Conquering the F1 World Championship title: “Time flies so fast”

Jacques Villeneuve, who was in Montreal this weekend, was the subject of a brief ceremony in the paddock of the Grand Prix du Canada to mark the 25the anniversary of his winning the Formula 1 world title.

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On October 26, 1997, at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in Spain, he became the first Canadian (and to date the only one) to achieve this feat.


Photo agency QMI, Joël Lemay

We all remember the scene where Villeneuve surprised race leader Michael Schumacher entering a corner. The latter gives a serious steering wheel and his Ferrari’s right front wheel hits the Quebecer’s Williams’ left side shell.

Pushed to the outside of the corner, the German’s car got stuck in the gravel and his journey was over. His competitor is doing better: A third place at the finish secures him the title.

Celebrated at the forum

“Time flies so fast,” he called out to a group of journalists invited to the event. Maybe because I never stopped running. »

A few days after winning the title, he was cheered on by thousands of fans at the Montreal Forum, Canada’s former home stadium.


Photo agency QMI, Joël Lemay

“In that moment, he says, I realized the magnitude of my victory. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was badly dressed in front of all these people. It touched me deeply and I am still grateful to them today. »

A giant cake was presented to him by the President of the Canadian Grand Prix.

“Jacques, you deserve to be celebrated,” said François Dumontier. You are the pride of a people. »

More combat-ready pilots

When asked to comment on the start of the F1 season, Villeneuve was delighted to see the level of competition at the track had been regained.

“The new regulations have good and bad changes, he says, but the riders are more aggressive and that’s good for the show. »


Photo agency QMI, Joël Lemay

Furthermore, Villeneuve is not really surprised by the unprecedented enthusiasm this year at the circuit that bears his father’s name.

“The audience is loyal,” he says. I can imagine that this passion was passed on from generation to generation. A lot of people who were at the Grand Prix this year weren’t there when I was driving in Formula 1. But well, maybe the two years of absence [en raison de la pandémie] increased the popularity of the sport.

“The impact of the series Drive to survive Aired by Netflix for a number of years, the F1 has also done a lot of good. It made it accessible, especially in the United States. »

Villeneuve admits he hasn’t watched any episodes: “I’ve always refused to do reality TV. It’s still a bit of fiction. When we know a camera is following us, we don’t react in the same way. »

After Villeneuve, the late Guy Lafleur will be honored on the Sunday before the start of the Canadian Grand Prix. According to our information, his two sons Martin and Mark will take part in this tribute dedicated to this hockey legend and big fan of motorsports.

If two master of the world To meet


Photo agency QMI, Joël Lemay

Charles Hamelin, multiple medalist in short track speed skating, came to show his affection for Jacques Villeneuve in the paddock of the Grand Prix du Canada. Hamelin says he was an ardent admirer of the Quebec rider when he won his 1997 world championship. “I recorded all his races, he says, so I don’t miss anything. »

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