Richards: no firm decision on Villeneuve

BAR boss David Richards has made it clear that no firm decision has been made as to who will partner Jenson Button in the team in 2004. Rumours have linked Jacques Villeneuve with a switch to the Renault team while BAR-Honda test driver Takuma Sato recently stated publicly that he "expects" to be racing with the team next year

Richards: no firm decision on Villeneuve

According to AUTOSPORT this week, Richards says there would be no reason to replace Villeneuve, the 1997 Formula 1 World Champion, if he continues to show his current form.

"I'm very open about the situation," said Richards, " and quite frankly, the way that Jacques has been driving recently, and his whole way of working with the team, I've been very, very impressed.

"Jenson does have a contract, and we have no other firm contracts for next year with any driver. Takuma would very much like to drive in 2004, and there's no getting away from the fact that we do have an option on his services for next year as a race driver."

Villeneuve, who won his world title with Renault, has admitted that his market value has dropped since joining BAR in 1999: "I don't have a contract, and the championship was many years ago.

"Even though people see how hard I've worked and all that, and how I've stuck by the team and didn't blast them, when it's time to sign a contract they decide to forget about that. That devalues you."

For the full story read this week's edition of AUTOSPORT.

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