Friday May 18th, 2001
Life has not been easy for Canadian Jacques Villeneuve since he joined British American Racing, but the 1997 world champion is not thinking about leaving the Honda-powered team.
"There's no doubt right now. I'm not planning on going anywhere else," Villeneuve was quoted as saying by Sportal. "I am concentrating on this project and I don't have leaving in my mind. It's not 'what will it take to make me stay', it's more 'would something make me leave...'"
Villeneuve, who won the 1997 title for the Williams team only one season after entering Formula One from the American CART series, joined BAR in 1999 expecting big things, but the Brackley-based team failed to deliver and he has been unable to shine since then.
The Canadian, who finally returned to the podium at this year's Spanish Grand Prix, believes BAR should aim to finish third in the Constructors' Championship, and added his life is now easier without so much attention from the press.
"The team has to be in the top three in the constructors," added Villeneuve. "These are the minimum expectations and the minimum results acceptable. If the team works well we should be able to reach it - there's only McLaren and Ferrari that aren't catchable this year."
"I had my best contract last year, so that didn't go down, it's just the results that have gone down. Also I get less attention from the media so that makes life easier."