The man of a thousand opinions has tried his hand at racing pretty much everything during his long career and now this weekend, he’ll turn to a spot of sim racing. Well, we did say he’d make a good addition last week…
He’s the latest driver to be tempted by The Race’s Legends Trophy event, which is attracting more and more drivers from past eras of motorsport. We’ve already seen plenty of Indy 500 winners taking part, and Emerson Fittipaldi and Jenson Button gave F1 champions a presence, but JV fills both aspects, having won the F1 title in 1997 and the Indy 500 in 1995. He also finished second at Le Mans in 2009, making him one of the most understated adaptable racing drivers of recent time.
These days, when he isn’t giving outrageous opinions on the state of Formula 1, Villeneuve (who turns 49 today – happy birthday!) still keeps his real-world racing skills sharp by competing in the likes of Euro Nascar, where last year he took multiple podiums and pole positions.
That should theoretically mean he’s a bit sharper than some of the other drivers who perhaps haven’t race anything in a while, but as Jan Magnussen showed with his crushing win in the last event, practice and experience can count for a whole lot in the tricky-to-drive old F1 cars.
However, that’s where there will be a slight difference over the last couple of weeks. Instead of the Brabham BT44B, the drivers will instead be racing one of its contemporaries – the McLaren M23. This is the car that fellow Legends Trophy racer Fittipaldi won his second F1 title with in 1974, and the same car in which Jacques’ father Gilles made his F1 debut at the 1977 British GP. We can’t wait!