SEPTEMBER 15, 2004
Villeneuve and Sauber
With Jacques Villeneuve testing for Renault today at Silverstone there has been the perhaps inevitable speculation that this could change things for next season when Giancarlo Fisichella is due to join Fernando Alonso at Renault F1. Our sources say that it will not make the slightest bit of difference because Villeneuve is being taken on by Renault to do a specific job and score as many points as he can this year to help the team beat British American Racing to the runner-up spot in the Constructors' World Championship. The difference between first and second places in terms of prize money is believed to be in the region of $4m and so it is a worthwhile thing to do and with Jarno Trulli not scoring for one reason or another the team needed some help.
But the future of Jacques appears to be with Sauber and it is perhaps worth noting that on his way to England from his home in Monaco, Jacques reportedly dropped off in Switzerland and our sources say that it is quite likely that he signed a contract with Peter Sauber. Such contracts are often inked in Geneva, where there is no shortage of lawyers who deal with such contracts.
If this is the case, it looks like Jacques had a very busy day yesterday, signing not one but two contacts on the same day.
There is no confirmation of this but we hear that in order to avoid any misconstrued stories about the deal with Renault, Sauber is planning to make an announcement about Jacques as soon as possible.
This is bad news for Formula 3000 driver Tonio Liuzzi, who is due to test for the Swiss team at Jerez this week. He had hoped to be racing in F1 in 2005 and may now have to settle for a job next year as a Formula 1 test driver as Peter Sauber says there is no plan to replace sauber's other driver Felipe Massa.
Keep your eyes open for an announcement from Hinwil.
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