F1 Rumors:Villeneuve to possibly join Williams/BMW for 2005?

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by curiousgeorgeM3, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. curiousgeorgeM3

    curiousgeorgeM3 naughty little monkey

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    This would be so awesome if it came true. I have always liked Villeneuve and think he still has a lot to prove in F1 and the talent to do it. Hopefully Williams can build a decent chasis someday and employ pit workers that aren't complete retarded monkeys.

    Special to ESPN.com
    NURBURG, Germany -- Will Jacques be back?


    Rumors continue to circulate that Jacques Villeneuve will be back in Formula One after taking a forced sabbatical in 2004. The Williams BMW team admits it has had a meeting with Villeneuve but denied, as his manager has, that there is any imminent track test coming up for the Canadian.


    Many of Villeneuve's fellow drivers would be happy to see him back, and that includes his old nemesis Michael Schumacher. Relations between the two have never been very cordial ever since Schumacher tried to shove Villeneuve off the road in their championship showdown in 1997.


    "He has a great name, and F1 is always happy to have those great names," Schumacher said of the possibility of Villeneuve returning. "There are 20 drivers in F1 and you are friends with some and less to do with others. That's life; it's pretty normal. I have no feeling in a bad way not to see him back. I would be quite happy. We saw each other after the party after the race in Monaco, and we had a chat and it was pretty relaxed."


    Villeneuve's name has been linked with both Toyota and Williams BMW. He drove for Williams from 1996 through 1998 during which time he won 13 poles, 11 Grands Prix and the 1997 World Championship.


    His first and last F1 victories came here at the Nurburgring, site of this weekend's European Grand Prix.


    He then spent five years at BAR only to be forced out of the team just before it became competitive this season.


    "Good for him," Juan Pablo Montoya said of rumors that Villeneuve might be his replacement at Williams next year.


    Montoya is leaving Williams for McLaren in 2005, and Ralf Schumacher's future with Williams has yet to be settled.


    "The last few years he had some tough times at BAR," Montoya said, "and for him it had to be really sad to see that as soon as he left that the car became competitive. He worked so many years with the team to try to get there, so it's pretty sad."


    Current Williams driver Ralf Schumacher isn't too sure that Villeneuve would be all that welcome at his old team.


    "Certainly Jacques would be good for Formula One," he said. "But I'd just be very surprised if he came back to Williams. I remember the days when Frank (Williams) and Patrick (Head) just blamed him for everything and just hated him and wanted to fire him and said he was useless."


    Still, the younger Schumacher did not rule out Villeneuve returning to Williams.



    BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - AUGUST 23: Jacques Villeneuve of Canada and BAR prepares to qualiy for the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring on August 23, 2003 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)


    "There is one driver going (from Williams) and the other might go," he said. "There are not so many options out there so you have to look at all the options available. And Jacques is one of them."


    Williams' director of engineering Patrick Head is on record saying that the team is looking for experienced drivers rather than rookies with potential for the 2005 season.


    "There is nothing that beats somebody having done it previously," Head said when asked what criteria the team was looking for in its drivers for 2005. "A driver needs to be so much more than just a good driver to actually deal with every situation he is presented with. And bring it together in the final qualifying lap is very, very difficult.


    "In truth, if you are looking for a driver and you want to be confident that he can win races, then maybe you have to look at drivers who have won races previously."


    It sounds, ESPN.com ventured to Head, as if you are talking about Jacques Villeneuve ...


    "I did mention that Nigel Mansell has not yet announced his retirement," Head quipped, sidestepping the question.


    Williams BMW was in contention for both the Drivers and Constructors World Championships right up to the final couple of races last year. This year, the team thought it would be in the hunt for the titles, but so far it has not been. Head has every intention for the team to be fighting for top honors in 2005. And he says you can't do that with rookie drivers.


    "We wanted to be in a position to compete for the championship at the beginning of the year," he said. "I intend, as do the people at Williams and BMW to correct the situation that we have had this year, and I am sure that we will be intending, when we start competition in 2005, to compete for the championship. And you will not be able to do that with inexperienced drivers, however talented they are."


    Head said that there is no plan to replace either Montoya or Schumacher during the 2004 season.


    Asked about the chances of Villeneuve doing just that, Montoya said: "I see about zero-point-zero-zero-zero ... maybe one percent (chance.)"


    David Coulthard, the driver Villeneuve replaced when he joined Williams in 1996, says F1 needs colorful personalities like Villeneuve.


    "He is a character for F1 because he expresses his views without always giving full consideration to the consequences of how that may endear him to the team and sponsors and all the rest of it," Coulthard said of his friend Villeneuve.


    "It is interesting and entertaining out of the car and in the car he is also entertaining because if you tell him that a corner is almost flat then he is the guy who is going to try to take it flat, even if it means shunting it the other side of it.


    "He will come with the data and say 'Hey, I may have crashed and destroyed the car, but I was flat-out.' That is an interesting quality that he has so, yeah, I think it would be interesting for the sport for him to be back if he was able to find a spot."


    Olivier Panis, who was Villeneuve's teammate at BAR Honda in 2001 and 2002, would also be happy to see him back in action.


    "I am still a good friend with Jacques," Panis said. "We worked together for two years and I don't have any problem with him. One of Jacques' qualities is that he respects people who are working really hard and this is what I did for two years with BAR, and we still have a good relationship.


    "If he's coming back, I'd welcome it because I'm sure he's still quick, still motivated but now he also needs to find a good place to prove that he's still good. If he starts with a strong team it would be a big help for him."


    If Villeneuve is indeed making a comeback he could start testing for Williams in the near future; he would need to be dialed in and ready to go when the 2005 season starts.


    But that is still a big if because the question remains, will Jacques be back?


    Dan Knutson covers Formula One for National Speed Sport News and ESPN.com

    :bigthumb:
     
  2. elysium

    elysium Guest

    That's interesting stats, I'm surprised Williams BMW critisized him so much considering the success he brought them. They have not matched that type of performance since he left. It's been McLaren and Ferrari with the championships since 99, and now Renault and BAR have replaced both McLaren and Williams as the 'runner-ups'.

    Side Note: Williams' chassis is ugly. :hs:
     
  3. curiousgeorgeM3

    curiousgeorgeM3 naughty little monkey

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    That and it doesn't work for shit either.
     
  4. Redline Racer

    Redline Racer Subaru Tecnica International

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    I honestly hope JV does not come back to F1.

    The only thing bigger than his ego was the fat paycheck he demanded which essentially crippled the BAR team. Perhaps it's just a happy coincidence that the team has had a massive upsurge in its performance since Villeneuve left?
     
  5. dementedmonkey

    dementedmonkey New Member

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    I agree. I've never really liked Villeneuve. He's too cocky. I don't really rate him as a good driver and he wouldn't have won the championship in 1997 if it weren't for the fact that he was in the best car at the time.
     
  6. elysium

    elysium Guest

    But sometime's its good to have a driver you hate in the races. For example, I hate Montoya and I absolutely love to watch him loose/crash/get disqualified! True story.
     
  7. curiousgeorgeM3

    curiousgeorgeM3 naughty little monkey

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    I can't even begin to describe how :greddy: this comment is.
     
  8. Fire Sauce

    Fire Sauce New Member

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    True story.
     
  9. Mugatu

    Mugatu Ask me about market research. OT Supporter

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