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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 October, 2003, 13:20 GMT 14:20 UK
Ecclestone: Villeneuve not wanted
Bernie Ecclestone and Jacques Villeneuve
Ecclestone and Villeneuve after the latter had won the 1997 F1 title
Bernie Ecclestone said he tried to help Jacques Villeneuve stay in Formula One next season but no team was interested in signing the Canadian.

Villeneuve, who won the F1 title in 1997, has been dropped for next season by the BAR team in favour of Takuma Sato.

"I did everything possible to talk teams into giving Jacques a drive for next season but the truth is no one wants him," Ecclestone told The Sun.

"I still regard him as a great racer but he needs a team that would give him extra motivation.

"Toyota would have been the perfect platform for him because they could give him a car capable of winning races."

All the top teams have filled their driving positions for next season which means that this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix could be Villeneuve's last in Formula One.

Ecclestone said he had suggested Villeneuve should drive for free for Ferrari, where the 32-year-old's late father Gilles remains a legend.

"But it didn't come off because Michael (Schumacher) insists on number one status, which shows he must still consider Jacques a threat," said the F1 supremo.




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SEE ALSO
Villeneuve dropped by BAR
04 Oct 03  |  Formula One
Villeneuve looks beyond F1
27 Sep 03  |  Formula One
Villeneuve criticises BAR
04 May 03  |  Formula One


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