Coulthard Apologised to Villeneuve

Jacques Villeneuve has accepted David Coulthard's apology for their late race clash at the Bahrain Grand Prix - even though it almost certainly cost him a World Championship point

Coulthard Apologised to Villeneuve

Villeneuve and Coulthard were closing in on the struggling Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello when they collided three laps from home - with Villeneuve coming off worst as he spun off the track and had to retire with damaged suspension.

And although he vowed to have words with Coulthard after the race, the Scot eventually came to say sorry for the mix-up - which Villeneuve accepted.

"We were both fighting for eighth place and a valuable point, but he made a mistake and it took me out of the race," said Villeneuve on his official website. "It's really a shame, but he came to apologise and everything is okay now. That's racing."

Despite the disappointment, Villeneuve believes that the fact he came so close to scoring a point means that he has finally made a step forward in understanding Sauber's new C24 - something which should put him in good stead for the start of the European season.

Reacting to the continued rumours that his place at the team is under threat, Villeneuve said: "The reality is that I don't really pay attention to them so there is no stress about that. I know that I have the full support from the Peter [Sauber] and the team and that reality is important.

"It is certainly frustrating for me to fight with a car that doesn't respond well to my style of driving but time for adaptation is needed, especially because we did not do any proper testing before the season.

"However, this weekend in Bahrain was already better. I could feel the car better and I could push it more towards its limits. We definitely made some good progress and that what's important - I am confident that we are heading in the right direction."

He added: "Anyway, the important is that we made some progress this weekend so we will start the European campaign a bit stronger I guess.

"Of course there is a lot of work to be done as we still lack of pace but I will continue to push in every direction to improve the situation. I still have some problems with the electronic system and we need to work more on the car set-up - which we don't have time to do at race weekends because of the new engine regulations."

Villeneuve will join Sauber for a test at Barcelona in Spain this week, where he should be able to get further on top of his difficulties with the car.

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