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Jacques Villeneuve OQ
(French: [ʒɑk vilnœv] born 9 April 1971) is a Canadian professional racing driver and amateur musician who won the 1997 Formula One World Championship with Williams. In addition to Formula One (F1) he has competed in various other forms of motor racing, winning the 1995 Indianapolis 500 and the 1995 PPG Indy Car World Series. He is the son of former Ferrari racing driver Gilles Villeneuve. He competes part-time in the NASCAR Cup Series, driving the No. 27 Ford Mustang for Team Hezeberg.
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 Williams in F1 for the 1996 season, claiming four Grand Prix victories, and becoming the first rookie runner-up in the World Drivers' Championship (WDC) 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. He finished fifth in the 1998 season achieving two podiums and helped Williams finish third in the World Constructors' Championship behind Ferrari and McLaren. After an unsuccessful 1999 with British American Racing (BAR), Villeneuve finished seventh in the WDC in both 2000 and 2001 with BAR, achieving two podiums in 2001, outscoring his teammates Ricardo Zonta and Olivier Panis. Then Villeneuve raced in F1 from 2002 to 2006, driving for BAR, Renault, Sauber and BMW Sauber, but he did not achieve any 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. 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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