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  Friday, 11 October, 2002, 09:54 GMT 10:54 UK
Villeneuve cools Cart talk
BAR team boss David Richards (left) talks to driver Jacques Villeneuve
Richards (left) and Villeneuve deny any move to Cart
Jacques Villeneuve and his team boss have played down renewed talk of a deal that could see him return to Cart next year.

The issue was raised earlier this season, but the Canadian decided not to take up the offer of a drive for the Forsythe team before returning to F1 with BAR in 2004.

The deal had appeared to be dead, but speculation has been revived by Villeneuve's visit to the Miami Cart race last weekend.

But Villeneuve and BAR team boss David Richards have dismissed the talk.


Jacques was not particularly enthusiastic
David Richards
BAR boss

The 1997 world champion said: "F1 is the top level of motorsport racing so anything else could only be acceptable if you have the security of coming back afterwards."

Villeneuve admitted that he and manager Craig Pollock had a meeting with team owner Jerry Forsythe in Miami but denied that he had been offered a drive.

"There is nothing at the moment. I talked with (Forsythe) at Indy. We are human beings and very friendly so we talk.

"My business is with BAR. If any business comes, it comes via BAR."

Villeneuve won the Cart title in 1995 while driving for Forsythe, who is a shareholder in BAR, before moving to F1 with Williams in 1996.

BAR chief David Richards has been trying this year to engineer a deal for Villeneuve to spend a sabbatical from F1 in Cart because he wants to save on the Canadian's $21m salary.

But Richards was adamant Villeneuve would be driving in F1 next season.

"From my position he's driving for us next year," Richards said.

"It was discussed some months ago to drive on the Players team but we needed a replacement for Jacques. Without a replacement driver it wasn't practical.

"I think Jacques was not particularly enthusiastic.

"He was willing to work with the team on it, if that was to the benefit of the team, but he wanted to stay in F1.

"He's an F1 driver and he is committed to F1."

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30 Aug 02 | Formula One
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