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Renault rules out Jacques Villeneuve for 2011 drive

ESPNF1 Staff
June 14, 2010 « Christian Horner satisfied with Red Bull form | »
Jacques Villeneuve is seeking a return to Formula One in 2011 © Sutton Images

Jacques Villeneuve's quest for a Formula One seat in 2011 will not end in a Renault drive, according to team boss Eric Boullier.

Villeneuve came close to securing a drive with Stefan GP for 2010 before the collapse of the team but he recently announced that he is still hoping to find a seat for 2011.

Renault was thought to be one of his best options as he is reportedly close to team owner Gerard Lopez and shareholder Eric Lux, and the related Gravity Sport Management. But Boullier was quoted in Canada's Rue Frontenac as saying that whilst he respects the 1997 world champion, he thinks he will struggle to fit into a top team.

"Jacques is a world champion and a driver of exceptional talent for whom I have great respect," said Boullier. "There is no doubt he could help a team looking for a driver with his profile. This was not the case for us."

Boullier also said that Villeneuve, who has not raced in Formula One since 2006, would struggle to rediscover his old form with the current testing limitations in place.

"The current regulations that limit private testing greatly affect the potential return of a non-active driver. A driver who leaves competition loses his normal speed, his reflexes are a bit dulled as are his physical abilities to take the car to its maximum potential.

"That's just natural. Whatever you do in sports, the specific skills needed to race in F1 must be constantly maintained."