Tough race for Villeneuve

Jacques Villeneuve finished eleventh in yesterday's Grand Prix. It may not seem a spectacular result, but in reality, he put in a strong performance on his return to F1. Jacques Villeneuve. Photo by Brousseau Photo. Q: Jacques, ...

Jacques Villeneuve finished eleventh in yesterday's Grand Prix. It may not seem a spectacular result, but in reality, he put in a strong performance on his return to F1.

Jacques Villeneuve.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.

Q: Jacques, eleventh on your return to F1 isn't a spectacular result. How do you feel?

Jacques Villeneuve: It was a tough race, but I'm pretty happy really. I made a good start, but it took me too long to get into the rhythm of things. I didn't warm the tyres enough before the start and that meant the grip wasn't there on the first laps. So I lost a lot of the positions I had gained.

Q: You said you spent the race learning: what did you mean?

JV: Exactly that! The first thing to get used to was how the race unfolded, the profile of the thing with the way the cars and tyres are now. Before, the race pace used to be fairly slow at the beginning and would then increases. Now, it is a lot faster from the very first lap - and that just caught me out.

But by the second half of the race things were going much better and I was a lot more comfortable with my pace and could really begin to push. Also, as the race unfolded, I started getting an idea of some of the directions we can pursue with the set-up in Suzuka.

Q: Do you feel ready for Suzuka now?

JV: Definitely, yes. I learned a lot during the race and got much more familiar with the car. The car got a lot better as the track rubbered in and I could attack more, plus I had the chance to work with the traction control and differential settings during the race to improve the handling, adjusting the car as the conditions changed.

Looking ahead to Suzuka, I am feeling good - I know the circuit well, and I don't think we will have any problems with our pace in qualifying or the race.

-renault-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve