JV says F1 return was no waste

Jacques Villeneuve has insisted that his three-race return with Renault was not a complete waste of time - even though he failed to score a single point for the French car manufacturer

JV says F1 return was no waste

The former world champion took time to fully get up to speed with the race pace required in modern Formula 1 and failed to match the performance of team-mate Fernando Alonso as Renault lost its fight with rivals BAR for second place in the constructors' championship.

But despite not delivering what was expected of him, Villeneuve claims that the three-race stint was of a huge personal benefit as he gears up for a full-time return in F1 with Sauber in 2005.

"It was very useful for me to prepare my next season," said Villeneuve looking back on his experience in China, Japan and Brazil. "Unfortunately there were no points to celebrate, but at least in Brazil I was competitive.

"At the end of the race [in Interlagos] there were 24 seconds between Fernando and I and that was the gap he opened in the first few laps when the track favoured the tyre choice he had made.

"To get back into action was good for the physical side and the mental side. It's good to have an opportunity before winter testing and to find out where I am in comparison with others."

Although Villeneuve joined Alonso in starting the Brazilian Grand Prix on dry tyres, he was unable to match the pace of his team-mate because he was on the harder compound - which took longer to get up to operating temperature in the damp conditions.

"I did a good start, but then I got passed by a couple of cars and found myself on the wrong line, so I lost more places," explained Villeneuve about his race. "In the first five laps it was very difficult to keep a good rhythm and then I was too far back to make an impact.

"On the hard tyres it was far more difficult for me on the early laps than it was for Fernando, who was on the soft tyres. But we couldn't have known that when we chose the tyres on Friday night.

"With the second set of tyres we were quicker, so it was the right choice for normal conditions."

Villeneuve is due to start testing for Sauber at the end of November, when Formula 1's annual winter testing ban comes to an end.

shares
comments
Ferrari told to gain 'respect'

Previous article

Ferrari told to gain 'respect'

Next article

Hakkinen remains on Williams list

Hakkinen remains on Williams list
Load comments
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Plus

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of “glory” if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1’s other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021
The F1 media favourite who lifted a broken Lotus Plus

The F1 media favourite who lifted a broken Lotus

Graham Hill was nearly 30 when he made his Formula 1 debut. NIGEL ROEBUCK examines the life of a gifted racer whose talismanic personality defined an era

Formula 1
Sep 11, 2021