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
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory Plus

How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning Plus

The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning

Frank Gardner was the veteran of just eight grand prix starts. It could have been more, but why waste his talent if the cars weren't up to it? NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls the life of one of racing's great characters

Formula 1
May 2, 2021
Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth Plus

Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth

Jean Todt has signalled that he will not stand for re-election as FIA president. MARK GALLAGHER analyses the strong credentials of one potential successor…

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull and Mercedes uncertain of supremacy at Portimao Plus

The data that leaves both Red Bull and Mercedes uncertain of supremacy at Portimao

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying

Formula 1
Apr 30, 2021