Villeneuve Plays Down Sauber Decision

Canadian Jacques Villeneuve has played down his Sauber team's decision to cut his running short in testing at the Barcelona circuit this week

Villeneuve Plays Down Sauber Decision

Speaking exclusively to Autosport-Atlas earlier today, Villeneuve was visibly angry with the team's decision to call in teammate Felipe Massa to replace him for the final two days of work at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain.

Villeneuve was scheduled to test for two days, the Canadian previously admitting he needs all the time he can get in the car to raise his game following a disappointing start to the season.

The former World Champion was unhappy with his only day of work this week after he endured a very troubled session and finished slowest.

"Out of the three days planned, I was supposed to drive the first two, allowing us a fair amount of time as there also was a lot a team specific tests to be done on the car," explained Villeneuve in a statement released today.

"Unfortunately, my engineer and myself did not manage do get through our set-up program and development of new ideas as I suffered a brake failure in the first morning run.

"At this point, with the few hours remaining we judged the 'team specific work' a priority (even though we did not have the right set-up or car balance at the time) and we would use the 2nd day to concentrate on speed and set-up related work. We also decided to spend the rest of the day on old tyres, saving the new ones for day two of our test.

"The team then decided at the end of the day to change the testing plan: I was told that it has been predicted bad weather and a lot of rain on Friday, so the team changed the running schedule to allow Felipe to drive on the dry today.

"Therefore, we did not get the chance to focus on all the set-up work needed in preparation for Imola. It's a shame as new tyres, different fuel loads and a more rubbered track on the second day of the test would have been faster and closer conditions to what the Barcelona race weekend will be."

Despite his problems, however, Villeneuve played down Sauber's decision and said he was not concerned about rumours claiming his position at the Swiss squad is not safe.

"I am sure this situation will fire on a new set of rumours but we are used to them and it certainly won't affect our work," he added. "At this time we are trying our hardest to get the car on the pace which has been a disappointment to us all so far."

Villeneuve also admitted he expected to continue to struggle in the following race, the San Marino Grand Prix.

"Sadly, Imola will be a continuation of the first three races instead of getting the step-up we were expecting after a productive test.

"Another disappointment adding up to the one following Bahrain last weekend where with Gian-Paolo, my engineer, and I started to understand the car better. But hopefully the next test in Fiorano will enable us to concentrate on our work".

shares
comments
Teams to Pay Homage to Pope

Previous article

Teams to Pay Homage to Pope

Next article

Teams to Boycott FIA Meeting

Teams to Boycott FIA Meeting
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve
Teams Sauber
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future Plus

The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future

The Formula 1 world reacted with surprise when it learned Lewis Hamilton’s long-awaited new Mercedes deal guarantees his presence on the grid only until the end of 2021. Both parties claimed publicly they were happy with the arrangement but, asks MARK GALLAGHER, is there more to it than that?

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021
How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again Plus

How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again

Driver-turned-DJ Jaime Alguersuari lost his love for motorsport when he was booted out of Formula 1 just as he was starting to polish his rough edges. Having drifted from category to category then turned his back on racing altogether in 2015, he’s come full circle and is planning a return in karts for fun

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Plus

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Plus

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well-aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead on pace. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021