Formula One driver pays tribute to father on CD

Ian Barrett/canadian press


Former Formula 1 driver Jacques Villeneuve plays a tune at the launch of his first CD, Private Paradise, in Montreal this week.

Racing driver Jacques Villeneuve was focused on tunes instead of tune-ups this week as he launched his first music CD, which includes a melodic tribute to his Formula One champion father.

Gilles Villeneuve, who died in a racing accident in 1982, was an inspiration to Jacques Villeneuve and the son said it was important for him to honour his father.

“It felt great,” Jacques Villeneuve said in an interview after doing a selection from his album Private Paradise, which included Father, a song he performed in a duet Monday with his sister Melanie.

“It’s a very important song. It’s the only personal song on the album. I don’t write personal stuff and I don’t want to sing personal stuff either, but this one, because it’s with my sister, I’m quite happy doing it.”

Villeneuve, who no longer drives on the Formula One circuit, said the song was a more emotional experience for his sister, who started writing it in the mid-1980s, a few years after Gilles Villeneuve died when he crashed his car into a fence during a practice run in Belgium.

“I wrote the end of it a few years ago so by the time I wrote it we had grown and we had been used to living without our dad.”

Private Paradise goes into wide release next week. There are no immediate plans to tour with the album, most of whose songs are in English.