Unscathed Villeneuve Rues Lost Time

Canadian Jacques Villeneuve was uninjured following a heavy crash during today's practice for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Unscathed Villeneuve Rues Lost Time

Canadian Jacques Villeneuve was uninjured following a heavy crash during today's practice for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Villeneuve lost control of his BAR at the Spoon corner, the crash ripping the nose and rear wing off his Honda-powered car and halting the session while workers cleaned up the debris scattered across the track.

The Canadian could only complete seven laps in the afternoon session and, with only 11 laps in total today he will have to work hard to catch up.

"It was heavier than I thought," said the Canadian, champion in 1997 with Williams. "You're spinning like mad and you think you are not going fast and when you hit the wall it's like 'Oh, wow. That was faster than I thought.'

"The car seemed to lose traction on the exit from Spoon Curve and I hit the kerb, lost control then spun the car into the barrier. It was quite a heavy impact but I'm fine. The engineers did a lot of work during the downtime while the car was being repaired using Olivier's data but we're too slow and we have a lot of catching up to do."

Villeneuve's teammate Oliver Panis completed a disappointing start for the Brackley-based squad, the Frenchman finishing down in 17th position, only two ahead of the second BAR.

"I lost a lot of time in the morning session, unfortunately due to my mistake," admitted Panis. "I slowed down to pick my way around the debris from Jacques' car and to check he wasn't hurt. I lost concentration and stalled the car so I'm sorry for the team because of that."

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