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Jacques Villenuve
Jvilleneuve
Born April 9, 1971 (age 41)
Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec
Nationality Canadien
Formula One World Championship Career
Status Retired
Races 165

( 163 starts)

Pole positions 13
Wins

11

Championships 1
Podiums

23

Fastest laps

9

Career Points

235

First Race 1996 Australian Grand Prix
Last Race 2006 German Grand Prix
First Win 1996 European Grand Prix
Last Win 1997 Luxembourg Grand Prix

Jacques Joseph Charles Villeneuve, OQ (born April 9, 1971), is a Canadian musician and retired automobile racing driver. He is the son of the late Formula One driver Gilles Villeneuve, and is the namesake of his uncle (also a racer). Jacques 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.

BiographyEdit

Pre-Formula OneEdit

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.

Formula OneEdit

Williams F1Edit

1996
Villeneuve signed a two year contract with Williams with an option year available to him as well. 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
Jacques Villeneuve 1996

Villeneuve at the 1996 Canadian Grand Prix

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, Jacques 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 into 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.

Top-10-most-outstanding-rookie-performances-in-f1-10076 2

Villenveue wins Williams F1's 100th race win, at the British GP

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.

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.

1998
Jacques Villeneuve 1998 Italy

Villeneuve at the 1998 Italian Grand Prix

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 McLaren's and 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.

BAREdit

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.

2000
01 b

Villeneuve in the BAR 002

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


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. 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.

2002
Jvill bar indi 2002

Villeneuve at the 2002 US Grand Prix

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. The Englishman soon began to debate over Villeneuve's £15 million annual salary. 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

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. 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.

Renault F1Edit

2004

Jacques-villeneuve-china-2004

Villeneuve at the 2004 Chinese Grand Prix

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. 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 an up and coming Fernando Alonso as team-mate his task was made all the more difficult. The young Spaniard proved much faster. Just before his 3-race Renault comeback, Villeneuve signed a two-year contract to drive for Sauber, starting in 2005.

SauberEdit

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
Villeneuve 2005 Australia

Villeneuve at the 2005 Australian Grand Prix

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.

BMW SauberEdit

2006

Villeneuve2-lg

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

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.


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.

Stefan Grand PrixEdit

2010

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.

Potential Team OwnershipEdit

2011

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 satisifed 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.

Complete Formula One resultsEdit

(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 RS8 3.0 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 RS9 3.0 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 GC37-01 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 FB01 3.0 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
21st 0
2000 Lucky Strike Reynard BAR Honda BAR 002 Honda RA000E 3.0 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 RA001E 3.0 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 RA002E 3.0 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 RA003E 3.0 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 RS24 3.0 V10 AUS
MAL
BHR
SMR
ESP
MON
EUR
CAN
USA
FRA
GBR
GER
HUN
BEL
ITA
CHN
11
JPN
10
BRA
10
21st 0
2005 Sauber Petronas Sauber C24 Petronas 05A 3.0 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 P86 2.4 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
TUR
ITA
CHN
JPN
BRA
15th 7

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