SEPTEMBER 14, 2004
Villeneuve in England
Jacques Villeneuve popped up in England on Tuesday and it is expected that the French-Canadian will test for the Renault F1 team tomorrow if a suitable settlement can be agreed with Jarno Trulli, the man who would have to stand aside if the team takes on Villeneuve for the rest of the season. This could be complicated as Renault F1 boss Flavio Briatore may have to negotiate with himself because he represents both the team and Trulli in different roles as the team boss and Trulli's manager. The latter deal comes to an end this year (after 10 years) and it is thought that this might be the reason why Trulli's much-discussed deal with Toyota is yet to be formalised as a deal concluded under an old management might still require payment if it is done before the contract runs out. It is not clear when Trulli's deal with Briatore ends but it began at some point in the autumn of 1994. The deal opened the way for Trulli to jump straight into German Formula 3 in 1995. Briatore's investment in Trulli has paid off handsomely but this year Trulli expressed the desire to manage his own career in the future and it seems that this led to Renault's decision not to retain him next year.
Since that decision was made Trulli has not scored a World Championship point and Renault has slipped to third place in the Constructors' Championship.
Our spies tell us that if all goes to plan Villeneuve will drive tomorrow and if all goes well will be a Renault driver in China. If things do not go well the drive will go to test driver Franck Montagny.
It is rumoured that Trulli's deal with Toyota will be announced in China.
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