Villeneuve Will Drive On, Says Pollock

Jacques Villeneuve has a 'burning desire' to win again and is not about to turn his back on Formula One, according to the Canadian's manager Craig Pollock.

Villeneuve Will Drive On, Says Pollock

Jacques Villeneuve has a 'burning desire' to win again and is not about to turn his back on Formula One, according to the Canadian's manager Craig Pollock.

While the former World Champion had a depressing home Grand Prix on Sunday, retiring for the third year in a row at a circuit named after his late father Gilles, Pollock said the 32-year-old would return in 2004.

"I am very confident he is going to be in Formula One next year," the Scot told Reuters. "I think it would be the greatest shame for Formula One to lose a personality such as Jacques."

Villeneuve won the World Championship in a dominant Williams in 1997 but has been at BAR since 1999, a Honda-powered team that have yet to win a race.

His contract expires at the end of the year and there is considerable uncertainty about the future of a driver who is one of the highest paid in the sport. Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone said he would like to see him move to a top team.

"We'd like to see him in a good car. How can he be motivated? He's won the CART series, he's won the World Championship, he's won a lot of races," Ecclestone said in the Montreal paddock.

"You imagine, he comes to a race and he says 'if I really do a good job maybe I can qualify 10th and maybe in the race I can run eighth or ninth'. What's the difference to him? if he's 13th or seventh it's the same.

"He's not motivated. I'd like to see him in the Ferrari," added Ecclestone. "He told me 'Put me in the second Ferrari beside Michael (Schumacher) and I'll drive for nothing'. But it's not going to happen."

Future Prospects

Pollock said he was talking to several teams about Villeneuve's prospects.

"He'll be sitting in a Formula One car in the future, exactly which team... obviously his contract terminates at the end of the season and at the moment for next year he is still a free agent," he said. "But there have been certain doors left slightly ajar that have been obviously walked in through and we are discussing.

"Its not a question of taking a pay cut. I think it's a question of negotiating a contract and a deal with a team where both parties are going to come out happy.

"When (Ayrton) Senna went to Williams he wanted to win so he took, as you would call it, a pay cut. He negotiated in a different way," said Pollock. "It's not just wins. Jacques is wanting championships. That's his burning desire."

"What's more important - winning races or earning money? At this stage in his career I suppose it's a little bit like (Alain) Prost and Senna. At a certain stage in their careers what do you want to do?"

Pollock said the Canadian Grand Prix was always a particularly stressful time for the driver and shrugged off suggestions that Canadians were beginning to turn against their homegrown hero.

"The way I look at it, this year's turned into being like a Villeneuve mania, whether it's positive or negative," he said. "I just think this year's 10 times worse than any other year and it's also due to the speculation of what's going to happen with Villeneuve in the future."

"It's the hardest race psychologically for him because there is so much pressure put on by Canadians expecting so much."

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