NOVEMBER 22, 1999
Villeneuve to stay at BAR - at least for 2000
JACQUES VILLENEUVE says that he will see out his contract with British American Racing - even if his mentor and manager Craig╩Pollock is dumped as the team chairman and chief executive. Villeneuve had made it clear that if Pollock was to be replaced he would also leave the team. He has now explained that he will respect his contract whatever happens.
The implication is that Pollock's future remains uncertain and our sources say that the question of team leadership will not be settled until the British American Racing board of directors meets again in December.
Villeneuve said that the 1999 season has helped forge BAR into a better team despite the fact that the results were very poor. He said that if results in 2000 are as bad he would have no option but to move to another team but reckons that this will not happen as the team can only get better. The first of the new BAR-Honda 02 chassis is expected to be ready to begin testing in the middle of December. The team's windtunnel at Brackley is still not operational but the aerodynamic work for the new car has been carried out at Southampton University and at the Auto Research Center in Indianapolis. As expected Honda is supplying chassis engineers for the BAR program with 15 Japanese now working at the BAR factory in Brackley.
Villeneuve was at Monza last week driving an old Brabham BT11 as part of a re-enactment of scenes from the film "Grand╩Prix". The shooting also involved the star of the original movie James Garner. The purpose of the filming has yet to be revealed...
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