tyre hit him in the chest.[18] Villeneuve scored five points less than the previous season, but finished on the podium twice in Spain and Germany. The latter was the final podium finish of his Grand Prix career.

Villeneuve in 2002.
2002

Pollock was sacked from his post as team manager in 2002 and was replaced by Prodrive boss David Richards. Along with Pollock, Richards sacked Technical Director Malcolm Oastler and fifty members of staff at BAR.[19] The Englishman soon began to debate over Villeneuve's £15 million annual salary.[19] From this point on, Villeneuve felt less comfortable at the team. The BAR 004 proved to be a much less competitive car than the teams' previous two, with neither Villeneuve or Panis scoring points consistently with only seven points scored between them, Villeneuve scoring four points to Panis' three.

2003
Villeneuve driving for BAR at the 2003 United States Grand Prix. Villeneuve retired from the race ten laps from the finish with an engine problem.

With one year left to run on his contract Villeneuve turned down a lucrative offer to spend a season racing in CART before returning to BAR for 2004 and 2005, a deal which Villeneuve claimed was spoken about but never actually produced for him to sign. Instead, he decided that he would see out his present deal in the hope of landing a role at another Grand Prix team the following year. The Canadian was joined by Jenson Button from Renault in 2003 as Panis was offered a drive at the Toyota which the Frenchman took.[20] Button would prove to become the second of Villeneuve's teammates to outscore him in the Drivers' Championship as, unlike the Canadian, the Briton was able to score consistently with the BAR 005, finishing in the points every two races on average.

Villeneuve was criticized by the media for being outpaced by his inexperienced teammate and before the final round in Japan, the Canadian was replaced by former British Formula Three Champion Takuma Sato.[21]

2004: Renault[edit]

With no contract for 2004, Villeneuve was forced to take a sabbatical, but maintained that he wanted to return to the sport. He continued training and made a special appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed driving his late father's Ferrari. In September, Villeneuve returned to Formula One, driving the final three Grands Prix of the season for the French Renault team. Jarno Trulli had fallen out of favour and team boss Flavio Briatore felt Villeneuve would be worth a gamble.[22] Although vowing to help Renault achieve second place in the constructors championship, ahead of his former team BAR, Villeneuve failed to score a single point, unable to finish any of his races on the lead lap; Renault settled for third in the final standings. Villeneuve admitted that the enforced lay-off had cost him vital seat time. With the cars so much faster than in 2003, he found it difficult to adapt, and with an up-and-coming Fernando Alonso as team-mate his task was made all the more difficult. The young Spaniard proved faster. Just before his 3-race Renault comeback, Villeneuve signed a two-year contract to drive for Sauber, starting in 2005.[23]

2005–2006: Sauber and BMW Sauber[edit]

Villeneuve driving for Sauber at the 2005 Canadian Grand Prix.
2005

His Sauber debut at the Australian Grand Prix saw him start the grid in fourth position, although the Canadian would finish the race nine places down the order in thirteenth and a lap down. For the opening three races he was the slowest driver on Michelin tyres and rumours began to spread that he would soon be replaced. The rumours proved unfounded and at Imola he scored his first points for the team with a fourth place. The pressure was soon back on him when he forced team-mate Felipe Massa off the track when attempting to overtake the Brazilian in Monaco, ruining both their races. Towards the end of the season, his pace improved and he scored more points at Belgium, where he finished sixth, moving ahead of Massa in the championship tables, although Massa repassed him after finishing 6th in the season finale in China. In terms of speed, the two team-mates were fairly evenly matched by the end of the year. Massa was later drafted into Ferrari to support Michael Schumacher's 2006 campaign.

After much uncertainty, in late 2005 BMW confirmed that Villeneuve would race for BMW Sauber in 2006. GP2 frontrunner Heikki Kovalainen and Indycar champion Dan Wheldon had both been linked with the seat, but BMW opted to honour Villeneuve's contract; to cut the contract would possibly have been an expensive exercise that would have cost them around $2 million, and Villeneuve was popular with the sponsors and team personnel.

2006
Villeneuve at the 2006 Canadian Grand Prix.


Several changes were made at Sauber during the off season. First, the Swiss team were bought by BMW and renamed BMW Sauber. The German manufacturer wished to start their own works team following a six-year partnership with Villeneuve's former employers Williams. In addition, Massa left Sauber for the vacant role left by Rubens Barrichello at Ferrari and Nick Heidfeld was brought in to replace him. Villeneuve scored seven points during the first twelve rounds of the season. But at the German Grand Prix, Villeneuve had allegedly sustained an injury in a crash on lap 31.[24]

Villeneuve walks away from his crashed F1.06 at the 2006 German Grand Prix, his last F1 race.

After replacing Villeneuve in Hungary, test driver Robert Kubica drove to a solid seventh place, despite the chaotic wet conditions, but was later disqualified because his car was too light. Within days, BMW and Villeneuve announced that they had parted company with immediate effect.[25] The reason for his departure was later revealed that he simply did not want to be a part of a potential "shoot-out" with Kubica, feeling that he had proven himself already.[26]

2010: Stefan[edit]

Villeneuve was close to signing with Stefan GP for the 2010 Formula One season, and undertook a seat fitting, but the FIA did not certify Stefan GP for competition in 2010. Villeneuve stated he was still looking for further opportunities in Formula One in 2010 and 2011.[27]

2011: Potential team ownership[edit]

In the middle of July 2010, reports from the German media emerged revealing that Villeneuve was putting together an entry bid to join the 2011 Formula One grid with his own team under the name "Villeneuve Racing". The report went on to suggest that Villeneuve Racing had satisfied the entry criteria set by the FIA and had joined two other outfits on a shortlist of teams under consideration for the grid entry. Villeneuve subsequently released a statement confirming the existence of the entry, and that it is a collaboration with the Italian Durango team.[28]

Le Mans[edit]

Villeneuve was partnered with fellow ex–Formula One driver Marc Gené, joining them was Frenchman Nicolas Minassian. Here, the trio's number seven Peugeot 908 HDi FAP is being prepared for the Le Mans race.

On January 10, 2007, at the launch of the 908 HDi FAP diesel-powered Le Mans prototype, Villeneuve was confirmed as one of Peugeot Sport's nine drivers for the 2007 24 Hours of Le Mans. This was his first drive in a sportscar since working with Toyota in 1992. For the race, Villeneuve shared the No.7 car with Marc Gené and Nicolas Minassian. Villeneuve set the fastest time of the three drivers in qualifying to put the car into fourth place on the starting grid. The car ran second for much of the race before pitting with engine problems at 12:39 pm. The car was officially retired at 1.42pm with only 100 minutes left of the race, after the team decided the problem could not be fixed.

In the 2008 race, Villeneuve and his Nº 7 Peugeot team finished 2nd. The team led for several hours but began to lose their lead when it rained. They did lose the lead in the 15th hour during a pitstop change. The Nº 2 Audi team won after leading for the final 10 hours.

Villeneuve has since pledged to keep competing in the event until he wins it, and has been supported by Allan McNish.[29] If he wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans, he would become the first person since Graham Hill to win the Triple Crown of Motorsport, having previously won both the Indianapolis 500 and the Formula One World Championship.[30]

NASCAR[edit]

Villeneuve racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in early 2008.

In a subsequent interview with Autosport magazine, Villeneuve's manager Craig Pollock confirmed that Villeneuve's Formula One career was over.[31] It was announced on August 24, 2007 that Villeneuve would run the remaining seven races in the Craftsman Truck Series driving a Toyota Tundra for Bill Davis Racing and undertake a full-time Sprint Cup schedule in 2008. In Villeneuve's first Craftsman Truck Series race on September 22, 2007, in Las Vegas, he qualified in seventh position, and finished 21st. He made his NASCAR Nextel Cup race debut in the UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama over the weekend of 5–7 October 2007. He qualified sixth, however, due to his lack of experience in this type of car, he elected to start the race from the back of the field and ran there for most of the race. He finished 21st due to a large number of accidents and mechanical failure on the other cars. Villeneuve failed to qualify for the 2008 Daytona 500. He lost his ride in Bill Davis Racing's #27 car due to a loss of sponsorship, two days after he caused a pileup in his qualifying race, when his car got loose, then slid back up the track, colliding with another car.[32] He took part in the Nationwide race in Montreal for Braun Racing. The race started off in the sun, but before halfway, it began to rain and the teams were told to pit and use rain-tires, for the first time in NASCAR. Qualifying 5th, Villeneuve finished 16th after crashing into a car during a caution caused by poor visibility due to the rain. The race ended shortly after.

Villeneuve at the 2011 Road America Nationwide race

In 2009, Villeneuve had two starts in the Canadian Tire Series. His best start was fifth and his best finish was fourth, both in the August 2009 event at Circuit de Trois-Rivieres. Villeneuve also had two starts in the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series, both for Braun Racing, with his best performance starting sixth and finishing fourth at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, again under wet conditions and the second time rain tires were used in a NASCAR event. He was then tabbed to drive the #32 car in Montreal and at Road America in 2010.[33] At Road America, he qualified second and stayed in second place for much of the race including leading three laps. He was unable to complete the race since an alternator wire broke on the final lap; he was credited with a 25th place finish as the first car one lap down.[34][35] For 2011 Villeneuve agreed to take over for Brad Keselowski in the number 22 car for Penske Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for two races which Keselowski could not attend. He started and finished third at Road America; later he won the pole at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve before finishing 27th.[36]

Villeneuve made his return to the Cup Series in 2013 in the 51 car for Phoenix Racing at Sonoma Raceway.[37]

Speedcar[edit]

With no sponsor for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. Villeneuve joined the Speedcar Series for the remainder of the 2008 season. The series is composed of road courses and stockcars similar to NASCAR and Villeneuve said "On a personal level, Speedcar will give me more road racing experience with this kind of cars which will be useful in future NASCAR road course events and it's also a great excuse to meet race fans."[38] He raced four times with a best finish of sixth place.

Top Race V6[edit]

After racing both NASCAR Sprint Cup and Speedcar Series, Villeneuve was invited by the Top Race V6 chairman Alejandro Urtubey to join the series in its major event of the 2008 season, called La Carrera del Año (The Race of the Year), held at the Buenos Aires circuit. Villeneuve raced the #27 car (Volkswagen Passat silhouette) of the Oro Racing team and finishing the race in the 16th place. In 2009 he was invited again to run in two out of the three major races in the season: one at Interlagos on July 19 (did not finish after contact with Leonel Pernía and spun) and the other being the second edition of La Carrera del Año at the Buenos Aires circuit on September 20, the last mentioned race being its better results in the series, finishing 13th. During a press conference held during the previous week before La Carrera del Año, Villeneuve stated that he would race the whole 2010 season if he did not get anything in Formula One or NASCAR.

2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games[edit]

Villeneuve was one of several celebrity Canadians who carried the Olympic flag into Vancouver Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the 21st Winter Olympic Games. He also carried the Olympic torch.

V8 Supercars[edit]

Villeneuve driving for Kelly Racing at the Coates Hire Ipswich 300 in 2012

Villeneuve first competed in the V8 Supercar series as an endurance co-driver partnered with Paul Dumbrell for Rod Nash Racing in the 2010 Gold Coast 600.[39]

In 2012, Villeneuve participated in the Sucrogen Townsville 400, Coates Hire Ipswich 300 and Sydney Motorsport Park 360 rounds, driving the #51 Pepsi-sponsored Kelly Racing Holden VE Commodore filling in for an injured Greg Murphy.[40]

FIA World Rallycross Championship[edit]

In 2014 it was announced that Villeneuve will be taking part in the FIA World Rallycross Championship with Albatec Racing in a Peugeot 208.[41]

In February 2014 Albatec released Villeneuve from his contract to race in the UK round of the World Rallycross Championship so that he can race in the Indy 500 for Schmidt Peterson Motorsport.[42]

Helmet[edit]

Villeneuve uses a yellow helmet, with the upper part blue, and pink, red and green lines. Villeneuve apparently designed his helmet while doodling on a drawing pad. The pink line forms a 'V' on each side, which Villeneuve has been quoted as saying was 'unintentional'. Some say that the colors of the helmet were based on the shirt of his mother Joann.

Villeneuve's Helmet

Music career[edit]

Though he started writing his lyrics during his lower league days in Japan, it was not until 2006 that he released his first commercial single "Accepterais-tu", a French song with lyrics that fit well with his present personal status—asking his loved one to marry him. On February 19, 2007, Villeneuve released his first album entitled Private Paradise. The launch was held at his café[43] where he performed two songs in front of a crowd largely composed of news reporters. When asked about his expectations on the album he released the following statement: "I hope the album makes a great success. I would never do something hoping to get criticized."[44] His new record had very low sales; as of March 9, 2007, only 233 copies were sold in the entire province of Quebec and about 30 outside of Quebec and Canada – excluding digital sales.[45] On December 31, 2007, Infoman 2007, a satirical end-of-year review on Radio-Canada, announced that he had sold only 836 CDs in North America.

TV advertisements[edit]

Villeneuve has appeared in various TV commercials for Honda when he was driving for the BAR team. In March 2006, when driving for BMW Sauber, he appeared in television campaign for Intel's Centrino laptop campaign, in which he touts the benefits of using Intel Centrino Duo Mobile Technology.

Villeneuve also appeared in a Canadian commercial alongside Olympic gold medal-winning sprinter and countryman Donovan Bailey shortly after winning his 1997 F1 World Driver's title. The ad proclaimed Canada to be the "fastest nation on earth."

In 1997, following his win of the Formula One World Championship, Villeneuve appeared in a Volkswagen advert on Quebec television. Villeneuve was seen driving a VW before stopping and saying at the camera that he has nothing against German guys, much less for the "allemandes", referring to the vehicle and German girls—a reference to his rivalry with Michael Schumacher and for the incident at the 1997 European Grand Prix.

Villeneuve also appeared briefly in the 2001 Sylvester Stallone action movie Driven as a race car driver.

Motorsports career results[edit]

Career summary[edit]

Season Series Team Name No. Races Poles Wins Pts Final Placing
1989 Italian Formula Three Prema Racing 6 0 0 0  –
1990 Italian Formula Three Prema Racing 12 0 0 10 13th
1991 Italian Formula Three Prema Racing 11 3 0 20 6th
1992 Japanese Formula Three TOM'S 8 11 2 3 45 2nd
All Japan Sports Prototype Championship Toyota Team TOM'S 7 1 0 0 N/A NC
Toyota Atlantic Championship Comprep/Player's 49 1 0 0 14 28th
1993 Toyota Atlantic Championship Forsythe/Green Racing 10 15 7 5 185 3rd
Formula Three Macau Grand Prix March Racing 1 0 0 N/A NC
1994 PPG Indy Car World Series Forsythe/Green Racing 12 15 0 1 94 6th
1995 PPG Indy Car World Series Team Green 27 17 6 4 172 1st
1996 Formula One Rothmans Williams Renault 6 16 3 4 78 2nd
1997 Formula One Rothmans Williams Renault 3 17 10 7 81 1st
1998 Formula One Winfield Williams 1 16 0 0 21 5th
1999 Formula One British American Racing 22 16 0 0 0 21st
2000 Formula One Lucky Strike BAR Honda 22 17 0 0 17 7th
2001 Formula One Lucky Strike BAR Honda 10 17 0 0 12 7th
2002 Formula One Lucky Strike BAR Honda 11 17 0 0 4 12th
2003 Formula One Lucky Strike BAR Honda 16 14 0 0 6 16th
2004 Formula One Mild Seven Renault F1 team 7 3 0 0 0 21st
2005 Formula One Credit Suisse Sauber Petronas 11 18 0 0 9 14th
2006 Formula One BMW Sauber F1 team 17 12 0 0 7 15th
2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup Bill Davis Racing Toyota 27 2 0 0 140 60th
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Bill Davis Racing Toyota 27 7 0 0 615 59th
Le Mans 24 Hours Team Peugeot Total LMP1 7 1 0 0 N/A DNF
2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Braun Racing Toyota 32 1 0 0 120 111th
Speedcar Series Speedcar Team 96 4 0 0 3 13th
Le Mans Series Team Peugeot Total LMP1 7 1 0 1 10 9th
Le Mans 24 Hours Team Peugeot Total LMP1 7 1 0 0 N/A 2nd
Top Race V6 Oro Racing Team 27 1 0 0 0 NC
2008/09 Speedcar Series Durango 96 5 0 0 7 11th
2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series Braun Racing Toyota 32 1 0 0 165 107th
NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Jacombs Racing Ford 7 2 0 0 257 33rd
Top Race V6 27 2 0 0 0 NC
2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Braun Racing Toyota 32 1 0 0 76 69th
NASCAR Nationwide Series Braun Racing Toyota 32 3 0 0 405 77th
V8 Supercar Championship Series Rod Nash Racing 55 2 0 0 N/A NC
2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series Penske Racing 22 2 1 0 61 52nd
Copa Caixa Stock Car Shell V-Power Racing 27 1 0 0 N/A NC
2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series Penske Racing 22 2 0 0 82 49th
International V8 Supercars Championship Series Kelly Racing 51 6 0 0 N/A NC
No. = Car Number

American Open-Wheel racing results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position, races in italics indicate fastest race lap)

Toyota Atlantic Championship[edit]

CART[edit]

IndyCar Series[edit]

Indianapolis 500[edit]

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish Team
1994 Reynard 94I Ford XB 4 2 Forsythe/Green Racing
1995 Reynard 95I Ford XB 5 1 Team Green

Formula One[edit]

(key)

Sports car racing[edit]

24 Hours of Le Mans[edit]

Le Mans Series[edit]

Complete 24 Hours of Spa[edit]

NASCAR[edit]

(key) (Bold - Pole position awarded by time. Italics - Pole position earned by points standings. * – Most laps led.)

Sprint Cup Series[edit]

Nationwide Series[edit]

Craftsman Truck Series[edit]

Other stock cars[edit]

Speedcar Series[edit]

(key)

Stock Car Brasil[edit]

Touring Cars[edit]

V8 Supercar[edit]

† Not Eligible for points

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Collings and Edworthy, pg 272
  2. ^ "Quebec's 'evolution' led to departure: Jacques Villeneuve". Retrieved 2013-06-21. 
  3. ^ "Canada's Walk of Fame 1998 Inductees". Retrieved 2012-06-24. 
  4. ^ "Villeneuve Flags Down Lout Marsh". 1995-12-15. Retrieved 2012-06-24. 
  5. ^ James Deacon. "Villeneuve, Jacques (Profile)". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2010-06-25. 
  6. ^ "Jacques Villeneuve Married and Expecting". Engagements.ca. Retrieved 2010-06-25. 
  7. ^ Siano, Joseph (1995-05-29). "AUTO RACING; Villeneuve Goes the Extra Mile (Well, 5) to Win". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  8. ^ Panzariu, Ovidiu (2009-08-14). "Jacques Villeneuve Confirms Divorce from Johanna". Auto Evolution. Retrieved 2014-01-23. 
  9. ^ Harris, Mike (2012-08-17). "NASCAR MONTREAL 2012: Eyeing the prize Jacques Villeneuve is excited about getting another change to race Nationwide". Canada.com. Retrieved 2014-01-23. 
  10. ^ Faribault, Charles (2007-01-16). "Jacques Villeneuve s'installe à Westmount" (in French). Le Canal Nouvelles. Retrieved 2007-07-12. 
  11. ^ "Jacques Villeneuve vendrait son restaurant Newtown". Argent.canoe.ca. 2009-04-23. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h "JV World.com – Biography (Part I)". Jacque Villeneuve Official Website. Archived from the original on 2007-10-14. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  13. ^ a b "JV World.com > Biography (Part II)". Jacque Villeneuve Official Website. Archived from the original on 2007-07-03. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  14. ^ "Villeneuve wins series title". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. September 11, 1995. p. 78. 
  15. ^ "Villeneuve Awaits Ruling". The New York Times. October 14, 1997. 
  16. ^ "Villeneuve wins first title after Schumacher crashes out". BBC News. Retrieved October 26, 1997. 
  17. ^ Tremayne, David (August 29, 1999). "Motor racing: Villeneuve plays down his brush with disaster". The Independent. 
  18. ^ Spurgeon, Brad (March 5, 2001). "Villeneuve's Crash Debris Kills Track Official : Schumacher Captures Australian Grand Prix". The New York Times. 
  19. ^ a b F1 Rejects, Paragraph 24
  20. ^ "Villeneuve rejects CART return". BBC Sport. Retrieved August 27, 2002. 
  21. ^ "Sato replaces Villeneuve". BBC Sport. Retrieved October 7, 2003. 
  22. ^ "Renault hand Villeneuve an F1 lifeline". rediff sports. Retrieved September 15, 2004. 
  23. ^ GrandPrix.com – Sauber announces Villeneuve deal – 15 Sept. 2004
  24. ^ "Kubica replaces Villeneuve". GrandPrix.com. 2006-08-01. Retrieved 2007-07-20. 
  25. ^ "Villeneuve parts company with BMW". BBC. August 7, 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-07. 
  26. ^ "Villeneuve: The real reason I left F1". The Sports Network. 2006-09-07. Archived from the original on 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2007-07-13. 
  27. ^ "Villeneuve sad to see Stefan miss out". Autosport. 4 March 2010. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  28. ^ Villeneuve, Jacques (2010-07-20). "Villeneuve responds to speculation". jv-world.com (JV-World). Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  29. ^ "McNish Backs Villeneuve Over Le Mans Return". uk.eurosport.yahoo.com. 2007-06-18. Retrieved 2007-08-18. [dead link]
  30. ^ Mortefontaine – January 10, 2007 908 HDi FAP – Action!! Peugeot press release. Retrieved January 11, 2007.
  31. ^ "Jacques' done with F1". Yahoo!. 2006-08-24. Retrieved 2007-07-13. [dead link]
  32. ^ McDonald, Norris (2008-02-16). "Villeneuve loses NASCAR ride". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2008-02-18. 
  33. ^ "JACQUES VILLENEUVE TO DRIVE FOR BRAUN RACING IN MONTREAL | NASCAR Napa Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge". Napa200.ca. 2010-06-02. Retrieved 2010-06-25. 
  34. ^ "2010 Bucyrus 200". Racing Reference. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  35. ^ Montgomery, Lee. "Edwards Wins In Nationwide’s Debut At Road America". Sporting News. Retrieved 21 June 2010. 
  36. ^ "2011 Nationwide Series results". Racing Reference. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 
  37. ^ "Drivers for the #51 at MIchigan and Sonoma". Jayski.com (ESPN). June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013. 
  38. ^ "JACQUES signs up with Speedcar Series". j-vworld.com. 2008-03-31. Retrieved 2008-04-03. [dead link]
  39. ^ "Jacques Villeneuve heads stellar international cast for Gold Coast 600". 
  40. ^ "Villeneuve locked in for return at Ipswich and Sydney". V8X Magazine. 
  41. ^ Bristow, Matt (13 February 2014). "Former F1 Champion Villeneuve commits to World RX". The Checkered Flag. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  42. ^ http://albatecracing.com/news/news_item.asp?NewsID=40
  43. ^ "Villeneuve releasing first song". flagworld.auto123.com. 2006-06-20. Retrieved 2007-08-18. 
  44. ^ http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20070219/CPARTS03/702190972/1017/CPARTS[dead link]
  45. ^ http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20070309/CPARTS03/70309016/5020/CPARTS03[dead link]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Al Unser, Jr.
Indianapolis 500 Winner
1995
Succeeded by
Buddy Lazier
PPG Indy Car World Series Champion
1995
Succeeded by
Jimmy Vasser
Preceded by
Damon Hill
Formula One World Champion
1997
Succeeded by
Mika Häkkinen
Achievements
Preceded by
Nigel Mansell
Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
1994
Succeeded by
Christian Fittipaldi
Indy Car Rookie of the Year
1994
Succeeded by
Gil de Ferran
Awards
Preceded by
Myriam Bédard
Lou Marsh Trophy winner
1995
Succeeded by
Donovan Bailey
Preceded by
David Coulthard
Lorenzo Bandini Trophy
1996
Succeeded by
Luca di Montezemolo
Preceded by
Donovan Bailey
Lou Marsh Trophy winner
1997
Succeeded by
Larry Walker
Preceded by
Damon Hill
Hawthorn Memorial Trophy
1997
Succeeded by
David Coulthard
Autosport International Racing Driver Award
1997
Succeeded by
Mika Häkkinen
Records
Preceded by
Juan Manuel Fangio (1950) and
Giuseppe Farina (1950)
3 wins
Most Wins in first Formula One season
4 wins

1996
tied with Lewis Hamilton (2007)
Succeeded by
Co-Incumbent