|D.O.B.||9 July 1971|
|Date of Death||Unknown|
|Début||2015 Beijing ePrix|
|Final Race||2015 Putrajaya ePrix|
|Teams||Venturi Formula E Team|
|Formula E Career|
|Total Entries||3 (2 Starts)|
Jacques Villeneuve (born 9 July 1971) was an FIA Formula E Championship driver that competed in the 2015/16 season for the Venturi Formula E Team. Villeneuve was the first Formula One World Champion to take part in the series, having won the 1997 F1 World title, and became the oldest ever FE driver when he made his debut at the 2015 Beijing ePrix.
Having seen his father Gilles Villeneuve killed during the 1982 Formula One Championship, Villeneuve Jr., (named for his uncle), started his full racing career a few years later at the age of 15. After initially competing with an Andorran licence in Italy, Villeneuve competed as a Canadian in the Italian Formula 3 Championship in 1991, moving into the Japanese edition a year later. A runner up finish in the latter gave Villeneuve a chance in the Formula Atlantic Series back in North America, with the Canadian returning to his native Canada to race in 1993.
Despite some costly mistakes in the races costing him a potential title, Villeneuve was put into the CART IndyCar Series a year later. An impressive debut performance saw him earn "Rookie of the Year" by a huge margin in 1994, with the Canadian ending the season in sixth place. But, more was to come the following season, as Villeneuve took victory at the world renowned Indy 500 and the Championship as a whole, attracting the eye of Frank Williams, a team boss in Formula One.
Like father, like son
Villeneuve completed an impressive test for Williams in 1995, and was handed the second car for the upcoming 1996 season alongside Damon Hill. A stunning debut for the Canadian saw him take pole position, before a slow oil leak denied him a dream debut victory leaving him second behind Hill. His stunning form saw him become one of the earliest race winners in the history of the sport, winning that season's European Grand Prix, the fourth race of the season. He ultimately ended his first season with four victories, and was runner up for the title having gone to the final race of the season with a chance of winning it.
His second season saw him become the lead driver in the team after Hill was dropped, with Williams now throwing their full force behind him. An incredible seven wins saw the Canadian win the title in 1997, defeating one of the greatest drivers in the sport, Michael Schumacher. With the title earned in only his second season, Villeneuve was expected to dominate the sport over the coming seasons, although reality proved otherwise.
Villeneuve failed to win a race with Williams in 1998, parting company with the team to join British American Racing, a relatively young team on the scene. A five year stint with the new outfit saw him claim a best finish a best of seventh in the Championship, and led many to forget his previous triumphs. Renault picked him up for 2004, as he replaced Jarno Trulli in the team for the final three races of the season.
His Formula One career came to a stuttering halt over the following two seasons, as the Canadian joined Sauber in 2005, but a relatively uncompetitive car, combined with a severe lack of form, almost cost him his seat. His career in F1 lasted a further year, before he and the team agreed to part ways at the end of his contract.
One off wonder
From 2007, Villeneuve became only a part-time racer, holding a legal F1 Super Licence until 2011. His highlights include several once-a-season appearances in NASCAR, a second place at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, an IndyCar return and a half-season in the inaugural FIA World RallyCross Championship in 2014.
Formula E History
Villeneuve stated his intention to return to top level motorsport early in 2015, and was approached by the Venturi Formula E Team after the end of the 2014/15 season. He got involved with the development of their first Formula E car, the Venturi VM200-FE-01, before getting the chance to test the car at the 2015 Donington Test. He was confirmed as their second driver alongside Stéphane Sarrazin for the 2015/16 season during the test, after Nick Heidfeld left the team.
Unfortunately Villeneuve's ultimately brief time in FE would be one of disappointment, the Canadian having a quiet debut en-route to fourteenth place. The Canadian's fortunes fared little better at the following 2015 Putrajaya ePrix where he finished eleventh, before he failed to start in the following Punta del Este. Villeneuve left the team after the meeting, deciding to focus on obtaining a drive elsewhere in 2016/17.
Formula E Entries
The list below includes all of the teams and cars, as well as overall finishing positions for Jacques Villeneuve during their FE career:
|Jacques Villeneuve's Overall Formula E Record|
|2015/16||Venturi Formula E Team||12||Venturi Venturi VM200-FE-01||20th||0|
Below is a table showing Jacques Villeneuve's full Formula E record.
|FIA Formula E Championship Record|
Videos and Images:
- Legends Of Motorsports, 'MT Drivers Sat-9', flickr.com, (Flickr, 10/07/2010), https://www.flickr.com/photos/legendsofmotorsports/4787976530/, (Accessed 25/04/2018)
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 'Drivers Club: Jacques Villeneuve', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/drivers-club/jacques-villeneuve.aspx, (Accessed 07/09/2015)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 'Jacques Villeneuve signs for Venturi alongside Sarrazin', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 08/08/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/august/jacques-villeneuve-signs-for-venturi-alongside-sarraz.aspx, (Accessed 08/08/2015)
- ↑ 'Buemi to the max in Beijing', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 24/10/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/october/buemi-wins-swusp-beijing-eprix.aspx, (Accessed 25/10/2015)
- ↑ 'Buemi back on top', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 19/12/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/december/buemi-back-on-top.aspx, (Accessed 25/12/2015)
- ↑ 'Conway to race for Venturi in Argentina', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 22/01/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/january/mike-conway-to-race-for-venturi-in-buenos-aires.aspx, (Accessed 23/01/2016)