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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.
In 2006, he married Paris-based Johanna Martinez, and six months later the pair had their first child, a son they named Jules.
Nurburgring, April 1996: Jacques Villeneuve at the European Grand Prix, where he took his maiden Formula One victory, beating Michael Schumacher by less than a second.
Here, at the Brazilian Grand Prix, he finished seventh.
© Sutton Montreal, June 1999: Jacques Villeneuve’s exit from the Canadian Grand Prix on lap 35 was one of 12 retirements with the all-new BAR team in 1999.
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.
One guesses that Jacques Villeneuve will be treating his visit to Australia next weekend as a honeymoon of sorts, with news that the 1997 Formula 1 World Champion has married his girlfriend, Brazilian model Camila Lopez.
The pair wed at a civil ceremony in her native São Paulo, one week ahead of the French-Canadian’s visit to Australia, where he will compete as a replacement for the injured Greg Murphy in his Pepsi Max Crew Holden Commodore in the V8 Supercars’ Sucrogen 400 at Townsville.
© Sutton Images A1-Ring, September 1997: Victory in the Austrian Grand Prix put Jacques Villeneuve neck and neck with Michael Schumacher in the driver standings, with three races remaining.
© Sutton Images Jerez, October 1997: Michael Schumacher retired as he fought with Jacques Villeneuve for the lead at the season-ending European Grand Prix.
As it developed, Jacques Villeneuve soon made a name for himself.