Jacques Villeneuve to test Alpine F1 car at Monza

Jacques Villeneuve will test last year’s Alpine A521 Formula 1 car at Monza on the Wednesday after the Italian Grand Prix.

Jacques Villeneuve to test Alpine F1 car at Monza

It will be the first time that the 51-year-old has driven a near-contemporary F1 car since his last race with BMW Sauber at Hockenheim in 2006.

The chance came about through his relationship with broadcaster Canal+, and is part of a 25th anniversary celebration of his world championship title, achieved with a Renault-powered Williams in 1997.

Villeneuve drove for the Enstone team in the last three races of the 2004 season alongside current Alpine driver Fernando Alonso, earning two 10th places and an 11th. He also worked with Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer in their BAR Honda days.

The A521 is the car raced by Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon last season and used this year for young driver development testing by Oscar Piastri and Jack Doohan.

“It happened through the link with Canal+, French team and French TV, and I won 25 years ago with Renault,” Villeneuve told Autosport.

“So it's an outing because of that. But it's last year's car in Monza and you cannot detune them, so it will be proper laps.

“I did three races with Fernando, so I do have a past with that team, and [current sporting director] Alan Permane was my engineer.

“This is super, super exciting. It’s crazy. It'll be good to understand what these cars as well. I tried the simulator. The modern cars are not impressive in the slow speed, but they're incredible in high speed.

“I just have to make sure I have a good seat. It will be hell, because the G forces will be incredible. The good thing is at you have long straight line. So physically you can relax!”

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Villeneuve acknowledged that steering wheel controls are even more complicated now than when he last raced in F1 in 2006, but he’s not concerned.

"Yeah, but everything becomes a habit. I've always been a gamer, not only on racing games, and once we get habits, you can do anything.

“It's when it's not a habit that it becomes difficult, when you have to start looking at the steering wheel and think oh, what does that mean that you don't have the time. But when it becomes a habit, it's second nature, then it becomes easy.”

Read Also:

Villeneuve stressed that he’s still an active driver: "I've never stopped wanting to do this. So my goal lately has been to get to NASCAR. After doing Daytona this year that kind of put me in the mood of trying to get a season going. But right now I'm so busy with TV that it kind of blocks anything else."

Canal+ commentator Julien Febreau, an experience racer himself, will also get the opportunity to drive the A521 at Monza, while the team will also be running this year’s A522 for a filming day.

Villeneuve and Febreau will warm up for their Monza runs by sampling a 2012 Lotus E20 “driving experience” car at Paul Ricard this week.

shares
comments
How Mercedes overcame Ferrari to become Verstappen’s 2022 Dutch GP win challengers
Previous article

How Mercedes overcame Ferrari to become Verstappen’s 2022 Dutch GP win challengers

Next article

Autosport Podcast: F1 Dutch Grand Prix Review

Autosport Podcast: F1 Dutch Grand Prix Review
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Plus

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge Plus

Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge

Faced with drivers complaining about the long-term health effects of car ‘bouncing’, the FIA stepped in to deal with it. JAKE BOXALL-LEGGE explains how the so-called ‘Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric’ works, and asks if it is fit for purpose?

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2022
Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers Plus

Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers

As Sebastian Vettel’s Formula 1 career has come to a close, figuring out where he fits into the greatest of all time order is a tough and subjective call. With the aid of statistics, attributes and history, here’s how the four-time world champion stacks up in the debate

Formula 1
Nov 19, 2022