Jacques Villeneuve is an auto racer from Canada who rose to prominence after winning the Formula One World Championship in 1997. Villeneuve, who was born to an amateur racing driver, knew he wanted to race as a teenager and received his license at the age of 17.
He quickly rose to prominence after winning the 1995 CART Championship and the 1995 Indianapolis 500. He had a strong debut season, winning three races, and went on to win the Formula One Championship the following year.
This would be his crowning triumph, as he would suffer several ailments, sabbaticals, and disappointments in the years that followed. Despite this, in 1998, he was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame for his outstanding achievements. Villeneuve has competed in a variety of races since then, including sportscar racing, NASCAR, the V8 Supercars Championship, and others.
Jacques Villeneuve finished second in the 1994 IndyCar series and won his first race at Road America. He finished the season in sixth place and received the Rookie of the Year honour. The following year, he won a slew of more races, catching the attention of Frank Williams, who hired him to join his Formula One team in 1996.
Villeneuve signed a two-year deal with Williams and finished second in his maiden race in Australia. He went on to win his first Formula One race at the Nürburgring and finish his rookie season with four victories. He held the record for the most wins in his first championship season at the time.
He was the team’s primary driver in 1997. He won the World Championship at the end of the season. After this victory, his career took a nosedive, and he didn’t win another race in 1998.
He became a member of the British American Racing (BAR) squad in 1999. Despite the fanfare, the team struggled throughout the season, and Villeneuve, too, failed to impress or finish on the podium. He returned to BAR the next year, but the same fate befell him, as he failed to win any races.
In 2001, he placed second on the podium in both Spain and Germany. Villeneuve’s high compensation was questioned in his next season with BAR, and he became increasingly dissatisfied with the team.
In 2003, he struggled with his form and was erratic in his racing. Takuma Sato, a former British Formula 3 Champion, eventually took his spot. For the 2004 season, he was not offered a contract.
In September 2004, he returned to the Formula One circuit with Renault. Villeneuve failed to score any points despite his best attempts and stated that his career had suffered as a result of his hiatus. He signed a two-year deal with Sauber at the end of the year.
He improved his skills in 2005 and placed sixth in the championship tables. In the 2006 season, he was appointed as the driver for BMW Sauber. At the German Grand Prix, though, he was injured. He confirmed his retirement from Sauber shortly after.
Villeneuve returned to driving a sportscar in 2007, competing in the 2007 24 Hours of Le Mans with Peugeot Sport. Despite a strong start, the vehicle was forced to withdraw during the race due to engine troubles. The team finished second in the 2008 race.
He raced in four races for the remainder of the 2008 season in the Speedcar Series. Later, he competed in the La Carrera del Ao in Buenos Aires but came in 16th place.
Villeneuve attempted a comeback to Formula One in 2010, even forming his own team with Italian Durango. However, nothing came of it, and he went back to being off the grid. He then raced in the 2010 Gold Coast 600 as a co-driver in the V8 Supercar championship.
In the following years, his appearances reduced, and he only raced in the Sucrogen Townsville 400, Coates Hire Ipswich 300, and Sydney Motorsport Park 360 before signing on with the FIA World Rallycross Championship in 2014. With 8 points, he finished the season in 37th place.
After joining Venturi Grand Prix in 2015, he competed in the FIA Formula E Championship. He did, however, leave the team after less than a year. He returned to NASCAR without notice the following season.
Villeneuve signed a deal with Go Fas Racing for the 2019 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. At Franciacorta, he finished on the podium twice. He finished third in the final race at Venray, putting him back on the podium. He is currently a NASCAR driver.
Villeneuve appreciates music as well as racing, and in 2006, he produced his first commercial single, ‘Accepterais-tu.’ Later that year, he released the album ‘Private Paradise,’ but it failed to chart.