British American Racing driver Jacques Villeneuve fears his time in Formule One may come to an end after the Japanese Grand Prix. The 1997 world champion admitted on the weekend that the team's engine supplier, Honda, are pushing to have him replaced by Japanese driver Takuma Sato.If Honda get their way and Sato is teamed up with Button, there seem to be no other options for Villeneuve.
All the top teams, Ferrari, Williams, McLaren and Renault have confirmed their driver line-up. The only vacancies left are most likely to be paid for.
"There is no inkling of an offer coming from anywhere right now," he confirmed. "There hasn't been an offer from BAR either. It is late and there is no good news so there is no reason to be optimistic. I am working hard on it and I know a lot of people are working hard on it but there are people working hard against it. There is no decision that has been officially taken by the team. It doesn't look too good but that doesn't mean it is finished. I don't think it is my hands right now. it is in sponsors Lucky Strike's hands, in the team's hands and in Honda's hands. I guess it depends on who wins the battle. There is a big push for Sato coming from Honda."
Now it seems that a 'shoot out' involving up to eight potential candidates for the sister seat - including Villeneuve - might be the Canadian's last hope.
'The idea seemed intriguing for our purposes,' the Briton added.
'Of course, it is my responsibility to find the best driver we can get and not just stage a gimmick. But this is an exciting idea if we can make it work.' It is however unsure if or where such a competition would happen.