BMW Yet to Decide on Villeneuve

BMW have sent a clear message to Canadian Jacques Villeneuve that he is being closely watched and should not assume he will be driving for their Formula One team next year

BMW Yet to Decide on Villeneuve

The 34-year-old Villeneuve has a year to run on his contract with Swiss-based Sauber, who will compete next year as BMW's team after being bought by the German carmaker, and expects to be kept on.

However, BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen could not confirm on Friday that the 1997 World Champion would be partnering Germany's Nick Heidfeld, whose three-year contract was announced this month.

"We have been fully focused on getting Nick under contract for next year in the first instance and now we are looking into the other issue," Theissen told Reuters at the Brazilian Grand Prix, when asked about Villeneuve.

"Apparently we all saw that even a World Champion cannot return after a period of being out of the sport and be competitive right from the start.

"So Jacques's first half of the season was certainly not encouraging," said Theissen.

"Now he is catching up and we just decided we wanted to see him in the second half of the season. We don't see ourselves under any time pressure but that's on our table now.

"You will see the definite line-up at the first race," Theissen added. "Anything can happen in Formula One."

Villeneuve, who won his title with Williams, was dropped by BAR at the end of 2003 and missed most of last season before making a comeback with Renault for the last three races.

He joined Sauber at the start of the season and struggled to match the form of Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa, who is leaving for Ferrari.

The low point came in Monaco in May when the two Saubers collided after Villeneuve tried to go past, dashing the team's hopes of points.

The Canadian's form has improved since then and he finished sixth in the last Belgian Grand Prix.

Several other drivers have been linked with BMW, including BAR's British test driver Anthony Davidson and McLaren's Austrian Alexander Wurz.

shares
comments
Rosberg Unlikely to Race in Japan, China

Previous article

Rosberg Unlikely to Race in Japan, China

Next article

Jordan Want Sato and Albers for 2006

Jordan Want Sato and Albers for 2006
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve
Author Alan Baldwin
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021