The Full Transcript of Villeneuve's Press Conference

Following his first day of testing for Renault, former World Champion Jacques Villeneuve met the press this evening at the Silverstone track. Atlas F1 brings the full transcript of the Canadian's press conference.

The Full Transcript of Villeneuve's Press Conference

Following his first day of testing for Renault, former World Champion Jacques Villeneuve met the press this evening at the Silverstone track. Atlas F1 brings the full transcript of the Canadian's press conference.

Q: Was there a point you thought you might not get a drive?

Jacques Villeneuve: "For next year?"

Q: Yes

JV: "It looked like it, but I always believe the best will happen. Which, well, in the past it wasn't always the case, but you just can't give up, and since I've been training hard since February, March, something had to happen, because training for nothing is very difficult."

Q: How was it in the car Actually? You haven't driven for like a year

JV: "Oh, it's... I was expecting it to be more difficult than that, but we've been training hard so thank god the training has paid off. But no, we didn't actually work much on the car itself, we just concentrated on working on the seat and stuff like that."

Q: But did you enjoy it?

JV: "Oh yes, it was enjoyable. It's fast! You know, the laptimes are fast compared to when I was racing - it's like three seconds faster, or something. It's a lot. But surprisingly, when you're driving, it doesn't feel that much faster, because the car is good, the car feels good, the engine drives well, the tyres are good. So it's just three seconds a lap more physical, more than anything else."

Q: Are Renault expecting you to race in the final three Grands Prix of the season?

JV: "No, nothing's been said, right now we're just testing, that's all that matters and the only thing is to get settled in, work on the seat, get everything perfect just so that if we do race, then there's no worry about that, and... Renault's goal is just to beat BAR, really, to be second in the Constructors. That's the goal."

Q: How much motivation does it give you, to beat BAR?

JV: "It would be... yeah, it would be great, just because of the way it ended."

Q: When did the team first contact contact you, and what was the timeline for you signing with Sauber?

JV: "Ah, well, with the Sauber-Petronas team we've been talking for... not that long. But, as I was saying earlier, they actually were the only team that treated me seriously and with respect, compared to everybody else I've been speaking to since March. And that made a huge difference. And I was wanting to get into a non-political team, so I'm very happy about that."

Q: And when did Renault sign you up?

JV: "Umm, ehh... the Renault sign, now that thing's very complicated. But it happened very fast."

Q: How fast?

JV: "Very fast. Ask Flavio..." (laughs)

Q: Do you really think there really is/are non-political team in Formula One? That Sauber really is like that?

JV: "Depends what you call political; you have political-aggressive, where everybody hurts everybody, and it's always a lot of negativity that goes out. But even things that don't look political might be, but don't have a positive way and it doesn't annoy everybody. That's more what I meant, so... I don't know if they're political or not. It looks like they're not at all. And if they are, then it's in a positive way, so it's good anyway."

Q: You said before you'd only come back with a fully competitive team. Do you think Sauber are now like that?

JV: Well... what made the difference for me there is the windtunnel they have. Of course right now it's not a team that's fighting at the front, but if you can work positively - and, you know, it's a two year deal - so they're trying to do something good. It doesn't mean we'll win races or something, you'd need luck for that, but at least if you can just keep improving and you're happy working then that's already great. And the windtunnel they have - that's the impression I have - is very impressive, and I'm sure some good things can be done."

Q: What about the Ferrari connection between the two, is that something that attracted you as well?

JV: "I don't know. I'm not sure how big the connection is, but it seems to be very good. So yeah, that's nice. But I'm not joining a team thinking that it will bring me to the other team afterwards, that would be the wrong way of working."

Q: After being rejected by Williams and the talks with BAR not going anywhere, did you feel you have to go to Sauber and get a deal just so you could race, even if it means not winning? Just the satisfaction of driving again?

JV: "Umm... No, it's only because I thought this could be in a very positive atmosphere and, as I said, it's after seeing the windtunnel. But the most surprising thing is to be here today, actually! That's the one that I really wasn't expecting."

Q: Did you miss F1 far more than you expected?

JV: "No, I've had a great time! I think I needed the break, so I guess I'll have to thank David for that!"

Q: Is there a test planned with Sauber soon?

JV: "No, no, no, I just, right now I'm under contract with Renault. The Sauber conference has been timed, but... it's... I'm not, I don't remember the dates yet."

Q: You think you'll actually race this season?

JV: "I'm not sure what has been decided but I'm working on it, in fact I have to get a new passport!"

Q: Do you think you could win in any of the last few races if you get that drive?

JV: "Oh, the chances of that are very, very slim because first of all it would mean beating Fernando and he's a very, very fast driver, and you know I'll be very happy not to be too far behind him, if that happens, because he is a great driver. So that would be good because even though he doesn't have a huge amout of experience, there's stuff I can learn from him."

Q: What about being on the grid again, if you were, with your old mate Michael Schumacher?

JV: "Ehh... Listen, I really don't know what the ballparks are. All that Renault wants is to beat BAR for the second in the Constructors, that's all that matters."

Q: What were your impressions of the R24?

JV: "It's nice, it's nice to drive. I just started with what Fernando drove, set-up wise, and just got used to it, so we didn't work on the set-up. For my personal self, there's stuff that could change obviously, but, you know, there's tomorrow to work more on that - today was just to work on the seat and stuff."

Q: Can you compare it to the previous car you were driving?

JV: "Ahh, it's too long, too long ago!"

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