Renault confirms Villeneuve

Renault has confirmed that Jacques Villeneuve will replace Jarno Trulli for the final three grands prix of the Formula 1 season, starting with China. The former world champion completed a successful two day test with the team at Silverstone this week

Renault confirms Villeneuve

Villenueve, who had not driven an F1 car since the 2003 US Grand Prix, completed 700km as he acclimatised to the team's R24. His fastest time put him third fastest yesterday, a tenth of the day's best set by Takuma Sato.

"The team and I share a common goal - to beat BAR to second in the [constructors'] championship," said Villeneuve. "I am here to enjoy myself as well, but the priority is to contribute to Renault's fight in the championship. It will be tough, but sometimes you have to take the plunge. Once you have done so, there is no other option but to make it work."

Villeneuve may have had an extended lay-off compared to the opposition, but at least his comeback will begin with the Shanghai circuit - a venue that no-one has any previous knowledge of. "I am not sure whether it will be an advantage or not," he said. "There are two ways of looking at it. Firstly, you can say that nobody else has been there before either so I won't be at a disadvantage, but on the other hand, in that situation, you could say that you need as much experience as possible with the car and the tyres in order to concentrate on learning the track.

"You can choose to be optimistic or negative. I'm looking at it in a positive frame of mind."

The team's managing director Flavio Briatore commented: "We are very excited to welcome Jacques Villeneuve to Renault for the final three grands prix of the 2004 season. He is highly motivated and has impressed us with his performance this week."

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Q & A with Villeneuve after Renault Announcement

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