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  Wednesday, 5 June, 2002, 15:50 GMT 16:50 UK
Villeneuve seeking improvement
BAR's Canadian driver Jacques Villeneuve
Villeneuve will be cheered on by home support
Jacques Villeneuve believes Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix will be a vital indicator of British American Racing's progress this season.

The 31-year-old Canadian races in his home town on Sunday at the Montreal track named after his father, the late Gilles Villeneuve, with BAR yet to score a point this season.


But the Honda-powered outfit will be running a car with modified aerodynamics and a revised gearbox in Canada as part of the development programme instigated by new technical director Geoff Willis.

Villeneuve said: "We'll know this weekend exactly how much development work has been done and how well Geoff is working with the rest of the team.

"That doesn't mean we'll be suddenly winning and fighting for points. But we'll see if the car is progressing because for four years now the car hasn't really been progressing.

"Of course, every other team will have improved as well which means that you might not be quicker than you were before. But we'll find out a lot this weekend."

Villeneuve admits it is getting harder to motivate himself after four difficult years with BAR.

He said: "It is getting more and more difficult every year to keep the motivation. It has been four years like this now and it is energy sapping.

"But I am a professional and when I get to races I still try to do my best. If you don't want to do that, you might as well stay at home.

"What I would like to be remembered for is fighting and winning through adversity and for never giving up."

BAR technical director Geoff Willis
Willis is part of BAR's new technical team

Willis, who worked with Villeneuve at Williams, is desperate to get on with the design of next year's car knowing that if BAR fail to improve they could lose their top driver.

Willis said: "Now is the time of year when I'd be really starting to think about the following year's design and that's certainly top in my mind at the moment.

"But for the next four or five races I have to think about ways of improving our current form. We have to do better.

"We are certainly not in a position where we would write the year off.

"We've got to make improvements to the car and I think we have already in terms of reliability and operations."

In-depth guide to the 2002 Formula One season

On-track action

Reaction and analysis

Jonathan Legard

F1 2002
See also:

18 Apr 02 | Formula One
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