Villeneuve Says Honda Want Sato to Replace Him

Former champion Jacques Villeneuve fears his days as a Formula One driver could be numbered, with BAR's partners Honda pushing for Japan's Takuma Sato to replace him next season.

Villeneuve Says Honda Want Sato to Replace Him

Former champion Jacques Villeneuve fears his days as a Formula One driver could be numbered, with BAR's partners Honda pushing for Japan's Takuma Sato to replace him next season.

"There is no inkling of an offer coming from anywhere and there hasn't been an offer from BAR either," the BBC quoted the Canadian driver as saying after he finished sixth in Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.

"It is late and there is no good news so there is no reason to be optimistic. I am working hard on it and I know a lot of people are working hard on it but there are also people working hard against it," added Villeneuve, who won his 1997 title with Williams.

"No decision has been officially taken by the team and it doesn't look too good but that doesn't mean it is finished. I guess it depends on who wins the battle but there is a big push for Sato coming from Honda."

Sato, hugely popular in Japan, is BAR's test driver after a crash-strewn debut season with Jordan in 2002 when they used Honda engines. Villeneuve's future is a major talking point in the Grand Prix paddock, with most other teams having already finalised their line-ups for 2004.

"It doesn't matter what you achieve, people will see what they want," said the Canadian, whose teammate is Briton Jenson Button.

"If they are positive with you they will see the one good thing you have done in 10 years but if they want to be against you they will see the one bad thing you have done even if the rest of the time you have been doing good things."

Villeneuve, asked at the weekend about speculation that he might even be replaced for the final race at Suzuka where Sato finished fifth last year, said he knew of no such plan but would not be surprised.

"Because you kind of know who is pushing for whom," he said.

shares
comments
McLaren Target Indy Win to Raise Raikkonen's Hopes

Previous article

McLaren Target Indy Win to Raise Raikkonen's Hopes

Next article

Ross Brawn Q&A

Ross Brawn Q&A
Load comments
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021