Villeneuve is staying says Richards

Villeneuve is staying says Richards

BAR boss David Richards has confirmed that, as far as he is concerned, Jacques Villeneuve will be staying with the team for 2003. Although there has been no official announcement as yet regarding whom will partner Jenson Button at BAR next season,...

BAR boss David Richards has confirmed that, as far as he is concerned, Jacques Villeneuve will be staying with the team for 2003. Although there has been no official announcement as yet regarding whom will partner Jenson Button at BAR next season, Richards is certain Villeneuve will be staying put. Speculation arose again recently that the Canadian would be heading off to America in 2003 but Richards dismissed it.

Jacques Villeneuve.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.
He did confirm an offer was made to Villeneuve from the Players Team to drive in CART but Villeneuve was not that keen: "It (the offer) was some months ago and it has become public knowledge now," Richards said in today's press conference at Suzuka. "It was to drive in the Players Team. We clearly needed a replacement for Jacques and when the time drifted on, and when Olivier had the offer from Toyota, without the replacement driver, it wasn't practical for the team."

"I think Jacques was not particularly enthusiastic. He was willing to work with the team on it, if that was to the benefit of the team, but he wanted to stay in Formula One. He is a Formula One driver and he is committed to Formula One and he wants to be here and I am very pleased he will be with the team here next year."

The recent rumour of Villeneuve still thinking about CART rose from a visit to the Miami CART race but Richards said it was nothing more than Villeneuve meeting old friends: "From my position there is no question about it," he stated in regards to Villeneuve staying with BAR. "He's driving with us next year. He has a contract with us. The fact that he visited a CART race in Miami and saw all his old mates seems to have started the speculation again."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , David Richards