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Conquering the F1 world title: “Time flies so fast”

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Present in Montreal this weekend, Jacques Villeneuve was the subject of a short ceremony in the paddock of the Grand Prix du Canada on the occasion of the 25thAnd anniversary of his conquest of the Formula 1 world title.

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• Read also: Canadian Grand Prix: Lance Stroll shocked by his lack of pace

On the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in Spain, on October 26, 1997, he became the first Canadian (and the only one still today) to accomplish this feat.


SPO-GRAND PRIX-FORMULA-UNO-CANADA

Photo QMI Agency, Joël Lemay

We all remember the scene in which, entering a corner, Villeneuve surprised the leader of the race, Michael Schumacher. The latter gives a serious steering wheel and the right front wheel of his Ferrari hits the left side pod of the Quebec Williams.

Deported out of the corner, the German’s car got stuck in the gravel and his journey was over. His rival is doing better: a third place at the finish will secure him the title.

Acclaimed at the Forum

“Time flies so fast,” he exclaimed to a group of reporters invited to the event. Maybe because I never stopped running. “

A few days after acquiring the title, it was acclaimed by thousands of fans at the Montreal Forum, the former home of the Canadiens.


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Photo QMI Agency, Joël Lemay

“It was at this moment, he says, that I realized the extent of my victory. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was badly dressed in front of all these people. He really moved me and I am still grateful to him today. “

A huge 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 combative drivers

When Villeneuve was called in to comment on the start of the F1 season, he was delighted to see that the level of competition had returned to the track.

“The new regulations have positive and negative changes, he says, but the riders are more aggressive and it’s good for the show. “


SPO-GRAND PRIX-FORMULA-UNO-CANADA

Photo QMI Agency, Joël Lemay

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

“The audience is loyal,” he says. I guess this passion has been passed down from generation to generation. Many people who took part in the Grand Prix this year were not there when I was driving in F1. But well, maybe even that of the two years of absence [en raison de la pandémie] has increased the popularity of the sport.

“The effect of the series Guide to survive aired on Netflix for a few years it did very well in F1 as well. It made it accessible, especially in the United States. “

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

After Villeneuve, it will be the turn of the late Guy Lafleur to be awarded on Sunday, before the start of the Canadian Grand Prix. According to our information, his two sons, Martin and Mark, will participate in this tribute dedicated to this hockey legend and great car racing fan.

When two sample of the world encounter


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Photo QMI Agency, Joël Lemay

Charles Hamelin, multi-medal winner 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 a fervent admirer of the Quebec driver when he won his world championship in 1997. “I recorded all of his races, he says, so as not to miss a thing. “

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