Villeneuve says BAR won't be competitive

Jacques Villeneuve hopes that BAR can salvage enough of this season that he can attain seventh in the Driver's championship but admits that would not be a great result. The Canadian has yet to score a point this year and knows that BAR are not ...

Jacques Villeneuve hopes that BAR can salvage enough of this season that he can attain seventh in the Driver's championship but admits that would not be a great result. The Canadian has yet to score a point this year and knows that BAR are not certainly not strong enough to challenge Williams, Ferrari and McLaren -- and are struggling with the likes of Sauber and Renault.

"We can salvage the season maybe, but we won't be competitive," said Villeneuve, who just turned 31 this week. "We have to shoot for what we can. In the last two years I've been seventh in the drivers' championship which is right after the top three teams. I still believe we can do that again but it's still not a nice number. There are three teams that cannot be beaten for us anyway, Williams, Ferrari and McLaren. If we can be just behind them then that would be a salvage. But I doubt if we can beat Sauber also as they are going to be very competitive. Then there is Renault. Team-wise being in the top five doesn't sound good but it will be hard for us to be in the top five this year."

BAR boss David Richards recently had a staff shake up within the team, shedding approx 50 staff including engineering director Malcolm Oastler and chief designer Andy Green in a bid to turn around BAR's ailing fortunes. Villeneuve, who joined the team in 1999, is hoping the changes will motivate the team to get results as now they know the comfort zone has been removed.

"As I have been here since the beginning I still want to have success with this team and bring this team to victory," the '97 champion said. "Now it looks like this could allow us to do that. Big changes have happened now so I want to see what these changes bring. We won't see anything happening in the next month or two. We need to get the ball rolling, get everything working well together. What's happened has given a kick in the pants to everyone. Everybody in the team was very comfortable before and was protected but now everybody knows that if the job isn't done then a door might open and it isn't a door to come in but to go out. That's not a bad thing. If we had been winning then comfort would not have been a bad thing. But we weren't winning and the comfort was there. That's what was wrong.If you are at the back of the pack and still everybody is happy about it then that means there is something wrong."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , David Richards , Andy Green
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Williams