The Road Not Taken
While Jacques Villeneuve began his 140th Grand Prix at the Nurburgring last week, it was at the same circuit, eight seasons ago, that the 1997 World Champion last won a race. It is a rare sight, indeed, for a World Champion to continue racing without a win for such a long time. This could be a reflection of the young age in which the Canadian achieved so much, but also of the career choices he made thereafter. Ahead of his home Grand Prix in Montreal, Mark Glendenning took Villeneuve back in time to the crossroads of his Formula One career
Hit your internal rewind switch and spiral back through time until you arrive at September 28, 1997. It's round 15 of the Formula One World Championship, being run as the rather incongruously named Luxembourg Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. (The 'European GP' tag was on loan to Jerez that year).
It's an eventful race. Mika Hakkinen earns his first ever pole position and looks like turning it into his first win until the McLaren Mercedes clunks to a halt on lap 42 - not the first time that season that the Finn was denied victory by fragile machinery. And in another kick to the Woking team's nether regions, they had been looking at the prospect of a one-two before David Coulthard's engine ate itself on the previous lap.
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