AUGUST 27, 2002
Villeneuve turns down $50m deal!
Forsythe said that the deal failed because Villeneuve wanted too much money. The newspaper reported that Villeneuve was asking for a deal worth $57m.
The revelations from Forsythe suggest that Villeneuve will now stay at BAR for one more season (during which he will be paid $20m) but he will then be out of a job as the team made it quite clear to him that it was not interested in a short-term arrangement. This will mean a very stressful season for all involved as Richards and BAR had wanted to save money on driver salaries and invest that in developing the team.
This means that Olivier Panis is probably out of work next year as BAR already has Jenson Button under contract. Panis is talking to other teams but the number of drives available is now very limited. If that happens there will be no Frenchman racing in F1 in 2003.