Villeneuve, Jacques

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He was certainly to the manner born, on 9 April, 1971, in Canada’s French-speaking province of Quebec, from where Gilles Villeneuve took the racing world by storm – and took his family with him. Gilles, his wife Joann and their children Melanie and Jacques lived a nomadic life, touring around North America to Formula Atlantic races in a motorhome, in which they also lived on Grand Prix weekends in Europe after Gilles joined Ferrari. Little Jacques, who grew up in Formula One paddocks watching his father race, was bewildered when Gilles was killed in practice for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder. His mother sent him to private school in Switzerland, where Jacques developed into a fiercely independent character, threw himself into downhill skiing with a vengeance, then chose to follow in his father’s footsteps.


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