Villeneuve Unconcerned About Future, Says Clear

BAR-Honda driver Jacques Villeneuve is focused on the forthcoming European Grand Prix and not on his future whereabouts, his race engineer Jock Clear said today.

Villeneuve Unconcerned About Future, Says Clear

BAR-Honda driver Jacques Villeneuve is focused on the forthcoming European Grand Prix and not on his future whereabouts, his race engineer Jock Clear said today.

The Canadian is out of contract at the end of the current season and his future remains unclear with BAR requesting Villeneuve to take a pay-cut if he is to remain with the Brackley-based outfit. But Clear said: "I don't think he's considering next year at the moment. Obviously it's in the back of his mind.

"Where he goes for next year is obviously being looked at by (manager) Craig Pollock and obviously other teams are talking to him but as Jacques is concerned he's just got to concentrate on getting a good result at the Nurburgring."

Villeneuve has endured miserable fortune this season after reliability issues forced him out of more than half of the races so far and Clear knows BAR have to improve the performance of their car. Teammate Jenson Button has retired only once, but 1997 World Champion Villeneuve has been left frustrated at scoring only three points this season for his sixth place in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

"Obviously we want to get some results this season and show what this car is capable of," Clear added. "It's a quick car and reliability on our side has been nothing short of diabolical really. It can't continue at that rate. A lot of it is down to bad luck.

"It's not that the car is inherently unreliable. Jenson's only had one race failure down to reliability. If we can just get some luck on our side of the garage and get some results... well, that's all we're concentrating on at the moment."

Clear, who worked with Villeneuve at Williams when the Canadian won the title, still believes the 1997 World Champion can challenge for the title once again after six years without success.

"I think if he finds the right drive or if BAR manage to get a really strong car, Bridgestone is a really strong tyre and Honda is a really strong engine then it will all come together and there's no doubt about it that Jacques is the man to win you a World Championship," he said.

"When the car is right up there, he has that cutting edge. Top drivers have to be in top teams to make it count and so we really need to provide him with a car that does him justice."

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