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Jacques Villeneuve, Williams FW19
Prime
Interview

How Villeneuve defied Schumacher and won Williams’ last F1 title

Jacques Villeneuve was an unconventional and mercurial F1 talent who this year celebrates 25 years since becoming world champion. In this candid interview, he explains to Mark Gallagher that skiing taught him everything he knows, how his father’s sudden death was the making of him, and why he doesn’t like pushy racing dads…

If Netflix had been around in 1996 it’s not hard to imagine a Drive To Survive-style docu-series centred on Williams pairing Jacques Villeneuve and Damon Hill. Both sons of famed fathers who died early deaths – Gilles Villeneuve while driving for Ferrari in 1982; Graham Hill in a plane crash shortly after the end of a career that had crowned him world champion twice.

Jacques, fresh from winning the 1995 Champ Car title and Indy 500, would arrive in F1 in spectacular fashion, grabbing pole position in Melbourne on his debut, before indulging in a season-long battle with Williams teammate Damon for the world championship.

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