Former F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve has stressed that he is 'too young' to admit that his time in the top flight is over just yet – as he urged that his passion for the sport 'hasn't faded' in the slightest in the three years that he has been away.
Villeneuve left the grand prix paddock with his tail between his legs midway through the 2006 campaign, parting company with BMW-Sauber following a dispiriting run of results and rather too many accidents for his employer's liking, as the Bavarian manufacturer replaced him with then test driver Robert Kubica before that summer's Hungarian Grand Prix.
Since then, the French-Canadian – son of the late, legendary Ferrari hero Gilles Villeneuve – has made sporadic appearances here and there, most notably competing in the iconic Le Mans 24 Hours for Peugeot in 2007 and 2008, finishing in second place outright alongside Nicolas Minassian and Marc Gené on the latter occasion.
The 1997 title-winner has also turned his hand to NASCAR with reasonable success and made the odd start in the now defunct Middle East and Asia-based Speedcar Series, but there has been little of late, with Villeneuve having returned to his homeland to settle in Montreal with his wife and two young sons, indulging from time-to-time in motocross, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series and even karting. Now, he has hinted, he wants to get back on-track at the very highest level of all.
The eleven-time grand prix-winner has already made clear his interest in occupying one of the two available berths at North Carolina-based newcomers USF1 in 2010 – suggesting that he would be a better candidate than any of the American drivers reputedly in the frame – and his appearance at the Monaco Grand Prix in May was rumoured to be not entirely a spectating one.
“I'm still too young to stop, especially since I want to battle it out on the track,” the 38-year-old is quoted as having said by Flagworld
. “My passion hasn't faded.”