Atlas F1 News Service

It Could Have Been Better, Claims Villeneuve

Saturday June 23rd, 2001

Jacques Villeneuve, todayBAR driver Jacques Villeneuve claimed he could have ended higher up the grid if not for an incident on his fastest lap, but as it was, the Canadian had to settle for eleventh place on the grid for the European Grand Prix.

"Someone in front of me went straight into the chicane and I completely missed the corner; I lost two or three tenths just into the corner and that was the best lap," said Villeneuve, who was only six hundredths of a second behind eight place man Heinz-Harald Frentzen.

"We're much closer in time to the two teams we are usually fighting with in qualifying - Sauber and Jordan - but we're not within a tenth of pole position so that's very frustrating. But something always happens here so we'll see for the race."

Olivier Panis, competing in his 100th Grand Prix this weekend, was surprised after finishing in a poor thirteenth place, the Frenchman expecting a better performance from his car after a promising practice.

"I was quite surprised to find that the car wasn't the same as in practice earlier," Panis admitted. "This morning I was very happy and I was quite positive for qualifying but many things changed - the temperature and the track.

"Things are going to be quite difficult for us tomorrow so we need to work hard tonight. You never know what your chances are here - it's a very difficult circuit and it's very easy to make a mistake so we need to make sure the car is stable for us to push harder in the race."

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