Richards says Villeneuve will stay

Jacques Villeneuve has said that he will quit BAR at the end of the season if there are no improvements in the performance of the car and after he failed to show up for testing in Barcelona last week, rumours of his departure being imminent ...

Jacques Villeneuve has said that he will quit BAR at the end of the season if there are no improvements in the performance of the car and after he failed to show up for testing in Barcelona last week, rumours of his departure being imminent surfaced. But team principal David Richards is adamant that Villeneuve is committed to BAR and has approved the changes made in personnel recently.

"I can assure you that Jacques is totally committed to BAR," said Richards. "He told Martin Broughton (chairman of British American Tabacco) the same thing by stating that he would be very upset to leave the team at this point after all his hard work, as he thought that BAR were about to turn the corner."

"The idea that he refused to turn up for testing in Barcelona is nonsense. He has suffered some back pain driving the car and we re-arranged testing. I can find no fault with Jacques' application in the first two races. Now we are making changes that were overdue."

Engineering director Malcolm Oastler and chief designer Andy Green left BAR last week and a further 50 workers are also expected to part company with the team. Geoff Willis, who's aerodynamic work had great effect on the revitalizing of Williams, will now try to do the same for BAR.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Geoff Willis , David Richards , Andy Green
Teams Williams