Richards: Villeneuve will stay with BAR

British American Racing team principal David Richards has confirmed that Jacques Villeneuve will be in his driver line-up next year alongside Jenson Button and will not be returning to the US-based CART series

Richards: Villeneuve will stay with BAR

Villeneuve and his manager Craig Pollock paid a visit to the Miami Champ Car race last weekend. Pollock admitted that the possibility of his driver returning to the series he won in 1995 was still open.

Forsythe Racing's sponsor Player's had made an offer to lure Villeneuve back across the Atlantic earlier in the year. But Richards has attempted to put an end to the speculation once and for all by stating that the Canadian will stay with BAR for a fifth season.

Richards confirmed that a return to the USA had been a possibility for Villeneuve. "Yes, most certainly," Richards said in Suzuka. "It was discussed some months ago and it was to drive in the Player's team.

"But, clearly, we needed a replacement for Jacques. When the time drifted on and Olivier [Panis] had the offer from Toyota, without a replacement driver it wasn't practical for the team.

"And I think Jacques wasn't particularly enthusiastic about it. He is willing to work with the team and he wants to stay in Formula 1. He's an F1 driver, he's committed to it and he wants to be here. I'm very pleased that he will be in the team next year."

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