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OCTOBER 4, 2003

More on Villeneuve

Craig Pollock has confirmed that he received a telephone call from David Richards of BAR saying that Villeneuve will not be with the team next year.

"We received a call from BAR Managing Director, Dave Richard on Friday informing us of their decision," Pollock told TSN. "What is so disappointing is the fact that this team was built for and around Jacques, and he underwent all sorts of trials and tribulations over the years as BAR struggled to find its place in Formula 1. Jacques never wavered, and his loyalty to British American Racing was constant. He had other opportunities, and no one would have blamed him for going elsewhere, but he preferred to see this project through despite a car that did not live up to its expectations."

"Our primary emotions right now are sadness and disappointment," Pollock added. "Jacques has given everything to British American Racing in its first five years, and always with a view to building a team that would be front-of-the-grid some day."

It remains to be seen whether Villeneuve will complete the season with BAR but if he decides not to bother it will almost certainly be Takuma Sato who replaces him.

BAR made Villeneuve an offer before the United States GP and Richards and Pollock met at the United States GP to discuss the future. It seems however that they were unable to agree terms.

There are no real options available to Jacques for next year as no-one is willing or in a position to pay him the kind of money he believes he is worth. Williams has no space for Jacques in 2004 and even if it did, it is by no means certain that Jacques would be the first choice.

The news is another disaster for Canadian racing, following the cancellation of the Canadian GP.