Ecclestone: No Team Wants Villeneuve

No Formula One team wanted to sign Jacques Villeneuve for next season despite offers to have the Canadian lined up for free, Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone claims.

Ecclestone: No Team Wants Villeneuve

No Formula One team wanted to sign Jacques Villeneuve for next season despite offers to have the Canadian lined up for free, Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone claims.

Villeneuve was notified last weekend by BAR team principal David Richards that his contract with the team would not be renewed for next season. BAR are scheduled to announce Villeneuve's replacement at a press conference later today.

"I did everything possible to talk teams into giving Jacques a drive for next season but the truth is no one wants him," Ecclestone told The Sun newspaper.

"I still regard him as a great racer but he needs a team that would give him extra motivation. Toyota would have been the perfect platform for him because they could give him a car capable of winning races.

"I even suggested he should go to Ferrari and drive alongside Michael Schumacher for free. But it didn't come off because Michael insists on No. 1 status, which shows he must still consider Jacques a threat."

1997 World Champion Villeneuve debuted in Formula One with Williams in 1996, when he set pole position on his first Grand Prix. The Canadian moved to BAR, the team his manager and long time friend Craig Pollock founded on the ashes of Tyrrell, in 1999 and finished on the podium only twice since.

He received an offer to move to Renault - then Benetton - for the 2001 season, but decided to stay with BAR after requests from engine supplier Honda and a salary increase that made him the second highest paid driver on the grid. But Ecclestone now says Villeneuve was perhaps ill-advised on his career moves.

"I feel Jacques has been badly advised in the past," he told the British tabloid.

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