Villeneuve receives suspended ban

SILVERSTONE, Britain, July 13 (Reuter) - Jacques Villeneuve was hit by a suspended one race ban just hours after victory in the British Grand Prix on Sunday had revived his world title challenge. The punishment, for failing...

SILVERSTONE, Britain, July 13 (Reuter) - Jacques Villeneuve was hit by a suspended one race ban just hours after victory in the British Grand Prix on Sunday had revived his world title challenge. The punishment, for failing to maintain the correct distance behind the safety car early in the race, is unlikely to diminish his delight at closing the gap on championship leader Michael Schumacher of Germany. If the Canadian keeps out of trouble at the German Grand Prix in two weeks the ban will be expunged from his record. Villeneuve was also in trouble with Formula One authorities last month. He was reprimanded for criticising rule changes due to be introduced next season. He was involved in further contro- versy in France two weeks later over comments suggesting Formula One was "too politically correct" and that drivers were insincere over their expressed feelings for injured driver Olivier Panis. Villeneuve's win, which secured the Williams team their long-awaited 100th Formula One victory on the circuit where they claimed their first in 1979, cut Schumacher's lead to four points in the drivers' title battle after nine of this year's 17 races. Schumacher, who was forced to retire his Ferrari with me- chanical problems after leading, now has 47 points to Villeneuve's 43. The Canadian has a good chance of living up to his pre-season status as favourite for the drivers' title if he and Williams can maintain their form.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Olivier Panis
Teams Ferrari , Williams