Villeneuve Discusses Future with Honda

Honda today admitted they have had private meetings with Jacques Villeneuve in the last month as the Canadian driver fights for his Formula One future.

Villeneuve Discusses Future with Honda

Honda today admitted they have had private meetings with Jacques Villeneuve in the last month as the Canadian driver fights for his Formula One future.

Villeneuve, who drives alongside Briton Jenson Button at BAR-Honda, claimed after last weekend's Italian Grand Prix that Honda were pushing for the team to hand Japanese test driver Takuma Sato a race seat next year.

The Japanese company refused to comment on former World Champion Villeneuve's claims but a spokesperson said: "The decision on driver line-up for next year will be taken by the senior management at BAR.

"Jacques Villeneuve requested a meeting with Honda to discuss next year but it was a private meeting and as always in these matters we will not comment on the content of the meeting."

Villeneuve, who is currently on an estimated £13 million (UK Pounds) salary, has struggled to perform this season and has had several meetings with Honda and BAR boss David Richards over the last month.

He secured a vital sixth place finish at Monza last Sunday but said his performance "won't make any difference" to his future with the team and admitted: "There is no inkling of an offer coming from anywhere right now."

Villeneuve won the World Championship in 1997 but has not won a Grand Prix since that year and has struggled to perform since joining BAR when his manager Craig Pollock set up the team in 1999.

He has been forced to look to the United States racing scene after his Formula One options decreased to nothing and his future now rests on which party has the biggest sway within the team.

"It is late and there is no good news so there is no reason to be optimistic," said Villeneuve. "I am working hard on it and I know a lot of people are working hard on it but there are people working hard against it.

"It is in the team's hands and in Honda's hands. I guess it depends on who wins the battle I guess. There is a big push for Sato coming from Honda. This just makes me lose faith in the paddock."

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