Jacques Villeneuve

Jacques Joseph Charles Villeneuve (French: [ʒɑk vilnœv] born 9 April 1971) is a Canadian racing driver and amateur musician who has competed in various forms of motor racing. The son of racing driver Gilles Villeneuve, he is the winner of the 1995 Indianapolis 500 and the 1995 PPG Indy Car World Series as well as the 1997 Formula One World Championship. Villeneuve began kart racing at age 14 before progressing to open-wheel car racing in the Italian Formula Three Championship, which he raced in between 1989 and 1991. He moved to the higher-tier Toyota Atlantic Championship, participating in one race during the 1992 season and finishing third overall in the 1993 championship.

He began competing in Championship Auto Racing Teams with the Forsythe/Green Racing team in the 1994 season, finishing sixth in the Drivers' Championship with one victory and earning Rookie of the Year and Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year honours. In the following year with the renamed Team Green, Villeneuve won four races (including the Indianapolis 500) and the Drivers' Championship. Villeneuve moved to the Williams team in Formula One for the 1996 season, claiming four Grand Prix victories, and becoming the first rookie runner-up in the World Drivers' Championship after a season-long duel with teammate Damon Hill. His main title challenge for the following season came from Ferrari's Michael Schumacher, and Villeneuve beat the latter following a controversial collision at the season-ending European Grand Prix, becoming the first Canadian World Drivers' Champion, achieving seven Grand Prix victories. After a poor 1998 season, Villeneve raced for the British American Racing, Renault, Sauber and BMW teams from the 1999 to 2006 seasons without further success.

Villeneuve left Formula One mid-way through the 2006 season and began competing in various forms of motor racing such as sports car racing, NASCAR, and touring car racing. Though not as successful in these forms of racing, he won the 2008 1000 km of Spa driving for Peugeot. He is an outspoken figure who often says what is on his mind and has frequently commented on the state of Formula One. Villeneuve was appointed Officer of the National Order of Quebec in 1998. He was voted the winner of both the Lou Marsh Trophy and the Lionel Conacher Award in each of 1995 and 1997. Villeneuve is an inductee of the Canadian Motor Sports Hall of Fame, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame and the FIA Hall of Fame.

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