Renault team boss Eric Boullier has ruled out a possible F1 return for Jacques Villeneuve with the team next season.
After missing out on a place on the grid for 2010, the former champion has turned his focus to 2011 as he looks to make a comeback, with Renault being viewed as one possible option due to the Canadian driver's links to the Gravity Sport Management group – owned by Renault team owners Genii Capital.
However, speaking to the Rue Frontenac
'paper, Boullier said he felt that Villeneuve's best option for a return would be with a new turn rather than one that is already established on the grid.
"Jacques is a world champion and a driver of exceptional talent for whom I have great respect," he said. "There is no doubt he could help a team looking for a driver with his profile. This was not the case for us."
Boullier also added that Villeneuve wouldn't find it easy to be on the pace from the outset to the current testing restrictions – as has been seen with returning seven-time champion Michael Schumacher.
"The current regulations that limit private testing greatly affect the potential return of a non-active driver,” he said. “A driver who leaves competition loses his normal speed, his reflexes are a bit dulled as are his physical abilities to take the car to its maximum potential.
"That's just natural. Whatever you do in sports, the specific skills needed to race in F1 must be constantly maintained."