Villeneuve Aims to Help Renault Beat BAR

Jacques Villeneuve is determined to help Renault defeat his former team BAR when he makes his Formula One return at the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday.

Villeneuve Aims to Help Renault Beat BAR

Jacques Villeneuve is determined to help Renault defeat his former team BAR when he makes his Formula One return at the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Canadian will race the final three Grands Prix of 2004 for Renault, who signed him in a bid to catch BAR for second place in the Constructors' Championship. BAR are three points ahead of the French team.

"All I have to do is beat Takuma (Sato) and then Fernando (Alonso) has to beat Jenson (Button)," Villeneuve told reporters on Saturday. "We each have our own job. The Renault car always has a great start and we've been better on old tyres, so the race should be fun."

Villeneuve, who left BAR acrimoniously in October 2003 after four frustrating years, qualified 12th fastest for the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix after a season on the sidelines.

"Everything is totally different," acknowledged Villeneuve, who won the world title with Williams in 1997. "I still have old habits that kick in. This being the first race is where we're learning everything. Today, we lost a lot of time setting the car up and we lost our way this morning.

"It's where I wanted to be in lap time (1:35.384) but the starting position is disappointing. That's the way it happens."

Villeneuve, known for his bitter rivalry with Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill in the mid-1990s as well as his world title triumph, will race for Sauber in 2005 and 2006. The 33-year-old denied he had any regrets about signing for the Swiss team, who have not won a race since making their Formula One debut in 1993.

"I signed with BAR five years ago and, while I was there, everybody was saying how much of an idiot I was for being there and having stayed there," said Villeneuve. "Look where they are this year. (Sauber) will improve."

As if to illustrate his point, Brazilian Felipe Massa qualified fourth fastest in Shanghai on Saturday.

"It's really strange because you can go 'Okay, that's good for next year' but right now I don't really want to think about next year," said Villeneuve. "All I want to do is get three good races. I have the experience now to do that."

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