James Lawton: Villeneuve exit suggests tale of missed opportunities

The news that Jacques Villeneuve has probably driven in his last Grand Prix is surely a matter of regret.

The quirkish son of the brilliant, wild Gilles, the young Villeneuve conquered many demons before he won his one and only Formula One championship after a brilliant career in Indycars.

I first met him in a motorhome in deepest Ohio, soon after the announcement that he would be joining the Williams team. He talked about his love of being on the edge on a race track - on the edge but in control. He also talked of his love for Japanese music. It seemed to me that he would be an engaging and brilliant arrival on the big circuit. And so he was, until he took the money and finished up in the uncompetitive BAR car. He wasn't the only loser. In a serious car, Villeneuve would have given Schumacher the challenge that only now Juan Pablo Montoya is taking up. And all of FI has been the poorer for this.

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