Craig Pollock has been and is Jacques Villeneuve's mentor; thus, Pollock's leaving British American Racing Formula One team is hard for Villeneuve to accept. Villeneuve and Pollock have been together since Villeneuve was a "wet-behind-the-ears" young lad.

After a weekend of skiing with Canadian Villeneuve for a charity event in Mont-Tremblant, Quйbec, Pollock announced on Monday, December 17th that he was leaving the BAR Honda team as team principal to pursue other interests.

Jacques Villeneuve. Photo by Brousseau Photo.

Pollock was Villeneuve's former schoolteacher in Switzerland and later became his personal manager. When BAR formed in 1999, Pollock became the team principal. The past three season have been rough on the team without much success.

"There wasn't much time for a reaction actually, it was all done very quickly," Villeneuve said at the launch of the team's 2002 Formula One car when asked for his reaction to Monday's news of Pollock's standing down.

"It's probably better this way, not too much time to think and get happy or angry,"

"It's been tough for three years, it's been very tough and there have been changes before and every change is unsettling.

"This one is definitely the most difficult for me to digest. Only time will tell if its for the best or worse."

Pollock will remain on tech Board of Directors for BAR Honda and will continue to be Villeneuve's mentor. There is the possibility that Pollock might stay with the team as personal manager for Villeneuve.

New team principal, David Richards, informed Villeneuve prior to the launch that he (Villeneuve) is a "key element" to BAR Honda.