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Jacques Villeneuve

Villeneuve won the 1995 Indianapolis 500
Jacques Villeneuve
Birthplace 22px-Flag of the Canada.png Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec
Car number 17
Team BMW Sauber
Races 141
Championships 1 (1997)
Wins 11
Podiums 23
Poles 13
Fastest laps 9
First race 1996 Australian Grand Prix
First win 1996 European Grand Prix
Last season 2005
Last position 13th (5 pts)


Jacques Joseph Charles Villeneuve (born April 9, 1971) is a Canadian automobile racing driver, and winner of Formula One and Champ Car championships and the Indianapolis 500, one of only two drivers to accomplish all three feats (the other being Emerson Fittipaldi).


Early years

Born in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada, Villeneuve's father was the highly respected Gilles Villeneuve, a Formula One driver killed during qualifying at the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix when Jacques was only eleven years old. His uncle, also named Jacques , was a moderately successful driver in American and Canadian road racing, winning one IndyCar race. Young Jacques, following his family's racing footsteps, first competed in the Italian Formula 3 series from 1989 through 1991. In 1992, he raced in the Japanese Formula 3 series, winning three races and placing second in the championship. In 1993, Jacques moved to the North American Toyota Atlantic racing series, where he won five races. He moved to Champ Car in 1994, and was the series Rookie of the Year after a string of strong results, including his first victory at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. In 1995, he won the Indianapolis 500 (running 505 miles due to a 2-lap penalty) on his way to winning the championship. Villeneuve is the last Indycar champion to win the title before the 1996 CART/IRL split created two rival series. As such his achievements perhaps carry greater weight.


Formula One

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

As a result of his success racing in the United States, Villeneuve attracted the attentions of Frank Williams who tested him in 1995 with a view to signing him. The Canadian impressed and, in 1996, he moved to Formula One with the Williams team. His debut was nothing less than spectacular, as he became only the second Formula One driver in history to achieve both a pole and a podium position in his maiden grand prix. He led the race until an engine problem caused by an earlier off-course moment forced him to slow and settle for second behind teammate Damon Hill. He won four races that year, reached the podium 11 times, and finished with 78 points — all rookie records which still stand today. The debut victory came at the Nürburgring where he held off reigning world champion Michael Schumacher. He finished the season runner-up in the drivers championship to Hill, having taken the title battle down the wire at Suzuka. That final race saw a crash end his hopes in spectacular fashion. His impressive debut helped Williams win the constructors championship by over 100 points in 1996.

With the 1997 departure of Hill to Arrows, Villeneuve became the number one at Williams, comfortably outpacing new team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen. In just his second season in Formula One he became world champion by claiming 7 wins, 10 poles, 8 podiums, and 81 points. He clinched the title in dramatic fashion by beating Ferrari star Michael Schumacher in the final race of the year at Jerez. Schumacher, under pressure from his rival, made a mistake allowing Villeneuve to close in. The German replicated his 1994 Australian Grand Prix tactics and turned in on Villeneuve. The cars made contact but Villeneuve was able to continue, finishing in third place and claiming the title. Schumacher was stripped of second place in that year's standings. 1997 also saw Williams crowned constructors champions once more, but with Renault pulling out of the sport the future was not to be so successful for the team.

Villeneuve's career went into sharp decline following his drivers championship. Remaining with Williams in 1998, he struggled with an underpowered Mecachrome engine, and failed to win a single race. His fifth in the standings was disappointing for a title defence. Two third places (at Hockenheim and the Hungaroring) and a front-row grid slot at Monza were the only highlights.


Struggles at BAR

In 1999, Villeneuve joined the newly-founded British American Racing (BAR) team, co-founded and partly owned by Villeneuve's personal manager, Craig Pollock. The hype surrounding the new squad was massive and despite the high expectations BAR had a truly dreadful season, not scoring a single championship point all year long. At times the car showed promising pace, Villeneuve running in third place at Barcelona, but all too often technical problems ruined his chances. Team-mate Ricardo Zonta's lack of experience may also have hindered development. Autosport magazine speculated on Villeneuve switching back to Williams for 2000, but he went on to race for BAR until late 2003, never placing higher than seventh in the drivers championship. The majority of his tenure at BAR is marked by repeated mechanical failures; when he did manage to finish a race, it usually was not on the lead lap. 2000 can be considered his best season at the team. With works Honda engines, BAR's speed improved, whilst reliability was also better. Villeneuve was unable to score a podium, but did come close at Indianapolis where he narrowly lost a duel with former team-mate Frentzen. 2001 saw French veteran Olivier Panis stepping into the second seat. Panis was often able to match Villeneuve, but the 1997 champion had the better results, two third places at Barcelona and Hockenheim being the team's first rostrums. The season had started terribly however; Villeneuve was involved in a tragic accident in Melbourne which led to the death of a marshal. At the end of 2001 a major managerial reshuffle took place. Villeneuve's friend and manager Pollock was sacked, Prodrive boss David Richards taking over. From this point on, Villeneuve felt less comfortable at the team. 2002 was a poor year, with the team slipping backwards in terms of pace. Points were scarce and it was not until the middle of the year that Villeneuve scored any, a fourth at Silverstone his best result in 2002. 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. 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. Bitter public rows between himself and Richards over salary soured the relationship further. 2003 saw Villeneuve come under harsh media criticism for being regularly outpaced by his younger (and less experienced) teammate, Jenson Button. Many critics also questioned Villeneuve's reported $19 million annual salary, given that he scored a meager six championship points that year. With his stock falling he had few options for 2004 and when BAR announced Takuma Sato as his replacement for the next season, he quit one race early. Sato filled in at Suzuka. After Villeneuve's departure, BAR would rise from fifth place to second in the constructor championship. From 1996 to 2003, Villeneuve competed in 131 Grands Prix, with a grand total of 11 wins and 13 pole positions.

Villeneuve in the pits at the 2002 US Grand Prix


Comeback

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 driving his late father's Ferrari. In September, Villeneuve returned to Formula One, driving the final three Grands Prix of the season for French-based Renault. Jarno Trulli had fallen out of favour and team boss Flavio Briatore felt Villeneuve would be worth a gamble. 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. Jacques 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 Fernando Alonso as team-mate his task was made all the more difficult. The young Spaniard was naturally much faster. Just before his 3-race Renault comeback, Villeneuve signed a two-year contract to drive for Sauber, starting in 2005.

His Sauber debut at the Australian Grand Prix was remarkable only for his (weather assisted) P4 starting position. 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 managed to score his first points for the team. The pressure was soon back on him when he forced team-mate Felipe Massa off the track when attempting an over-ambitious overtaking move in Monaco, ruining both their races. Towards the end of the season, his pace improved however, and he scored more points at Belgium, 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, but it is Massa who dons the red overalls of Ferrari in 2006, not Villeneuve. 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; the cost of ditching him perhaps being too high. Villeneuve will need to perform well to have a future in F1 beyond next season. Alex Wurz is already being touted as a replacement for 2007... (See External links)


Personal

When not racing, Jacques Villeneuve lives in Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland. He has, however, remained a Canadian citizen, and has never been married. He appeared briefly in the 2001 Sylvester Stallone action movie Driven as a race car driver. Villeneuve was the first person inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame and was also named Canada's Athelete of the Year (Lou Marsh Trophy) in 1995 and 1997. He was previously engaged to Australian singer Dannii Minogue in the late 1990s and is currently engaged to American ballerina Ellie Green.

Jacques Villeneuve owns a trendy nightclub and restaurant in Montreal called Newtown, after the English translation of his last name, Villeneuve ('Ville' being the French version of 'Town', and "'Neuve' meaning 'new'). It is located on Crescent Street, one of Montreal's hottest nightspots.


Motorsport career results

Racing record

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 0 -
Toyota Atlantic Comprep/Player's 1 0 0 14 28th
1993 Toyota Atlantic Forsythe-Green Racing 15 7 5 185 3rd
1994 Indycar World Series Forsythe-Green Racing 12 15 0 1 94 6th
1995 Indycar World Series Team Green 27 17 6 4 172 1st
1996 Formula One Williams-Renault 6 16 3 4 78 2nd
1997 Formula One Williams-Renault 3 17 10 7 81 1st
1998 Formula One Williams-Mecachrome 1 16 0 0 21 5th
1999 Formula One British American Racing 22 16 0 0 0 21st
2000 Formula One British American Racing 22 17 0 0 17 7th
2001 Formula One British American Racing 10 17 0 0 12 7th
2002 Formula One British American Racing 11 17 0 0 4 12th
2003 Formula One British American Racing 16 14 0 0 6 16th
2004 Formula One Renault 7 3 0 0 0 21st
2005 Formula One Sauber 11 18 0 0 9 14th
2006 Formula One BMW Sauber 17 12 0 0 7 15th
2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup Bill Davis Racing Toyota 27 2 0 0 140 42nd
2007 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Bill Davis Racing Toyota 27 7 0 0 615 59th
2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup* TBA -- 0 0 0 0 --
2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series* Braun Racing Toyota 32 1 0 0 0 --
2008 Speedcar Series Speedcar Team 96 4 0 0 3 13th
2008 Le Mans Series* Team Peugeot Total 7 1 0 1 10 9th
2008 TRV6* Oro Racing 27 1 0 0 1 -
No. = Car Number; * = Season in progress

Complete Champ Car results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Team Rank Points
1994 Team Green 22px-Flag of Australia.svg.png
SRF
17
22px-Flag of the United States.png
PHX
25
22px-Flag of the United States.png
LBH
15
22px-Flag of the United States.png
INDY
2
22px-Flag of the United States.png
MIL
9
22px-Flag of the United States.png
DET
7
22px-Flag of the United States.png
POR
6
22px-Flag of the United States.png
CLE
4
22px-Flag of the Canada.png
TOR
9
22px-Flag of the United States.png
MIS
20
22px-Flag of the United States.png
MDO
9
22px-Flag of the United States.png
NHM
24
22px-Flag of the Canada.png
VAN
24
22px-Flag of the United States.png
ROA
1
22px-Flag of the United States.png
NZR
7
22px-Flag of the United States.png
LS
3
Team Green 6th 94
1995 Team Green 22px-Flag of the United States.png
MIA
1
22px-Flag of Australia.svg.png
SRF
20
22px-Flag of the United States.png
PHX
5
22px-Flag of the United States.png
LBH
25
22px-Flag of the United States.png
NZR
2
22px-Flag of the United States.png
INDY
1
22px-Flag of the United States.png
MIL
6
22px-Flag of the United States.png
DET
9
22px-Flag of the United States.png
POR
20
22px-Flag of the United States.png
ROA
1
22px-Flag of the Canada.png
TOR
3
22px-Flag of the United States.png
CLE
1
22px-Flag of the United States.png
MIS
10
22px-Flag of the United States.png
MDO
3
22px-Flag of the United States.png
NHM
4
22px-Flag of the Canada.png
VAN
12
22px-Flag of the United States.png
LS
11
Team Green 1st 172

Complete Formula One results

(key)

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 WDC Points
1996 Rothmans Williams Renault Williams FW18 Renault V10 AUS
2
BRA
Ret
ARG
2
EUR
1
SMR
11
MON
Ret
ESP
3
CAN
2
FRA
2
GBR
1
GER
3
HUN
1
BEL
2
ITA
7
POR
1
JPN
Ret
2nd 78
1997 Rothmans Williams Renault Williams FW19 Renault V10 AUS
Ret
BRA
1
ARG
1
SMR
Ret
MON
Ret
ESP
1
CAN
Ret
FRA
4
GBR
1
GER
Ret
HUN
1
BEL
5
ITA
5
AUT
1
LUX
1
JPN
DSQ
EUR
3
1st 81
1998 Winfield Williams Williams FW20 Mecachrome V10 AUS
5
BRA
7
ARG
Ret
SMR
4
ESP
6
MON
5
CAN
10
FRA
4
GBR
7
AUT
6
GER
3
HUN
3
BEL
Ret
ITA
Ret
LUX
8
JPN
6
5th 21
1999 British American Racing BAR 001 Supertec V10 AUS
Ret
BRA
Ret
SMR
Ret
MON
Ret
ESP
Ret
CAN
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
AUT
Ret
GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
BEL
15
ITA
8
EUR
10
MAL
Ret
JPN
9
NC 0
2000 Lucky Strike Reynard BAR Honda BAR 002 Honda V10 AUS
4
BRA
Ret
SMR
5
GBR
16
ESP
Ret
EUR
Ret
MON
7
CAN
15
FRA
4
AUT
4
GER
8
HUN
12
BEL
7
ITA
Ret
USA
4
JPN
6
MAL
5
7th 17
2001 Lucky Strike BAR Honda BAR 003 Honda V10 AUS
Ret
MAL
Ret
BRA
7
SMR
Ret
ESP
3
AUT
8
MON
4
CAN
Ret
EUR
9
FRA
Ret
GBR
8
GER
3
HUN
9
BEL
8
ITA
6
USA
Ret
JPN
10
7th 12
2002 Lucky Strike BAR Honda BAR 004 Honda V10 AUS
Ret
MAL
8
BRA
10
SMR
7
ESP
7
AUT
10
MON
Ret
CAN
Ret
EUR
12
GBR
4
FRA
Ret
GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
BEL
8
ITA
9
USA
6
JPN
Ret
12th 4
2003 Lucky Strike BAR Honda BAR 005 Honda V10 AUS
9
MAL
Ret
BRA
6
SMR
Ret
ESP
Ret
AUT
12
MON
Ret
CAN
Ret
EUR
Ret
FRA
9
GBR
10
GER
9
HUN
Ret
ITA
6
USA
Ret
JPN
16th 6
2004 Mild Seven Renault F1 Team Renault R24 Renault V10 AUS
MAL
BHR
SMR
ESP
MON
EUR
CAN
USA
FRA
GBR
GER
HUN
BEL
ITA
CHN
11
JPN
10
BRA
10
22nd 0
2005 Sauber Petronas Sauber C24 Petronas V10 AUS
13
MAL
Ret
BHR
11
SMR
4
ESP
Ret
MON
11
EUR
13
CAN
9
USA
DNS
FRA
8
GBR
14
GER
15
HUN
Ret
TUR
11
ITA
11
BEL
6
BRA
12
JPN
12
CHN
10
14th 9
2006 BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.06 BMW V8 BHR
Ret
MAL
7
AUS
6
SMR
12
EUR
8
ESP
12
MON
14
GBR
8
CAN
Ret
USA
Ret
FRA
11
GER
Ret
HUN
Inj
TUR
ITA
CHN
JPN
BRA
15th 7


* Denotes present season standing.

External links


Formula One World Drivers' Champions
(1950Nino FarinaTemplate:·(1951Juan Manuel FangioTemplate:·(195253Alberto AscariTemplate:·(1954,55,56,57Juan Manuel FangioTemplate:·(1958Mike HawthornTemplate:· (195960Jack BrabhamTemplate:· (1961Phil HillTemplate:·

(1962Graham HillTemplate:· (1963Jim ClarkTemplate:· (1964John SurteesTemplate:· (1965Jim ClarkTemplate:· (1966Jack BrabhamTemplate:· (1967Denny HulmeTemplate:· (1968Graham HillTemplate:· (1969Jackie StewartTemplate:· (1970Jochen RindtTemplate:· (1971Jackie StewartTemplate:· (1972Emerson FittipaldiTemplate:· (1973Jackie StewartTemplate:· (1974Emerson FittipaldiTemplate:· (1975Niki LaudaTemplate:· (1976James HuntTemplate:· (1977Niki LaudaTemplate:· (1978Mario AndrettiTemplate:· (1979Jody ScheckterTemplate:· (1980Alan JonesTemplate:· (1981Nelson PiquetTemplate:· (1982Keke RosbergTemplate:· (1983Nelson PiquetTemplate:· (1984Niki LaudaTemplate:· (198586Alain ProstTemplate:· (1987Nelson PiquetTemplate:· (1988Ayrton SennaTemplate:· (1989Alain ProstTemplate:· (199091Ayrton SennaTemplate:· (1992Nigel MansellTemplate:· (1993Alain ProstTemplate:· (199495Michael SchumacherTemplate:· (1996Damon HillTemplate:· (1997Jacques VilleneuveTemplate:· (199899Mika HäkkinenTemplate:· (2000,01,02,03,04Michael SchumacherTemplate:· (200506Fernando Alonso


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One win

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