Villeneuve linked with Renault again

The "silly season" has kicked off even before the end of April, with the F1 World Championship not yet four races old, with Jacques Villeneuve being mentioned as a possible Renault driver for 2004, most likely in place of Jarno Trulli alongside Fernando Alonso

Villeneuve linked with Renault again

Such a move would result only if Renault decided to show Trulli the door and keep faith with 2003 hotshot Alonso and this is by no means certain. However, the rumour of driver changes surfaced when Takuma Sato told the media that he will be racing for BAR next year, stating that only one year of his three-year deal with BAR, 2003, will be spent as the team's third driver.

With Jenson Button expected to be kept on in BAR's other seat, this makes it ever more likely that 1997 World Champion will be shown the door, especially as his wage demands are known to be more than BAR wishes to pay. With this in mind, Villeneuve's manager Craig Pollock has hinted that his pay demands will be modified: "They'll be performance-based. Jacques has something to finish in F1. He has quite a few years left."

Jacques' fluency in French would certainly be an attribute for the French manufacturer, as is his previous history with them, as he used their engines in the back of his Williams in his title-winning season in 1997. Indeed, Jacques came close to joining Renault for the 2001 season before committing to remain with BAR.


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