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  Monday, 5 August, 2002, 14:53 GMT 15:53 UK
Villeneuve 'staying in F1'
Jacques Villeneuve is being courted by a Cart team
Villeneuve is wants to stay in F1, his manager says

The manager of ex-Formula One world champion Jacques Villeneuve has ruled out any move by the Canadian back to the US-based Cart series.

Villeneuve is being courted by the Forsythe team, whose title sponsor Player's wants to make a big impact in what is going to be its final year in Cart.

But his manager Craig Pollock has told BBC Sport Online that Villeneuve intends to stay in F1 next year with British American Racing.

Pollock said: "Jacques is in F1, he has his contract in F1 and has no intention of doing anything else.


I have no intention of spoiling his holiday with rumours like this
Craig Pollock
Jacques Villeneuve's manager

"To take a Formula One world champion to Cart would cost an absolute fortune.

"Why would he do it? You're finishing your career."

Villeneuve is due to earn around $20m from the final year of his contract with BAR next year - money no Cart team would likely be able to pay.

Pollock said Villeneuve would not consider any offer from Cart unless it was "something incredible - a lot more than he is earning at the moment."

Villeneuve "is not aware of" the offer, said the Scot.

"Jacques is on holiday and I have no intention of spoiling his holiday with rumours like this," added Pollock, who was deposed as boss of BAR before the beginning of this season.

'Good candidate'

Pollock would not comment on whether he had been approached by Forsythe, but BBC Sport Online has learned that he has.

Cart team boss Jerry Forsythe admitted that he was looking for a star driver for next season.

"We're looking for opportunities that would enable Player's to run three cars next year and we're looking to bring somebody back to our series who's got star power," Forsythe told ESPN.com.

"I believe there's a former Cart champion who fits that description."

Asked if that was Villeneuve, Forsythe replied: "He would be a good candidate."

BAR boss David Richards has made it clear that he does not want to pay Villeneuve his full salary and has been trying to persuade him to take a pay cut.

BAR boss David Richards and his predecessor Craig Pollock
Richards (left) thinks Pollock negotiated too big a salary for Villeneuve

Richards has dropped hints that Villeneuve could be part of the team's "long-term future", leaving space for the cheaper Olivier Panis to partner Jenson Button next season.

However, the whole deal depends on Villeneuve agreeing not only to take a substantial pay cut, but to take the risk of going back to Cart.

He left the series in 1995 as its champion and would risk damaging his reputation if he was not competitive if he returned.

On top of that, Cart is not highly rated within F1, and he might find it difficult to get back into Grand Prix racing if he left.

Forsythe is to a degree the team Villeneuve drove for when he raced in Cart in 1994-5.

At that time it was called Forsythe-Green, but it split into two teams - Forsythe Racing and Team Green - after Villeneuve left.

See also:

26 Jul 02 | Formula One
19 Jul 02 | Formula One
21 Jun 02 | Formula One
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