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Atlas F1 News Service, a Reuters report
Villeneuve will be Fit for Spanish GP, say BAR

Tuesday May 2nd, 2000

Former world champion Jacques Villeneuve is undergoing treatment on a back injury but will be fit for the Spanish Grand Prix, British American Racing (BAR) said on Tuesday.

The Canadian, who won the drivers' title in 1997, was forced to withdraw from a test run at Barcelona on Friday, raising fears that he could miss the fifth race of the season on Sunday.

"Jacques did give up testing at Barcelona a day early," BAR spokesman Graham Jones told Reuters. "He drove on Thursday but pulled out of the Friday session.

"But there is no question of him missing the Spanish Grand Prix. He has gone off with his trainer to work on the problem and we are confident he will be OK.

"He is undergoing a course of physiotherapy and will seek more medical advice if he has to.

"But knowing Jacques he will just take some painkillers and get on with it," he added.

Jones said that if Villeneuve was forced to pull out, he would probably be replaced by the team's official test driver Darren Manning and not Frenchman Patrick Lemarie who took over from the Canadian for the final day of testing.

"Patrick is a good driver but Darren is the test team driver and it is more than likely that he would take over from Jacques," said Jones.

Villeneuve is seventh in the drivers' championship with five points but has yet to record a podium finish. BAR are sixth in the constructors' table with six points.

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