"I never courted the Lotus F1 team" - Jacques Villeneuve
By René Fagnan,http://www.auto123.com/e...villeneuve?artid=114150
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Hordes of Formula 1 fans were deeply disappointed to learn on Monday that the new Lotus F1 Team had not chosen former World Champion Jacques Villeneuve as one of their drivers for 2010.
During a press conference held Monday, Lotus F1 Racing team boss Tony Fernandes presented his two drivers to the press, Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen. Last week, Fernandes said Villeneuve's name was not on his short list of potential drivers for next season.
So what really happened? Auto123.com called Jacques Villeneuve to know more about this.
"It's simple: I did not put any energy into talking to Lotus about an F1 drive," said exclusively Jacques Villeneuve to Auto123.com.
"I've been invited to visit the Lotus Cars facility in Great Britain by my friend Gino Rosato. They are currently working on various projects and my visit was just to see the production cars and the Lotus Cars factory. I did not go there to talk about the possibility of an F1 drive. Lotus Cars and Lotus F1 Racing are two completely distinct companies. People are aware that Lotus Cars and Lotus F1 are not linked at all, no?," asked Villeneuve.
It seems not. Many people expected the two companies to have links and that Villeneuve went to Great Britain to talk about a possible drive in Formula 1.
"No, no, not at all. I never courted the Lotus team. I did not put any energy in that. After I visited the factory, people got all excited and the rumour mill started spinning," Villeneuve added.
What are the other options left for him to return in F1 next season?
"I continue to work on various options and possibilities," said Jacques.
"Surely there are less spots available as teams unveil their drivers for next season. But I never, never gave up during my career. When you want to do something, you work really hard to get it. And that's what I am doing right now. I know I can still do great things in Formula 1," added Villeneuve.
What are the options left?
"There are still some interesting drives available for next season…" simply concluded the 1997 F1 World Champion.