Meet World Champion Jacques Villeneuve in the Champions Club

We are proud to announce that Canadian F1 legend Jacques Villeneuve will be our special guest in the Champions Club at select race weekends in 2019.

Jacques Villeneuve, 1997 World Champion-edit

The 1997 World Champion, who is never short of a controversial opinion, will be our special guest at the Monaco, Canadian and United States Grands Prix. Get access to the Champions Club for your chance to meet the Canadian legend!

Where can you meet Jacques Villeneuve?

Jacques Villeneuve Biography

Like Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve is another second-generation Grand Prix driver who escaped the long shadow of a famous father, Gilles, to become World Champion through his own efforts and on his own terms. He claims he was always going to follow in his father's footsteps, though Jacques was just 11 years old when Gilles was killed in 1982.

Brought up in Monaco rather than his native Canada, Villeneuve learned his craft in F3 in Italy and Japan before moving stateside to contest the American Formula Atlantic Championship. After graduating to IndyCar in 1994, Villeneuve completed a promising debut season, which was followed by a superb one in 1995. He took victory in the Indianapolis 500 and won the IndyCar Championship. His excellent results, coupled with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone’s desire to see an 'American' driver in F1, eased him straight into leading F1 team Williams for 1996.

After putting his Williams on pole position for his F1 debut, Villeneuve scored four wins and took the championship battle with teammate Damon Hill down to the wire, eventually finishing runner-up in the 1996 World Championship. He also earned the ultimate respect of the F1 world by doing the unthinkable; passing Michael Schumacher round the outside at Estoril en route to victory in the Portuguese Grand Prix. Having established his credentials, Villeneuve headed into 1997 looking to go one better. After beginning the year strongly, he suffered a midseason slump, which included crashing out of the lead in Canada and being off the pace in both France and Germany. This let an inspired Michael Schumacher take the Championship lead, but Villeneuve wasn’t done yet. Villeneuve’s comeback was halted at the penultimate round in Japan after he was suspended for his fourth yellow flag infringement of the season during practice, and Schumacher won.

The scene was set for a dramatic showdown at the final race of the season, the European Grand Prix at Jerez. Though Schumacher made the early running, Villeneuve began to hunt the Ferrari down after both drivers had made their routine stops. The Canadian surprised the German with a beautiful move down the inside. Schumacher turned into Villeneuve, but succeeded only in putting himself into the gravel trap and out of the race. With his main rival out, Villeneuve cruised to third position and secured the World Championship in just his second season of Formula 1.

Villeneuve stayed in Formula 1 for a total of 11 seasons, including stints with BAR and Sauber, but failed to add to the eleven wins he achieved with Williams in his first two seasons. Since retiring from F1, Villeneuve has tried his hand at various forms of motorsport, including NASCAR, sportscars, rally cross, Formula-E and V8 supercars in Australia. Off track, Villeneuve released his debut album Private Paradise in 2007 and has also been a regular fixture in the Formula 1 Paddock in recent years as a pundit for Sky Italia.