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Villeneuve 'too young' to turn back on F1

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.”

Related Pictures

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22.06.2006 Montreal, Canada,  Jacques Villeneuve (CDN), BMW Sauber F1 Team - Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Thursday
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Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 2006 Hungarian GP [Credit: Crash PA]
Jean Alesi, Tyrrell, 1989 French Grand Prix [Credit: Crash PA]
Sebastian Vettel, BMW Sauber, 2007 United States GP [Credit: Crash PA]
Michael Schumacher, 7UP Jordan, 1991 Belgian Grand Prix [Credit: Crash PA]
Pirelli tyre selections per driver for the Belgian GP [Credit: Pirelli]
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tolemant - Unregistered

July 01, 2009 11:12 AM

Villeneuve's style never suited grooved tyres, his championship year was the last one before grooved tyres were introduced and best car or not, he ran rings around his teammate then which is the clearest indicator. His loyalty to then BAR did his image damage but I would put money on Villeneuve against any driver on slicks. I would like to see him back at the paddock especially since he is outspoken and definitely not boring like all the rest of the current crop. I would love to see him finish his business.

cris - Unregistered

July 01, 2009 10:59 AM

This Man just won't shut up, I don't know what has got into him, do he really think that he can come back and win? Even Lewis is in trouble on a Mclaren, and Lewis is a current WDC, And I don't think big teams will hire him like Ferrari, Mclaren, BMW or Toyota.. Brawn and Redbull will definitely pass on him, he's only option would be Force India and STR.. or some of the new teams. He will just make a fool out of himself when he returns.

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