IF the return of Juan Pablo Montoya (JPM) wasn’t exciting enough for Indycar fans, then perhaps the 1995 champion, Jacques Villeneuve’s appearance on this year’s grid will be the icing on the cake. According to AUTOWEEK, Jacque Villeneuve (JV) will be making a comeback at 43-years-old:

“Villeneuve, who turns 43 on April 9, will drive a car entered by Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, which finished third in the IndyCar Series standings with Simon Pagenaud. Sam Schmidt’s team has scheduled a Wednesday press conference in Indianapolis to confirm the deal.” says AUTOWEEK.

Now, having said that, what has surprised me is the amount of mind vomit on Twitter regarding the concept of JV on the grid. Many have heaped vitriol on the Canadian and claimed it is too little, too late and that he is just desperate for a career and media attention at this point. They say it will be a Schumacher affair rather than a Raikkonen-style comeback and there is probably a lot of truth in that statement.

Back in the 1990’s I was a Michael Schumacher fan so JV wasn’t someone I was very drawn to as you can imagine. He’s a bit of an outspoken antagonist at times and he’s been the butt of a few jokes around here but now I find myself in the position of defending the little, baggy-suited world champ.

I think it is great that he’s planning on coming back to Indycar for the 500. Indycar needs some brand adrenaline and JV adds to the JPM enigma of former champs returning to the scene of the crime after being away and it can only be good for the series. As for JV himself? Maybe he’s made lots of enemies but a guy has to continue to be productive and progressing in his career and to work a deal to run the 500 is not a crime.

Why so heavy-handed with the thought of JV on the grid? So it’s been a while but he still knows how to drive a car. If he gets his arse handed to him, so be it but there are others who have made the grid who are not worth writing home about so I don’t the issue.

I wish him the very best. Juan Manuel Fangio didn’t seem to mind being an older gentleman as he won races and I don’t think it’s very good form to discount anyone over 34 in racing anymore. It starts to seem as if the only slice of humanity that matters is 19-30 and that’s a real shame. One day, those who would mock age will be aged and the parallax will shed new perspective but until that day, let’s just wish JV the best and hope he adds to Indycar’s spectacle.

An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry focusing on technology integration, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Tom Firth

    I aren’t JV’s biggest fan on his personality however I am a fan of drivers who have a diverse career throughout the motorsport career , focusing on various different disciplines, and JV has certainly achieved that.

    F1, CART, NASCAR, V8 Supercars, Le mans 24 and this year, The new FIA World Rallycross Championship alongside the Indianapolis 500 entry. Ok so he didn’t win in all the disciplines but least he competed and won the big prize in a few of them along the way.

    As an Indycar fan, It’s great to have Montoya and JV back this year and I am really excited for St pete and of course the month of may for JV’s return. I was skeptical of Indycar’s new management as it seems to change more often than not but Indycar is looking more positive. Slowly.

  • Twitch

    MS was the 1995 champion, I think you mean 1997 for JV. Good to see JV back at Indy.

    • Tom Firth

      He was CART and Indianapolis 500 champion in 95 mate, Think that is what NC is referencing

  • Rik

    While I was never a real JV fan, I think most people judge his career by the financial moves he made rather than the driving moves he made.

    I whole heartily defend his decision to choose $$$$$$$$$$$$ over another team that would not have produced a championship either. Maybe he was trying to prove something or maybe he was just taking the $$ but at JV’s age, when most previous racers have also moved on, at least JV has a bank load of $$ to sit upon rather than just memories.

    His brutal honestly and careless attitude wasn’t a bad thing either..

  • Nathhulal

    Why so heavy-handed with the thought of JV on the grid?
    >> Amazed to see a mellower (and balanced) stance from this opinionated blogger. Maybe Hell did freeze over during this North American winter :D

  • CH

    Am not a social media sort so was unaware of the negative responses to JV. Anonymous folks on the internet more full of envy than ability sure show a lot of courage. The more I see of that sort of phenomenon the more am aware the potshotters have probably not accomplished a fraction in their life that someone of JV’s ability has. It’s not about JV per se, it’s about respect, respecting an ability that a very tiny fraction of people have. Put one of those negative anons in a seat for the 500 and then let’s hear their tune.