Honda website
Honda website

MAY 22, 2004

Villeneuve and Williams

One rumour that will not go away is that Jacques Villeneuve will be seen testing a William-BMW in the course of the next few weeks. The team says that there has been one contact between them and the French-Canadian but nothing more than that but they seem a little vague when asked directly if Villeneuve will be seen in a car.

Usually-reliable sources are now offering an explanation for this odd situation, explaining that Villeneuve will be seen in a car but Williams is nonetheless not very interested in signing him up for the future. This may sound illogical but it seems that BMW is the motive force behind a planned test and have insisted that Villeneuve do some work for them, hoping no doubt that his knowledge of the Honda V10 engine will rub off on the latest offering from Munich. It will do no harm in America, BMW's biggest market and is obviously the beginning of a campaign to get Villeneuve back into F1.

Williams sources say that at the moment what they really want is stability, particularly with Ralf Schumacher who has been under performing this season. Putting Villeneuve in a car will not do much for Ralf's motivation but as it is fairly clear that he is leaving the team and moving off to Toyota next year and so Williams does need to start making moves to find a replacement for him and for Juan Pablo Montoya.