JV disappoints on F1 return

Jacques Villeneuve had a tough return to Formula 1 in the Chinese Grand Prix when he finished in 11th place for the Renault team, having qualified 13th. By comparison, Fernando Alonso qualified sixth and finished fourth in the other R24, setting a best lap 1.3s quicker than the 1997 world champion's

JV disappoints on F1 return

Renault recruited Villeneuve for the final three races of the season in the hope that the French-Canadian could help the team to regain second place in the constructors' championship from BAR-Honda, having dispensed with the services of Jarno Trulli, who they suspected was not giving 100% since the decision not to retain him was taken mid-season.

Trulli came in for criticism for his erratic performance, particularly at Spa and Monza, and took flak for suddenly finding pace and setting his fastest lap on the penultimate lap of the Italian Grand Prix. The irony is that Villeneuve's last lap in Shanghai was also his quickest, but the problem was that it was only the 17th fastest of the race, a couple of hundredths shy of Timo Glock, who replaced Giorgio Pantano at Jordan...

"I made a good start," Villeneuve said, "and while it was difficult at the start, things got better and better. I actually found it difficult to get into the rhythm at the start of the race. My first lap was just too slow and I lost all the positions I had gained at the start."

Villeneuve spent much of the race battling with Mark Webber, finishing the race just 0.17s behind the Jaguar.

"I was quicker than him in the slower corners but I couldn't stay close enough in the high speed ones and then I was never close enough going into the hairpin, which is really where you can pass people here," Villeneuve explained.

Both Villeneuve and Renault are hoping for a more competitive display
In Suzuka.

"It should be fun," he said. "I know the track very well and we should be competitive there. "In terms of my physical condition, this race was better than I expected. I had no problems at all and I managed to attack all the way until the end of the race."

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