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Villeneuve not interested in Vegas bid

Jacques Villeneuve has said he's not interested in racing in the IndyCar season finale event, which is offering a $5million prize to any non-series regular who wins the event.
Former F1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve has ruled himself out of appearing in the IndyCar series season finale at Las Vegas in October, despite the lure of a $5 million prize fund that is being offered to any non-series driver who can come in and take the win from under the noses of the regular drivers.

"I'm not really interested," said the outspoken Canadian. "If you can do it with a team like Penske, you know when you sit in the car and have a missile - it will be perfect," he told Autosport magazine this week. "If you do it as a last-minute, then no ... You risk killing yourself for nothing," he said, adding: "You end up doing stupid things to get the big prize."

It's believed that the deadline for expressions of interest from drivers wanting to take part in the season finale - styled as the "world championships" - passed last month. Villeneuve had previously confirmed in March that he had been in talks with IndyCar organisers about the possibility of putting his name forward.

Villeneuve - who earlier this week was outspoken about how the current DRS-era of F1 was "useless," "boring" and "not even racing" - also took the opportunity to blast the standard of driving in IndyCar, in which he competed in the 1990s before switching to F1.

"There are some great drivers in IndyCar, but there's also a bunch who should not be there," he told Autosport magazine, describing them as "Drivers that shouldn't even be in Formula 3." No names were mentioned.

The comments will have gone down badly with IndyCar Series organisers, who set up the $5 million challenge as a way of proving to the world that with its mix of road courses, street circuits and ovals, IndyCar can boast the best drivers in the world.

Instead, Villeneuve has reiterated that "My focus is on NASCAR," which he describes as "so much fun." Villenueve returned to NASCAR Nationwide racing last month at Road America, finishing third despite a late-race accident.

"It reminds me of why I got into racing in the first place. You get in the car and you are there to do your race and nothing will get in the way of that – not regulations, nothing. It's amazing. It's human against human, beast against beast. It's great. You can muscle your way through, you can work around problems – I love it!"

Among those drivers who have been rumoured as suggestions for a wildcard entry for the IndyCar Las Vegas "world championships" are former Ferrari F1 driver Jean Alesi and current WRC star Petter Solberg. Former NASCAR and F1 star Scott Speed had also been lined up for a wildcard with Dragon Racing, but the unfortunate events during qualifying for May's Indianapolis 500 might have strained that arrangement beyond repair.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Former F1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve at Texas Motor Speedway during his 2007 season with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. [Picture credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Scott Dixon - Chip Ganassi Indy Car [credit: IndyCar TV Twitter]
Detroit IndyCar Andretti RHR
Takuma Sato Detroit IndyCar
Scott Dixon Indy 500
Takuma Sato 2017 Indy 500 winner`s circle
Takuma Sato 2017 Indy 500
Scott Dixon [credit: IndyCar Series]
Scott Dixon Indy 500 qualifying
Ryan Hunter-Reay Indy 500 practice 2017
Fernando Alonso Indy 500 practice 2
Johnny Rutherford, McLaren-Honda-Andretti [Credit: McLaren Racing]
Fernando Alonso, McLaren-Honda-Andretti, [Credit: McLaren]
Alexander Rossi - Andretti Autosport   [pic credit: Indycar Media/Joe Skibinski]
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to victory at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to pole at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Scott Dixon leads the Indycar field   [pic credit: Indycar media/Bret Kelley]
Scott Dixon - Target Chip Ganassi Racing   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/JOE SKIBINSKI]

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cruachan - Unregistered

July 08, 2011 10:57 AM

A guy who scraped his way to a single F1 title in possibly the greatest car ever to race in F1 doesn't get to criticise drivers who are out there scrapping in midpack to earn themselves a better drive in indycar.

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