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Jacques Villeneuve was a super-star back in the '90s. The son of the dearly missed Gilles Villeneuve, Jacques won the Indy 500 and the IndyCar title in 1995. One of the first in a wave of drivers following in their fathers' footsteps, JV rode the wave of his own success straight into an F1 race seat with Williams (back when the team was still in their prime), coming second in his first year and winning the title the following year. Unfortunately, it all went downhill from there.

Reportedly turning down a drive with Ferrari, the team for which his father drove until his untimely death, Jacques instead went to the upstart BAR-Honda team that would fail to live up to its own budget until it was gone. Villeneuve kept on racing in F1 until 2006 when he finally lost his seat with Sauber. Since then he's kept himself busy with forays into NASCAR, Le Mans, the Speedcar Series and even V8 Supercars in Australia, but was always trying to find a way back into F1. Until now, that is.

After Stefan GP – the upstart team with whom JV was contracted – failed to secure a slot on the grid even in USF1's absence, the aging French Canadian driver teamed up with Durango (an Italian outfit with titles in several feeder series) in a bid to launch his own team and catapult himself back onto the grid. The FIA rejected that bid too, and while Villeneuve and Durango originally said they'd keep on trying, Jacques is reportedly throwing in the proverbial towel and crying "no mas". Instead he wants to focus on making a go of it in NASCAR. Time will tell if he succeeds at that, but as for his grand prix racing days, those are as long behind him as his world title.

[Source: Autosport | Image: Jason Smith/Getty]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why would a French Canadian say "no mas"?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Sorry, didn't see the comment above!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Also overheard

      "Whatevs. Monaco.... Talledega.... it's all the same."
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yeah, he ruled out a F1 return months ago, instead working towards a team c/o a partnership Epsilon Esukadi.

      The last we heard of this partnership was some sort of attempt to buy an existing team.

      But since you've not reported on it, here are some other twitterings and rumors in F1.

      "Senna to Lotus."
      "Lotus to use the RBR 2009 gearbox, as yet to announce drivetrain."
      "Toyota set to announce something with HRT this race weekend."
      "Sutil doesn't want or expect to replace Schumacher."
      "Chandhok (and father) are talking to three teams for 2011 season."
      "Shanghai F1 race in 2011 contingent upon track repairs."
      "Williams to provide gearbox to HRT for 2011."

      And Max Mosley's "Alonso winning the championship will taint the series" vs Martin Whitmarsh's "No, no it won't" while Christian Horner complains about his PMS and changes his pad. He's admittedly half-pregnant.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Lotus will use RBR's gearbox and Renault's engines, which the gearbox is tuned for.
        • 4 Years Ago
        This is the best F1 news ever posted on Autoblog, LOL!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Being a former racer from the '60s, it is always sad for me to see a person who had tremendous talent take the long slow slide to obscurity. Sometimes it becomes obvious that this is a young mans sport, as the "seasoned veteran" is never able to match the "young, dumb, and full of ***" mentality. The winners circle usually has the team with the best car, most money, and a driver without fear. Experience does give a driver an advantage of knowledge, but also hampers him with memories of bouts with the fence.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Oh nevermind, they just found a much more relevant story about a car dealer caught with his pants down!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Please Jacques, not NASCAR! There's so many series in the world that are interesting for an former F1 champion like DTM and all the different touring car series.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Umm... he's been with NASCAR since 2007...
        • 4 Years Ago
        mmm....yes I knew that thanks. It doesn't change anything to my point. I'd rather see him finish his career with a win at Le Mans instead of a win in a pickup truck.
      • 4 Years Ago
      To whoever wrote this article--if you're going to mix metaphors, do it in the proper language! Villeneuve is French Canadian (Quebecois--I know the accent aigu is missing over the "e") so instead of "no mas" he'd say "ne plus"!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Thank goodness. He should revel in his flash in the pan world championship.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Sorry Shiftright. You are correct. Can't help but feel that F1 was being in the right time and place for one year, why else was he jettisoned by FW?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Flash in the pan? Say what? Indy 500, Indy Title and F1 title...Those are not the same as winning the local Demolition Eight Derby.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just stay in NASCAR. There you can race until you are reaally old. You can even continue racing even after your natural death - all you need to do is jam the gas pedal and lock the steering wheel in a left-turn position.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It worked for Dale Sr.

        Too soon?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Some say he could not cut it in F1.... all we know is, he's called the Stig!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Arguably, the car is the main determining factor in F1

        Look at Jenson Button, Mark Webber, and even Alonso ... they only really became competitve when they got better cars!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Pat: You mean when they didn't have lousy, unreliable cars they performed better? Gosh, who woulda thunk it!
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