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  Thursday, 18 April, 2002, 13:27 GMT 14:27 UK
Villeneuve hints at BAR exit
Jacques Villeneuve drives for British American Racing
Villeneuve's days at BAR could be numbered
Former world champion Jacques Villeneuve has suggested that his spell with struggling team British American Racing (BAR) could come to an end after this season.

Villeneuve's best finish from four races this term has been a seventh place at last week's San Marino Grand Prix and the team have yet to score a point

And Villeneuve, the 1997 champion with Williams, has only finished on the podium - in third place - twice in four seasons with the Brackley-based outfit.

There comes a point when enough is enough
Jacques Villenueve
"I hate being uncompetitive," he told Thursday's Evening Standard newspaper in London.

"Nobody likes it. It is frustrating and it's very tiring.

"You have to push people to work harder, to make sure it gets better in the long term.

"But the long term is getting shorter and shorter.

"I'll see what happens in the next couple of months. I won't stick with it forever.

"There comes a point when enough is enough."

The 31-year-old signed a lucrative, multi-year contract last season, before friend and former team principal Craig Pollock was replaced at the helm by David Richards.

Jacques Villeneuve at the launch of BAR's new car for 2002
Villeneuve with BAR's new car for 2002
"There was a risk coming to BAR," said Villeneuve, whose salary is thought to be the highest in Formula One after Ferrari's Schumacher.

"It didn't pay off and that's fine.

"I've learned a lot and I'm a better driver than I was. It wasn't Craig's fault that the car wasn't fast.

"Someone had to have their head chopped and he was team principal so it's normal that he got chopped.

"The decision that is more difficult to accept is to have stayed with the team when I re-signed the contract, because there had been two years of no result and there was obviously no reason for the team to get better."

Villeneuve told the Portuguese magazine Autosport this month that he would leave BAR at the end of the year if he did not think they could provide him with a competitive car.

And he added that if he could not find a competitive ride elsewhere then he would quit F1 altogether.

Richards, meanwhile, was quoted in Motorsport News magazine this week as suggesting that he would rather spend money on improving the car than on expensive drivers.

"It's foolish having Michael Schumacher driving a Minardi," he said.

"It's better to get the race car right and then go and employ Schumacher later."

See also:

14 Apr 02 |  Formula One
Schumacher reigns supreme
17 Apr 02 |  Formula One
Coulthard dismisses Button challenge
14 Apr 02 |  Formula One
Button hails 'best race'
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