Jacques Villeneuve, brother of late Gilles and uncle of namesake, diagnosed with cancer

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There is sad news to report from suburban Montreal: Jacques Villeneuve, younger brother of the late Gilles and uncle to his namesake — former Indy 500, CART and Formula One champ Jacques Villeneuve — has been diagnosed with advanced intestinal cancer.

The 60-year-old Villeneuve, known commonly as “Uncle Jacques” to distinguish him from his nephew (who will race in this year’s Indianapolis 500 for the first time since winning it in 1995), announced the battle he’s undergoing to a group of Montreal-area media on Tuesday.

“What’s not encouraging is that I’ve been told that the cancer is well advanced. I have little chance of recovering,” Villeneuve sadly told the Journal de Montreal (per translated report by Auto123.com).

The elder Jacques is a former two-time Formula Atlantic and Can-Am series champion, and also competed in the former CART series, winning a1985 race at Wisconsin’s Road America road course.

His nephew and namesake also won at Road America in 1994 and 1995, the same year the younger Villeneuve won the Indy 500.

The elder Jacques also raced snowmobiles for more than two decades, earning a number of victories and championships, and even had a brief foray in Formula One. He had reportedly not been feeling well for several months and learned of his diagnosis last week after seeing a doctor and undergoing a battery of tests.

Villeneuve is expected to undergo treatment starting next week.

Sadly, Thursday was the 32nd anniversary of Gilles’ death in a crash during qualifying for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix.

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Ferrari teammates Vettel and Raikkonen fastest in rainy final practice at Australian GP

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen went one-two in the final practice session ahead of qualifying at the water-logged Australian Grand Prix on Saturday.

Vettel set a best-lap time of 1 minute, 26.067 seconds, more than 2.4 seconds faster than his teammate in second.

Both Ferrari drivers switched from their intermediate tires to the super-fast, ultra-soft tires for the final few laps of the session, testing conditions on the track after a day-long downpour left it slick and filled with small puddles.

Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton did not opt to try out their soft tires, sticking to the intermediates for the entire session. They had the seventh- and eighth-fastest times, after topping the leaderboard in practice in dry conditions on Friday.

The heavy rains subsided by early afternoon, allowing the track to rapidly dry during the third practice session and making conditions safe for drivers to test their soft tires.

Still, only a few drivers completed a timed lap with the softer compounds, with Mercedes, Red Bull and most of the others staying with their intermediates.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson had the third-fastest time of the session on ultrasoft tires, followed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on intermediates.

Hamilton remains the favorite to capture his fifth straight pole position at the Australian Grand Prix in qualifying later Saturday. He had the fastest laps on ultrasoft tires in the two practice sessions on Friday, though Verstappen was right behind him.

Verstappen and Vettel both slid on the slick track early in the third practice session, but maintained control and completed their runs without incident.

Verstappen’s teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, had the sixth-fastest time of the session. The Australian’s chances of winning his fifth career Grand Prix on his home track in Melbourne took a hit late Friday when he was assessed a three-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race.

The Australian driver was penalized for driving too fast under red-flag conditions during Friday’s second practice session because of debris on the track.