Villeneuve Enjoys 'Fun' Qualifying

BAR driver Jacques Villeneuve was happy to see the running order altered in today's first qualifying session for the French Grand Prix.

Villeneuve Enjoys 'Fun' Qualifying

BAR driver Jacques Villeneuve was happy to see the running order altered in today's first qualifying session for the French Grand Prix.

With the title front runners starting first on full wet tyres in the rain, conditions improved progressively to enable the tail-enders to lap on dry tyres and set the fastest times by a massive margin.

Minardi's Jos Verstappen finished fastest ahead of teammate Justin Wilson. Former champion Villeneuve, who was unable to drive his car in practice, was delighted for Minardi.

"Isn't that great? Isn't that what was wanted?" said Villeneuve. "It's fun. Everybody knows why it happened and today's qualifying doesn't count in any way for the Championship. All the guys that are fighting for the Championship are bunched up together anyway. And that's what matters.

"It makes it fun and it makes it more interesting."

In an extraordinary turnaround for his team, Canadian Villeneuve set the seventh best time despite running for the first time in qualifying. BAR are being sued by a Monaco production company who say the constructor owes them a $3 million commission for negotiating sponsoring rights.

Briton Jenson Button was slowest but he had another excuse having kicked his heels during morning practice as the team fought to have cars impounded by a court order released in time for qualifying.

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