JUNE 9, 1997
...and pondering his future
JACQUES VILLENEUVE indicated in Barcelona that he does not yet have an agreement with Williams for the 1998 season. His manager Craig Pollock even went so far as to say that Villeneuve is free to leave Williams at the end of this year if he chooses to.
Frank Williams had an option on Villeneuve which has been taken up, but it seems that the two parties have yet to agree on how much money Villeneuve should be paid.
Pointing out that Villeneuve could switch teams seems to be a negotiating ploy by Pollock, but it will not impress Frank Williams very much, because he knows that he can get any rising star he wants to drive for his team for a fraction of the money Villeneuve is asking.
Villeneuve and Pollock know that they must not push Frank too far because he is quite capable and ruthless enough to dump any driver - as he proved in the past with Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost and Damon Hill.
Moving to another team makes little sense for Villeneuve as his long-term plans seem to be to join a competitive Prost-Peugeot operation in 1999. It is, therefore, likely that Villeneuve will settle and stay on at Williams.
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