Williams denies JV could replace Ralf

Frank Williams has denied that Williams could make a move to put Jacques Villeneuve in its second car to assist its bid to win the constructors' championship if Ralf Schumacher is unable to return to the cockpit at Indianapolis or Suzuka

Williams denies JV could replace Ralf

The rumours were fuelled by suggestions that BAR-Honda might make moves to put Takuma Sato in the car in front of the Japanese fans at Suzuka, in preparation for giving him a race seat in 2004 in place of the 1997 world champion.

Sato's manager, Andrew Gilbert-Scott, conceded that he had heard the story but said that it was not something he would be looking to do unless it was Honda's specific wish.

Villeneuve, of course, knows Suzuka very well having spent a proportion of his career racing in Japan and would doubtless relish the opportunity both to rejuvenate his career and put the wind up old rival Michael Schumacher.

"I think that's wishful thinking from the French-speaking part of Canada," smiled Frank Williams after the Monza race.

Although Gene did a fine job in Monza for Williams, he could be expected to have a tougher time at Indianapolis and Suzuka and if Schumacher Jr is still unfit. It is logical, however, that Williams may look elsewhere in the defence of a narrow four-point advantage in the constructors' championship.

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