Villeneuve on the prowl

Villeneuve on the prowl

Jacques Villeneuve is on the prowl for a race seat in 2005 and is sure he is the right man to replace Jenson Button at BAR. The Canadian left BAR in acrimonious circumstances at the end of 2003 but is willing to put that behind him. The ...

Jacques Villeneuve is on the prowl for a race seat in 2005 and is sure he is the right man to replace Jenson Button at BAR. The Canadian left BAR in acrimonious circumstances at the end of 2003 but is willing to put that behind him. The Button/Williams/BAR saga is yet to be decided but Williams is certain the Englishman will be joining the team -- and Villeneuve is ready to step into the BAR breach.

Jacques Villeneuve.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.

"Why am I the guy for BAR? Because they need someone that can adapt to the team very quickly," the Canadian told Autosport. "I'm experienced, I know what it takes to win and I've won before. I've been with the team through the hardest time and we all survived it together until this year, until everything changed."

"So it's unfinished business and that means I'm very hungry. There's a trust and respect within the team, with the mechanics, the engineers. It's the same thing with Honda, the way they responded shows that it's still present."

According to reports, Villeneuve's manager Craig Pollock -- formerly BAR team boss -- would have to keep a bit of a distance from the Brackley squad. That won't deter Jacques from his aim: "If Craig is an issue, then he doesn't have to be involved," he said. "He can work from the office and I can easily be a front man, I've been there long enough."

In between talking up his BAR chances, Villeneuve hasn't been idle. He visited Sauber's Hinwil headquarters this week to inspect the new wind tunnel and have informal talks with Peter Sauber. The Swiss squad has a vacancy next year as Giancarlo Fisichella is moving to Renault.

However, Sauber said recently that while his team is attracting some interest, he is not yet ready to make a decision on Fisichella's replacement. "We're under no pressure whatsoever, that's why I'm taking my time," he commented. "I've not even decided yet whether we will select a young talented or an experienced driver."

BAR boss David Richards confirmed last weekend that he had spoken to Villeneuve but the team is not going to discuss driver options until the Button situation is resolved. The wrangle between BAR and Williams for Button's services in 2005 is still in the hands of the Contract Recognition Board.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jenson Button , Jacques Villeneuve , Peter Sauber , David Richards
Teams Sauber , Williams