Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Canadian Grand Prix | After 25 years, Jacques Villeneuve has not changed

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Virginia Whitehead
Virginia Whitehead
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Canadian Grand Prix organizers on Friday celebrated the 25the Memory of the world title of Jacques Villeneuve. Accompanied by his wife Julia and their son Gilles, Villeneuve received from promoter François Dumontier a cake decorated with some pictures of his exploits.

Posted at 4:15 pm.

Michael Marwa

Michael Marwa

“Time passed so quickly; for me, it was like yesterday, probably because I kept driving,” the man, who now works as a commentator for French television, said at a press conference. “Obviously these are great memories, although I probably didn’t realize at the time what they meant.”

Photo by Mark Delps, Canadian Press

Jacques Villeneuve, his wife Julia and their son Jill

With seven wins in 1997, and only in his second season in Formula 1, Villeneuve clinched the world title at the last event of the season, in Jerez, Spain, after a final battle between Williams and Ferrari over rival Michael Schumacher. To this day, Villeneuve remains the only Canadian driver to have been world champion.

Although he was not able to repeat his successes after that, the driver continued in F1 until 2006 – with BAR, Renault, Sauber and BMW – before continuing his career in other series. Already winning the Indianapolis 500 in 1995, prior to entering F1, Villeneuve raced in an esports prototype (notably the 24 Hours of Le Mans), in the NASCAR Series and in other events.

His strong opinions sometimes embarrassed him, but he always assumed so confidently, as he did on the right track. He is the same man who spoke to reporters on Saturday.

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renewed interest

Twenty-five years after his title, Villeneuve has taken a positive look at the development of Formula One. “There have been good and less good things since I left, but I find the fans really spoiled by the current Grand Prix,” he said. There are big fights between drivers, at all levels, and the races are really amazing. We see that there is a renewed interest in F1, which is a very positive thing. »

Well aware of the current issues of the world championship, Villeneuve commented on the recent intervention of the FIA ​​in the matter of “pig hunting”.

It was physically challenging in my time, when we sat right on the bottom of the car and received an electric shock to the spine every time the shell made contact with the track.

Jacques Villeneuve

“The problem today is that cars jump from behind. In the long run, it should cause discomfort, but also nausea; like someone going on a merry-go-round in La Ronde after eating poutine…”

Unsurprisingly, Villeneuve was a little surprised by the FIA’s intervention: “The rules are the same for everyone. It’s up to the teams to find the solution, and much worse for those who don’t. I also find it ironic to see that the team has been more than complaining.” [Mercedes] Which is likely to be the most punishable under the new rules. »

Probability obviously does not anger him.

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