BMW Consider a Shoot-Out with Villeneuve

Jacques Villeneuve could face a shoot-out in testing later this year to determine whether BMW keep hold of him next season, Autosport-Atlas has learned

BMW Consider a Shoot-Out with Villeneuve

Although the former World Champion has said several times that his contract for 2006 is water-tight, BMW chiefs are still evaluating their options for next year to decide who will line-up alongside Nick Heidfeld.

And BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen has admitted that one of the possibilities being considered is for the team to compare the contenders for the seat in winter testing before making the final decision.

"We have to make sure that we can achieve the best possible results in 2006," said Theissen. "With that, I am not only speaking for race results but also about the build-up work ahead of us being a new team.

"We need drivers who can push us forward, who can develop a car. I do not wish to talk about names, but it has to be our target that we can start working at the end of November with the two drivers who shall be in the cars in 2006.

"If we cannot achieve that, we might even do a driver comparison program in November."

Theissen believes that Villeneuve has made progress from his shaky start to the season, and the German has hinted that the Canadian could secure his future if he impresses in the final two races of this year.

"The Villeneuve situation is something we currently look into very thoroughly," he added. "You could see at the start of the season that even for a World Champion it is not that easy to come back and be competitive right away.

"Villeneuve needed some time to fit into the team and to come to grips with the tyres. In the second half of the season however he is much closer to Felipe Massa. We want to see how he does in the last couple of races."

BMW would have plenty of reason to keep Villeneuve on board for 2006. He would be keen to help push the team forward, they would not have the expense of having to buy out his contract, and he has a big following in North America which is a major market for the car company.

However, there are several other candidates that are being considered for the seat - with McLaren test driver Alexander Wurz believed to be among the favourites. He is out of contract after the season finishes in China.

The team are also understood to be in talks with Antonio Pizzonia about a deal for next year. The Brazilian has enjoyed close ties with BMW through his recent links with Williams.

shares
comments
Grapevine: Mumbai F1 Run Set for Karthikeyan

Previous article

Grapevine: Mumbai F1 Run Set for Karthikeyan

Next article

Gene Begins Ferrari Test at Paul Ricard

Gene Begins Ferrari Test at Paul Ricard
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve
Author Jonathan Noble
Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash Plus

Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash

George Russell and Valtteri Bottas' collision at Imola on Sunday prompted fury in the Formula 1 paddock. But Russell's carefully-worded heartfelt statement later, acknowledging that his initial response was wrong, proved the right move

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight Plus

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight

In Max Verstappen's Formula 1 career to date, he has been cast as the 'pretender', an acknowledged top-line performer without the car to regularly challenge Lewis Hamilton. But that no longer applies in 2021, and the start to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the most telling signal yet of what we can expect from their duel this year

Formula 1
Apr 21, 2021
How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Plus

How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari Plus

The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari

Ninety years ago, Rudolf Caracciola became the first non-Italian to win the epic Mille Miglia. We look at how he stacks up to the most famous pre-war ace Tazio Nuvolari, one of the drivers he beat on that day in 1931

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021