Time to make a classy departure, Jacques
Here are a number of ideas I've been kicking around
If your Formula One career is really over - as it appears to be, seeing as you've been replaced for the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend by young Robert Kubica (they say you're injured, but nobody believes that) - then you should start making plans to bid adieu gracefully and move on.
There's nothing worse than a dismissed, embittered, race-car driver crawling off into the woodwork with his tail between his legs, blaming people. It would be much better if you called a press conference and thanked BMW Motorsport Director Mario Thiessen and the BMW-Sauber team for giving you the opportunity to continue in F1 after you'd been out a year. You perhaps should offer to help them out again if they ever find themselves in a bind.
And then you should announce that a) you are going to investigate forming a team to race in the Champ Car World Series, or b) that you are going to create a Canadian super team of drivers and sponsors to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans for this country, or c) that you are going to use your fame and connections do something positive - if not for motorsport, then for society as a whole.
If you do something like that, you will show yourself to be a class act. If not, you will have missed a golden opportunity.
Now, I know you're not really a Canadian any more. We like to think you are, but you're not. You don't live here or pay personal income taxes here or vote here. If you come back at all, it's for a race or a charity event or a visit with family.
You've lived in Switzerland for a number of years and your new wife is expecting and, well, you're settling down. And I know you have a CD out and fancy yourself a singer and I say good luck with all of that.
But I would suggest that you not turn your back completely on the sport that made you and your family what you are today: Canadian icons. And it's always a good idea to think about giving something back to the very thing that made you so famous and successful.
Of course, you could still find yourself back in a BMW F1 car this year, but it looks unlikely. Once a decision is taken in F1, it's usually final. But in every cloud, there's a silver lining and you should go looking for yours.
Not NASCAR. Good grief, you mused several weeks ago about possibly following Juan Pablo Montoya over there. Please! His deal is an aberration. I guarantee you that NASCAR team owners are not the least bit interested in older F1 drivers - 20-year-old American short-track racers are more their style.
But the Champ Car World Series? Now, that would be a perfect fit. Not as a driver (been there, done that), but as an owner.
Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerald Forsythe have done an incredible job, to this point, of keeping that ship afloat. And the future is looking really good. A new spec car will be used by all teams next year, and new and exciting venues are coming on line: Las Vegas will be in the mix, for sure, and maybe even Phoenix. And don't count out Montreal just yet.
Even better news is that more teams will be moving into the big league: at least one Formula Atlantic entry has announced plans to move up next year and your old friend Paul Stoddart, who rescued Minardi from the F1 scrap heap, has indicated interest in a Champ Car franchise.
Your manager, mentor and friend, Craig Pollock, dipped his toe in the Champ Car waters a couple of years ago when he teamed up with Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser to form PKV Racing. Although he's no longer connected with that outfit, Pollock - who also owned the BAR F1 team (remember that!) - knows his way around the Champ Car paddock.
You would think with your connections that sponsorship would not be a problem.
If your new team should sign thrilling young Canadian drivers like Atlantic standout James Hinchcliffe of Oakville and Formula BMW prodigy Robert Wickens of Etobicoke, I'd be surprised if corporate Canada didn't just line up to get on board.
And Jacques: you and your band could play concerts at all the races.
It'd be a win-win!
If, on the other hand, you want to continue driving, sports cars in Europe would probably be your best option. Which brings me to this.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the world's most famous sports car race. Although several Canadians have been winners there - John Duff (overall, partnered by a Brit), Ron Fellows, Scott Maxwell, John Graham and Greg Wilkins (class champions) - there has never been an overall winning entry composed entirely of Canadian drivers.
So how about a supernova team made up of you, Fellows and either Maxwell or Paul Tracy (maybe even both), managed by Graham and Brian Stewart and sponsored by Petro-Canada and Tim Hortons?
Okay, I'll get serious. What I'm trying to say is that what happened to you this week does not have to be the end of the Villeneuve auto racing world.
It's undoubtedly very disappointing. And for a driver who was once world champion, it's rather disrespectful to be shunted aside in this manner.
But it's always best to try to turn a negative into a positive. It's better to go out with your head held high. And, as a guy once said, the best revenge is to do better.
So Jacques, show 'em that they can't keep a good man down.